Based on an infamous circuit from a classic 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 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.
Three Gain Options
Brian has incorporated some unique modifications into this circuit, easily accessed by the toggle switches. With the gain switch set in the center you get the classic circuit, flick it either right or left to get insane amounts of gain on tap.
Classic and Modern Tones
Not content with just modifying the gain stages, Brian also added a voice switch which totally changes this circuit into a modern, higher gain style distortion. This pedal can cover boosted overdrive tones, full on fuzz, and modern searing distortion tones in one small package.
Swap the engine
This circuit is based on a modern, and in our opinion more harmonically complex, operational amplifier IC, but we know there are some purists out there that will want to try it with an LM308 IC, so we put our “engine” in a socket to allow those adventurous DIY “modders” amongst you to have some fun. We don’t recommend it though and it shouldn’t be attempted by novices.
BUILT FOR FOREVER
Brian Wampler’s attention to detail and commitment to bringing you the best-sounding & most usable Effects Boxes on the market is nothing new. Those qualities are on full display within the Ratsbane. We’re all tone-freaks, and we’re always trying new things, but we hope this pedal finds it’s forever home on your pedalboard, so we built it to last that long.
See it in action:
Test Drive it with Tonepedia
- Built in the U.S.A.
- High grade components picked for their superior sound and response
- True bypass
- 9v – 18v power jack (no battery connector inside)
- Power draw: between 2.5mA (9v) and 3.2mA (18v)
- Five controls – Volume, Distortion, Filter rotary, plus 3 way Gain switch and 2 way Voice switch
- Includes Wampler’s limited 5-year warranty
- 1.5″ x 3.5″ x 1.5″ (38.1mm x 88.9mm x 38.1mm) – height excludes knobs and switches
WAMPLER Pedals Limited Warranty. WAMPLER offers a five (5) year warranty to the original purchaser that this WAMPLER product will be free from defects in material and workmanship. A dated sales receipt will establish coverage under this warranty. This warranty does not cover service or parts to repair damage caused by accident, neglect, normal cosmetic wear, disaster, misuse, abuse, negligence, inadequate packing or shipping procedures and service, repair or modifications to the product, which have not been authorized by WAMPLER. If this product is defective in materials or workmanship as warranted above, your sole remedy shall be repair replacement as provided below.
RETURN PROCEDURES. In the unlikely event that a defect should occur, follow the procedure outlined below. Defective products must be shipped, together with a dated sales receipt, freight pre-paid and insured directly to WAMPLER SERVICE DEPT – 5300 Harbor Street, Commerce, CA 90040, USA. A Return Authorization Number must be obtained from our Customer Service Department prior to shipping the product. Products must be shipped in their original packaging or its equivalent; in any case, the risk of loss or damage in transit is to be borne by the purchaser. The Returns Authorization Number must appear in large print directly below the shipping address. Always include a brief description of the defect, along with your correct return address and telephone number.
When emailing to inquire about a returned product, always refer to the Return Authorization Number. If WAMPLER determines that the unit was defective in materials or workmanship at any time during the warranty period, WAMPLER has the option or repairing or replacing the product at no additional charge, except as set forth below. All replaced parts become a property of WAMPLER. Products replaced or repaired under this warranty will be returned via ground shipping within the United States freight prepaid. WAMPLER is not responsible for costs associated with expedited shipping, either to WAMPLER or the return of the product to the customer.
INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGE. In no event is WAMPLER liable for any incident or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability of the possibility of such damages, or any other claim by any other party. Some states do not allow the seclusion or limitation of consequential damages, so the above limitation and exclusion may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which may vary from state to state.
FOR YOUR PROTECTION. Please complete the online warranty registration within (10) ten days of the date of purchase so that we may contact you directly in the event of a safety notification issued in accordance with the 1972 Consumer Product Safety Act.
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation.
This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantees that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures.
- Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
- Increase the separation between the equipment and the receiver.
- Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.
- Consult the dealer or an experience radio/TV technician for help.
Changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance could void the user’s warranty to operate the equipment.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT. Our dedicated staff is ready to help you with any warranty or product questions – please email us at email@example.com or call us on (765) 352-8626.
Please remember to register your pedal as soon as possible after purchase at the following web page to ensure quicker service if you should ever need to make a warranty claim: warranty registration
Patty B. –
Been looking for a distortion pedal to tighten up and push the dirt channel of my PRS MT15 amp head for practicing metal. Was hoping to be able to chug and enhance palm muted metal rhythms; this thing did the trick. Was expecting to still need to drive this distortion pedal with an OD in front of it, but that is not necessary. This is my first Wampler pedal – I am impressed by the performance. This unit stacks well, has great tones, rich harmonics and I can get tight distortion or fuzzed out sounds. Also, it made the strings come alive with a very electric feel. This unit will be staying on my pedal board. Only bummer is that now I need to find a new home for the pedal that this one kicked off my board.
This is my first Wampler pedal and it definitely won’t be my last! I am BLOWN AWAY by the Ratsbane. The amazing versatility is something I have never experienced in a distortion before. The voice switch takes me from a scooped sound to a more mid-forward sound and I LOVE being able to customize the gain from lower to extreme fuzz. I cannot wait to get more pedals! One could say I now have some major GAS.
I’ve had the pedal a few days now and no matter what you dial in, it sounds fantastic. From tight distortion to gnarly stoner fuzz to boosting the Ultra channel of my Marshall – it does everything. The addition of the voice and gain switches make this a tweaker’s delight. I have not found a single bad sound. There are Rodent clones aplenty out there, and this is probably the best one.
Now you guys need to do a Mega Ratsbane, with expression pedal on the filter and an octave up! Thanks for making quality products. From one Brian to another!
This is a fantastic pedal that is extremely versatile. If you even remotely like the sound of a RAT then you will be blown away by the Ratsbane.
Wampler Pedals –
Thanks Kenneth – we appreciate your comments – and we love the Ratsbane too 8)
I love my new Wampler Ratsbane pedal great tone, that rat tone and more, another great Wampler pedal