Rat pedals have always represented something of a holy grail for guitar players in that they sound excellent when used either on their own or to boost an amp on the point of break-up.
If you find the original Rats too difficult to locate, or you don't necessarily require the sheer level of filth available via the Turbo Rat, this new model (which pays homage to old-school film star James Cagney in name only) offers a slightly smoother fuzz that leads to an almost infinite sustain.
The durable squat chassis is instantly recognisable, and the trick here is the pedal's ability to add just about 3dB of compression to the basic overdrive tone.
As you'd expect, this smooths proceedings off considerably and, although the YDR can be extremely dirty, the precise nature of all three controls allows for very accurate levels of tone tailoring.
We suggest experimenting with both the distortion and filter controls at the outset. For example, if you dial in a high level of drive and rotate the filter knob clockwise, you can remove increasing amounts of high end to leave yourself with a Santana-like soupy sustain.
At lower levels the pedal is equally inspirational, capable of swinging between a Highway To Hell blues crunch, a silky Clapton lead tone and fulsome chords. Meanwhile, upping the gain and opening the filter allows you to play with the gamut of classic crunchy rock tones.
There's no danger of the YDR bucking the trend of excellent Pro Co units. It's well-made, robust in the extreme and is far more versatile then you'd expect from its name. A decent price tops off yet another great Rat pedal.