RAT Tail Distortion and Vcable Reviews

RapcoHorizon Vcable Review

Simply plug in an instrument, and this extra volume control is easily accessible right on your cable.

There are plenty of applications of one of these. There are some acoustic guitars that, amazingly, DON’T come with a piezo pickup installed. So, if a player decides to install one, it means a lot of work to not only get the pickup installed, but cutting a control panel into an acoustic is even more involved, never mind that it will more than likely affect the guitar’s sound. So, using one of these with a Piezo pickup without a preamp control offers up a much more reasonable option. Using it with a sound hole pickup works in a similar manner.

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So, for inexpensive acoustics using an aftermarket pickup, this is a cheap and easy solution. Some more expensive acoustics may have a great piezo pickup installed, but may not come equipped with an on-board preamp, letting the player choose one of the many great external, floor based preamps out on the market. It still leaves the player with no on-board volume control. This cable could solve those issues, as well.

Using it live is super easy, no having to look down at a dark control panel on the top of an acoustic, just reach for the cable, and it’s right there. Heck, using it with an acoustic that does have an onboard preamp and volume control isn’t a bad idea; crank up the on board preamp volume, and use the V cable control for an easily accessible volume knob or swells. It also has a detent, and clicking past it, mutes the signal. So, with the signal off, switching guitars is a silent affair, no pops, clicks and hums. The volume pot is rated at 500K and there’s no tone loss.

The only other way to get a similar performance is some external box or volume pedal, which means more things to bring to a gig, and in some cases more things to go wrong, or forget. It’s a super easy solution, and comes highly recommended.

PROS:

Gives acoustics an option for an external volume control  and mute, great quality cable.

CONS:

None.

STREET PRICE: 

10’:$59.99, 18’:$62.99, 25’:$67.99

RAT Tail Distortion Cable Review

The RAT Pedal has somehow never gone out of style; now that same sound is yes, in a cable.

At the end of the 90 degree cable is a 3-position knob, with true bypass, and two selectable distorted modes. Now, there is no adjustability on the EQ, (or in RAT terms, Filter) or volume or gain controls. So, it’s a bit limiting in a sense, but considering the circuit is all jammed in the straight end of the cable it’s pretty cool. The true bypass mode makes the cable work like a regular cable. Position one adds in the first gain stage, which is pretty cool for crunch rhythm, and going into the 2nd position it goes a bit louder, around 3db, with some more gain. Chords sound pretty cool overall in both modes, but low end riffs on the low E string seem to feel a bit farty and glitchy, in kind of a cool way at times, and kind of weak at others. Using it in front of an already distorted amp gives a bit of edge, and minimizes the low string issues. It does have the overall distortion character and flavor of the RAT pedal, but the lack of adjustability feels a bit limiting overall.

Bass players might like this for a fuzz bass option, without going down the pedalboard rabbit hole.

The big downside is the battery situation. It uses small 397 watch batteries to power the circuit that’s housed in the straight end of the cable. A player who finds the batteries dead before a gig might be out of luck if their local convenience store doesn’t have this particular battery in stock. Overall, it’s not a bad idea. But players looking for the adjustability of the classic RAT might want to start clearing off space on their pedalboards for one.

PROS:

RAT sound, easily accessible. Great for Fuzz bass.

CONS:

not so common battery size, lack of controls makes it slightly limiting.

STREET PRICE:

$59

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