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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. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2008
    I have mine since the 90s after my Ibanez Mostortion gave up. I've been using a Kotzen Fly Rig lately, but yesterday I took the Rat and my old Cry Baby out of the drawer and fired up a tube amp. It was fun playing mostly my rig from the 90s again. The Rat goes from mild overdrive to righteous fuzzy. Pretty impressive.
    4pickupguy likes this.
  2. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

    Mar 21, 2015
    I have a Chicago Stomp Works Mr. Vermin w/LM308 chip.
    4pickupguy likes this.
  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

    Apr 9, 2014
    Wokingham England
    I've recently bought a Mooer Black Secret. I like the sounds I can get from it, especially in the lower gain range (9-10 o'clock) and in 'Turbo' mode. The only issue I have is that it's a little hissy when engaged. This is compared to other pedals I have such as EHX Soul Food, MXR Timmy, XoticSL drive.

    What I'm wondering is if it is inherent in this type of pedal, or whether RATs (or other clones) might be quieter?

    I don't particularly want to add a noise gate pedal (though my Tascam recorder has one, so I do use that when recording with the BS). It seems silly buying another pedal to 'improve' a £30 one if all I need to do is buy a different RAT/clone.
  4. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Silver City, NM
    Rats are relatively quiet. Not as quiet as a Boss dirt pedal but much quieter than a Big Muff.
    KelvinS1965 likes this.
  5. cdwillis

    cdwillis Tele-Meister

    Jan 20, 2010
    I love rats. I bought a brand new Rat 2 last year, the one with the OP07 op amp people love to hate on and I thought it sounded great. I didn't have a vintage unit or a clone with the lm308 to compare. Ended up trading it thinking I'd just make my own clone in a slimmer 125b enclosure. A friend sent me some spare lm308s he had from building his own clones so now I'm gonna finally put my clone together and see if it sounds any better to my ears.
    bluesholyman and 4pickupguy like this.
  6. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

    Mar 10, 2016
    South Florida, USA
    IMO: LM308 chip = Kool Aid.

    Lots of discussions out there about various chip manufacturers’ versions of various op-amps and other chip types. When I entered my second telecommunications career and had responsibility for specification engineering, I learned quickly that the chipset utilized was the one meeting the performance specs at the lowest unit cost. The one exception was reliability. The cost of quality was a quantifiable difference in product lifecycle, especially for the fiber optic systems I was working with.

    For consumer products in the music world, the question is how cheap can we get chips, do we have multiple sources, and is the product’s sound and reliability acceptable to that market.

    My attitude towards chip-rolling turned 180 degrees after those experiences. Again, JMO.
  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I guess I drank the Kool Aide. After my long hiatus from playing, naturally my first OD was my old fave the Rat, well a Rat2. I posted thread as soon as I got about how I remembered them being much smoother and really expressive. This one was ‘rizzy’ and harsh and it couldn’t do light OD at all. I knew nothing about ProCo changing chips blah blah until that thread. So, I bought a Mr. Vermin from Chicago Stompworks... there it was! Then I bought an old White Face Reissue at a guitar show and it sounds exactly the same as the Mr. Vermin. There is another difference between the modern Rat2 and the other ones I’ve owned and it probably accounts for more of the difference than the chip and that’s all the other components. The potentiometers in the Rat2 are poop. I was simply re-centering a knob to point at zero and when I was pushing the knob back on the knurled shaft, with very little force the shaft disappeared into the pedal. I pulled the pedal apart to fix it and was astonished to see how crâqpy the components were. Extremely cheap everything, pots, jack, switch etc,..
    The Jam Pedals Rattler is supposed to be made with high quality components so I bought one a while back and cant wait to hear it.
  8. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 25, 2010
    Rimply remove the LM308N and replace it by an OP07DP or worse, a TL071 : you will really hear the difference in the distortion tone and harmonic content - it's not a joke or hype attitude, trust me ! :)


    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
    4pickupguy likes this.
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