Take a LM308-based distortion, add two different clipping options, a clean blend, and an extra bass EQ knob
I have tried a lot of Rat-style pedals. I fell in love with the Pro Co Rat2 after graduating from college and finally having 70 bucks to spare to buy one. Still have that wonderful box, and it gets a lot of use to this day. But since then I tried cheap rats like the Mosky Black Rat, modified Rats like the Wampler Ratsbane or Summer School Science Fair, and boutique recreations like the Munnyman Panchito LM308.
The Science Fair will live on my demo board forever, because the tube screamer/Rat combo is really its own thing entirely. But this pedal, the Oneder Effects Red Ryder just got strapped to my main studio board and will be staying there for awhile.
I like this pedal so much I decided to write a review even though this wasn’t a pedal I was given to demo or review.
What Nick from Oneder Effects did was take a Rat-like distortion (hello LM308 chip), and add all the features I’ve swooned over in previous articles. Remember why I lavished praise on the Poison Noises Gaia or Heather Brown Electronicals Blessed Mother or Summer School Gus Plus? Because they were drives that had clean blend knobs, which is a fantastic feature! Well, now I have one on a Rat-style distortion. Brilliant.
As if that wasn’t enough he also added one very user friendly feature too; the ability to switch between LED (louder) or asymmetrical (more compressed) clipping via a little toggle switch. This was something I was actually loving about the Science Fair, using the Tube Screamer side to bring some compression into the loud, nasally Rat-side. Having that option here is great. Both of those, plus the clean blend also make this pedal ultra usable for bassists.
I plugged the Red Ryder into my rig, which consisted of the P90 loaded RWM Guitars Double Cut Tele and the Universal Audio Dream ’65 amp/cab sim. I had endless fun trying out some of the recommended settings from Oneder’s manual, and will keep dialing in some classic-ish distortion tones in the future. As you can see in the demo, there’s just a massive range of sounds you can pull out of this thing. And all of them are really easy to find/dial in. The Red Ryder is user friendly as hell, which is a major selling point for me.
What has made certain highly reviewed pedals flame out for me is the option paralysis. That’s not really an issue here, no midi, no programming, no poorly labeled toggle switches. I can put this down, plug in, and go.
The Red Ryder checks a lot of boxes for me. It can be a Rat, I can swap it between my guitar and bass boards, it’s versatile as hell, AND it is a reference to my favorite Christmas movie of all time. I really foresee it surviving awhile compared to previous pedals, because I’m having a blast with it. One last big box it checks for me is that buying one directly supports a musician from the punk scene. Nick Diener was a core member of The Swellers, and has also helps record some of the best acts in the punk/emo scene as well. Now, he’s got a successful pedal company and is launching a guitar company as well, so supporting him makes the $189 price a little more palatable.