Working on my rhythm tone
So the weird bit about never managing to replace my Rat was discovering that, yes, the Rat is my base tone... so, if it cannot be replaced, I have to do something else to my rhythm channel to get me where I need to go.
The inception of my tone has always been a boost into the Rat. I've tried putting heavier drives into the Rat... never worked. I've tried putting the boost into many, many other pedals... also never worked. I even tried using the SFT into the Rat, which also didn't work.
What finally did work was putting the Rat first, and putting the SFT after it: my bass into the Rat really is my sound, and the SFT is such a natural, amp-like pedal that it does my heavy gain and thickening without breaking a sweat. Now instead of a boost into the Rat, it's the Rat into a heavier gain stage. The SFT is practically a tube amp unto itself... and for all the pedals that have made that claim, this one really gets the job done.
The SFT was actually designed as a bass distortion (gee... wonder why it's so perfect for me) but it has an amazing clarity and naturalism. Actually, it's got a kind of clarity I've never heard in a distortion pedal before: as a drive on its own, it's got an amazing, natural sound, even when the gain is cranked. Guitarists (as per the YouTube demos I've seen) get great rock tones from it: wide-open, Rolling Stones style sounds.
Though I'm using it in-line with the Rat to make up my heavy drive tone, and it ups the gain but remains clear and neutral enough for all of the Rat character I use to be my main tone, it is something I've come to use on its own: for the first time since I built the board, my "green channel" is not just a Rat tone anymore.
I use the SFT on its own for a light to medium drive, something with more punch that is much more like my clean tone than anything involved with my signature Rat tone. This is a great, natural drive, and it loves my bass tone.