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JAM has solidified themselves as a juggernaut of "holy grail" pedals because they often combine their NOS component obsession with innovative designs to create better versions of pedals that most people consider impossible to beat. The Rattler Distortion falls directly into this category, owing its life to the legendary ProCo Rat Distortion. This was the distortion pedal that debuted in the early 80's and captured the hearts of underground thrashers, arena rockers, fusion players and even jazz heads. It was more than just gain, and you knew it right from the start.
The Rattler is able to bring this coveted voice to life thanks to tedious R&D combined with components faithful to the original. The whole circuit revolves around a now famous op-amp, the Motorola LM308N. This chip is in such short supply that the remaining Rattler production will only be available as long as parts last. The other key components are carbon comp resistors which can operate unphased when hit with high energy pulses, and the asymmetrical diode clipping.
Asymmetrical clipping takes your overdriven signal and clips the positive and negative wave forms unevenly resulting in the aggressive grind that we know and love as classic distortion. Once you shape your tone and set the level, the gain knob let's you decide just how devastating your sound will be. That being said, the most alluring characteristic of this pedal is the sheer musicality behind the grind. Your natural signal is retained in such a way that no matter how much gain you dial in, you still sound like you, which is rare with many distortion pedals in the game.
Thanks to this special X factor, the Rattler has made its way onto the boards of big name artists who previously used the ProCo Rat. Genre is almost irrelevant in this list of legends ranging from Al Di Meola, Nels Cline, Julian Lennon, Robert Randolph and more. In the mad world of pedals it's a known fact that pretty much everybody makes a distortion pedal. However not everybody has perfected it, which in a physical and auditory sense, seems to be the feat that JAM has pulled off with the Rattler. Whether you know you're into distortion or not, curiosity might just kill the Rat.
Need some more proof? Check out That Pedal Show's ProCo Rat Showdown where the Rattler did more than raise some eyebrows.