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Vitalii Bobrov's Opamp-Switching Drunk Beaver Bat Cold War Rat-style Fuzz/Distortion Pedal delivers the best of East and West

DistortionDrunk BeaverFuzzOpAmp FuzzRat Style Fuzz+-
2021GPXDrunkBeaverBat700V3.jpg

Readers will know that I’m quite the fan of Rat-style pedals with a significant double-figure number of examples in the collection already. I really like it when pedals offer something a little different - rather than just a straight-up replica of the same thing over and over. I have 3 of Vitalii’s Drunk Beaver Pedals to date - the Distortion DS-1 Multi-Mods Clone, this Bat, and the Bloom Expandora clone - in order of acquisition. This Bat is the first of those to get a demo video.

 

So the Bat Cold War Fuzz/Distortion combines 6 clipping modes across 2 different Opamp types - the classic USA-made LM308AN, and the Soviet-made UD1408A. Generally I find the Soviet variety slight rawer and spikier sounding than the classic variety - where that extra texture is a little more to my liking. I seem to be mostly sticking to the Soviet mode in any case.

 

As mentioned there are 6 Clipping Modes :

  • No-Clipping + Boost
  • Soft MOSFET
  • Soft Germanium
  • Hard Silicon
  • Hard LED
  • Hard Germanium

For the Hard LED Mode, one of those Red LEDs is the Bat’s eye and lights up dynamically during playback - which is neat. Note also that there is a single internal trim-pot which adjusts the Brightness of the main Blue active LED.

 

All modes are decent - while the Germanium and Silicon options require some further adjustments to volume in particular. I tend to stick largely with the Boost mode, while I also really like the MOSFET, LED, and Hard Germanium modes too. Vitalii needs to take note of the JA playbook and introduce a level matching circuit - which would make it far easier and enjoyable flipping between all the different clipping modes. In fact I would quite like to see a second footswitch for mode/clipping selection - to work in conjunction with an output / level-matching circuit - so you can seamlessly flip between those modes for really slick dynamic playback a la JA.

 

Of course the pedal doesn’t need the extra bells and whistles as such - what is already onboard is quite sufficiently stellar on its own. I would though quite like to see a deluxe version of this at some stage - with the previous suggestions made, plus a 3-band EQ.

 

I think all Rat-fans will find much to love here and this adds quite a lot on top of a typical classic 3-knob Rat. Beautifully made too as pictured. Note that there are also 2 further pink editions which mix up slightly different Opamps - LM108 and LM208 with OP07 - all are priced at $180/€160 and available right now on the Drunk Beaver Reverb.com Store. Note also that the style of clipping knob has changed for the current batch, mine is from the first batch produced.

 

Generally I feel this is a very worthy Rat variety to have in the collection - how about you?

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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