It’s quite obvious that I’m a very significant Rat fan - as this is the 23rd pedal of that variety to be added to the collection. It was evident almost immediately that this was another particularly great take on the genre - with beautiful harmonic bloom of distortion across multiple modes and voicings.
At its core this is very much a classic Rat - with the standard Volume, Filter (Hi-Cut) and Distortion controls. But then we have two further tone-shapers courtesy of a 3-way Gain Structure toggle-switch, and a 2-way Voicing switch. Both switches affect EQ, clipping, saturation and compression to various degrees.
The Gain Structure 3-way switch delivers stock Rat values in the centre - pretty much your typical Rat style distortion, while moving the switch to the left ups distortion in a sort of high and mid-frequency boost, and to the right you raise the gain even further with a full frequency boost. Depending on how you set the 3 knobs you get either slightly more fuzzy sounds, or more conventional distortion.
The right-hand Voice switch is you classic slightly scooped Rat variety when the switch is to the left, while if you flip right you get a more Modern Mid-Pushed Distortion. With those two switches combining with the 3 extended-range knobs - you get a much wider range of tones than from nearly all equivalent Rat units -and many more than those typically at 3 or 4 times this enclosure size.
This is a fantastic ’State-of-the-Art’ Mini Pedal with classy milled aluminium knobs - and an all-round appealing proposition. I knew I wanted it immediately just partway into my first demo - and indeed ordered one on the spot - which should be with me on the very day this article goes live. The only tiny negative is the positioning of the LED - which obviously should have been the eyeball of the Ratsbane figure!
Another bonus here is that the Opamp chip is socketed - meaning you can experiment and easily slot in alternative Opamps if you wish. I personally really don’t see the need as Brian’s core version sounds amazing as is.
At $150/£150 equivalent this is a great buy - available at all Wampler dealers now - and as mentioned, numbers 23rd in my Rats catalogue, and the 3rd yet foremost among my Mini Rats.
I will do an immediate follow-up article where I touch on other decent Rats at the Mini level, as well as how this all impacts on my own overall Rat Collection and Wishlist!
I’m guessing quite a few of you are Rat-fans too! Anyone joining me in picking this one up?