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Rat Sound Newsletter December 1999

OK, so it has been a really long time since the last Rat Newsletter and a lot has been going on.

First and foremost, we are proud to announce that Rat Sound is now the proud owner of a legendary PA system (http://ratsound.com/pictures/harwell.jpg). Recently at an auction of sound and light equipment we were extremely fortunate to acquire 10 stacks of Tasco/Harwell PA.  To give you an idea of the magnitude of this equipment take a look at these sizes:

    Rat Trap 5 - dual 15”, dual 10”, 2”, 1” occupies 9.5 cu ft of truck space
    V-Dosc - dual 15”, quad 7”, dual 2” occupies 12 cu ft of truck space
    Harwell - dual 15”, dual 12” dual 2”, quad bullet occupies a whopping 80 cu ft of truck space!

That is over 10 times the truck space!

Unbelievable, unequaled and some say is the loudest PA ever.  The Harwell System is the PA that embraces all the theories we sought to disprove and here we are 19 years later owning one.  We have given up and are throwing in the towel, we sold out. Well, actually we are enjoying dismantling it and are selling off the components, except that we intend on hanging on to two complete stacks for historical and sentimental value. The idea is to have these ominous monoliths as working gargoyles to ward off the evil PA spirits when and if we ever get a new shop.

Tours and Shows:

  • MxPx was out with a Rat monitor system and a Rat Trap 5 FOH drive.
  • Beck had our V-Dosc and new MicroWedge™ systems out for a week of shows.
  • Peppers have been carrying a Rat monitor system on worldwide tours, including 3 European tours, a US radio tour and south America. Later this month they embark on a week long west coast US arena tour ending new years eve at the LA Forum.
  • Ben Harper was out with a 40 box Rat 5 system.
  • The Cult ended a second full production tour with a 40 box Rat rig.
  • Blink 182 and silverchair just finished a US run with a 56 box Rat 5 system
  • Morrissey has a V-Dosc system out.
Used equipment – We have lots of JBL bullets, EV 12’s and JBL 2”s.  We also would like to sell 4 Crown PSA2’s.  If you are looking for PA gear to buy or trade, email me and I will get you some info.

The Rat Cable Testers are done and I have a final production model (http://www.audiocontrolindustrial.com/cabletesters.htm).  They are being manufactured and sold by Audio Control. You should find info, prices and ordering info there.  They are really cool and I forgot how useful they are (I keep giving away all the prototypes so I never have one).  I was able to test an entire (extremely faulty) snake system at a show in Mexico, in 15 minutes. Just phantom every channel on the house console and in a few minutes you can check every XLR on the main splitter.  Then do the same from the monitor console and tape off all the bad channels. Bye bye nightmare and hello everything works.

V-Dosc has been doing great.  Beck and Offspring have been using it and it has been going out on tons of sub hires to ATK and Promix.  It is doing exactly as we had hoped in bringing new attention and appreciation for the merits of the Rat Systems as well as supporting itself.  There are many companies out there that after purchasing a V-Dosc their existing system was so overshadowed that it became obsolete and the company migrates toward being entirely V-Dosc.  The Rat system not only compares favorably to the V-Dosc but remains the dominate system in our inventory.

We bought a new Midas Heritage console and it is out with Beck.

We kinda ran out of money in the last phase of the Rat Cube prototyping.  We have two working designs and are working out the fly system.  It will be still be a while before it is finished, the exciting thing is that some awesome new wedge designs have evolved from our testing.

Two new wedge designs:

The MicroWedge™ 12 utilizes a new finish and new look that is unlike anything we have designed or seen before (http://ratsound.com/microwdg.htm ).  We had 8 of them at the Hollywood Bowl for the summer and they are slated for upcoming Beck and Offspring tours.

The Macrowedge 15 is a larger version and is a 15”/Tad 2” design that focuses on being ultra Hi-Fi.  It incorporates our new “ connectors on the bottom” idea.  No exposed connectors for the band to trip on or audience to unplug.  There are pictures  of the wedge at http://ratsound.com/pictures/macro15.jpg.

New amp rack design – Utilizing the new finish, we designed and built a new modular amp rack system that is the beginning of an entirely new packaging of the Rat System.  Check out the picture at http://ratsound.com/pictures/racks.jpg.

Other Stuff:

We had a DSL connection put in the shop and it is so nice to have speedy Internet. The main reason for the long delay in this newsletter was that my AOL account would not let me send email out without showing everyone's email address and AOL blocked me using our web hosting server because they thought I was sending SPAM.

The web page has been updated. With some new info on tours, designs, pictures and some bugs fixed.

Rat Sound and Industrial Sound are continuing to work together. We have been referring numerous local shows back and forth and we are continuing to grow a positive friendship and cooperation between the 2 companies. It rules to have friends.

Where are the Rats?

  •      Dave Rat – Hanging out with my short people and mixing FOH for Peppers and a little bit of snow boarding.
  •      Brian Rat – Monitors for Rage Against the Machine.
  •      Tommy Rat – Running Magnum Sound in Tucson, hanging out with his daughter and being the third point of the triangle of Dave, Brian and Tommy, that keeps Rat a stable and happy entity.
  •      Karrie – Coordinating tours, running the Rat office and doing monitors for the Peppers.
  •      Jon – Scheduling our systems, running the shop and was PA tech with Ben Harper and now is out with Morrissey.
  •      Smitty – Road manager for Blink 182.
  •      Bryan Worthen - House engineer for Blink 182
  •      Tommy LBC – Just got back from Blink 182 tour as system tech and maintaining systems
  •      Shon – Just got back from system tech for Blink 182, prepping systems and system tech for peppers
  •      George – Monitors for Offspring.
  •      Jim – House engineer for Citizen King.
  •      Tim Davis – Was on a Nickelodeon tour over the summer and now is prepping systems and working at the Glass House
  •      Tim Illian – FOH for L7
  •      Steve – Prepping systems and working at the Glass House.
  •      Hoover - PA tech with Morrissey.
  •      Sarah – Working at the Rat Office and keeping Dave and Brian sane.
  •      Danalle – She is our new bookkeeper and everything is running better than ever.

There is tons more but I will have to save it for the next letter. Can't believe we are going on 20 year and it never gets easier but it is still fun.  Anyone out there interested in helping us with Rat Web Page?  If so let me know. dratratsound.com

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