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JHS Rat Pack Joyo Splinter

Proco Rat Clone Pedal | The Hits and Misses

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Proco Rat, possibly one of the most cloned pedal.

JHS Rat Pack Joyo Splinter

Unless you have been living under the rock, JHS just released their version of the Proco Rat clone pedal! So far, it has been taking over the industry like the Black Death. But is the JHS rat clone any better than any other clones that came before? Or, has it surpassed the original and claimed the throne of THE rat? Let’s take a look at the top 10 Rat clones that came before.


Joyo – Splinter

Joyo Splinter

Joyo Splinter is actually very cleverly named! The 90s will definitely know the Master Splinter of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reference! Splinter is inspired by the Proco Fat Rat, spotting the exact same controls. It is switchable between a more amp-like tone versus the original tone with mosfet/germanium clipping diodes versus stock silicon clipping diodes. The stock and fat switch does as it says, boosting the lower frequencies to produce a beefier tone at the flick. Cowabunga!

Pros: Getting the classic Fat Rat at a fraction of the price. Sounds really awesome!

Cons: The filter knob seems to be tuned too dark for most usage. I had to set it to 10 most of the time to get a decently bright tone. I explained more about this issue in my video below!

Master Splinter Theme SongMosky Black Rat Distortion

proco rat clone

The Mosky Black Rat Distortion is perhaps one of the most talked-about rat clones in recent pedal history. This is simply due to the fact that it is dirt cheap and comes in a tiny form factor! Traditional pedals are not exactly big and modern ones are getting smaller. However, the trend of mini pedals took off about 3 years back and everyone has been building their mini rigs ever since. Proco on the other hand has not been helpful. Fans have been asking for a mini rat for years. But instead of announcing a pedal in the “standard” mini pedal format, Proco went ahead with their usual rebellious character. The Lil Rat is 2″ wide instead of 1 inch like all other mini pedals.

Pros: Sounds very similar to the original Rat under Vintage mode. Turbo mode changes the pedal into the Turbo rat, introducing a fuzzier tone. Easy repairing and modification as it uses regular electronic components instead of SMD. Again, dirt cheap.

Cons: Does not look cool on your pedalboard with that cheap enclosure build quality. Obnoxiously bright blue LED requires a tape or resoldering a new LED/resistor to dim.

Little Bear R.Attack RT2

Rat Clone Dirty Turbo Vintage

A little less known Rat clone, possibly because it isn’t very affordable and the company has since disappeared. You can still find them available from time to time but the price has remained high despite being an old model. However, it is still one of the better rat clones in terms of tone. The only difference I can hear is that it sounds a little darker than the original. Though that isn’t something we can’t fix with an EQ pedal or in post.

Pros: It has 3 modes, Dirty/Turbo/Vintage, that is 3 pedals in one!

Cons: It uses cheap parts especially the pots and jacks. These will be the first to fail over time.

Mooer Black Secret

Mooer Black Secret

Not to be mistaken for Mosky, the Mooer is a different company even though they are both from China. Spotting the same mini pedal format and 2 modes of Vintage and Modern, even I got confused when I first realized they are 2 different pedals. This pedal features the same Op-Amp LM308 as the original Rat and that says a lot about the tone you can produce out of this tiny enclosure. Truly a tough fight between the 2 M.

Pros: This pedal uses the LM308 IC chip!

Cons: The tiny level and filter make it hard to see or adjust on stage with dim lighting.



We are all entitled to our opinions and legal matters should be left to the companies. As end-users, we are at the vantage point and definitely spoiled for choice! If you want something cheap and don’t see an issue with a China-made pedal? Go for it. If JHS’s 9-in-1 clone makes you drool, go for it. If you think the only right Rat is the original Rat, go for it. Because at the end of the day, the audience doesn’t care about which version of the Rat or clones you are using. They care about if your song (not tone) sounds good to them.

To find out how you can learn to play the guitar and compose cool tunes like our demo, click here.

To sign up for a free trial lesson, click here.

NUX Ace of tone

NUX Ace of Tone – The Go-to Overdrive Pedal

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NUX – Ace of Tone

Time to forget about Klon because NUX Ace of Tone does it all! This dual overdrive pedal is inspired by the Ibanez TS-808 Tubescreamer and the Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal. Both of these are highly sort after and hardly available for sale! Coincidentally, they are the go-to overdrive pedals for artists like John Mayer, SRV and Eric Clapton. So if you’re in the market for a good blues OD, you may have found something to fill up that last slot on your pedalboard.

NUX Ace of tone

You choose the order in your signal chain

One of the most annoying situations for guitarists is probably arranging the order of the pedals in the signal chain. We stick these boxes on our pedalboard using industrial strength velcros! Taking them off is not an easy task. NUX was considerate enough to allow us to change the order of the 2 effects with the pedal with a flick of a switch! Naise.

Nux Ace of tone signal chain

Sounds almost identical to the real deal

If you buy an inspired pedal in 2009, it will always be more of a joke than something that impresses. But technology and engineering have come a long way and NUX is one of the top companies today that is able to take a famous tone, analyze and create a version of their own. Of course, isn’t that what China does anyway? Copy and clone! Well let’s put it this way, Japan is the OG in reverse engineering a product, adding in their own R&D, and chute a better product back to the world. Nux is pretty much on this track!


Full video review on youtube

Words can’t share enough about this pedal. Why not view the full video review of the NUX Ace of Tone and find out for yourself?

For FREE trial lesson, click here.

Learn more about our music lessons, click here.

To find out our teaching approach, click here.

NUX Recto Distortion – Possibly better than Mesa Boogie

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NUX Recto Distortion

The buzz has been around the NUX Recto Distortion because of the incredible tone at a fraction of the cost of the original amplifier. Yes, we are talking about a dirt cheap pedal that sounds just as good, if not better than the full-size Mesa Boogie! Intrigued? Let’s find out more.

NUX Recto Distortion

NUX Recto Distortion – More than just a cheap pedal

That famous distortion tone

Allow me to share my knowledge with those who are unfamiliar with the world of heavy distortion. When we talk about rock guitar distortion, the brand Marshall quickly comes to mind. However, Marshall isn’t known for its ability to create the saturated distortion guitar tone.  The closest you can get is probably when Eddie Van Halen was using the Marshall Superlead, but even that is far from a saturated distortion guitar tone. Enter Mesa Boogie.

Mesa Boogie did not start off creating amplifiers with crazy distortion but I’m glad they did! The name Boogie came about when young Carlos Santana tested a Princeton amplifier that was modified by Randall Smith. After testing the amp, Carlos exclaimed that “the amp really boogies“.

Mesa Engineering then went on creating some of the world’s best amplifiers. Amongst the top of the list sits the Rectifier Series. Metallica, Blink 182, Korn, and Linkin Park were just the tip of the iceberg on the list of artists who uses the Rectifier series amplifiers.

As such, it is easy to understand why people are seeking to have that same great awesome tone in their rig. BUT here’s the catch. Mesa amplifiers are never on the cheap side. Imagine you are just looking for something that can get as close as possible to the legendary tone but not break your wallet. That’s when the NUX Recto Distortion comes into play.

Nux Pedals

Who is it for?

If you are already using a Mesa amplifier like my Mark V, this pedal is not for you. However, if you are looking to reduce the risk of bringing your Mesa amp outdoors but still looking for a tone close enough, this is the deal. This pedal, albeit being very cheap, isn’t targeted at beginners. It has such a complex-sounding tone that a seasoned guitarist will be able to appreciate. I A/B this pedal with my Mark V and I was certain that I have to keep this on my pedalboard! But before you go ranting, yes I agree my Mark V is no Rectifier but let’s agree that it’s a close match, shall we? 🙂

With that, this pedal is actually targetted at anyone who wants the Rectifier tone for whatever reasons! It’s also made cheap enough for you to just “splurge”.

Paul Gilbert Ibanez PGM Mikro

Paul Gilbert Ibanez PGM Mikro – Honest Review

By Electric Guitar, Gear, News 2 Comments

Paul Gilbert Ibanez PGM Mikro

Paul Gilbert Ibanez PGM Mikro

Terrifying PGM since 1989!

The Paul Gilbert Ibanez PGM Mikro is the latest addition to the collection and we notice that it has been selling like hot cakes! However, the Ibanez PGM (Paul Gilbert Model) has been terrifyingly awesome since 1989! Paul’s first signature model, PGM100, was made by Ibanez and has a purple body with pink painted f-holes. It features the popular Ibanez RG body with a floating bridge instead of a fixed bridge, like most of his later models. The fixed bridge came about as Paul started to develop his monstrous guitar techniques! I briefly remember from an interview that he doesn’t enjoy the feeling of the floating bridge on his right hand and prefers it flat. In any case, we fans sure enjoy the fixed bridge as much as he does.

Ibanez PGM 100

Credit: racerxband.com

Ibanez PGM Mikro: made for crazy moves!

Don’t be fooled by this smaller guitar and classify it a kid’s model or a toy. This guitar is made for really crazy moves! Ultra wide bends, super wide stretches and really just about anything that you otherwise won’t be able to accomplish on a regular guitar. Paul has been using this latest addition on many gigs and boy, the notes produced by this guitar is out-of-this-world! Words can’t do justice to what it is capable of, so we made a short video to share what you can get out of this guitar!

Probably the shortest ever video to convince you to buy a guitar!

In this video, Vinnie incorporated…

  • Arpeggios so stretchy, you need to be Rachmaninoff!
  • Bends so wild we feel like we were teleported to the Serengeti!
  • Chords so in-tune you’d think we faked it with an expensive boutique guitar.
  • Single note melodies that sing better than the Titanic.

Honest Review!

I’m sure there are many reviews out there about this model by now, but we just wanted to assure you with our most honest review!


Yes, the default string gauge is a little too skinny and the tuners are not helping the strings stay in-tune. Every so often, you will need to tune your guitar again and the tuners do not have the best gear ratio. But hey, these are an easy fix! We see this as minor and we are comfortable with using this string gauge because of the wide and wild bends it allows. We would advise you to upgrade to some locking tuners though.

Pickup tone

You will be glad to know that the pickup sounds really awesome! There is no need to look into replacing better pickups for this guitar! The amount of gain is enough for you to cover any Paul Gilbert songs easily and the tone isn’t like a typical cheap electric guitar. Really glad with the tone!


The only other hardware that you may want to consider replacing would be the input jack. Perhaps it is a one-off case but our PGM Mikro did come with an input jack that was almost impossible to plug in the cable. We swapped it for switchcraft but you can probably stick with the original hardware.

Bridge is very well made and the paint will probably not come off or tarnish any time soon!


A typical guitar in this price range will probably come with horrific fretwork. Not in this case, Ibanez lives up to its name as the king of the well-made mass production guitar. The frets are smooth and very well levelled! No dead fret or buzzing area!


We are not lying, we did not touch any of the setup on this guitar. The video you watched was played on an off-the-shelf piece! It is that good!

Paul Gilbert Singapore 2019 Attendees Take Note!

Win Paul Gilbert Ibanez Mikro from Swee Lee

Swee Lee Paul Gilbert Ibanez Mikro

Before you assume we were asked by Swee Lee to promote this, we are just big fans of Paul Gilbert and wish to share the good news with everyone! To win this guitar, simply buy a ticket for this show and follow the instructions in this link! We managed to get our hands on one for this article, and are glad to have it so that all our students can get a go at this amazing guitar! Anyway, good luck to everyone and see you at the show!


Rob Scallon World's Largest Pedalboard

World’s Largest Pedalboard, a Singaporean’s take!

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Rob Scallon World's Largest Pedalboard

Sweetwater and Rob Scallon sets the world record for World’s Largest Pedalboard!

If you are living under a rock, you will be delighted to learn that someone made any guitarist’s dream come true by chaining up a total of 319 effects pedal to 34 Temple Audio Duo 24 Templeboard ! A complete madness for anyone who understands what all these means. But everyone knows how this is going to turn out, a heap of noise! Still, it did not stop these adventurous people from putting it all together! I’ll put the link of the video for the world’s largest pedalboard at the bottom of this post.

But here in Singapore, if we have any talent at all, we are extremely good at setting the world records! Though some are really silly, we have some impressive records too!

World's largest pedalboard has nothing on Singapore

‘Senital’, a robot made out of 79,854 balloons by Ms Lily Tan and her team of 50 people!

  • Most number of blind dates in 12 hrs (536 was looking to get attached)
  • World’s longest Satay (140.02m!)
  • World’s largest cupcake mosaic (110.6 sq meter)
  • World’s longest Chain of Helmets (yes they basically align them next to each other)
  • Most number of Vinyl Records Smashed in 30 seconds (They destroyed 38 vinyls that day)
  • Largest Cha-cha dance (3379 participants)
  • Largest Limbo dance (1208 participants)
  • Most game of Scabble played simultaneously
  • Most game of Sudoku play simultaneously
  • Most number of people skipping simultaneoulsy
  • Largest Egg and Spoon race
  • Most number of people married in a single location in 24 hours

Point is, now that Sweetwater and Rob Scallon set the world record for the largest pedalboard, they are only sending out invitation to a boring country like Singapore to take it over. Or we may not do it at all because it seems the records our country did are usually rather nerdy! Anyway, here’s the video of the record setting event!

If you wish to skip the video,

Click here to skip all the chatter and watch him play through all the pedalboard

Click here if you want to see the part where all Hell Broke Loose!


electro harmonix pog2 polyphonic octave generator

POG2 Presets – You can’t believe your ears!

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POG2 Presets – You can’t believe your ears!

POG2 has been around in the guitar industry for a rather long time but it has never been a popular pedal. Many bought and sold it soon after because of the “limitations” of the pedal. However, these limitations are a result of the user’s imagination! Think about it, the pedal allows a massive 8 user presets to be stored and there must be a reason for that! Still on the subject of “limitations” of pedals, you may want to check out this other episode where I create TONES with Cheap China Pedals! Really interesting even for me…

In this episode, I share 4 of my presets that are guaranteed make you rethink the Electro Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator on your pedal board. Maybe those who don’t own one will now change their minds, and those who blacklisted it will take the listing off! To me, this is one of my must-have pedals ever since I bought it and the versatility it provides is still beyond me!