I have been using my Rat 2 for heavy lead tones and a Barber LTD or tubescreamer for low gain. I was thinking of replacing the Rat with the Direct Drive based on the hot reviews and sound clips of this pedal (I have never played one). I love the Rat, but sometimes i think it gets too smooth. The LTD has a much more open sound and high end harmonics. Does the direct drive have this same quality?