In a world filled with dirt pedals, the ProCo RAT has always stood out by harnessing its own unique and gnarly distortion tones. This pedal’s distinct growl has granted the DIY guitar pedal world access to a wide array of build ideas for building a clone pedal. General Guitar Gadgets hit the nail on the head with their ProCo Rat clone, the Rodent, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on one.
General Guitar Gadgets is a small family-owned business that specializes in providing various kits – or “Projects” – for a variety of amplifier and pedal clones. Aside from the kits, General Guitar Gadgets is kind enough to share various free schematics and all sorts of help when it comes to the DIY pedal and amp building world.
Like I mentioned, I was given the chance to put one of these Rodents together, and I wanted to share my experience with you.
Building the Pedal
To be honest, I was a bit nervous at first. I have done my fair share of small pedal modifications, in fact, here are a few of the Boss DS-1 mods I have done. However, I haven’t had a lot of experience with the entire pedal building process. The GGG kit provides an unpopulated circuit board, all of the necessary components, and an unpainted pedal enclosure. You could say I was a bit overwhelmed at first.
Photo Courtesy of General Guitar Gadgets
Thankfully, General Guitar Gadgets provided a detailed, online instruction manual that was able to walk me through every step of the way, which made putting this beast together rather easy. Perhaps too easy, because I put it together so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to stop and take photos of the process (sorry!).
Honestly, with intermediate soldering skills, their helpful instructions, and the tools you need to build a DIY guitar pedal, I believe that anybody could take on one of the GGG kits.
The Finished Rodent by General Guitar Gadgets
This pedal kicks ass! It gives just the right amount of distortion needed in order to make some huge, heavy rock tones – without getting lost in the mix in a live setting. I am currently pushing it into a Marshall JCM900 and it sounds massive.
The General Guitar Gadgets Rodent immediately smacks you with that fat distortion that we have all grown to love from the original RAT. The tone (or Filter) knob gives this pedal a world of versatility – ranging from low-end thick tones that will be sure to shake the paintings off the wall, to high-end screaming tones that will wake up everyone in a ten-mile radius. This versatility explains why so many world-famous guitarists choose the RAT when searching for distortion pedals – and the Rodent stands right there with it.
I installed an LM308 OpAmp in the Rodent, which gives it that original ProCo RAT tone. However, the OP07 OpAmp that comes with the kit kicks out some massive distortion tones as well. I have compared both the LM308 and the OP07, and both sound fantastic.
Overall Rating of the General Guitar Gadgets Rodent
5/5. In terms of both tone and build difficulty. This pedal has provided the exact tone I have been looking for, and putting it together was a walk in the park. If you are diving into the world of pedal building, and need a great sounding pedal kit that won’t break the bank, I would highly recommend checking out the Rodent – as well as the other kits in the General Guitar Gadgets arsenal.