In 1978, the most versatile and influential distortion pedal of all time was invented in Kalamazoo, MI. Scott Burnham and Steve Kiraly first had the idea after playing, repairing and modifying all the available distortion pedals on the market. They wanted something that didn’t exist in the then mainstream throes of MXR, DOD and even BOSS’s product line; they wanted a pedal that could go from overdrive to distortion and then all the way to fuzz. By 1979 Scott had perfected the circuit in his RAT-infested basement workshop, and the rest is history.
The PackRat is the ultimate tribute to the 40+ years of rodent evolution and its impact on the guitar’s sound. Artists from every genre have used the iconic tones in this unassuming black box to create their sounds, including Nirvana, John Schofield, Pink Floyd, Metallica, REM, the Eagles, Jeff Beck and Radiohead.
Building on the Multi-Mode pedal series that includes the Muffuletta and Bonsai, the PackRat uses the same unique digital runway system to direct the paths of 261 components through 40 individual switches. This means that when you choose one of the nine legendary or rare modes, you are playing fully analog circuits that perfectly replicate that mode, even down to the aging components (also known as component drift).
The PackRat supplies you with a myriad of Rattus norvegicus-style sonic textures. This flexible stomp really burns, able to churn out mild overdrive, metallic grind, and cacophonous fuzz with equal aplomb, leaning on four decades of tried-and-true — and some quite rare — ratty tones. Best of all, the PackRat doesn’t use digital modeling. Rather, it boasts the exact same components as the source units. So, when you select a mode with the PackRat’s rotary control, your guitar signal actually passes through a replica of the original pedal’s circuitry. Just about every pedalboard has a large-mouse-like stompbox on it, but with the JHS PackRat, you can have all the rodents.