A/B'ing a couple RATs: a late '84 vs a 2010 '85 reissue

Liquid State

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A couple years back I got lucky banging around on Amazon and found a BRAND NEW ProCo RAT: limited edition '85 whiteface reissue, at a heavily discounted price (less than half original street of $299). Might have been one of the last ones in stock anywhere as new with the retailer just trying to move it. At the time I shopping vintage ones, so I jumped on it.

what ProCo said when released: We followed exact specifications, researched and found the same components, utilized the original circuit board layout, and of course, added the essential LM308 Chip. The result of our efforts is the Limited Edition ‘85 Whiteface RAT, a RAT pedal worthy of its heritage.

Anyways, I get together with some buddies for a house blues jams now and then. One of them has been at the music thing a long time. Back in '84, while he is touring around and passing through Missoula Mt. he needs a new OD and picks up this ugly black box with white graphics: an original ProCo RAT

I had seen it at his place before, so at our last jam I brought mine, he pulled his out of a pile of equip he has under a desk, we put in fresh batteries and take them for a spin.

Results:
In a nutshell, ProCo did what they intended. The only differences we could find were that the new '85 Reissue had a bit more volume and a bit more gain than the original '84. As soon as we dialed them back at parity there was essentially zero difference in tone. We ran them through my Vox and his Fender Deluxe and drove them with my G&L and his Edwards LP. From bluesy break-up or wound all they way up to the RAT version of fuzz they were twins.

I walked away feeling even more fortunate in my luck coming across the reissue. That said, when I tried to leave him mine and stuff his in my pack he would have none of it. :naughty: They may sound the same, but his is about a million times cooler.

twins born 25 years apart.....

 

gibsonguitar1988

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Awesome!

A RAT pedal is a thing of beauty. My main lead tone right now is an XTS Winford Drive, which was inspired by a big box RAT pedal. It's very much it's own thing but at times you can tell where it got it's idea from. It's a killer pedal. I also have a Keeley modified RAT 2 reissue that is ridiculously good.

I still say, for the money, a stock RAT 2 reissue from GC isn't a bad pedal....Couple that with the gold MXR Modified OD and you have some killer dirt tones for not much dough.
 

TonyAsh

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I've had a big box Vintage Rat for about 15 years. I don't know when it was made, but I bought it used in summer of 2000 or 2001. It has the LM308 chip. Been using it with guitar and bass ever since, and I love it. Currently liking my 80's Boss SD-1 a little more, but the Rat sounds too good to kick off my board. My favorite setting is Distortion at 10:00, Filter at 5:00 and Volume at 3:00. It makes for an amazing light overdrive tone. Boost the Distortion knob to 12:00 and it makes my Champ sound like a cranked Marshall.
 

Liquid State

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my '85 WFRI has covered a lot of spots on my board since getting it, from light OD to '80's metal. Currently it is what I am using as my fuzz box with Dist and Filter at about 2:30-3:00 (like in the pic above). I have ended up liking it much better for that than my way huge swollen pickle or EHX big muff (both since retired), and it plays better with my wah. This all makes it about as versatile a pedal as I have ever owned....
 


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