Price paid: $ 85
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
At the moment my rig is as follows: Epiphone Les Paul Std> Rat 2> J&H JPT-10 Tuner> Zvex Vexter series Fuzz Factory> Visual Sound V2 Jekyll & Hyde> MXR CSP-026 '74 Phase 90> Boss CE-20 Chorus Ensemble> Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeller> Fender FM212r I also have a bunch of other effects eg wah, Boss ds1 etc and I'm hoping to add an EHX Deluxe Memory Man to my rig and I'll be replacing my dirty old tranny amp with an Orange AD30TC in about two weeks. This is a middle of the road distortion when it comes to noise. Its not quiet, but its not noisy either. I bought my fuzz and my J&Hyde at the same time as this and before that my DS-1 was the only OD/Distortion in my rig. THAT was a noisy pedal. As long as you dont turn the volume up above 1 O'clock (I would be very surprised if you needed to) you wont suffer much noise. The distortion sound from the rat is great. You can get everything from thick, chunky, metal rhythm sounds, to smooth blues OD, to indy rock lead distortion from this pedal. The filter function makes for a nice change because you can easily get the same tone as what you've got with your rat off with a little dirt rubbed on it, or a little boost. I play a lot of Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Strokes, RHCP, and this is perfect for dark british rock sounds. Its also True bypass so true bypass snobs are covered. I love the way this pedal works for me.
Overall Impression — 9
This pedal fits perfectly into my style of playing. It doesnt really work that well with my other OD/Distortion effects, but I would mostly use it on its own even if it did. I've been playing for about 5 years, but I've only been playing with effects pedals for about 2 years. In a couple of months I should have completed my rig with the addition of an EHX Deluxe Memory Man, Orange AD30TC for dirty A/B'ed with a Fender Hotrod DeVille for cleans. If this pedal were stolen or lost I would definitely buy another. I'm already considering buying another because they are so versatile. I think I've already mentioned what I love and what I dont like about it, but my favourite feature is the way that the filter works. It makes it a different type of pedal to those that have standard tone controls. I mentioned before that I bought this at the same time as a Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde OD/ Distortion and a Zvex Fuzz Factory. With all these pedals at my disposal (as well as a Boss DS-1 for a backup) I can get just about any Distortion sound you could possibly think of or want, and the rat contributes just as much as any of my other pedals. Only thing that I wish it had is a standard power adapter plug. Otherwise fantastic.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It built like a brick. Nice thick casing, durable (but easily replaceable) Switch, big strong knobs. My only complaint here would be that it has rather large gaps in the casing. You could throw it at a wall multiple times and it probably wouldn't even scratch it. You spill a beer on it and its probably toast. Might even fry other pedals or even your entire rig if you use a single power supply. That said, Who puts a beer right next to their pedal board anyway? Only other problem is that it takes different power supply than most other pedals (ie standard Boss type 9v power supply). Just more hassel carrying around another type of power supply.
Ease of Use — 9
I bought this Brand New on ebay. Its really easy to use. 3 knobs: Distortion, Volume and Filter. Unlike most other distortion pedals, the filter knobs is not a "tone" knob, it is a low pass filter. The more you turn it clockwise the more highs you'll be cutting out of your sound. This means that with the filter turned all the way down, what comes out of the pedal has pretty much the exact same harmonic content as what went in. The manual is really quite good and explains in reasonable detail how everything works (it IS a distortion pedal though, they don't get much simpler). It loses a point here though because they don't include a manual in the box. You can download the pdf here.