What all pedals are in the RAT ballpark?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by carltonh, Jan 28, 2006.


  1. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    There are a million Tubescreamer type pedals, what all pedals are in the Rat ballpark? Can you desribe how they sound? I'm familiar with the Keeley Rat and love the sounds I've heard but never played one.
     
  2. Improviser

    Improviser Supporting Member

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    The Ibanez FC10 Fat Cat Distortion is very close-sounding to an original Rat, though with a different IC (to the original LM308, which many think is key to the 'Rat-sound'). Can be had cheaply.
     
  3. tocs100

    tocs100 Member

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    Molly the Cat is the best RAT I've heard anywhere: must be that original LM308 opamp. Check out the clip at www.dreamtonefx.com
     
  4. el34power

    el34power Member

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    I, like you, have never played a RAT. I was looking for something to help get a decent sound out of tube combo that has a crappy drive channel but an amazing clean one (PEAVEY PROWLER).
    So i went and got a Digitech DF7. beleive it or not, this is the best purchase i have made in the last year... To put things in perspective, i have a Keeley BD-2,SD-1, Chili Picoso, OCD, LTD, and Monkey.
     
  5. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    the catalinbread super charged OD can do the RAT thing but is in no way limited to that kinda sound.

    +1 on molly the cat as well
     
  6. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    The clips I've heard of the Catalinbread SCOD sounded brighter with more upper midrange compared to most Rat sounds I've liked. The RAT to me sounds like a Marshall stack with a hint of Dumble smoothness, but that may be judging by the Keeley Rat. Can the SCOD get that tone too?
     
  7. HBob

    HBob Member

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    I'd put the Emma Reezafratzitz in that camp. You get the option of having a little control over the attack and feel of the pedal with the bias knob. ( Kinda subtle ) The Reeza tone control is also much better to my ears. I've had three Rats ( 1 modded by Keeley ) and they never sounded very amp-like to me. Kind of muffled I guess.
     
  8. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

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    + 1 for the SCOD! Quite a nice pedal IMO and comparatively cheap too. Try one out. Sometimes I feel the bottom may not be as tight as on a RAT though. Very nice for leads though and has tons of gain on tap!

    I wouldn't put the Reesafratzitz quite in this league. I think it is more of a tight, big modern distortion. A Rat has some fuzz-like qualities in the sound.
     
  9. Guy from Idaho

    Guy from Idaho Member

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    I'd agree about the ballpark sound, and how the Reeza's tone control is much better. It's also more amp-like, the Rat does indeed lie "on top" of your amp's sound. At one extreme (ccw) the Reeza's bias knob makes it sound more Ratlike to me (kind of buzzy/wooly), but the other extreme (cw) is tighter. I've had a bunch of Rats and let them go, but I really dig the Reeza.

    But, a Rat does have those killer pinch harmonics like nothing else.

    Another Rat-like pedal IMO: Fultone Distortion Pro
     
  10. cadjack

    cadjack Member

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    Are pre-led Rats really getting that rare? (Not that I'd ever sell mine.)
     
  11. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    Not yet.

    There are still plenty out there that are not too badly priced.
     
  12. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    DF-7, especially the cab sim DI stuff, but I've only used it for an hour or two. Not sure it really emulates the DS1 and MT2 to a T though, but those pedals were over the top anyways for me.

    The DI cab sim / stereo stuff on this pedal blows me away!!


     
  13. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    Never owned a RAT, but I think the SCOD is in the same league. So +1 on the SCOD. Very nice pedal indeed.
     
  14. el34power

    el34power Member

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    To teel you the truth, i have never owned a DS-1,MT-2,RAT,250. I never thought it was worth spending money for each of those(cept maybe the RAT) but for the same price i get a good flavor of each with DI possibilities.
     
  15. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I don't know if this is considered out in left field...but how many of you have tried a Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde (the Distortion side, the right side) with the EQ knob set far clockwise (for mid scoop) and volume cranked?

    I shied away from this even though I have been using mine for a few years now and still love it. I used to set the OD side to fairly clean, and the Distortion side to sound as like the OD as possible but with more overdriven sound.

    It's weird...sometimes I shy away from trying things in every position for some unknown reason. Well, last night for kicks I set up a "Hendrixy" assortment of my effects not on my pedal board at the moment.

    Had a Strat into crybaby wah->Mojo Vibe->Jekyll & Hyde->Ibanez FL-9 flanger (owned since the 70's I think it was) -> Ibanez DE-7 delay.
    This fed my little Peavey Classic 30 which was turned way down below 1 even, because it was late and I have neighbors.

    Anyway. I tried the EQ just at 3 o' clock, and gain up there, and tone mid...and cranked the volume to make up for the mid scoop and my GAWD...I was hearing a marshall stack....could get that heavy metal sound too, but with a minor tweak was getting Hendrix-like Marshall sounds.

    I never dreamed it was that easy :)

    Anyway, there seems to be some bias, or else I am so off the mark and these butique (isn't Visual Sound butique too?) pedals are just SO much better, or else there is a kind of snobbery at play for naming more obscure pedals, being kind of on the "inside track".

    I honestly don't know which is the case, never even hear someone compare the higher end butique pedals against a J & H.

    How come?
     
  16. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    The SCOD can get into the ballpark of the RAT, but for my tastes has several noteable improvements...

    1) There's not a bad sound anywhere in the SCOD, and I can't say that about a RAT.

    2) You have to try a few RAT's before you find a great one, and that does not seem to be the case with a SCOD.

    3) The RAT always seems to have an irritating harshness to my ear that you can't dial out without making the pedal too dark on the top end for my taste... Maybe I've just never used a GREAT RAT?

    4) The SCOD is more responsive to guitar inputs such as volume knob adjustments.

    The SCOD is basically like a more (and I hate this term) 'transparent' RAT... It still has character of it's own, but not nearly as much of it. That could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you are looking for in a distortion pedal. As it turns out, that was a good thing for me. The RAT was somewhat close to what I wanted in a distortion, the SCOD gave me exactly what I wanted.

    On the Visual Sound J&H topic:
    I don't know if it is snobbery, but rather I think it has more to do with 'flavor of the day.' The Hyde side of the Visual Sound J&H is also a great suggestion for RAT-type tones... That was my first pedal purchase that I'd consider to be more 'boutique' even though there's quite a few out there (I think production quantity determines whether or not something is boutique, so it's definitely boutique compared to a proco or an ibanez).

    Maybe I never should have sold the J&H as it was a really good pedal, and was capable of a TON of different sounds... It actually inspired what I've always looked for in an overdrive/distortion setup - one milder OD, one medium distortion, then stack the two for over-the-top sounds.

    I do that now with a Java Boost (full range) and the SCOD. I prefer the Germanium dirty-sweet boost/od of the Java Boost, as it integrates with my low-watt tube amps better than Tubescreamer-types... It just fits my style better. I also cited the reasons above why I prefer the SCOD for my distortion needs, and the Java Boost drives the SCOD over the top very nicely. So while I could be happy with the J&H, the combination of these two pedals is more 'my sound.' If I could build both of those circuits in to one pedal like the J&H offers, that'd be the ultimate for me!

    So for me it's not a matter of being an elitist or trying to use more esoteric gear than the next guy, it's just a matter of finding the exat tools that do what I want in the vast sea of options that exists today! :D
     
  17. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

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    beating a dead horse, I'm on a similar quest. my old small-box rat with no led has a nice creamy tone and agree on the pinch harmonic thing. works great with blackface type amps. the way I dial it in, almost like adding a gain channel.

    the molly peaks my interest, but hard to tell based on the 1 clip.
    the old rats are around, but most of them look more beat up than mine !
     
  18. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    Regarding the J&H, isn't it made in China? Funny that we might consider Chinese made pedals boutique, but some that are made in the USA (Digitech, or I think at least some of them) the farthest possible from boutique.

    I really have no knowledge or opinion of the J&H though. Isn't the Hyde supposedly based on a Marshall Drivemaster or something?

    Are any of the Marshall pedals, old or new similar to a Rat? Drivemaster, Shredmaster, Guv'nor?
     
  19. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    but don't have them anymore to do side by side comparisons. I doubt they exactly nail any of them since each of these has slightly different control options than what the digitech gives you, but they may retain some character of each.

    One interesting thing about this is I know I won't need to go out and get a Digitech Distortion that they model in this pedal, that sound is horrible to me!! Also, the settings they use for the Big Muff are overly wooly for me, possibly you'd get that tone on some settings, but to my recollection, I never had mine set to sound that way.

    Agree with you that the stereo cab sim is worth the price alone!! Almost wish they had a tone bypass, just for the cab sim DI part!!

     
  20. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I really don't know, but they are not that intricate or labor intensive looking....I would be surprised if they were made in China. I know that when I had a problem...after an accidental shorting of a DC signal to the casing of the J & H, I contacted (I think it was) dave directly and got good advice. Located the problem and jumpered a bad PC pad on the circuit board. I mean...though they are really all over the stores, they must have made many, but they have all the hallmarks of a butique pedal, when you open them up.

    But I don't know. They may be.

    When we talk about pedals being "based on" other pedals....there are infinite small changes in cap values, resistors, biasing, chips, controls...in essense using an op-amp IC, there is not a huge difference in any of them. We cork sniff the finer points, but they are all pretty similar when they are minimal. Some of the mass produced get way more intricate, but look at the innards of some of these, and they are not much in there.

    Just like great amps are often very simple, similar, yet they sound different.
     

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