RAT clones with Turbo RAT switches: Foxpedal Wrath vs. Retro-Sonic Distortion, vs. ???

Gswearengin

Member
Messages
682
Hey y'all,

I have a Black Secret and a JHS RAT. The JHS sounds great, but I was surprised to realize that I prefer the Black Secret. It has this beautiful, bright snarl that the JHS just doesn't do.

So, back to the drawing board...looking for a good, authentic sounding RAT clone with a couple of modern features. Needs to be available in Europe. Wish list is basically:
  • Switch for LED clipping/Turbo RAT mode
  • LM308N op-amp, or at the very least a socketed chip if it’s something else
  • Standard power, ideally with the power jack at the top (side or top audio jacks are fine)
  • Preferably a filter that works in reverse, true to the original circuit (I honestly don’t know if there’s a real difference between that and a tone control, other than it being the way around)
  • Compact a plus, but not a mini pedal
If the Jam Pedals Rattler had a turbo mode I would suck it up and buy it, but it doesn’t and not having that feature is a dealbreaker for me. I’m in Europe, so the selection is a bit limited. The pedals I have on my radar are:
  • Foxpedals Wrath - Just discovered this yesterday, seems to fit the bill very well. I worry it may be too dark. I don’t care at all about the Reutz mod, but I guess with the sweep control all the way down it’s basically not doing anything. A used one is available at a decent price here and I’m pretty tempted to jump on it. It’s a V1, I'd strongly prefer a V2, but I think they sound the same. Can't find anyone selling a V2 (new or used).
  • Retro-Sonic Distortion - I love Tim’s stuff, I have 3 of his pedals already. I also like that it has an internal trimmer for controlling the bass. There’s just not much out there about it, so it would be a leap of faith. I’ve heard it described as too polite. Top of my price range.
  • Walrus Audio Iron Horse v2 - I’ll admit I have a prejudice against this pedal, but it gets good reviews. Without throwing too much shade at Walrus, I think of it as a modern hipster pedal with an annoying design where the artwork is more important than being able to use it, and it just doesn't speak to me. Walrus is also not specific about whether one of the clipping options is LED's like a Turbo RAT, but I'm kinda assuming that's what the "less clipping" setting is.
So, anyone got experience with these, particularly compared to each other or great (Turbo) RATs? Anything else out there I need to be aware of (again, needs to be available in Europe and not crazy expensive)?

Thanks!

Gary
 

Gswearengin

Member
Messages
682
Thanks!

I was actually just about to bump this thread to ask about those...I’ve found a used Black Plague and new Ratified.

Is one of the switches LED clipping? I found a pic of the innards and it looked like there were two LEDs but I haven’t found any confirmation.

I have issues with the aesthetics of these, too (would love the Black Plague if the knobs had names that made sense), but I will definitely look into them!

Gary
 

flyonthewall150

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,396
Have both the Black Secret and the Caline. Both are great and different enough to justify owning both. The Caline has more bass than the Mooer.

Don’t know that you really need another Rat if you already have the Black Secret but I would go with the Walrus Iron Horse V2 out of those options. I’ve played one before and it was sick. More gain and brightness. It’s like a more modern sounding higher gain Rat.
 

Louiddur

Member
Messages
432
I have the Retro Sonic Distortion. It's kinda rare that people talk about it.

The only other Rat that I ever use was a Turbo Rat. The middle mode on the Retro Sonic is led clipping and as far as I remember it's pretty close to the Turbo Rat that I used.

It's a pretty good sounding pedal. I used it pretty much exclusively for low gain settings for nearly 3 years. I now use it for high gain stuff.

The only downside is the internal trimpots. I really hate when builder do that. I don't know how many time that I unscrew that back plate to try new settings

Long story short : great sounding pedal and really well made
 

OotMagroot

Member
Messages
7,937
I'd recommend a pre-modded, mischief RAT from Kinnatone. He takes RAT2s and tweaks them to sound better and mods the bottom screw holding the battery door so you can stick it on your pedalboard. Then he installs mini switches to choose between a whole bunch of clipping options (Turbo mode included). He also installs a LM308.

https://www.kinnatone.com/ratmods?page=2
 

Godspeed64

Member
Messages
4,236
I can't recommend something, but I played rats for many years. I love my retrosonic boost but the distortion was the worst Rat I've played. It was too smooth too tame all the time.

The Walrus was a fun distortion pedal, modern and focused. It wasn't an authentic Rat experience.

Alpha Dog v1 and v2 were nice drives but again seem to be different from a Rat, although you can clearly tell it's a starting point.

I remember the CMATmods Ratified/Black Plague and that was a good option for what you want! The BYOC Mighty Mouse too but again, every single option tend to be a refined, smoother, polished experience. The Trex mudhoney doesn't do Turbo and has a tone instead of filter (basically reversed the reverse pot), but it's the only "clone" that made me pleased. One of the few where the adage if you want a Rat get a Rat, is the best advice. If you could get someone to mod the Deucetone for LM308 chips!
 
Messages
11,604
The MXR Bass Distortion is a Fuzzrocious modded RAT with a clean blend and turbo switch. Also, the tone knob doesn't work in reverse. It doesn't have the LM308, but it doesn't matter either. My old OP07DP RAT sounded identical to my LM308 RAT. And the MXR made both of those dispensable.
 

flyonthewall150

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,396
Is that MXR Bass Distortion voiced like a normal Rat or does it have exaggerated bass response? Curious about it.
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
10,999
CMATMODS Black Plague or Ratified would be a great choice. I started a thread about my Black Plague - its clearly not the flavor of the month. But I love mine and its an authentic RAT with a couple additional clipping options on the three way switch. I keep it in the standard RAT mode. I've recently started loving this fuzzy distortion sound again. It is rude and is definitely a pedal as apposed to pedals like the Barber Dirty Bomb and Suhr Riot that aim to sound very close to real amp distortion. Its a classic specific pedal sound like the TS and Fuzz Face are and its a lot of fun.
 

h-pr

Member
Messages
448
The JHS sounds great, but I was surprised to realize that I prefer the Black Secret.
The JHS Pack Rat uses a different opamp that sounds good, but not really like a RAT. With the RAT circuit, the choice of opamp does matter, so I'm not surprised that you prefer the pedal that uses the same opamp as the RAT.

Ever thought of just buying a RAT2 and modding it yourself or having someone with a power drill and a soldering iron mod it for you? I would guess it's the least expensive option.
 

Snoopydogg

Member
Messages
237
I’ve got a Rat clone made by a guy on Reverb that matches most of your description (standard power jack is on the side; don’t know if the filter knob is reversed) and also includes the Reutz mod. Search for KEP on Reverb. He’s got one available now for $74. Mine works quite well.
 

fishlog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,989
I just picked up another Turbo Rat with the LM308 chip on Reverb for 73 bucks I think... why so many clones? Why so expensive? (These are rhetorical questions)

Love Rats.
 

Louiddur

Member
Messages
432
For all you, Rat connoisseur :

What is a You Dirty Rat? Is it similar to standard Rat pedal? I cannot found a useful video online. The description is like Mandarin to me, as I don't know much about circuitry
 

LordThurisaz

Member
Messages
3,235
For all you, Rat connoisseur :

What is a You Dirty Rat? Is it similar to standard Rat pedal? I cannot found a useful video online. The description is like Mandarin to me, as I don't know much about circuitry
It has germanium clipping diodes instead of silicon or LED. As such, it has less volume, but a little more compression. It's likely to get fuzzier than the standard Rats. A standard Rat will get fuzzy with the distortion knob cranked, whereas the YDR seems to be a bit fuzzy after about 11:00 or so. Also, there are slight parts differences between the three main versions of the Rat, probably to voice them a bit better for the clipping diodes used.
 

Louiddur

Member
Messages
432
It has germanium clipping diodes instead of silicon or LED. As such, it has less volume, but a little more compression. It's likely to get fuzzier than the standard Rats. A standard Rat will get fuzzy with the distortion knob cranked, whereas the YDR seems to be a bit fuzzy after about 11:00 or so. Also, there are slight parts differences between the three main versions of the Rat, probably to voice them a bit better for the clipping diodes used.
Thanks a lot for the reply!

So, if I'm using the Rat to replace a Muff-like Fuzz pedal, the You Dirty Rat should be the one pedal to rule them all? Do you know if there's headroom issue with this model? I hate pedals that produce a volume drop even when the volume knob is maxed out (I'm looking at you, Ibanez 850 and Marshall Bluesbreaker clone)

Sorry for the thread hijack
 




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