Pro Co Rat Distortion Pedal

After first appearing in the mid '80s, the Pro Co Rat continues to provide the right amount of dirt for many players.

Pro Co Rat

Its straightforward operation and its wide gain range is one of the reasons why many still consider it as their favorite distortion pedal (see what we selected as the best ones here), even without big name backing.

Although many consider the Rats produced in the mid-80's as being superior in sonic quality, the Pro Co Rat's tone has remained generally the same. Although the pedal has spawned a number of variants, its latest mass-produced incarnation is labeled as the Pro Co Rat 2, featuring the same convenient three knob control found on the original.

The Rat 2 carries the same 100% analog signal path and classic tone as the original, it also brings the same versatility that allows it to work well as a primary dirt pedal, for driving a tube amps and for boosting your lead lines. It accomplishes this versatility via its sensitive and wide range Distortion knob, which allows you to dial in anything from subtle drive to fuzz like dirt.

The Rat's versatility is what makes it confusing to classify, it can fulfill the role of an overdrive, distortion or fuzz pedal quite well. However when you look inside, the circuit design of the original follows the same principle as another popular distortion pedal, the Boss DS-1 albeit with some differences. And so it can be said that Rat is actually a distortion pedal by design.

The Rat's Filter knob is another story in itself, it behaves like a reversed tone control, rolling off the high frequencies when you turn it up and increasing the high frequencies as you roll it down. This can be adjusted so you can cut through a noisy band, or if you want the natural brightness of your tone to be heard.

The Volume knob works in conjunction with the Distortion knob. It allows you to adjust your gain level relative to the output volume when the pedal is disengaged. Rat 2 features true bypass, so it doesn't affect your tone when disengaged.

Part of the Rat's vibe is its simple but heavy-duty, sloped-face metal enclosure. All the parts are heavy-duty as can be testified to by users, and its battery compartment is easily accessible without any required tools. Other features include an On/Off LED indicator, Glow in the dark graphics, military-spec glass-epoxy circuit board and its AC-jack compatibility.

Because of its simplistic circuitry, the Rat is a popular pedal for modifications. There are now a number of ways to sculpt the tonality of the pedal by replacing or removing certain parts.

The Pro Co Rat pedal is currently retailing for $95. You can find out more about this pedal by visiting Rat Distortion.

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