Rat and rat-like pedals

doc538

Gretschie
Sep 20, 2017
121
Massachusetts
I'm a fuzz guy too! Grew up on the North Shore and sometimes I miss Boston, especially watching the B's at the Garden or getting a super beef at Bill and Bob's.
Aw come on, the greatest Roast Beef is only at Kelly's on Revere Beach or their other store on Rt 1. Hardly ever get there as I am on the South Shore, no Kelly's here :(
 
Last edited:

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
7,300
Atlanta
Yeah, I'm not a fan of tube screamers. I've always seen it as a pedal that can add character at 25% to 35% but past that certain limit, it just adds harsh mids that takes the "flavor" out both your guitar and amp. I'm a huge Stevie Ray fan, but I remember a lot of his mid '80s material being very TS9 heavy and harsh.

The RAT just brings that mean distortion. It can dial in some fuzz. I like to use it 2nd in the chain with a compressor as a focused and hard-driving tone.

I tend to have that opinion of TS as well. Not a big fan although they have their place and everyone tends to have at least one variant. To the extent that a Wampler Paisley is a TS variant, I do like that one.
 

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2015
12,716
Germany
My first distortion-pedal was an early eighties bix- box RAT that I bought brand new. I traded it for a Boss OD1 only to sell the OD1 a few months later to buy a small-box RAT that I still own to this day.
When playing old Marshall amps this unit really delivers.
It is one of the most energy-beaming overdrives ever.
I love old records of mine using a JCM800 head and kicking the RAT in for solos. This is raw stuff. Sounds like the amp is close to exploding.
 

ramjac

Country Gent
Aug 14, 2011
1,018
Wisconsin
I’ve owned a lot of modded black box Rat pedals over the years, but the one that stayed is a Keeley modded 3-way Rat. One mode is the “stock” sound with more bottom end. The other two modes either add a clipping diode (fat Rat), or subtract one (Mighty Mouse). Fat Rat is louder and less harsh (sort of Rat-like) and Mighty Mouse is a very loud Rat-like boost. The filter also seems less touchy than stock. Bit of a high noise floor.. I don’t think Robert Keeley offers this mod anymore, but I still see them for sale on Reverb.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,570
Commack, NY
I tend to have that opinion of TS as well. Not a big fan although they have their place and everyone tends to have at least one variant. To the extent that a Wampler Paisley is a TS variant, I do like that one.
I really like the Paisley and definitely has it's own personality with many tonal options. It is also why I really like both the Wampler Clarksdale and the Keeley Super Phat Mod.
 

MGllm

Synchromatic
Jun 6, 2008
900
McKinney, Texas
I've got the Ubangi as well and like it very much. Took awhile to get over the cutesy names for the knobs, but it is a well built and great sounding pedal.
 

nickurso

Gretschified
Dec 24, 2012
11,898
New Orleans la.
Not sure if it's along the same lines or not, but I got a Fulltone OCD a while back and immediately thought of selling it as it's kind of a high gain pedal, with only minimal low gain use when turned almost off. I've never liked these kind of pedals including the Rat and the Fuzz Face.

For giggles I put the OCD on the board and did one gig with it. Now I'm hooked. It's allowing me to really flow and move playing leads. Kinda like the old days playing a Marshall stack... the guitar comes a live you dont have to pick every nuance, your finger tips do the picking when fretting.. It's not turned to high gain but does that even at lower levels to some extent.

Normally I'm more into the 'clean with grit' OD mode, more SRV style tone maybe.
So anyway, it's something new, that I have often rejected in the past. Sometimes you gotta give things time and be sure to play a gig, not just test in the music room.
OCD is a tube screamer style pedal. SRV used a tube screamer pedal
 

swivel

Country Gent
Silver Member
May 13, 2018
2,303
PNW
OCD is a tube screamer style pedal. SRV used a tube screamer pedal
I have a Tube Screamer on the board also, they are nothing similar really. But I suppose if you cranked the TS gain way up and put the OCD way down you might get in the ballpark.
 
Last edited:

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
7,300
Atlanta
I've got the Ubangi as well and like it very much. Took awhile to get over the cutesy names for the knobs, but it is a well built and great sounding pedal.

LOL - I struggled too. But It actually makes sense now.
 

JCW513

Gretschie
Sep 21, 2017
217
Boston
I'm a fuzz guy too! Grew up on the North Shore and sometimes I miss Boston, especially watching the B's at the Garden or getting a super beef at Bill and Bob's.
Great name, i'm a sucker for fuzz......Yeah, probably no super beefs like that in Australia!

Its changed so much in the last 5 years.. I'm in construction but even I don't like all the building going on. Landmarks going away and commercial property with apartments or condos on top is whats in now.

I'll have a beef for you tomorrow night!
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2012
6,859
France
My first distortion-pedal was an early eighties bix- box RAT that I bought brand new. I traded it for a Boss OD1 only to sell the OD1 a few months later to buy a small-box RAT that I still own to this day.
When playing old Marshall amps this unit really delivers.
It is one of the most energy-beaming overdrives ever.
I love old records of mine using a JCM800 head and kicking the RAT in for solos. This is raw stuff. Sounds like the amp is close to exploding.

That's it @loudnlousy... :)

I bought a Vintage RAT "Big Box" RI, and I modded it to return to the 1981 Rev. b specs, that is to say the same circuit as your original big-box RAT from the 80s :

y1dlJb-IMG-5279.jpg


Later on, I built my IBM Overdrive, a combo of a Ge overdrive and a RAT 1981 Rev. b :

19101701070125019416467702.jpg


And I also integrated a 1981 RAT Rev. b circuit in my Smoby Wah Fuzz :

4e36Ib-SMOBY.jpg


Yes, the original RAT is truly one of the best sounding overdrive / distortion / Fuzz ever built...

But it's me, OK ? 😁

A+!
 

Bertotti

Gretschified
Jul 20, 2017
10,168
South Dakota
That's it @loudnlousy... :)

I bought a Vintage RAT "Big Box" RI, and I modded it to return to the 1981 Rev. b specs, that is to say the same circuit as your original big-box RAT from the 80s :

y1dlJb-IMG-5279.jpg


Later on, I built my IBM Overdrive, a combo of a Ge overdrive and a RAT 1981 Rev. b :

19101701070125019416467702.jpg


And I also integrated a 1981 RAT Rev. b circuit in my Smoby Wah Fuzz :

4e36Ib-SMOBY.jpg


Yes, the original RAT is truly one of the best sounding overdrive / distortion / Fuzz ever built...

But it's me, OK ? 😁

A+!
Absolutely love the look of that trapezoid enclosure! You have some mad aesthetic skills! Or is that not one of your boxes? I have seen pictures of some of your home brew so I stand by my assumption of your skills!
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2012
6,859
France
Thank you Guys !

@Bertotti : that trapezoid white box is nothing else than a standard product from Hammond Mfg. , that I usually buy from tube-town.net or banzaimusic ( online parts shops located in Germany that you probably know, @loudnlousy ) and is of course available in USA.

The upper plate is engraved after a personal design vector file :

1658441640016.png

The lower Iternational Business Machines plate comes from the power supply of an old industrial computer of the 70s, (IIRC) :

1658441785625.png

A+!
 

Ktone

Gretschie
Oct 31, 2021
102
SE PA USA
JHS Packrat may be more than you need but should have what you want.

Isn't the real deal only $70 new? Seems that might be your cheapest way in?

There's a JHS that supposedly does a couple of different Rat flavors, but you could probably buy 2 or 3 Rats for the price of that pedal.
I got my PackRat when they first came out last year for $199 and they are probably about $249 now but considering you get 9 types of RAT circuits (all analog replicas of the originals) and you get a standard size pedal, not that PITA ProCo RAT cube-shaped housing, it’s a super deal. I haven’t stepped on my ProCo RAT in quite a while other than to compare it to the PackRat. I give it a 10.0

8610CB59-D1C0-4D19-8F62-C2EEB464567A.jpeg
 

Ktone

Gretschie
Oct 31, 2021
102
SE PA USA
C2D6FA69-D5C4-4D8A-8E21-8B73440F0B45.jpeg

I lived in Westport, MA as a kid and we loved those roast beef places. Kelly’s is king as far as I’m concerned and on our way up to Maine a couple of years ago we stopped at Kelly’s in Danvers, north of Boston. My mouth is watering now, but I’m 300 miles away! 😩

Edit: forgot the quoted remarks inserted as a pic now for some context!
 

fuzz guy

Electromatic
Mar 20, 2022
39
Adelaide, South Australia
Great name, i'm a sucker for fuzz......Yeah, probably no super beefs like that in Australia!

Its changed so much in the last 5 years.. I'm in construction but even I don't like all the building going on. Landmarks going away and commercial property with apartments or condos on top is whats in now.

I'll have a beef for you tomorrow night!

Yeah, I miss some stuff, but I don't think I could live there anymore. Too many people. It was getting bad before I left almost 15 years ago.

I miss my friends and family, fishing for stripers and some of the food, but other than that I'm all good. Get a pizza roll with that beef. ;)
 

JCW513

Gretschie
Sep 21, 2017
217
Boston
Yeah, I miss some stuff, but I don't think I could live there anymore. Too many people. It was getting bad before I left almost 15 years ago.

I miss my friends and family, fishing for stripers and some of the food, but other than that I'm all good. Get a pizza roll with that beef. ;)
I don't want to derail the thread, but yes, thats my issue WAY to many people now. Its crazy.. Boston just keeps getting bigger, Malden is essentially like Somerville now. I'd love to move myself but then I see my nephews and I realize I could never live far from them. The rest of my family.... I guess I love them too😅

To keep it back on track.. I think the Rat is the best bang for your buck off the shelf pedal. Fuzzy stuff, garage rock, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Motorhead.. Its all in there.
 


Top