Small clone - moved to my little bass board
Tube works real tube - dumping it. Doesn’t do anything my own pedals can’t.
Colorsound overdriver - Used it mostly for spicing up my practice amp. Doesn’t need permanent board space for that.
Moved DOD phaser out of memory man loop to the front of the chain (pre dirt) for not so subtle phasing.
MXR eq is my attempt to simulate a neck pickup with my bridge pickup only bronco. Works pretty decent although it’s not my favourite eq but it was too cheap to pass up. Flat isn’t actually flat so everything is a little weird visually at least.
MXR stereo tremolo for slow/gentle panning between two amps. Panning with this guy almost has a sort of Leslie speaker type effect with the two amps alternating phase or something like that. With it panning slowly and the moog trem doing a fast/hard vox repeat percussion type thing it sounds insane! Very spacemen. I’ve been looking for a good deal on one of these for ages and I’m very pleased.
Darrell rants about the Proco Rat and the ruetz mod.
It’s no secret that the rat is my favourite pedal to ever exist. It’s only drawback is the fact that it can cut a bit too much bottom end for use with low tuned instruments such as baritone guitars, heavily detuned guitars, or bass. The most common mod to remedy this is the ruetz mod. It was the first pedal mod I ever did and the thing that got me hooked on messing around inside pedals. I’ve played around with this mod and the whole rat circuit a ton and am obsessive about getting as much usable low end as possible out of every pedal.
The ruetz mod basically consists of messing around with the 47ohm resistor (R6) that is part of one of two rc (resistor/capacitor) filter networks from the opamps feedback loop to ground. Sometimes this resistor is literally just snipped leaving only the 560ohm/4u7 rc pair to set the gain and low end roll off. Other times that 47 ohm resistor is replaced with a pot. Usually around 1k.
My problem with both versions is that bass is never actually increased. Instead the gain of treble frequencies is actually being decreased by varying degrees. This does give the perception of more low end but in my opinion the decrease of gain in the high end actually robs the rat of its true character. The are tons of “boutique” rat derivatives and rat inspired pedals out there that incorporate some version of the ruetz mod and it boggles my mind.
So what’s the solution?
Well if you know anything about rc filters and especially rc filters in opamp based dirt circuits, you know that the capacitor in that rc pair has an equal impact on the frequencies amplified by the opamp which are then clipped by the diodes. Typically the resistor sets the gain and that resistors relation to the capacitor sets the frequency roll off.
If we look into the rc filters in a rat we’ll see that the 47ohm/2u2 rc pair sets one high pass filter roll off at around 1500hz while the 560ohm/4u7 pair sets a second roll off point around 60hz although with much lower gain.
There are tons of popular mods for equally classic pedals (tubescreamer, distortion plus etc) that involve tweaking the value of the cap in the opamps rc filter to get more bass out of the circuit while leaving gain levels alone.
So why does that seem uncommon in a rat circuit? Why do we ignore the capacitors?
Because I don’t think anyone has written it on the internet yet and a large part of the boutique/DIY pedal community can’t do anything until someone else does it first and tells them how it’s done. The idea of understanding concepts applicable across the board is just beyond some.
So back to these rc pairs…
My favourite version of the ruetz mod was always just replacing the 47ohm resistor with something around 400 ohms which gives a roll off about 180hz while sacrificing a fair bit of gain but If you increase the value of the 2u2 cap instead you can get your low end back without sacrificing ANY gain. 22uf will give you a roll off of around 150hz which is low enough to let most bass frequencies through without getting muddy.
If you want a tweakable version you could wire up a capacitor blend pot (usually used at the input or output of a circuit) to blend between the stock 2u2 and a much larger cap or any 2 values you want. I’ve used this in several of my own builds and it is massively usable.
Leaving the amount of gain in the circuit alone also makes diode changes much more obvious. Put a big cap (or cap blend pot) in there and a 3 way diode toggle (or even a diode blend pot) and you’ve got a super flexible rat that still has all the amazing qualities of the best rats.
Also check out the comparative rat schematic demonstrating why the “vintage” rat circuit isn’t all that special (with the exception of the lm308). It’d take anyone who can solder 20 minutes or less to covert any rat to vintage specs. My rat 2 was already “vintage spec” other than the missing lm308.
Several hours ago I was hit from behind by some douche bag teenager while his friend asked me for a cigarette. I strongly believe these miserable excuses for human beings were playing the knockout game. They took nothing from me, there was one lone punch, and they immediately ran away. I spent five hours in emergency just to get 9 stitches. Luckily there’s no concussion.
The first time I heard of this knockout game I was extremely sick to my stomach. This is so much worse. What the hell has humanity come to?
On the othe side of things, NURSES ARE THE BEST HUMANS ON THIS PLANET.
I finally found one of these after casually hunting for one for ages. I know the word on the street (forums) is that it has to say BK Butler on it to matter but I’m more interested in some mid range control than a name written somewhere on the box.
I immediately swapped the 12ax7 for a 12at7 because this thing has way too much gain. I’ll probably even swap that out for a 12au7 when I have a chance…
With a lower gain tube it does a wicked good low to mid gain rhythm tone. Not too far off from a cranked vox type tone. I like.
The tone stack is super wacky but the mid control makes it usable. The hi knob should probably actually be labelled “scoop” because that’s all it does regardless of where the mid knob is set.
I’d recommend these things for some decent tube tone at practice levels or getting legit tube breakup out of a super clean/loud single channel amp (like my 180watt supertwin).
Here’s the most recent incarnation of my board.
ALL the dirt is mine!
Small clone with depth pot and chorus/pitch vibrato toggle
1995/scuzz (available very soon)
1981/decay - scrambler based on my reissue and not a vintage version so it’s much louder. Also added a hi cut filter in the scrambled path since the nature of the scrambler is so bright.
1993/distorter - IC big muff transformed into the perfect (for me at least) high gain distortion.
1987/driver - my take on classic hard clipping drive/distortion. Sounds sort of like a rat with slightly less gain and a much thicker low end (also available very soon)
Colorsound overdriver - was originally a straight clone but that didn’t last long. Now it’s real dirty with hard clipping before the baxandall eq.
MXR loop box switches the back row other than the small clone
(un)holy grail - it’s got fuzz on the reverb.
Deluxe Memory Man tt1100
DOD 490 phasor - in the effects loop of the memory man so just the delays are phased. Dry kill switch for mellower “vibe” style shifting.
Looks like the fat rat is gonna be in a standard rat enclosure with the good rat knobs, an led, and American made. I was really into the idea of a bigger enclosure for modding potential. No lm308 but the IC comes socketed and I’ve got a drawer full of 308s… Apparently it’s based on the whiteface rat circuit with the fat and MOSFET mods? But let’s face it, the rat circuit has been basically unchanged since it’s inception. Other than the recent absence of the the lm308 maybe 2 or three tiny value changes over the years? The rat will always be my favourite unmodded dirt pedal but It’s nice to see them trying to keep up with all the tweaked out rat clones out there.