Can a ProCo Rat sound like a fuzz?

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by 5F6-A, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    Dave from That PEdal Show claims that RATs are Fuzz pedals... has anybody here managed to create old fuzzy tones with a RAT (think Foxey Lady)? Thanks!!

    Example of cool fuzzy tones:
    https://app.box.com/s/krams2yl9s
     
  2. bluesriffdev

    bluesriffdev Senior Member

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    I find the proco is very dynamic in that it begins to sound like a heavy drive, through to a distortion, then to a fuzz as you turn the distortion knob up. Here's a good video example of what I'm talking about:


    I'm a fan of the big muff but I think everyone should try a RAT once in their lives. I think they suit the person who wants old-school fuzz that can be rolled back on demand, not balls-to-the-wall doomy/sludgey fuzz.

    EDIT: Having said that, I know some have used them as a heavy fuzz when used with an already driven amp. The guitarist from Windhand was using one briefly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  3. skelt101

    skelt101 Senior Member

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    Do you mean Dan from That Pedal Show? I saw a episode they (That Pedal Show) did where they set-up a Rat to sound pretty similar to a Triangle Big Muff. So, I would say the Rat can be a fuzz pedal if you turn the distortion up high enough.
     
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  4. Rich

    Rich Non sequitur Premium Member

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    Agreed. It's like a fuzzy distortion, an old school distortion much like the MXR Distortion +. Back in the day, the buzz was that if you like the Distortion +, you'll love the Rat.

    My favorite use for the Rat is as an overdrive pedal; the filter control is VERY powerful and you can dial in a wide range of sounds.
     
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  5. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    I love the RAT but I think it's not your average fuzz pedal
     
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  6. Rich

    Rich Non sequitur Premium Member

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    Agreed. It's not a fuzz pedal in the strict definition at all, it's more like a primitive distortion which, IMO, sounds fuzzy. Definitely in a league of it's own and a great pedal to explore.
     
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  7. Les Paulverizer

    Les Paulverizer Senior Member

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    I've owned several RAT's and I've had one on my small fly rig pedalboard for quite a while now simply because, as someone pointed out before, it can go from boost to light crunch to full on fuzz through every shade of overdrive and distortion: versatile??? You bet!!!!!!!!

    The trick with a RAT is to turn the Filter counterclockwise as you turn the Gain up, to the exact same degree because as you pile up the Gain you get more bass while the Filter control works in the opposite direction (bass to the right, treble to the left) hence yes, if you keep both Gain & Filter at around 3 o'clock what you will get is a very thick fuzz sound.

    One thing worth pointing out is that unity gain on RAT's is very low, you have to go way past 12 o'clock in order to match the amp's volume, and that somehow give that fuzz sound an even more compressed feel.
     
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  8. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Depends on how broadly you define fuzz. IMO the Rat is capable if extreme distortion that is fuzz-like, but not true fuzz. Too harsh!
     
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  9. Liquid State

    Liquid State Premium Member

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    THIS! but will add that turning the filter knob all the way to the right will warm it and smooth it out.

    I did use mine as a fuzz for a short period, and it was ok at that, is just much better as a high gain pedal. I eventually bought and flipped through a bunch of fuzz pedals until I found a couple that have stuck. A proper fuzz will clean up nicely (especially with a strat) with little volume loss when turning down the guitar's volume knob. The RAT doesn't do this nearly as well as a real fuzz.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  10. Gar

    Gar Senior Member

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    It's a smooth fuzz in that it doesn't start fizzing and crapping out like a fuzz face. I have five fuzz faces and one rat....one is all you need! Rats a versatile, the filter control is the key. Can do marhall type crunch, distortion and fuzz. The rat is my all time favourite.
     
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  11. Les Paulverizer

    Les Paulverizer Senior Member

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    100% right, versatile to the..."Extreme"!
    No kidding, a ProCo Rat has been John Scofield's OD of choice for close to 25 years now, all the way to Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme who on a recent "guitar shredders unite!"-type tour with Steve Vai & people like that plugged into a Rat before going to the rest of the chain of his effects, and let's not forget all those 80s Glam Bands (Ratt?????) plus few assorted Nashville-based Country studio sausages, and it serves/served all of those cats beautifully.

    Funny how only yesterday afternoon in view of a string of upcoming gigs I went through my fly-rig with the view of maybe replacing the Rat with smaller pedal, I A/B'd quite a few....and the rodent's still there!
    Here attached is a pic. Fly Rig.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  12. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    Nice board!
     
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  13. Coldacre

    Coldacre Senior Member

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    not to split hairs, but I would have said that unity volume is very high on RAT’S; you have to go way past 12 o’clock to match the amps volume... 3 o’clock does it for me
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  14. Les Paulverizer

    Les Paulverizer Senior Member

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    Overall I've owned 4 RAT's so far and on every single one of them I found unity gain to be way past 12 o'clock, however they are all vintage Made in USA ones so maybe the new ones are a little different in that department...
    On the Old vs New subject, I have to say that I've also, albeit briefly, had the chance to plug into a couple of new Made In China ones and sound wise they all seem to be in the same ballpark; even old ones differ slightly from one to another anyway (for example, my early 80's Big Box was the warmest sounding, then a mid 80's one was a little shrill and more prone to feedback, but a late 80's warm again and my current one is perfect...?) however I'd be confident with using any of them, old or new, without hesitation; by adjusting the settings slightly they can all be made to sound & feel roughly the same and be conducive to delivering the goods!
    I can confidently say that RAT's can really be the "one OD/Distortion/Fuzz pedal" to end all the OD/Distortion/Fuzz's(!) however, and frankly I have no idea why(???) they MUST be first in the chain, regardless of what one puts after them as that more than anything affects the overall sound, feel & response; as one can see in the pic I posted earlier of my fly-rig, the RAT comes even before the buffer, which wouldn't make any sense but I've tried it both ways and to get the best out of 'em, they must need to "read" the straight signal from guitar, then it's all good...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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