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The Rat: let's see what all the fuss is about

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by tele-bastard, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have an original white face.

    I run mine with a modded Boss BD-2 in front of it.

    The BD-2 is on all the time....I kick in the Rat when it's time to melt faces.

    The controls are very sensitive...especially the filter.

    It's not hard to get good sounds out of 'em, but it's really easy to make them sound like garbage.
     
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  2. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm a recent convert. I've been chasing a higher gain sound for a while - thought it would be in the Joyo Ultimate Drive (uh, nope!) Dod Gunslinger (almost, but not quite) and a couple other pedals. Finally started to explore what the Rat model on my Zoom pedal could do and figured an analog one was worth a gamble. Bought the Biyang version and was really impressed. Great by itself, wonderful with tube screamer, Timmy and dumble-in-a-box type pedals in front of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
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  3. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    The question then becomes: WHOSE 308 chip?

    Different manufacturers’ LM308 op-amps are said to have different sounds. In my experience, the differences are small, and could be accounted for by tolerances of the connected components.

    JMO. YMMV.
     
  4. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Meister

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    I ain't geeked out that hard on it:D
    I had it open once to look, ill open it and post a pic.
     
  5. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    What I meant was, I don’t think it matters as much as some people say it does.

    10 to 20% tolerances on most of the components could account for a lot of tonal difference.
     
  6. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Meister

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    I'm with ya, i didn't even know about LM308 when i bought it, i just learned later. The seller may have mentioned it but i was just buying a 40.00 used dirtbox. 20201021_182224.jpg says Tonepad Landgraff Rat on inside cover, sounds badass.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    The LM308N, regardless of who made it, has a stupid low slew rate. And when used in a Rat, it's also constrained with a 30pF external compensation cap.

    For those two reasons, I really doubt you could hear much in a difference between any two different LM308N chips, and IMO it wouldn't be worth it to come up with a setup that would allow you to toggle between the two of them installed in the same pedal, in realtime. Because if they're two different pedals, then you have all the tolerances of caps/resistors being different. And if you're just swapping a chip in a single pedal and going by memory, that's a horrible and impossible way to make a quantifiable conclusion.

    Furthermore, you're not hearing the op amp in isolation. There's the EQ shaping of the Rat circuit, and the gain can be varied. There are clipping diodes which severely alter the signal at the op amp's output. And you'd obviously want to use some sort of signal generator that's consistent.

    We keep referring to the LM308N as if it were some kind of high performance op amp. What makes it sound so good, for our specific purposes, is that it actually has really sucky specs. And it could be argued that this is why some folks don't care for the OP07 as much, because it doesn't suck quite as much, or at least not equally so.
     
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  8. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    Having had an original blackface (1986) rat for nearly 20 years, I’ve become rather attuned to how these pedals tick-fave setting is gain at 9 o’clock, filter at 3 o’clock, volume to taste. Paired with a tube screamer in front with somewhat similar settings, I could nail a Santana/boogie tone with just about any guitar.

    sold that pedal a couple years ago when I bought a Mr Vermin clone-the vermin NAILED the rat sound and behavior-made a fair chunk of money on the old rat, and Mr Vermin is still on my board today...

    Franc Robert
     
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  9. Jazzerclean

    Jazzerclean Tele-Meister

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    I just sold my 1987 black face Rat as I did a side by side comparison with my Vintage 1980 Turbo Rat (both have LM308n chips fwiw) and I preferred my Turbo Rat, I did 100's of gigs with my Turbo Rat and many times just gigged with it as a single pedal only and the Turbo always sounded good from so subtle, light gain to peel your face off. I have since sold off almost all of my vintage pedal collection of 40 years (except a select few) & my Turbo Rat is a keeper.
    I also have the Black Secret as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  10. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

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    I totally understand I play a lot differently these days with subtle overdrive's and a lot less heavy as well
     
  11. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

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    I did have a special edition walrus audio Iron Horse which was based off of a rat and I hated it did something to the highs the rat pedal that I have is pretty smooth.
     
  12. zeke54

    zeke54 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I didn't realize the Rat had been around that long ! I bought mine new in 1989 ( I don't know what version that would be ) , was using it with a Strat through a 50 watt Marshall combo . I think I had an OD pedal too but I don't know what . After I quit that band I was in an acoustic band for awhile and by the time we went electric I had misplaced the Rat . I recently found it , so I'm going to have to try it out again ! Should be fun !
     
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  13. zeke54

    zeke54 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well , I did get it out and it IS fun ! I paired it with my recently resurrected Blues Jr. and a bad tone cannot be found . Now to try it with different amps and guitars , it may help the Covid blues I have !! No , I'm NOT infected in case that's how it sounds !! Should have said the shut-in blues !:D
     
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  14. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Welcome back!
     
  15. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    I too have always preferred a DS-1 to a Rat, especially for more overdrive/less distortion tones. The DS-1 sounds thicker at lower gain settings. But the DS-1 loses me at high gain settings.

    Over a whole bunch of time, I’ve tried to bond with almost every Rat version and clone out there, with different chips. Never fell in love ... until this.

    F18CC7D9-1D39-4366-B0F5-E6AE476AB658.jpeg

    I recently picked this up on Reverb. Newer version of the Rat2 (center negative input jack) with a socketed LM308N chip. I have no idea what’s creating the magic under the hood, but this pedal sounds great - low gain, high gain, everything in between. Happy, happy, and cheap, too!

    BTW, does anyone know if the white knobs are stock?
     
  16. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've never seen them on any Rat, including the newer models. Whoever swapped the chip must have put them on.
     
  17. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    I kinda like them. Easier to see than the so-called “glow in the dark” black ones.
     
  18. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    "Jeff Beck used a Rat forever in fact he might still be using one.
    "Blow By Blow" is all Rat set in different increments throughout the record so I've been told."


    Beck's "Blow by Blow" has no Rat content whatsoever, as it didn't exist back then.
    That album predates the ProCo Rat by 4 or 5 years
     
  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Agreed, and I like that they are closer to the knobs that were on the older Rats (pointer is nice and visible on them). The older style Rat knob is one of my all-time favorites, along with the older MXR style of knobs.

    I've also found the equivalent of the older Rat style knob in white, too.
     
  20. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had put the old style MXR knobs on my Rat way back when so that I could put those rubber boots that allow a bit of toe adjustment.
    I would love to lay hands on an albino Rat while I’m still in Japan. Here’s one somebody modded and put white MXR knobs on.... cool!!
    A07CBEE0-3029-4861-8847-1DBA661A9E38.jpeg

    of course, this Lisa cool too...
    F2BC5579-386F-48F7-A99A-99938D7468F1.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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