EHX Green Russian And PROCO RAT

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3 posts since 4 Aug, 2011

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:19 am

I’m new at using pedals with a guitar head.

It was my understanding that you plug your guitar into the distortion pedal and then into the amp input, which is set to clean gain. I did this and it sounds like a muddy wall of mush.

At first I thought the pedals were broken. I have the RAT and a Green Russian. I switched them out fully to test. Meaning, I unplug each completely. Nothing is in series. They both sounded blown out obliterated.

Today, I happened to turn my volume down on my guitar — the actual volume knob on the body. All of a sudden the Green Russian sounded like usable distortion. It’s like the pedals need a pad prior to hitting the input.

Is my guitar too hot? It’s a passive pickup. It’s a 70s guild SG clone.

Should I be putting these pedals on the amp FX loop instead?

The gain staging on pedals is very new to me.

Any advice?

998 posts since 4 Jun, 2006

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:24 pm

Sounds strange.

Check the batteries are okay.

this might be a helpful read. ... nal-chain/

I always put everything between the guitar and the amp not in the effects loop, but I don't use a compressor as I have an innate hate for the sound of compression so am a little more careful of setting my volume.

517 posts since 17 Sep, 2007 from Planet Thanet

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:51 pm

How do you have the volume and distortion / sustain set on the pedals? What's the amp? If you have the volume and gain dimed it could cause the problem I suppose (if the sound of about to explode amps isn't your cup of tea of course).

I doubt if the problem is because your pups are too hot. I've been using various Muffs and Rats for years with all sorts of guitars and not come across the problem. Green Russians _can_ sound pretty mushy with guitar but that's part of their design (and also why bass players like them)!


Topic Starter

3 posts since 4 Aug, 2011

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:53 pm

I’ve tried many different settings on the Green Russian and it is really quite a pedal. Many different tones, it’s really astonishing.

The Rat is equally as interesting but doesn’t have the range of the Green.

This is what I’ve discovered.

My guitar, for whatever reason, just overwhelms the input on both pedals.

I did many searches on this topic and found that the volume knob on a guitar is a huge tool for many guitarists.

I put each pedal on the fx loop, too. This seemed to send the correct amount of gain.

I’m going to bring my guitar in for a setup and have them take a look at it. I had a tech “fix” the pots about 10 years ago. He seems to have disconnected the tone knob entirely. Perhaps he did something unorthodox with the volume knob.

I’m going to pick up an Ernie Ball volume pedal and the EHX volume control foot switch. This will be easier than my scratchy volume knob at this point.

I’m using an EVH 5150, btw.

With this input volume discovery, I’m discovering all sorts of new tones with the Green. It’s really crazy how much variation this little pedal has. I got a Melvins like wall of tone and then a super tight Pantera out of it. And then it does doom metal fuzz boom and crunchy Dio in the 80s. And it’s always FULL. Sounds bigger than the distortion EVH channels.

I run it into a Torpedo Captor X.

I just never knew the inputs on these distortion pedals had so little headroom .... or my guitar is completely malfunctioning with respect to gain.

Honestly, I’m fine now. But for the sake of this thread, opine away on the volume knob tricks.

Seems Jeff Beck was big on this.

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1672 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:14 pm

Yeah, the gain on your guitar is a great tone control when playing with distortion.

This is also why I think that guitarists have a head-start when it comes to applying correct gain staging.

Much love for the ProCo RAT as well.

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6417 posts since 13 Jan, 2003 from Darkest Kent, UK

Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:48 pm

Unaspected wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:14 pm
Much love for the ProCo RAT as well.
Absolutely, just waiting for the pots to turn up and I'll be building a clone (with the mod to allow more bass in). Should be fun.

1636 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:09 am

You should be able to get a fairly clean boost from a RAT at low gain. It's normal for muffs to give a dramatic effect under most settings.


Topic Starter

3 posts since 4 Aug, 2011

Post Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:36 am

How essential is a very clean channel for these pedals?

I have a blue and red channel EVH. I put the blue on about 8-9 o’clock and the master at about 9 o’clock going into the Torpedo.

I was toying with getting a big boy EVH (although I bought the LBX for it’s weight and size) or just returning it for a green and blue LBX.

I just like the two distortions on the EVH. And the bigger amp is bigger then I’d like to lug around.

I am starting to find the various settings for the different tones I like. I will be sampling the guitar quite a bit, so adjusting isn’t a real issue. Will most likely just bang out basic chords when live shows kick in again.

So, I’m just wondering if the little bit of rumble the blue gives is adding or taking away. Should I go super clean?

1636 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:59 am

Generally I find that running dirt pedals into gain channels has a more subtle effect; in that application it's better to think of them as adjusting the distortion that is already there. Pedals with a low-cut like the tubescreamer, Centaur or RAT somewhat compensate for the fattening effect which makes them easier to use this way than something with a lot of low end like a blues driver or Big Muff. I find the best way to use a muff into gain is either to turn the tone right up and the volume to unity (adding sizzle), or to embrace the fat and use it on higher strings.

If I were you I would dial in the RAT as a tight overdrive on the gain channel, and the muff as a wall of fuzz on the clean channel. But you could equally dial in the RAT+clean for a crunch channel or the muff+gain for Gilmour-ish solo sustain. Depends what music you're playing!

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