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Pro Co RAT2 Distortion – Is It Good? [REVIEW]

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Pro Co RAT2 Distortion review

If you’re wondering if Pro Co RAT2 Distortion is a good pedal or not, look no further! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that model. Surely, it’s a really popular effect, but is it actually worth the money?

The truth is that Pro Co RAT2 Distortion offers an absolutely fantastic value. It’s definitely one of the best and most reliable distortion pedals of all time. Surely, if you decide to add it to your pedalboard, you won’t be disappointed!

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the RAT2 distortion so good and so popular. Firstly, we’ll have a look at the detailed specifications of that model. Additionally, we’ll investigate the main pros and cons of that model. Hopefully, this guide will help you figure out if it’s a good fit for you or not!

Specs & Pricing

Pro Co RAT2 Distortion review

Pro Co RAT2 is a highly effective pedal which gives you access to everything from subtle overdrive to screaming high-gain and fuzz. In fact, it’s one of the most popular distortion pedals of all time.

What makes it so cool? Well, it’s an absolutely iconic model that was used by a lot of famous musicians throughout the years. It is known for its versatile and hard-clipping distortion.

The pedal features a simple black construction made of metal – it’s extremely durable, so it should last you for years to come. It’s also really easy to use thanks to three controls: Distortion, Filter and Volume.

The RAT2 sounds best on high-gain settings, however it can also be used as a lower-gain boost. The versatility of that effect is amazing, so no matter what kind of distorted tone you’re aiming for, there’s a high chance that the this pedal will be able to give you what you’re searching for.

When it comes to pricing, it’s not exactly a cheap pedal, but considering how versatile and iconic it is, it’s definitely worth to money. Honestly, it won’t be easy to find a better pedal of this type, even at this price level. That’s for sure!

Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out below.

Who Is It For?

Pro Co RAT2 is suitable for guitarists of all levels. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re an intermediate player or a complete amateur. I’m sure that you will really enjoy and appreciate the high quality of that effect.

The RAT2 can be efficiently used at home during regular practice, but it also works perfectly fine during live gigs and studio sessions. This is a great pedal to have in your pedalboard while you’re on tour with your band!

It is also worth mentioning that it’s a pretty versatile effect, so it can be used in a lot of different styles of music. However, it will sound best in alternative rock, hard rock and grunge.

What’s important, this is not an expensive effect, so it’s suitable for guitarists who are searching for affordable gear.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority of guitar players will really benefit from adding the RAT2 distortion to their signal chains. It’s a great pedal to have!

Here’s an another sound demo.

Pros & Cons

Just like any other distortion pedal available on the market, Pro Co RAT2 Distortion has its own advantages and disadvantages. This is totally understandable – no guitar pedal is perfect. However, a lot of the cons of that pedal are really subjective.


  • Very Durable
  • Loved By Professional Guitarists
  • Fuzz-Like Tone
  • Affordable Price
  • Perfect For Rock & Grunge


  • It’s Not Ideal For Metal
  • It Take Quite A Lot Of Space In The Pedalboard

As you can see, there are a lot of things that can be considered as advantages of the RAT2 model. It often used by the pros and it sounds very good. On top of that, it’s not too expensive, so anyone can get it.

On the other hand, it’s not the best option for all the metalheads out there. The high-gain tones with that pedal aren’t perfect, so if you’re into really heavy genres of music, you may be a bit disappointed.

Additionally, the RAT2 is pretty large, so it’s going to take a fair amount of space on your pedalboard. But at the same time, it’s really durable, so it will be really tough to break it!

Overall, I’m positive that the advantages of that pedal outweigh the disadvantages of that model. There’s just not much to complain about, especially considering the fact that it’s not the most expensive distortion pedal in the world!

BOSS DS-1 vs Pro Co RAT2

A lot of guitarists who are searching for new distortion pedals often can’t decide between the Pro Co RAT2 and BOSS DS-1. Both of these pedals are great, but they sound slightly different. But which one of them is actually better?

Well, the truth is that it’s really difficult to pick a clear winner of that battle – it’s all really subjective. Personally, I’d choose the Pro Co RAT2, but I know that a lot of guitarists will disagree with me on that.

Out of my experience, Pro Co RAT2 works perfectly with Fender amps – they usually need a bit more mids. At the same time, BOSS DS-1 is an amazing choice when you’re using Marshall amps.

For those who are not aware, BOSS has a lot of great distortion pedals in their offering too. Check out my article if you want to find out more about them – BOSS DS1 vs BOSS DS2 Turbo.

However, it’s all up to you and your own personal preferences. If you don’t know which one of them will be a better fit for you, check out the video below – it’s a sound comparison.

Who Uses Pro Co RAT2?

As I mentioned before, Pro Co RAT2 is very popular among the professional players all around the world. In fact, quite a lot of really famous guitarists used to have or still have it in their pedalboards.

The guitarists who used the RAT2 distortion pedal include:

  • David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
  • Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys)
  • Noel Gallagher
  • Pat Smear (Foo Fighters)
  • Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice)
  • and many, many more!

As you can see, a lot of successful artists are still using the RAT2 distortion pedals to play their music. That’s pretty inspiring, right? It definitely proves that this pedal is definitely worth every cent.

History of the RAT2 Distortion

The original Pro Co RAT2 Distortion pedal was introduced back in 1978. Since then, the manufacturer has made lots of various versions of that effect. However, the tone of that pedal remained the same!

If you want to learn more about the history of this legendary distortion pedal, there’s a fantastic video on YouTube about it by JHS Pedals. This is probably the best source of information about that in the world!

It last for over one hour and a half, but it explains everything very thoroughly and it provides a massive amount of information about the origins of that legendary pedal. I highly recommend checking it out – you won’t regret it!

Alternative Options

If you don’t like the sound of Pro Co RAT2 and you have a feeling that this distortion pedal won’t be a good fit for you, that’s not a problem! There’s still quite a lot of really good distortion and fuzz pedals that can be used as alternative options.

Of course, it all depends on what kind of music you want to play and how much are you willing to spend.

Here’s a few more pedal recommendations based on my own experience.

Firstly, I highly encourage you to check out the Fender Pugilist Distortion. This is a dual overdrive and distortion pedal, so it basically two pedals in one box. As you can imagine, that opens a lot of tonal opportunities! It’s an extremely versatile pedal and in fact, it’s not too expensive either. Surely, it’s a great alternative for those who don’t want to get the RAT2.

other distortion pedals

Alternatively, you can also consider getting the Fender The Pelt Fuzz. This is actually one of my favorite fuzz pedals of all time! Just like the Pugilist effect, it’s very versatile and it gives you access to a lot of interesting fuzz tones. I mainly use it for indie and alternative rock, but I’m sure that it will also work well in a bit heavier genres.

Of course, you can also check out the Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer. This is a perfect option for everyone who’s looking for a subtle and tube-like overdrive sound. For those who aren’t aware, this is one of the most popular overdrive pedals of all time! Adding it to the pedalboard is always a really good idea.

However, I’m positive that Pro Co RAT2 already has everything that you need from a distortion pedal. It’s not too expensive and it sounds awesome – isn’t it all that really matters in the end?


Where is Pro Co RAT2 made?

Pro Co RAT2 is manufactured in China.

Is the RAT2 good for beginners?

Yes, the RAT2 Distortion is perfect for beginners! It will work perfectly for anyone who’s searching for their first distortion pedal.

Where can I find out more about the history of that pedal?

If you want to read more about the history of the RAT2 pedal, here’s a great article about it at The JHS Show.

Where can I find out more about the manufacturer of that pedal?

If you want to learn more about Rat Distortion pedals, check out their official website.


As you can see, Pro Co RAT2 is an absolutely amazing distortion pedals. It’s not surprising that so many professional players decide to use it on a daily basis during live gigs and studio sessions. I’m positive that if you decide to get it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

What do you think of that pedal? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts about it!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article and you’re searching for more pedal recommendations, you may also like: