Rhythm & Detonation

1984 – year of the rat

This is my second international pedal! I built it for Pieter Petit from Lembeek, Belgium. Pieter was interested in a clone of the original RAT circuit, but he also wanted a switchable bass mod because he plays bass.

I started with the original RAT specs: lm308n op-amp and silicon diode symmetrical clipping. I put the input cap on a switch to go between 22nF for original RAT specs, and 470nF to feed more bass into the circuit. I also included the Ruetz mod on a pot to replace the 47Ω resistor in a 1kB pot so you can adjust this part of the circuit. With the Ruetz mod fully cranked it cleans up the bass frequencies for clear bass but distorted mids and highs. With the Ruetz mod all the way down you get blistering, ripping distortion across all frequencies, and you can dial in the sound you like by controlling the R pot. The other controls are for GAIN, FILTER (tone filter), and a master VOLUME.

Pieter wanted to incorporate some artwork based on the George Orwell novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" because 1984 was the year of the rat in the Chinese calendar and the year he was born. We went with a "Big Brother Is Watching You"  graphic and replaced the eyes with red LEDs.