Andy's Vintage Picks Video: The 1988 ProCo Rat 2

In the mid-1970s, Scott Burnham—then officially titled "Hippie in Charge of Technology" for ProCo Sound—was in the company's basement, hard at work on a distortion pedal, when he accidentally connected the wrong transistor to his circuit board. Lucky for us, this happy accident was the basis of the now-ubiquitous ProCo Rat.

After its release, the Rat steadily gained popularity as more and more artists began using the unique beast on stage. By the 1980s, ProCo was shipping out tens of thousands of units every year. It's a pedal that represents the perfect blend of wide-ranging genre appeal and uncanny staying power, having attracted and continuing to attract players and loyalists in all corners of the music community.

As Andy tells us in the video above, the Rat series holds a special place in his heart, being that the Turbo Rat was the first distortion pedal he ever owned. But instead of a Turbo Rat for this week's vintage pick, Andy is turning his attention to another popular model from the series, the 1988 ProCo Rat 2.

This iteration of the Rat is still packed with the LM308 op-amp that, while not particularly popular with serious audiophiles on its own, complements this circuit perfectly. Another oddity of this vintage stompbox is the fact that the tone/filter knob is wired backwards. Because it's a very bright distortion circuit, Andy suggests setting the filter around 1 or 2 o'clock to roll off a lot of the high-end for a nice, smooth tone.

Check out the full video to see Andy dig even further into the vintage 1988 ProCo Rat 2, and be sure to keep coming back for more of Andy's vintage picks. Click here to buy your Rat 2 on Reverb.

Gear Used In This Video:

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