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Vox Guys - RAT vs. Hotcake vs HT Dual

Psyfuzz

Member
Messages
1,372
Hey guys,

Looking for some high gain pedals for my Vox, I do currently own the Hotcake but find that at higher gains it can be a little undefined and muddy.

The RAT is a classic combi with the Vox but I want to hear any comparisons people have had between the RAT and the Hotcake :) Love some Foo Fighters tone and that's apparently a Vox and Rat.

And the outsider of the group is a BlackStar HT-Dual. A bit of a wildcard, but I think it sounds great and has got some great reviews online, two-channel so it has that versatility behind it plus a 3 band EQ which I like the idea of. Plus I'm a fan of the band Kasabian and their guitarist (well, now ex guitarist) said the HTdual coupled with a Vox is the basis for their live tone.

What do people think?

Here's a video of the HT-Dual with an AC30, not the greatest quality but it does demonstrate the versatility of the pedal. Again, any first hand experiences with this pedal? It's quite pricy but if it's going to do the job right then I'm willing to split the ££.

 
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DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
No experience owning it, but tried it out, but Dual OD pretty nice, but one advantage most tube pedals have is being able to swap out tube. Anything I heard that bothered me (string definition/separation), I knew could be addressed by tube change.

Any tube preamp or pedal that I own, being able to fine tune that last little bit out of it is icing on the cake. I know some say tubes don't matter much after you reach a certain quality level, but I disagree. Tungsol NOS>Tungsol RI, not even close, only thing similar about these 2 is the lettering on glass. Telefunken ribbed plate>JJ ecc803, closer, but Tele gets the ribbon by far.
 

Bartimaeus

Member
Messages
1,293
Rat is a Marshally distortion. Nice for all sorts of a gain, and very much a distortion.

Hotcake is sorta more of your amp but with a slight tonal change that's nice sounding. It gets fuzzy at higher settings, but also works great as a normal distortion. As you mention, that fuzzyness can make it undefined; it's not exactly a pedal made for biting leads.

Both are great, but I can't comment on the BlackStar as I've never tried it. That said, Hotcake for low/mid gain and Rat for high gain sounds like a really nice combo to have. Some really nice sounds available there.
 

Psyfuzz

Member
Messages
1,372
Rat is a Marshally distortion. Nice for all sorts of a gain, and very much a distortion.

Hotcake is sorta more of your amp but with a slight tonal change that's nice sounding. It gets fuzzy at higher settings, but also works great as a normal distortion. As you mention, that fuzzyness can make it undefined; it's not exactly a pedal made for biting leads.

Both are great, but I can't comment on the BlackStar as I've never tried it. That said, Hotcake for low/mid gain and Rat for high gain sounds like a really nice combo to have. Some really nice sounds available there.
It might be worth me trying a Rat then, it's cheap as chips. Only gripe is that pesky power jack.

The HT Dual is nice, but it will dominate the pedalboard. There's a shop nearby that has both the HT dual and AC30 in stock, might ask for a quick play. If it sounds the part then I guess I know my answer, hopefully they'll have a rat available to try as well.
 

mdmack

Member
Messages
572
RAT and if you can find one of the newer whiteface reissues, they actually started putting a standard boss power jack on them. I have one and its great.
 

MagicNelson

Member
Messages
1,462
RAT and if you can find one of the newer whiteface reissues, they actually started putting a standard boss power jack on them. I have one and its great.
Yep. I even prefer my Whiteface Rat to the old Keeley Rat I used to have. Just awesome sounding with a Vox.
 

voxylady

Member
Messages
2,106
My vote goes to the WF reissue Rat as well. I adore mine. Perfect match for my AC15HW. Not really comparable to a Hotcake IMO. I haven't tried a Hotcake with my HW, but I did own one when I had my AC15cc1. The HC works best as a low gain OD IMO, and it starts to get unusable around 12 on the gain knob. The Rat excels at mid/higher gain sounds, and cranking the gain gives you nice fuzz characteristics that are just perfect for soaring lead sounds. Boosted with a Timmy is even better, opens up the Rat and thickens it up quite a bit to give you a more Marshally sound.

For the price, you can't go wrong with the Rat, and like you said is the staple sound of Dave Grohl with his AC30. I also found that the lead guitarist from Thrice uses the AC30/Rat combo and he's got heavenly gain tone. I really think there's not much you can't do with a Timmy/Rat/Hotcake combo besides really glitched out fuzz tones. That 3 pedal combo will get you almost anywhere you need to go, and my the Rat and Timmy stack beautifully in my experience.

I just bought a Hotcake from a fellow TGP'er so it should be here any day. Vox's are pretty picky when it comes to dirt, and I've tried a LOT of dirt pedals with my Vox's over the years. The Timmy/HC/Rat are all well loved for a good reason, they all work fantastically well with the Vox.
 






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