It's RAT Week on Demos in the Dark - Let's settle this "best" RAT argument once and for all

Which RAT based pedal is your favorite

  • Jam Pedals Rattler

    Votes: 25 13.8%
  • Walrus Audio Iron Horse V2

    Votes: 11 6.1%
  • Stomp Under Foot Skinner Box

    Votes: 10 5.5%
  • Big Ear pedals Woodcutter

    Votes: 7 3.9%
  • Greer Amps Gorilla Warfare V2

    Votes: 2 1.1%
  • ProCo RAT LM308

    Votes: 126 69.6%

  • Total voters
    181

HBob

Member
Messages
851
Wishing I hadn’t sold my Turbo Rat years ago. I got the Greer Gorilla Warfare mkII last year(?) and like it. I’m curious to see how it sounds next to the Rat. I’m going to guess it’s fatter sounding. I really like how the Rat is focused.
 

Cap Carlos

Member
Messages
29
I sense and Ironhorse and a Katzenkoning in my future. I know, I have a thing for the more expensive pedals. But not for the really expensive, thank goodness.
 

A440

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,709
The blackface rats from around 86 are excellent. I know very little as to reasons why, but think the ones without the LED sound better. I had a Rat2 that didn’t come close to my ears, even after having it modded.

I’m curious about the Winford drive, but that’s another story. When it comes to rats (and wahs), simpler is better;)
 
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Windup 43

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,391
The blackface rats from around 86 are excellent. I know very little, but think the ones without the LED sound better. I had a Rat2 that didn’t come close to my ears, even after having it modded.

I’m curious about the Winford drive, but that’s another story. When it comes to rats (and wahs), simpler is better;)
The earliest RAT 2’s share the same circuit as the non led blackfaces, I have both and they’re both superb.
 

A440

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,709
The earliest RAT 2’s share the same circuit as the non led blackfaces, I have both and they’re both superb.
Maybe I had a bad rat2. This was before anyone was cloning them. In comparison, the rat2 was brighter, more raw sounding. Not as smooth, creamy and warm.

Would love to try a Skinner box and almost bought one. Other than my old ones, I have a Socrates which is an interesting variation. It has a ton of bass on tap, but it can be eq’d to be very close and good at low gain sounds.

For years, the rat was my only drive pedal. It felt like I needed it, but slowly weaned myself away from using it.
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,678
Day 5: Greer Amps Gorilla Warfare

Gorilla Warfare is up. This may have dethroned the Skinner Box as my favorite of the week. The Gorilla Warfare sounded like the mids were voiced a little different giving it a slightly warmer tone without losing the top end bite. It's a little less RATty, in a very subtle way, but that could be a good thing. Yeah... I really dig this one. I'd love to hear this compared with a 1981 DRV.
 

jddub440

Member
Messages
188
Does anyone here have any experience with the EHX Flatiron Fuzz?? I've been wanting to pick one up and try it because I know I like the rat sound and have a pretty decent EHX collection happening. However I saw no mention of it whatsoever in this thread....
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,678
RAT WEEK CONCLUSION

DAY 6 - LM308 RAT SHOWDOWN!

The final conclusion of a pretty epic week of comparisons. I would have posted this sooner, but as most of you know TGP was down for a while this weekend.


My personal conclusions...

  • Surprisingly, my favorites of the bunch were possibly the least RATty: Gorilla Warfare and Skinner Box. I could be happy with either of these for different reasons and purposes.

  • At both high and low gain I found the Gorilla Warfare to be most appealing with a more open and less chaotic gain tone and and warmer EQ that could be an everyday gain tone for me

  • I'd give the nod to the Skinner Box as runner up sounding more aggressive without getting as 'out of control' sounding as the others.

  • The Woodcutter sounded most similar to the RAT, and to my ears was almost impossible to tell apart and if I had limited space on my pedalboard and wanted a true RAT tone, I would grab one of these.

  • The Rattler and Iron Horse were both extremely similar to the RAT while having their own unique character and either one would be an awesome RAT substitute. I might give the nod to the Rattler for my taste, but I'd have to hear both in a mix to decide.

  • If these 6 pedals were put in front of me and I was given my choice, there is something about the Vintage RAT that would make me reach for it over all the others.

  • NONE of these pedals were unpleasant to my ears. I liked all of them, but I like RATs. However, after this week I'm super tempted to grab a Gorilla Warfare for both it's similarities and differences from the RAT.

Much of this thread has gone off on tangents about RAT versions not included in the showdown, which is totally fine and on topic, but I'd really be curious to hear what others felt about how these 6 pedals compared.
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
3,696
I have a love/hate relationship with my Rat. I love my Whiteface 85’ reissue and will never sell it but sometimes when I haven’t played it in a while and I try it again, I struggle to make it work with my rig. Other times I just love the thing! I think sometimes it might just cut a bit too much bass.
 

davimre

Member
Messages
156
I have a love/hate relationship with my Rat. I love my Whiteface 85’ reissue and will never sell it but sometimes when I haven’t played it in a while and I try it again, I struggle to make it work with my rig. Other times I just love the thing! I think sometimes it might just cut a bit too much bass.
This is the mystery of the rat. When you're playing by yourself, they always sound wonky, sometimes thin, or too fizzy. I've definitely sold some Rat clones after being frustrated by their tone.

But in a band context, Rats seem to boost the right frequencies and cut through. Hearing them in context is a must.

Big Muffs (IMO) often have the opposite problem. They sound awesome when you're playing in the bedroom, but get lost in a bigger band context without some help (boosted mids etc).
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,777
I may have missed it, but did you do a demo with the way a lot of folks use the RAT for 'round here, which is having the drive almost all the way off, then crank the volume to serve as a boost and tweak the filter to adjust for your amp, which should now be pushed to its own overdrive? That's how I use my RAT, and the original whiteface, whiteface RI, and now my FatRAT with LM308 chip all can serve in that capacity perfectly. It also serves as the last "power" pedal on your board as a pseudo line level boost or to goose the OD and fuzz in front of it perfectly.

Just pointing that out, since a lot of comparo vids skip this test for a number of pedals I use for this type of use - Klon Centaur is another like this, where I use it as a boost with some mid shaping, and not to test its onboard drive capabilities.
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
3,696
This is the mystery of the rat. When you're playing by yourself, they always sound wonky, sometimes thin, or too fizzy. I've definitely sold some Rat clones after being frustrated by their tone.

But in a band context, Rats seem to boost the right frequencies and cut through. Hearing them in context is a must.

Big Muffs (IMO) often have the opposite problem. They sound awesome when you're playing in the bedroom, but get lost in a bigger band context without some help (boosted mids etc).
Yep, that makes total sense. One of the best tones I ever got live was with a Rat. I believe the distortion was set below 12 but it was great.
 

OverdriveLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,456
You can get lots of pedals to have a Rat sound, but there is something special about my 86' Rat that just makes a solo sit perfectly with a song. Its more than just the gain.
 

bertramladner

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,528
I have a nice 1987 Rat LM308N Motorola and the Rattler, I like them both and think the Rat has one sound to beat them all, but the Rattler has many settings that I love

the rat has been on the board not the rattler
 

sunburster

Member
Messages
317
The Woodcutter is great, but this comparison is missing the Wrath V2, which is my favorite. It is a LM308N-Rat clone + Turbo Rat clone in one box (switchable). Very versatile and sounds awesome. Same size box as the Woodcutter too.
 

JereDigi

Member
Messages
252
I just ordered a Rat2 and will likely get a YDR later this year. I had a Turbo and R2 in the past but didn't jell with them. I was using them into a ss amp which wasn't giving me the sound I wanted. I think I have a better/pedal friendly philosophy these days and I love many RAT sounds in albums/songs I like.
 

OotMagroot

Member
Messages
8,062
Does anyone here have any experience with the EHX Flatiron Fuzz?? I've been wanting to pick one up and try it because I know I like the rat sound and have a pretty decent EHX collection happening. However I saw no mention of it whatsoever in this thread....

I use EHX FF from time to time. For one, the low gain overdrive sounds are GREAT! The higher gain sounds are warmer with a tad more low-end compared to your typical RAT2 (which I also have). The FF also sounds a bit more open and not as compressed as a RAT2.
 

hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,897
I have to backtrack and add another pedal that is not on the list. It is a kit so that will keep some folks away but the Aion Helios is a good version of the Rat to start. Then it is a more Rat with the addition of the sweep pot or Ruetz Mod. The combined impact of the sweep knob on both gain and frequency response is very musical. Stock Rat with sweep down, fatter rat with lower gain, but still a lot of gain available, as the sweep is dialed up. I am surprised this isn't a standard feature on more Rat versions. And it has three clipping diode options, parallel twin diodes, parallel single diodes and parallel LEDs for three levels of clipping and output. Only thing that might be construed as missing is the OP07 op amp in lieu of the LM308. Still manages to sound like a good rat. And so much more.

 




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