I visited the EHX booth at the 2019 Guitar Summit in Mannheim and was chatting with the representative about distortion pedals. I told him that I loved the sound of the ProCo Rat 2, but that it was just too noisy to be useful to me. He informed me that EHX would soon be rolling out a pedal that was "very similar" to the Rat 2, but with more modern circuitry. Unfortunately, he didn't have a sample on hand for me to try out, so I forgot about it until recently.
I ordered the Flatiron Fuzz from Thomann, hoping that it would fill the void left by my dearly departed Rat 2. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Flatiron offers pretty much the same range of tones as the Rat 2, but without the noisy 1980s circuitry.
It has some additional advantages:
1) The casing is of a modern style which, unlike the ProCo, mounts easily onto my pedalboard with hook-and-pile tape.
2) It is smaller than the Rat 2 and takes less room.
3) The input, output, and power connection are more suitable for a pedalboard.
It also has one of the main disadvantages of the ProCo model - namely a single "filter" (i.e. "tone") knob, which makes it difficult to dial in my tone as precisely as I would like.
The sound, though, is great. I can go from slightly overdriven to buzz-saw distortion to full-on fuzz just like the original, but without the unwanted noise. I also eliminates a pesky Buzzy-rattling sound that my original Rat 2 had.
This is not my only distortion pedal and it is not my MAIN distortion pedal, but it is a great addition to my board and I am very happy with it.
As always, Thomann's service and delivery were superb.
I highly recommend this pedal if you play rock, rad rock, or metal.