• Jam Pedals Rattler, Dyna-ssoR and Waterfall review

    A good sounding distortion, a chorus and delay will get you far and take you through any gig. Earlier this year I did a review of the Red Muck from Jam Pedals and I was eager to try more of their pedals. Here’s my review of the Dyna-ssoR, Rattler and Waterfall.

    As we’ve talked about before, classics like the Big Muff, Tube Driver, Colorsound Power Boost etc are all pedals most of us would prioritize for our Gilmour inspired pedal boards. However, they might not be the best choice if you mostly play at home on a smaller amp. In fact, they may cause more frustration than inspiration. Read more about that in this in depth feature. I’ve always been a fan of the RAT distortion. The pedal can easily produce the dirt you need regardless genre or setup – and it covers just about any of David’s tones. A versatile “all purpose” setup may not be the most exciting setup but it will never let you down.

    I’m using a Fender CIJ ’65 reissue Stratocaster with EMG DG20 pickups into Dyna-ssoR > Rattler > Waterfall (second clip) and a Laney Cub12 15w stack. Reverb and delay is added in Logic.

    Dyna-ssoR
    The Dyna-ssoR is, as the name implies, a mix between the MXR Dynacomp and the uber rare Ross Compressor. The Ross was indeed originally inspired by the Dynacomp but it’s considered a bit more transparent and smooth sounding. Like the originals, the Dyna-ssoR feature controls for sustain and volume. The sustain control adds rich sustain with a very mild attack – perhaps a bit too mild if you seek a more defined deep compression. The volume control allows a useful volume boost and it manages to stay pretty silent as well. Personally I prefer just a bit more bite but the Dyna-ssoR nails David’s late 70s clean tones and tightens up a wild Big Muff. I’ve always preferred the ’76 Dynacomp to the Boss CS2 and the Dyna-ssoR is a great option and way better sounding than the current block logo MXR.

    Rattler+
    The Rattler is a clone of the Rat distortion. The pedal feature controls for gain, tone and volume as well as a toggle switch for selecting two different pre-gain stages – classic Rat with a saturated mid boosted gain and tons of sustain and a custom Rattler+ mode with less gain, which takes the pedal closer to a Tube Screamer. The Rattler also feature the much sought after LM308 chip. Like the Rat the Rattler lack some lower end and it can be a bit noisy when you crank the gain but that’s part of its nature (high gain saturation and boosted mid range adds noise). I also think it sounds a bit dark and hard to open up on smaller amps but it manages to stay smooth on higher volume, whereas the RAT often gets harsh when you crank it. The Rattler is a great option if you want a versatile gain pedal that handles both distortion and overdrive tones. It nails most of David’s lead tones and just about any other musical style as well – and it’s a great substitute for the now so popular Cornish G2.

    Waterfall
    The Waterfall is a classic analog chorus following the tradition of the Boss CE2 and Electro Harmonix Small Clone. The pedal feature controls for speed and depth as well as a -/+ switch for classic mode and an even deeper chorus and a second switch for choosing between chorus and vibrato. When I first plugged in to this pedal I almost got seasick. With everything cranked and the vibrato mode engaged it sounded just insane. I spent a lot of time figuring out the right setup for that classic CE2 tone – the Waterfall needs to be tamed pretty hard. However, when you find the sweetspot you just want to play for hours. This is an incredibly warm and smooth sounding chorus sounding very organic and rich. Whereas the CE2 can sound a bit hollow and mid boosted the Waterfall is very transparent and handles both cleans and distortions very well. It also does a decent rotary sim although, like most chorus pedals it gets a bit detuned when you turn up the rate. I’m personally no chorus person and I think the extra features are a bit redundant but it depends on what you need and this is indeed one of the sweetest sounding chorus pedals I’ve ever tried. A small minus is that a pedal this sophisticated should have a mix control as well, allowing an even smoother tone. The Waterfall nails those Delicate and PULSE chorus-drenched tones and if you’re into the 80s rock thing, just plug this into a Marshall JCM800 and you’re the next guitar hero.

    Waterfall soundclip: Us and Them.
    Settings – 1. clean signal, 2. speed 2:00, depth 8:00, 3. speed 2:00, depth 1:00 (all clips with minus switch mode and chorus).

    Like all Jam pedals the Dyna-ssoR, Rattler and Waterfall is housed in a MXR sized box with true bypass switching and they run on either 9V battery or power adaptor. Check out Jam Pedals homepage for further details and more clones of vintage effects.

    The Dyna-ssoR, Rattler and Waterfall was tested on two different Stratocasters, one with Fender CS69+Duncan SSL5 (bridge) pickups and one with EMG DG20 pickups and two different amps, a Laney Cub12 15w stack and Reeves Custom 50w – both with Weber Thames 80w speakers.

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15 Responsesso far.

  1. Karl says:

    this sounds sooo amazing bjorn!
    amazing review!
    a great pleasure to enjoy this website =)

    [Thanks Karl! – Bjorn]

  2. Mrtin says:

    in my mind the mxr m 234 analog chorus is a very nice pedal. what do you think about it?

    [I haven’t tried it yet but I assume it’s very close to the Black Label chorus, which again is based on the CE5? – Bjorn]

  3. Thomas says:

    Hi, Bjorn,

    this is my first comment on your site – before asking some questions, I must say that your site is absolutely amazing and supplies great support for all those Gilmour-fans to achieve a great sound.
    In your review you have mentioned that the Rat is quite similar to the G-2. As I own the same Vintage Rat as you, I must say that I miss some bass and I would like to ask you whether the bass response of the original G-2 or the Toptone DG-2 is similar weak.
    Being an electrical engineer it is not that difficult to build a clone which should be quite similar to the original G-2 (i.e. R2G2) and I would like to know your opinion whether it is worth to build one and whether you have already tried one of the G-2-clones – R2G2 or Darkside.
    Thanks a lot in advance!

    Regards

    Thomas

    PS: Check out the new Digitech Whammy DT – it is much better than the old version 4; true-bypass and it is a lot of fun to play “Marooned ” with it….

    [Thanks for your kind words Thomas! I haven’t tried any of the clones you mention but the Rattler do lack the lower end like the old RAT. Perhaps not as much but I wish it had more. It’s not a problem on a loud tube amp but on smaller setups it can be quite spiky. The G2 and DG2 has considerably more bass but I don’t think these goes as well as the RAT on smaller amps. You really need a powerful tube head to really make these shine. It’s always pros and cons but the RAT and Rattler are incredibly versatile and you can always depend on them producing great tones. If you must have more bass or whatever, I suggest a transparent booster like the BD2 or ThroBak Overdrive placed behind it set up for a clean boost. – Bjorn]

  4. Jim says:

    That ssoR is definately that 70s gilmour tone. Nice sounding pedals. About time for another competition eh? : D lol

    [Perhaps :) – Bjorn]

  5. lukas says:

    Hi Bjorn, fantastic rewiev as usual. I have a question im up to buy a new Laney Cub12R, and i need a compressor and a booster for my muff, can i use rattler for boosting a muff, or the BD2 is a better option for smaller amps, and which compressor should i buy. I already have Boss DD3, and muff.

    [The Rattler is a distortion so that’s not a good idea for a booster. The BD2 or ThroBak Overdrive would be better. The Dyna-ssoR reviewed here sounds great and goes equally well with cleans as the fat Muff tones. – Bjorn]

  6. Thomas says:

    Hi, Björn,

    Thanks for your feedback! I already use my Rat in connection either with a Tube Driver or a Power Booster – the sound is great but I expect the sound also to be convincing when one of the boosting pedals is switched off. Therefore I will build a G-2 clone very soon. Nevertheless the Rat is a great pedal which I had used a lot at home with my Marshall 5212.
    Yesterday I completed my “oversized” Gilmourish-setup: I bought an original Hiwatt SA 212 combo from 1972 for 500€; it is running fine and I am absolutely happy (now I have three of them, all from the 70ies: 1 for dry signal, 2 for wet signal):-) Thomas

    [Great! – Bjorn]

  7. Parker Rhea says:

    On their website for their Red Muck pedal they have a cover of the Comfortably Numb solo and it sounds killer I WANT ONE SO BAD!!!

  8. Nihar says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I was wondering what your thoughts were on the Danelectro Cool Cat Chorus (from the cool cat range, not the older stereo chorus). It has a mix knob on it and most of the tones from youtube sounded very nice. BTW if you’re wondering why I keep asking about Danelectro pedals, I’m a fifteen year old boy who is trying to build a decent rig for under $200. I already have a MIM Strat with vintage-styled pickups and a 5 watt tube amp with a scooped clean tone (Bugera V5). So far the only pedals I have are the Danelectro Daddy-O overdrive (inspired by Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, my second favorite band), and a Danelectro Chicken Salad vibe clone (came free with the Daddy-O). Do you have any suggestions for my rig?

    Thanks,
    Nihar

    [Hi Nihar, what sort of tones are you looking for? Do you want to nail David’s tones or something versatile for different styles? Let me know, and I’ll try to help :) – Bjorn]

  9. Nihar says:

    Hey Bjorn, I was wondering if you got my last comment. If you have not, I would just like to mention that my parents bought me a new HSS strat with TexMex single couls and a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbucker that is “low-output” but still has a higher output than the single coils.

    [Don’t think I got it. Please resend and I’ll try to help :) – Bjorn]

  10. Nihar says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    Here is the old comment. Please disregard the thing about my guitar, as I now have a new one I told you about.

    Hey Bjorn,
    My dream tone would be the lead tone on Dogs. However, I also want to be able to play other classic rock tones, such as Tom Petty and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits). I realize this all may not be possible for under $200, but thats all the money I have saved up (my parents don’t believe in funding hobbies), so I’m willing to make compromises. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Nihar

    Anyways, I just think it is amazing that you spend so much time helping your readers. I believe I speak for everyone when I say I am very grateful for your work.

    [Hi Nihar. Very sorry for my late reply. Thanks for your kind words! I’m glad to help. Now, you have the Strat with TexMex and Pearly Gates humbucker and the Bugera 5w. Since you want to cover a lot of different tones, I’d recommend something versatile. A good starting point would perhaps be a distortion for your heavier leads, an overdrive for rhythms and bluesy leads and a delay. This way you’ll be able to maintain the clean tone from your amp and cover just about any tone you want from all of those you’ve mentioned. Chorus, phasers, UniVibe etc could come at a later stage. I’m not that familiar with the Danelectro pedals. The Cool Cat is a nice, transparent overdrive that allows you to boost the cleans or a distortion and get those crunchy blues tones from Gilmour, Knopfler and Campbell. Another similar budget pedal would be the excellent Boss BD2. If you want something a bit warmer and smoother sounding, then the classic Tube Screamer is the way to go. The Digitech Bad Monkey and Joyo Vintage Overdrive Tube Screamer clones sounds great with an affordable price. Distortionwise I’d go for the RAT, which will cover anything from Hendrix to Metallica. The stock ProCo model should be quite affordable. For delays you could go for almost any pedal. Danelectro and Boss has several models that should fit your budget. Hope this helped. – Bjorn]

  11. Nihar says:

    Thanks so much for your advice Bjorn. However, I am wondering whether a multieffect processor would be right for me. I know you have used some in the past and recorded a few Airbug albums with them (I love your music btw) and I’m wondering what your opinion is on the Digitech GSP1101. I know many people bash Digitech as being bad quality but my friend has both the GSP1101 and a Line 6 POD HD400 and I think the Digitech sounds better. I also would appreciate your opinion.

    Thanks,
    Nihar

    [I don’t have that much experience with Digitech, so I can’t really tell. I don’t think there is one processor that will cover all your needs though. Some have great sounding amp sims, while others have a better pedal collection. Besides, I’m sure you also have some preferences that can’t be replicated digitally. An amp and pedals will always be more dynamic towards what you want since there are endless options of items and how you set them up. A processor will always be limited to the programming, although most units today allow tons of combinations and variations. Personally I prefer Line 6. I think they’ve managed to make some really good souning amp sims. Go for the Digitech if that’s the model you like the most :) – Bjorn]

  12. Stephen Ford says:

    Honestly Both the Digitech multi processors and the Line 6 processors sound choked to me. I have the TC Electronics G-System and that has great sound over all but it has no Dist/OD (which I prefer) it has insert loops for your chosen effects The one draw back is that the loops are Buffered. I keep requesting for them to change this to a choice of Buffered or un Buffered but as it is a hardware change it will be a while before it has happened (if it does).

    All in all, there are benefits and draw backs and honestly I still go back to separate pedals vs multi processors a lot…to me those are the sounds I search for in my tone.

    Check Out the G System and its versatility before spending big bucks on Multi effects processors. It may be more expensive up front but it has a foot controller as part of the unit which can run a lot of money to hook up with other systems.

    Cheers

    [I’ve only tried the system briefly but I totally agree with your comments. It’s probably the most versatile unit or system on the market. I like the Line 6 POD because it’s easy to just plug in an record great sounding snippets and demos but it doesn’t nearly cover everything I want to achieve and it doesn’t come close to analog pedals, I think. Depends on what you’re looking for though. – Bjorn]

  13. Dustin says:

    Bjorn.

    Thank you for your recent advice. I recently bought the Rattler after you recommended it and couldnt be happier. I use it following my fulltone OCD in my pedal line and it acts as a perfect boast for soaring leads ala gilmour. Thanks again.
    Cheers
    Dustin

    [Glad to hear Dustin! – Bjorn]

  14. Bo says:

    I’m thinking about getting the Rattler Plus. Playing into a Blues Jr. with a strat carrying the TTS crazy diamond pickups. Is this the distortion for me?

    [Could be… it’s a great pedal and the RAT is one of the most versatile distortions on the market :) – Bjorn]

  15. Guilherme says:

    HI Bjorn, between the Jam Waterfall and the Costalab Choruslab, which one would you pick? Is the Waterfall capable of a subtle chorus?

    [The ChorusLab. The Waterfall is great but it’s not subtle. – Bjorn]

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