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Search for a RAT

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by snakesandarrows, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Rat Original

    14 vote(s)
  2. TurboRAT

    10 vote(s)
  3. Modded RAT (Keeley, other)

    9 vote(s)
  4. Other

    6 vote(s)
  1. snakesandarrows


    Oct 12, 2009
    Hey guys, I've recently been trying to acquire a mid-focused, hard distortion for bass, similar to Chris Wolstenholme's sound on Starlight, United States of Eurasia, Resistance (during the Chorus), etc. I know there have been countless threads on getting Chris' sound and they almost always result with suggestions of just to buy Chris' $2000+ pedalboard, but I'm just trying to nail one of his sounds.

    I know Chris uses an Animato distortion pedal (along with a bunch of other pedals) and that seems to be his main pedal that gives him his mid-boosted distortion; sort of a rarity i guess and hard to find as well. A lot of people in the past have suggested RATs as a good substitute since it's very mid-focused. I was looking at the Keeley modded Rat, and correct me if I'm wrong, I believe they replace one of the pedals caps, therefore boosting the overall low-end response or something like that... Since I don't have the ability to bi-amp live, this sounds like a good thing to me. People have also been talking about the TurboRAT??

    Does anyone have any testimonials with this pedal? or maybe suggest a different one? Thanks.
  2. rr5025


    Nov 12, 2008
    You could try the Hardwire CM-2 rumor has it that sounds similar to the Animato. I've been wanting to pick one up to see how close it is but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
  3. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I'm not a Muse fan so others may be better equipped to answer specific questions about his gear, but I did just listen to the songs you named.

    None of them sounded like a Rat to me, though I could be wrong. Starlight sounds like a muff like fuzz to me. United States of Eurasia sounds like a blended fuzz with a lot of clean to me. Resistance has some crunch to it, but if it's a Rat I'd guess that it is blended/biamped and not really cranked to begin with.

    And yes, the Turbo Rat does hold lows better than the other Rats I've tried. However, it still loses some low end, increasing with higher gain levels.

    For all the talk of fuzzes that keep the bottom end, I really think it is heavy distortion (with some real "crunch") that rob the lows the most.
  4. Their bass player uses a Sovtek "Green" Big Muff for most of his distortion as far as I know, but its mixed with so many other pedals that just the muff won't get you there most of the time.

    That said, the Rat does sound really good as a bass distortion, but it needs to be modded or put in a blend loop in order to keep the low end. I got mine modded by Fuzzrocious (But I don't think they are doing work right now) and I love the way it sounds.
  5. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    I've had the Keeley Modded Rat. Horrible, horrible pedal. Sounded best by far in the stock mode. I would not recommend it. A Turbo Rat is WAY better.
  6. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Chris uses a Sovtek green muff and a Crowther Prunes & Custard for his dirt.
  7. I have a vintage rat (as in the old one not a "vintage rat" model) and a Deucetone. The deucetone is two rat boxes in series, each has a 3 way switch to choose between vintage/turbo/clean rat modes. It only switches out diodes for the different tones so its not EXACTLY like having those different models but pretty good. I like running one side as a clean rat to add some bite and then the other side as a turbo to pummel with.
    I also did a voicing mod on mine. If you google Rat mods there is a lot of info about modding it. Mostly about how to cut the gain(?) and change the voice of the fuzz. I experimented with different value caps until I found a nice low mid centered boost with one. I put it on a dpdt and put the old one on the other side so I have both on tap now!
  8. snakesandarrows


    Oct 12, 2009
    I have the Russian muff, and I couldn't get close to the Starlight sound. Way to sloppy. I think the distortions on all the songs mentioned are very tight sounding, not a traditional "distorted" sound, more crunch like you said. I don't know my fuzzes that well, but maybe I need the Green EHX Sovtek Big muff,

    Now that I think about it, United States of Eurasia was a pretty bad example of the sound I am talking about, haha.

    and I was sort of confused by your phrasing, Chris doesn't use a Rat himself, he uses an Animato which is kind of similar.

    Do you have experience with the TurboRat? I've heard its smoother than the original Rat, which is the opposite of what i'm going for, but that might not be right.
  9. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Pensacola, FL.
    As far as RATs on bass, it's all about the big box RAT.
  10. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    Hi guys. Just thought I'd pop in to point out that Chris does not use a Green Muff. He used one during the Showbiz era, but that was way back in 1999. Since at least Origin of Symmetry (2001) he has been using the Black Muffs.

    As far as Starlight goes, Chris plays it up an octave, but uses an octave pedal (probably an OC-2 originally, although he is using EHX Octave Multiplexers at the moment) set with one octave down soloed to bring it to the correct pitch for the song. This is then fuzzed and clean blended. Not sure what fuzz it is, but it will either be a muff or the animato, or maybe a combination of the two in parallel (which would mean three channels - muff, animato, clean). Try the muff, set with the sustain fairly low but the tone fairly high.
  11. faceinbass


    Apr 20, 2008
    IME with Sovtek Muffs:
    newer black muffs are more crunchy/distortiony
    older green muffs are more fuzzy/wooly

    Sounds like you need a blend pedal a turbo rat AND a black sovtek muff. ;)
  12. snakesandarrows


    Oct 12, 2009
    so you would blend the big muff and the rat with a clean signal, so blend three signals together,

    or would you blend the big muff and the rat together over the clean signal??
  13. rr5025


    Nov 12, 2008
    I'm pretty sure its the muff. I believe he said in some interview he used the muff on almost every track on BHR (I'm guessing Hoodoo and Soldier's Poem are the ones he didn't).

    I've been messing around with the Muff + OC-2 + Clean and I can get close but not quite as nasal. The Animato is probably in there.
  14. Most muffs scoop the sound IME, so if it's mid focused muff you're after, try the Way Huge Swollen Pickle or Blackout Musket. Both are Muff clones but have much more tonal variety due to the mid controls. I've got a Musket myself, I freaking love it. It's almost always on, with the mid control almost on full and the focus knob pretty far down.

    As far as Rats go, I've got one of those too which I use for a bigger ballsier sound. It's a late model, but one of the last to be made in the USA. I don't think it has the holy grail LM308 chip, but it's pretty good sounding all the same. To make it a bit more bass focused, I did the Ruetz mod, which is really easy. Give it a google for more details, but in essence, you chop out a resistor which disables the high frequency high gain half of the circuit so it retains more lows. I run it pretty heavily distorted, and with the volume up a bit more than unity gain to compensate for what little low end loss I can hear.

    You can hear it here on my band's new single [/plug] ->

    On my board I've also got an LMB3 which I use as a heavy compressor, a Humphrey Audio modded Bass Badder Monkey to drive the other dirt pedals a bit harder when needed and eq my amp with lots of mids too. As mentioned, I don't really notice any low end loss.

    I think your best bet is to try as many pedals as you can get your hands on. If you have to buy blind, do it second hand through the classifieds and if you don't like, you can always sell it on!
  15. Eric!

    Eric! Commercial User

    Jan 22, 2009
    America's High-Five
    Mojo Hand FX
    RAT II, LM308!
  16. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    I don't get the LM308 thing. I heard a comparison between the two and I liked the non-308 version much more.
  17. i've been using a metal muff nano a lot recently, and IMO it sounds amazing. However, i've always wanted a RAT, but i got the metal muff for $22.00 used.
  18. You need the the Tech 21 XXL Bass Edition RAT...
  19. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    I had a XXL and I've had a vintage rat. If I had to pick one to get again it would be the vintage rat.
  20. What is a vintage rad?

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