Based on an infamous circuit from a classic “Rodent-based” 1980’s high gain distortion pedal, the Ratsbane is Brian’s answer to the countless requests he has received to build his interpretation of this much-loved design.
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.
The full, dynamic range and sheer sonic force of this circuit is what makes it a true king amongst distortion pedals. 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 a 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.
The Ratsbane is a versatile little gain machine that can tap into your inner bluesman, propel you to stadium rock heights, or give you the noise and cutting energy to let your metal roots scream through. As its name suggests, this pedal was is designed to eliminate the need for any other pedal in its class.
Distortion: Controls the total amount of distortion.
Volume: Controls the total output volume of the pedal.
Filter: Controls the high-end roll-off. Counter-clockwise is maximum high end, clockwise is minimum
Gain: Three-stage gain control, the middle is stock, left and right turbocharge the gain stages.
Voice: Two voicing options that subtly alter the compression and clipping of the signal.
Power: This pedal was designed around the usage of a 9V or 18V DC power source and is intended to sound its best at 9V. To avoid damage to the pedal, do not exceed 18V DC, do not use center pin positive adapters, and do not use AC power. Use only a 9v-18vdc power source that is intended for guitar pedals. This pedal draws approximately 2.5mA at 9V and 3.2mA at 18V. NOTE: This pedal cannot be run from a battery, external power supply only.