REVIEW: Pro Co “The RAT” Distortion Pedal

The Pro Co RAT Distortion Pedal will ROCK your socks off!

The RAT Distortion Pedal is a guitar effects pedal produced by Pro Co Sound. The original RAT was developed in the basement of Pro Co’s Kalamazoo, Michigan facility in 1978. Numerous variations of the original RAT pedal are still being produced today.

The basic RAT has changed in appearance over the years, but its tone has remained largely the same… although there is a general consensus that during the mid-80s that version of the RAT were sonically superior. Pro Co has also introduced tonal variations of the RAT, including the Turbo RAT, You Dirty RAT, and Juggernaut Bass RAT, among others.

OUT OF THE BOX

I knew that the Pro Co Rat was something special as soon as I plugged it in. As I do with all pedals being reviewed, I started off with the dials at the twelve O’clock position. The Rat is a powerful high gain distortion pedal with a slightly scooped mid-range. It is well balanced and can be used for a variety of music. There is no tone knob but rather a filter knob that will scoop out more mid tones or bring back the treble tone. I ran it through a Marshall amp and a 69’ Les Paul.

THE SPECS

  • Input Impedance 1 Megohm
  • Equivalent Input Noise -110 dB
  • Output Impedance 1 Kilohm
  • Maximum Gain 60 dB
  • Filter 6 dB/octave low-pass
  • Power Requirements 9V battery or external DC power supply (RPS-1)
  • Height 2-7/8″ (73mm)
  • Depth 4-1/16″ (103.2 mm)
  • Width 3-1/8″ (79.4 mm)
  • Weight 1.7 lbs (0.8 Kg)

THE LOW DOWN

The Pro Co Rat is hands down one of the best stomp boxes I have played to date. If you are looking for that powerful 80’s/90’s rock and metal sound, than this is the pedal for you. With the true bypass switch you will not loose any of the amps tone when the pedal is disengaged. It works very well with other pedals such as chorus, delay and other time based effects. The Rat is a very crisp distortion pedal keeping the tone very tight. The Pro Co Rat can get tones ranging from David Gilmour all the way to Children of Bodom. The Pro Co rat is a very versatile pedal and I highly recommend that everyone pick one up and add it to your arsenal.

PROS: Epic tight distortion that can be mellowed out with a turn of a knob. True Bypass switching. High gain. Light weight and reasonably priced.

CONS: N/A

MSRP – $79.99 – $130.00

Till next week, thanks for reading and keep on shredding!

Nick Arrietta is a staff writer at SMG. Nick is a professional Music teacher from California and has been playing the Guitar for 24 years. Along with teaching music he is a touring guitarist, studio musician and songwriter. Email: nick@sharemyguitar.com

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  • Jim

    I use a Rat that I bought way back in the mid 80’s and it still sounds great!

  • Great, another pedal I have to add to my growing collection 🙂 Thanks Nick!

  • Nick

    Jim, since you have an 80’s rat, what is your opinion of your pedal compared to the modern rat? do you notice any difference? Mickey yeah next time we jam ill bring it along with the delta lab. two great pedals. I am toying with The Rat, Delta Lab and The Digitech Hot Head at the moment. The Hot Head is a weird tone that i cant quite place yet. Its super gainey but scooped lows. kinda odd but nice sounding. more to come. Good day gentlemen.

  • Bob

    The RAT has been my favorite distortion pedal for a long time. I had a RAT, Turbo RAT, and Vintage RAT. However, there was an internet rumor that ProCo sold the company and they had major quality control problems and skimped on electronic parts.
    I believe that pedal guru, Robert Keeley, has something on his website about it.
    The RAT was always the “toughest” sounding pedal in the group, it gave the the front of the ole tube amp a beating. To me, it is the sound of rock. Some pedals get too “fizzy” and it sounds artificial.

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