Handy FX Muskrat: How Does It Stack Up To My Other RATS?

A few thoughts on the latest RAT-style pedal to pass through my hands.

Check out my demo of the Handy FX Muskrat!

Visit Handy FX or find your own on Reverb!

How It Works:

The Handy FX Muskrat is a undeniably fun pedal, packing lots of cool features and user friendliness into a tidy package. There are three clipping options, including an LED mode that provides that classic Turbo Rat-style distortion, in addition to more standard takes (Toggle = I) and heavier takes (Toggle = II). There’s also a Rangemaster-style treble boost on the right side. You have three tone shaping options via another toggle, to push your mid, lo, or high frequencies. This helps make the pedal much more flexible with different pickup or rig configurations than most treble boosters.

How It Compares:

I loved the Wampler Ratsbane, giving it one of the highest scores of last year, but over time I started to get some options paralysis with it. This Muskrat provides similar versatility and tweakability, but with a lot less of an overwhelming feeling. I have no good reason for why this is, it just is how I feel. And these reviews are going to start being a lot more subjective, to counter my very objective approach to UG reviews. It definitely out classes the Panchito or Black Rat, both in terms of versatility and sound.

My Verdict:

The $150 price tag feels great to me, it’s two nice circuits it one box, that work well individually, and absolutely come alive when stacked together (see demo). Especially has pedal prices soar to untenable levels. I have this on my main studio board right now, we’ll see how long it lasts, though I did opt to keep this over the Ratsbane and Panchito. I’m impressed and would really like to try some more pedals from Handy FX, because this one seems to be a keeper!

Published by Matt Dunn

Guitar and music journalist for Ultimate-Guitar.com and Guitarsforidiots.com as well as a contributor for Guitarniche.com and Stringjoy.com. Reach out to talk about guitars, commission a partscaster, or ask for a review.

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