What Makes A RAT So Great!?

by
Louise Smart
on
Fri, Nov 19, 21

If you are in anyway into guitar pedals and let's be honest, if you're reading this, you definitely are, then you've no doubt heard about a RAT.

You may have even seen one in the wild, on a weekend warriors board at a local gig ( remember those) or in a well lit and welcoming music store...but have you heard one? 

If you haven’t, you're probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Can a blocky black box from 1978 really be that good?

First off, let me run some notable users past you; Dave Gilmour. That should do it. Oh you want more? OK, how about Kurt Cobain, that enough? Dave Grohl. Frank Black. Joe Perry. Thom Yorke. Rivers Cuomo. Jeff Beck. It's not exactly a list of local pub players, is it!? 

So why have the great and the good been drawn to the only pedal named after the least popular rodent, time and time again? It's all about its wealth of useable tones. You see to just call a RAT a distortion pedal is to considerably sell it short. Sure, with the distortion knob up just past half way it can nail those thick early Foo Fighter rhythm guitar tones Mr Grohl has become synonymous for but back the drive right off, crank the level up and it transforms into an amazing boost pedal that will give you a totally different tonality to your trusty Tube Screamer. More "Marshally" mids but still with the low end tightening effect. If you get really brave and go the other way with the distortion control, a RAT will start to do an impression of a fuzz pedal...a really really angry, mega thick, super focused fuzz pedal!! It's 3 really good pedals in one! 

Whats more is that there are loads of "re-imagined" RATs, built by some of the best pedal builders in the world, that take the idea even further. If you want a faithful recreation of those original RATs that used the LM308 op-amp ( try not to fall asleep at that last bit, its important...ish ) then checkout the Big Ear Wood Cutter. It's simply design echo's the original with all the sonic size of those vintage units

What about a souped up RAT that offers several levels of clipping to suit every type of player and a footswitchable gain boost? Frost Giant have got you covered with The Mountain! This is one massive sounding, in your face RAT!

Ultimately, it doesn't matter which RAT you go for, be it a brand new one off the shelf, a highly sort after vintage unit or a hand built boutique homage, all will make you wonder why you didn't get one on your pedalboard sooner!

See you soon!

Louise