The FERAL and FERAL+ pedals are the end result of years of loving the Rat circuit and searching for the sounds and flexibility that I imagined were possible, but could never find.
I wanted more low end and weight, especially when dialing the Distortion knob below noon. I wanted more control over the gain, and where it transforms from overdrive, to distortion, to fuzz, typically within very small moves on the dial. It was also imperative to me that while trying to expand upon the original design that I not lose any of its defining characteristics.
FERAL+ is the ultra flexible, mad scientist version that checked everything off my list and more.
FERAL was then created upon realizing that the vast majority of what I wanted to attain could be reached with a reduced set of controls (including one internal control). For those who aren’t Rat freaks or mad scientists this removes the dangers of option paralysis while still delivering the goods.
While this knob primarily functions to increase the amount of gain, it is important to be aware that lower settings are inherently brighter, and that the tone gets darker and fuller as the DISTORTION knob is turned up. This tonal interaction is part of what makes the circuit great, but also means that while adding or reducing gain, you may wish to compensate for these tonal changes with the other controls.
To the uninitiated, this knob can potentially seem backwards when compared to the classic tone knobs you may be used to. My suggestion is to think of it as a “High Cut” knob - start with the knob all the way down, and then determine how much high end you want to cut out.
Final output volume. This will vary greatly with different clipping settings.
The BASS knob is actually a bass boost, which occurs pre-distortion and therefor adds both gain and low end. With the knob all the way down you have the traditional Rat low-end, which should be considered it’s flat or neutral location. Turning the knob up increases the bass going into the circuit, adding weight and fullness. Because this boost is pre-distortion, the BASS and DISTORTION knobs are interactive. At lower DISTORTION settings you may wish to have the BASS set higher. And to anyone who might be curious, this is not the Ruetz or other pre-existing mod.
The TAME control functions to make the high end of the distortion less harsh. This happens pre-distortion, and therefor higher levels of TAME will result in less gain. Historically I have always found this mod to be too heavy handed and to quickly remove the aspects I love about the original circuit. I've updated this design making it easier to dial in subtle changes that can be beneficial, while maintaining the full range. This is my personal take on the Ruetz mod.
Many Rat users never turn the distortion knob past noon, and for those like us there's a surprisingly wide range of desirable sounds typically found between 9 o'clock and 12 o'clock on the dial. However, fine tuning within that range can at times be challenging.
- FULL gain setting is the traditional gain range from the original circuit.
- MID gain setting alters the distortion knob so that all the way up becomes what used to be just past 12 o'clock.
- LOW gain setting will vary in effectiveness depending on the clipping setting and the output of the guitar. Because the range of gain being dialed in at this setting is so low, turning the knob can be very subtle, once again depending on clipping choice and guitar output. I expect for some this setting will be a revelation and for others it will not be of interest.
Changing the clipping style gives control over how quickly the distortion sets in, as well as how much distortion and output volume are available.
- SILICON is the classic, vintage setting, and has the most distortion with the lowest output volume.
- LED is the Turbo setting, with decreased distortion, added clarity, and greater output volume.
- OP AMP is the cleanest setting with it’s own unique overdrive feel and lots of volume on tap.
SYMMETRICAL clipping is the traditional type of clipping found in this circuit. The ASYMMETRICAL setting adds an additional Diode in SILICON and LED modes. This change provides a slight increase in volume and can make the distortion characteristic feel more dynamic, or more like an overdrive and less like a hard distortion. In the OP AMP clipping mode this switch has no function.
LM308 chip included and socketed.
Standard 'Boss-style' 9v DC Power with a Center Negative tip
9-18V Power OK.
Higher voltages (not exceeding 18V) will provide more headroom which may or may not be preferred.
No option for battery power.
[ LISTEN TO FERAL & FERAL+ ]
All international orders are not my responsibility once they are accepted by the US Postal Service. If there are issues I will attempt to resolve them, but I cannot be held accountable for issues with foreign services, customs, duties, or deliveries that are beyond my control. That said there have been very few issues, so I am happy to offer this option, please just be aware and responsible in tracking and collecting your shipments, etc. Thank you for understanding.