Proco Rat 2 Review
Our Verdict and Review Summary
While we find the ProCo Rat's tone a little bit muffled and uncomfortable as both a full distortion or a fuzz pedal, it's a high-value option for those that like the Rat's sound and want a cheaper solution. It can't do metal or modern rock, but for grunge and more vintage sounds, the Rat certainly holds its own.
The ProCot Rat 2 has been on a slew of professional pedalboards, but is it a good fit for your rig? What does it sound like? Does the tone live up to the hype we've seen for this pedal over the years?
We'll answer these questions in our full ProCo Rat 2 review, covering the pedal's basic features, tone quality, and most ideal fit.
Note that this review is conducted based on first hand experience and that we actually bought the pedal in order to use and test it.
If you have questions about the ProCo Rat 2, or about our review process, feel free to get in touch via the comments section below. We answer all comments and will jump in quickly to help out as much as possible.
The first thing to note about the Rat 2 is that it's probably as much a fuzz pedal as it is a distortion pedal. In practice, it falls somewhere between those two extremes, producing an edgy distortion but with a smoothness to it that almost covers over the edginess.
In this section we've built a comparison table that allows you to compare the ProCo Rat 2 with similar fuzz pedals. We've avoided including distortion pedals in this table because of the Rat's fuzz-like tone, so the comparisons will make more sense. Use the compare buttons to see pricing and basic specs and consider using the orange Sweetwater buttons to purchase gear and support our site at no extra cost to you.
ProCo Rat 2
Behringer SF300 Super Fuzz
Boss FZ-5 Fuzz
Way Huge Swollen Pick Fuzz
Basic Scoring, Pros, and Cons
IDEAL FOR: Grunge, 90s rock, punk, and fuzz tones
The Filter works like high and low pass filters, which leads the pedal to struggle breaking through on bass-heavy settings. It just gets covered over when that side of the filter is heavily engaged. We do like the tone on lower volume settings, though we should caution that the pedal does not provide a lot of sustain.
This demo goes through all those settings without any talking or filler. We'd recommend giving it a listen before buying to see if it's something that we meet your expectations.
It's good for grunge and classic rock, but heavier modern tones are not achievable on this pedal.
On a positive note, this pedal is built like an absolute tank, with a hard metal casing and metal panels lining each side. Even the knobs seem heavily fortified, able to withstand any abuse it might encounter in a practical scenario. We always felt like the simpler the pedal, the more sturdy it felt from a casing standpoint. That's probably not always true, but it definitely seems to be the case with the ProCo Rat 2.
For years this pedal has sat at a predictable price point - under $70, usually around $60 or $65.
While that could certainly change depending on economic conditions, we'd consider the Rat 2 one of the higher-value fuzz/distortion pedals on the market, just because it does give you a workable tone for under $90, which you typically don't get unless you're going with budget-brand fuzz pedals.
Read the full review: Behringer SF300
Despite having our complaints about the tone of this pedal, we recognize that it does have a lot of workable settings and can be had for an incredibly decent price point.
In our rating system, that gives it a value score in the mid 80s, so you're definitely getting your money's worth.
Final Thoughts & Questions
The ProCo Rat 2 is most at home as a grunge distortion or a fuzz pedal. We wouldn't recommend it for modern rock or heavy metal tasks, but it's a good buy-low candidate for those that like what they hear in the demos.
It won't break and it'll certainly do the job of providing moderate gain tones that are steady, decently high quality, and worth the price of admission.
We see why ProCo has been keeping this pedal in circulation for so long.
If you like the tone, buy confidently. If you want something heavier and more metal look elsewhere.
Again, feel free to drop questions and thoughts in the comments section below. We'll see you there.