RAT and Vox AC10: cannot dial in a decent lead tone

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by andreax1985, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Arewenotmen?

    Arewenotmen? Member

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    I don't have first hand AC10 experience, but when I think Vox amps, I think "treble booster." For the uninitiated, a treble booster is not just a treble EQ; it will drive the amps into distortion ala Brian May and Tony Iommi. Perhaps what OP is looking for.
     
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  2. Kev O)))

    Kev O))) Member

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    Not to be that guy but you do know that the Filter knob works in reverse of what's considered normal. So if its too shrill and bright turn the Filter knob to around 1 or 2 o'clock.

    For me, if I get my AC15 cooking a little (Top Boost Channel volume at 3 and Master Volume at 9) the Rat sounds incredible. With a couple twists of the Volume and Tone knobs on the guitar, I can easily from Gary Clark, Jr. all the way to early Sabbath.
     
  3. andreax1985

    andreax1985 Member

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    Problem is: if I set gain at 3 and master at 9, pedal volume high and guitar volume at max I get a lot of nasty feedback I cannot control. I guess I'll have to keep master dimed at 8 to compensate for such a huge gain chain.
     
  4. ES330

    ES330 Member

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    andreax,

    Have you tried your RAT into another amp ??
    Could be you have bum pedal...

    ODs with thicker mids usually work well with VOX amps
    OCD or Hotcake are common with VOX amps
     
  5. andreax1985

    andreax1985 Member

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    No I didn't try it into other amps. What is that makes you think it may be a bum pedal? Excessive feedback with everything cranked?
     
  6. MissoulaGriz

    MissoulaGriz Member

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    Unfortunately, the Rat really starts to shine when you are pushing both the amp power tubes and the pedal's level. That's where and when the Rat/Vox combo gets to do its thing. There's already not much headroom in the AC10 so you'll need to crank that amp master to open up the headroom, that gives the Rat some room to work. I've never had a good bedroom level tone out of this amp/pedal combo.

    I typically set my Rat with an AC15 on the Normal channel like this:
    Gain - 8:30
    Filter - 2:30
    Level - 3:00
    I'll have the amp Master volume at noon and the Normal channel volume at 10:00. Its loud at that point but that's where everything starts working together. Using the guitar volume controls increase or decrease the amount of gain and volume from there.

    I'm thinking that unless you an play at a louder volume, the Rat may not be the right pedal for what you're trying to accomplish. To get good, bedroom level overdrive tones I'll use my Rockett Archer boosted by a BD2 with both pedals set to low gain. Normal channel, master at 9:00 and Normal volume at 9:30. You may look at that type of option also.
     
    henryclayperson likes this.
  7. ES330

    ES330 Member

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    That it's thin, fizzy & harsh
     
  8. tschrama

    tschrama Member

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    set all three knobs to 13h00.. 14h00 or about.. dont scope the mids on your amp.

    it is allways hell to get a great screamy lead out of a amp set for sparkly clean...
     
  9. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    Gain staging is hard for a lot of people to learn, but this what you need to work on. It’s all about balancing things- you want the Rat to have enough signal so you’re goosing the front end of your amp, but you have to balance that with the master volume on the amp to get to the appropriate volume level. And you don’t want the preamp gain too high on the amp or it will mush out, but you don’t want it sparkly clean either. In general, start with any gain controls as low as possible and gradually bring them up, while lowering the master as necessary. And with EQ, don’t use your eyes but your ears, and understand that the bass frequencies will distort before the others. When increasing gain/volume it’s common to lower the bass. On amps with out a midrange control, often you hear a boost in the mids as you lower the bass and treble. And don’t forget, you may want to roll off some of the tone on the guitar, especially when using the bridge pickup.

    Last thing I’ll add, a lot of the classic rock recordings had much less gain than we’d think. It’s about having a nice touch with a smooth vibrato, and then how it sits in a mix. When playing alone there is no mix, so you’ll often feel like you have to compensate by having a fuller sound, which is where a lot of these problems start. I didn’t listen to the clip in your OP, but maybe that could be part of it?
     
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  10. Sam Xavier

    Sam Xavier Member

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    True as true can be. Listen to AC/DC, Lizzy etc. There's not much gain, all things considered.
     
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  11. GeorgeNada

    GeorgeNada Member

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    Have you had much experience with high gain distortion and cranked up tube amps before this? Not meaning to insult your intelligence if you have, but you’ve mentioned getting lots of feedback several times, and while excessive feedback can be a symptom of a bum pedal, amp or cable issues, settings not dialed in right, ect. It is also, to an extent, just a natural byproduct of loud amps and high gain pedals, when I turn any of my amps up past 5 and push them with a high gain pedal if I don’t dampen my strings with my hand, or roll off my guitars volume, angle the guitar away from the speaker, ect., I’ll get lots of feedback. Going from playing acoustic or clean electric it can be a bit of an adjustment learning how to control the noise.
     
  12. rockapede

    rockapede Member

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    I love a Rat into an AC type amp. It’s one of my favorite combinations ever. That said, I don’t think liquid lead tones are what that combination is good for. Snarly, aggressive, cutting rhythm tones are what I aim for there.
     
    Sam Xavier likes this.
  13. Sam Xavier

    Sam Xavier Member

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    Another "Nail on head" comment right there.

    I don't use dirt pedals but I set my amp to be on the edge of feedback when the guitar is at full volume. For rhythm tones, I roll back to around 4 or even 3 for my cleaner tones, then open things up for solos. A simple step away from the amp, or a step towards it keeps things under control.
     
    GeorgeNada likes this.
  14. TheSpricket

    TheSpricket Member

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    AC and Rat and no mention of Scofield? Tsk tsk TGP. Not that that's the exact tone you're going for.

    From my jazz head buddy who swears by the rat I learned a great rat trick, apparently this is now Sco used the rat. It's very simple and I recommend anyone who has a rat try this.

    Volume and filter all the way up, then turn the gain all the way down and inch it up just as a little, under 9:00. That will give you a nice fat overdrive. That's just one of many amazing rat tones.
     
  15. andreax1985

    andreax1985 Member

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    Hi guys. So I've tried many possible combinations of volume/gain on both pedal and amp and I got to some satisfying tones.

    But now I've got a new problem: this pedal is damn noisy! That is, if I set both amp gain and master volume to 12o' clock, when I switch on the RAT with distortion at 9o' clock and volume at 3o' clock and my guitar is NOT plugged in, I get a LOUD hiss out of my amp.

    When I connect guitar and play I cannot hear the hiss no more (because the signal is way louder) but as soon as I stop playing this thing hisses really loud!

    Is it normal or is there a problem in my rig?
     
  16. songtalk

    songtalk Member

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    That's normal. On a stage u wouldn't hear that at all most likely.
     
  17. andreax1985

    andreax1985 Member

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    I guess so...but I only play in my bedroom:D
     
  18. songtalk

    songtalk Member

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    Turn your amp gain down to where it's basically all the way off. That's probably a lot of the noise. I totally agree with all the "lower gain -> lower gain is how stacking tends to work best" people and think 12 is really high gain on most of my RATs. Like with a RAT my Gain is rarely higher than 10 am.

    I also like the sound of RATs into squeaky clean amps and using them in lieu of channels.
     
  19. metrokosmiko

    metrokosmiko Member

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    Have Bass pointing -> like this on the amp,
    Treble pointint <- that way
    Amp set rather clean and most gain coming from RAT.

    My logic is that RATs become gradually bassier the more you crank the gain, while Voxes get gradually more and more mid-focused as you crank them.
    If I use my OCD to boost the Top Boost channel on my AC15, I get a honky, almost treble booster kind of sound (which is a tone in of itself) but not as phat and creamy as your reference video.
     
  20. pedalparty

    pedalparty Member

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    Turn that filter to 3:00 and roll up from there until its too bright, then back it down ever so slightly. These two work decently well together. Try keeping the preamp of the AC10 low if that doesnt work. You can also run the amp with preamp a little hotter and turn the Rat on while keeping the rats gain down at 9 o clock. This just may help tighten up your sound.
     

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