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GNAWER-308 - Modified Vintage Style Distortion

The GNAWER-308 draws influence from my well loved and heavily modified late 1980’s ProCo RAT 2 * distortion pedal.

But that was just my starting point, so it is certainly not “yet another RAT clone”!!!

In comparison, the circuit is much altered and streamlined to capture the magic of my favourite modified settings of this one specific pedal, whilst improving on many elements I wasn't so keen on. This results in increased headroom, volume, clarity, dynamics and fullness, with less of the intense gaining up of the high-midrange and treble frequencies that could make the original pedal sound harsh and nasal.

To capture the unique feel and response of this old classic distortion pedal, I had to use the fabled LM-308 op-amp at the heart of the GNAWER-308. This is paired with higher threshold asymmetric hard clipping to create a detailed distortion response that is open and dynamic at lower gain settings and thick and compressed at high gain settings.

I always put a lot of care into the feel and taper of the controls in my pedals. So this is another aspect I wanted to improve upon in comparison to the original vintage circuit design. You’ll find the sweep of the controls to be smooth, with useful and musical settings easy to dial in across their whole range.

The GNAW control adjusts the gain and distortion level of the GNAWER, ranging from dynamic and characterful lower gain overdrive, to thick and aggressive high gain distortion tones.

The LOUD control adjusts the master output volume, with a wide range of boost and cut available.

The BITE control adjusts the treble amount and presence of the tone. Lower settings will give warmer and darker tones. Higher settings open up this low-pass-filtering for clearer tones with more presence.

There is a trim control within the GNAWER which adjust the frequency and gain response of the distortion. This is preset to give a balanced and full response, but can be adjusted by the user to give a more aggressive response in the high frequencies, or a warmer and more relaxed tone.

GNAW = Gain / Distortion

LOUD = Master output volume level.

BITE = Treble / Presence 

ON = True bypass footswitch with ON status indicate by lit white LED.

IN = 6.35mm (1/4”) mono jack cable input.

OUT = 6.35mm (1/4”) mono jack cable output.

9V = 9V DC 2.1mm centre negative power supply input.

The current draw of the GNAWER-308 is less than 10mA.

I recommend using a good quality regulated 9V DC power supply.

NOSE = Internal trim control for the frequency and gain response.

  • The terms “ProCo RAT 2” and “RAT” are products and trademarks of ProCo and Act Audio, with whom NRG Effects has no affiliation. These terms and comparisons to this product are only used for descriptive purposes.