Is This The Frankenstein Of Gain Pedals? Check Out This Half Tube Screamer, Half Rat

An idea that popped into my head has turned into a crazy cool pedal from Summer School Electronics.

I know what you’re thinking, another Summer School Electronics review on this website? Well too bad, because this one is basically as close to getting a signature pedal as I’ll get. What started off as a sort of crazy idea in my head has turned into a crazy cool pedal in real life. The Science Fair is half Tube Screamer, half Rat distortion, with a blend knob that lets you mix and match the two circuits.

Both of them are running parallel to each other, with independent gain and tone on each side. You can blend them in different combinations, creating all sorts of mid-boosted distortion, or adding some real bite and fizz to overdrive. Turn the blend knob all the way to one side or the other to use the pedal as just a great sounding Rat or Tube Screamer.

To me, this pedal is incredibly convenient for my studio purposes. I not only can generate and experiment with a ton of cool new parallel drive sounds, but I also now have both a Rat and Tube Screamer at my feet anytime I need them. All without taking up two pedals spaces on my board too.

Grab your own Science Fair from Summer School Electronics!

The Science Fair has really exceeded my expectations too, as this is definitely one of Summer School’s finest builds. Paired with the Snow Day Delay, they’ve now released two ambitious, and creative projects within barely over a year of existence really?

A lot of the tonal changes in the Science Fair are subtle, sure it absolutely nails the classic Tube Screamer or Rat applications. But you can really use the two parallel EQ sections to flavor your sound in not so obvious ways. One thing I’ve done a lot is use more brightness on the TS side of things, while rolling tone down on the Rat side. This lessens the harshness of the distortion treble (a common issue with Rats), but still sharpens the overall sound up a bunch thanks to the mids and highs of the TS.

These are two of my favorite and most used pedals, and I’m so thrilled they brought this idea to life. It’s a creative, flexible gain stage that will definitely inspire a lot of tone tweaking and some really cool guitar tones too. Even better, it’s still under $200, with a $164.99 price tag that isn’t cheap, but is certainly affordable in the boutique, small batch pedal world. Quite frankly, it’s just not overpriced or inflated like a lot of the other trendy pedals I’ve checked out in the past.

Check the demo below and let me know what you think, because I think this is a must try pedal from 2022!

Check out our other reviews of the Summer School lineup!

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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