Pedals

Behold! the lowly RAT

1

I just took possession of an '88 "woodshed" RAT (LM308) and I have to say, it sounds amazing, especially with my Gretsch's. The hard-clipping is the ticket, Maybe that's why I love treble boosters so much too. So many newer distortions are just too mushy to my ears, with too many mids and fuzzes are hard for me to bond with. The crunch and sustain with the RAT are perfect - glassy leads, killer rhythm and the right amount of volume *why do builders give their pedals such ridiculous amounts of volume? 1:00-2:00 is unity on the RAT.

Anyway, just wanted to share my findings with this old treasure.

I took a gamble on it, based on the "Black-Tail" patch on my XTOMP. The XTOMP in a side by side comparison really nails it.

2

I've dallied with other distortion pedals but the RAT that I got a long, long time ago still does it for me. Great pedal.

3

My number 1 distortion pedal for more than 30 years! I have tons of others. Ibanez SD9 ,Boss DS1,Chase Bliss Brothers etc. I keep going back to the Rat. It just simply works for me.Mine is a 1988 as well with the Lm308 IC.

4

My '85 reissue RAT works great with hollowbodies. I have yet to find a solid body that I can use it with. Just too brash.

5

I've got two early 80's Rats and they both slay. I keep one at my studio and one at my house. They really work great with my old 1950 Chicago Webster 166-1 for dirty slide guitar tone!

Here's a tune that I use my old Strat, a Rat, and the Chicago Webster. At the end of song I whack it open...

https://soundclick.com/shar...

6

Ze Rat, she maka no sense to me.

7

In my experience, the Rat sounds great with a warmer sounding amp like a Marshall plexi-type rhythm channel, but sounds like @$$ when put in front of something like an AC15 or an AC30 (top boost or no).

YMMV. Beauty is in the ear of the listener.

8

Sounds great with my Allen 'Hot Blond" (Blonde Bassman). Whereas fuzzes don't usually sound all that great with it.

9

REM “Crush With Eyeliner”’ RAT/Gretsch/tremolo heaven.

11

Ratty goodness! Peter Buck was rockin the Rat on this album big time.

13

Two things always stopped me from using a Rat: the extreme amounts of gain and the lack of low end. Recently i found how to "cure" both of those things.

So I built my own version with a lot lower dirt levels, so now it's more of an overdrive capable of distortion levels of dirt rather than being an out and out distortion. And I have a bass pot to get just the right amount of grunt. Also used different diodes to make it a little more dynamic (well that was the plan anyway!) and now I have a 4-knob OD which has all the ferocity of a Rat but can be a bit more usable for me. It's still a little unsubtle but I like it and so does my Jet.

14

I can't verify the truth of this, but I once heard (1988-ish) one of the guys at Sidney Street Guitars in Brighton (UK) say he had recently spoken with someone close to Jeff Beck, who said that Jeff's sound at the time was 2 Rats in sequence, both with the lowest amount of distortion possible on the pedal. Does this make sense?

15

2 Rats in sequence, both with the lowest amount of distortion possible on the pedal. Does this make sense?

Absolutely. And it's a great approach - with any coupla dirters, not just a RAT. There's generally considerable texture and color in the lower half of a dirt pedal's gain/drive, which gets compressed out toward the top of the range. And mixing any two and working low on the dials can be very satisfying. Experiment with their order as well, as their EQs affect each other differently depending on that. Generally the last dirt in the series has the most influence over EQ...but experiment.

16

Two things always stopped me from using a Rat: the extreme amounts of gain and the lack of low end. Recently i found how to "cure" both of those things.

So I built my own version with a lot lower dirt levels, so now it's more of an overdrive capable of distortion levels of dirt rather than being an out and out distortion. And I have a bass pot to get just the right amount of grunt. Also used different diodes to make it a little more dynamic (well that was the plan anyway!) and now I have a 4-knob OD which has all the ferocity of a Rat but can be a bit more usable for me. It's still a little unsubtle but I like it and so does my Jet.

– JimmyR

Did you use a particular schematic or is it something you cooked up on your own? Inquiring minds need to know!

17

the real beauty of a Rat is the low gain range of the unit w its volume pushing on your amp, especially with a Gretsch! And yes the 308 chip is important! I use the UA308 metal can version in my ubangi build. You found an 80s beaut!

18

Hey Tavo (or anyone else) Before I enjoy fried rat, will this work to power the beast with a PedalPower2 and standard PP2 power lead?

1SpotC35 3.5mm Converter for 1 SPOT

I believe it is center-post (+)

20

2 Rats in sequence, both with the lowest amount of distortion possible on the pedal. Does this make sense?

Absolutely. And it's a great approach - with any coupla dirters, not just a RAT. There's generally considerable texture and color in the lower half of a dirt pedal's gain/drive, which gets compressed out toward the top of the range. And mixing any two and working low on the dials can be very satisfying. Experiment with their order as well, as their EQs affect each other differently depending on that. Generally the last dirt in the series has the most influence over EQ...but experiment.

– Proteus

Funny that this should come up now. While doing a month long shoot out of overdrives, I ended up most enjoying the sound of two or three of my pedals together at lower gain levels. The Blue Note into the Timmy is great for bluesy leads and the Ubangi is added when it neads to soar.

Here is the current state of my pedal board.

21

For reference. Power input.

– BirdsNBats

standard power is negative pin, positive sleeve. The RAT accepts a 1/8" mono "phone" plug with negative sleeve and positive tip. you will need to flip this situation.

22

standard power is negative pin, positive sleeve. The RAT accepts a 1/8" mono "phone" plug with negative sleeve and positive tip. you will need to flip this situation.

– TheNocturneBrain

Thank you.

23

I can't verify the truth of this, but I once heard (1988-ish) one of the guys at Sidney Street Guitars in Brighton (UK) say he had recently spoken with someone close to Jeff Beck, who said that Jeff's sound at the time was 2 Rats in sequence, both with the lowest amount of distortion possible on the pedal. Does this make sense?

– Scorpio

Yep! I love my R2DU

I’ve also got a mid 80’s regular RAT that has been my main stay for years.

24

My dirty old RAT

25

2 Rats in sequence, both with the lowest amount of distortion possible on the pedal. Does this make sense?

Absolutely. And it's a great approach - with any coupla dirters, not just a RAT. There's generally considerable texture and color in the lower half of a dirt pedal's gain/drive, which gets compressed out toward the top of the range. And mixing any two and working low on the dials can be very satisfying. Experiment with their order as well, as their EQs affect each other differently depending on that. Generally the last dirt in the series has the most influence over EQ...but experiment.

– Proteus

Thanks!


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