The Ratsbane From Wampler, A Classic 1980s High-Gain Distortion
If you are looking for a single pedal solution with multiple degrees of gain from light overdrive to full-out saturated fuzz tones, then you’ll surely love the Ratsbane. The Ratsbane is based on a true benchmark sound amongst guitarists that has been heard on thousands of famous recordings. Turn the distortion control all the way down for a deep but powerful gain booster. Crank it up and you will find rich harmonic overtones and a throaty, fuzz-like distortion. The “secret sauce” for this circuit has always been the filter control. Turn it counter-clockwise to cut straight through the mix with precision and a high-frequency attack that lets your tone soar with absolute clarity. Turn it clockwise to filter the top end, for a warm, buttery, yet clear tone. This natural full-range distortion, mixed with its unique filter control, delivers a classic cranked tube-amp sound that crosses genres and generations of music.
In typical Wampler fashion, Brian improved the circuit’s flexibility by adding two new switches. The Gain switch offers three distinct choices. In the middle gives you the “stock” gain for this pedal. Flick it either right or left for 2 additional turbocharged gain stages you can play with. The left position offers a firm, yet smooth boost in gain, whereas the right delivers an insane level of creamy distortion. The Voice switch subtly alters the compression and clipping of this pedal. It tightens the distortion to be more manageable with greater levels of gain, while rolling back some of the fuzz qualities, to deliver a modern, high gain distortion.
- Volume: Controls the total output volume
- Distortion: Controls the amount of distortion that is heard
- Gain: Three-stage gain control. The Middle is stock, Left and Right turbocharge the gain stages
- Filter: Controls the high-end roll-off
- Voice: Two voicing options that subtly alter the compression and clipping of the signal
- Power: The Ratsbain was designed around the usage of a 9V or 18V DC power source and is intended to sound best at 9V
Warranty: See manufacturer website for details
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