Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Varmint - Vintage 4-Way ProCo Rat Mod from Dan Wiley Audio

The Varmint Deluxe

PCB from the always wonderful Mad Bean Pedals, lavendar case and rotarty swith, small parts, etc, from Tayda Electronics.  This build was commissioned by a good friend of mine and she's very happy with it.

This is a vintage rat circuit, to a T, but with clipping diode pair options on a rotarty switch.

Mode 1 is the standard 1N914 silicon diodes.  The surprising part is how different this sounds from my ProCo Turbo Rat, Vintage Rat, and You  Dirty Rat.  The old RAT circuit really does have that sort of warmer, midrange rich, type of vintage tone to it, more like an old fuzz pedal or something.  The modern rats have a slight bit more edge or distortion, or scoop sound to them.  I'll have to build one of these for myself.

Mode 2 is 3mm red LEDs.  This is probably my favorite sound of all rats, the "Turbo" mode, bright and cutting, powerful, loud.

Mode 3 is some 1N34A or possibly 1N60P diodes, not sure, but they are germanium.  They seem to clip so much that they are very quiet, so these are my least favorite in this circuit, just due to the volume drop.

Mode 4 is a couple of 2N7000 MOSFET with Source on one side, and Drain and Gate soldered together on the other side.  This sound is something I really enjoy, pretty fat sounding, warm high end.  Something I'll need to explore more.  Maybe just buy the FAT RAT and add it to the collection.

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