DigiTech Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive
The Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive gives your amp a boost just when you need it. It has been compared to the TS-808 but with having the unique ability to smooth out the distortion by use of the low and high EQ controls. Most overdrive pedals give you o... read more
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Not just another ts9 clone.
The bad monkey was my first od pedal, and remarkably, it's still on my board. Very natural and amplike, it nicely compliments many styles. It has much more versatility in tone shaping then a tube screamer, and much better value. Many claim this $30 box is better then many $300 boutique pedals. However, this isn't just another cheap tube screamer clone. It has a much different vibe. Once you hear it, you'll understand. For the price, it's amazing. A great site for the bad monkey is http://www.guitarforworship.com/?p=729
Right amount of tube overdrive, easily controllable.
This pedal is well designed, simple to change the battery, the controls work and actually do influence the quality and quantity of tube overdrive you get. Sturdy construction, solid sound, good price=good pedal.
My favourite piece
I'm using the Bad Monkey as my low drive option. It has a really bassy sound perfect for a low blues driver, but if you push that High knob it will give you all the sharpness you need for the more dynamic sounds.
Having the option to control the low and the high frequencies independently really gives you a whole lot of new options and routes for your sounds and vibes.
The only thing I would change about this pedal is the gain spectrum. The regular overdrive gain level is PERFECT however it really does not behave well on a low gain level (crunchy like sound) it also caps up pretty soon unlike the OCD OD for example.
My most favourite TS-Style Overdrive. Absolute recommendation. Better than the original. The bass and treble knobs makes it sooo versatile. My MXR M77 Custom Badass Modified O.D. has more drive. If you don't need more drive than a TS usally has, get one and get lucky!
During a certain period of time in the mid-to-late aughts, the Bad Monkey reigned as the de facto "affordable tubescreamer," and as a result ended up being a lot of young guitarists' first OD pedal, myself included. While there's some truth to the TS comparison, I also think that we all kind of undersold just how great it was.
It was also my first pedal mod project; at the time, it was popular to swap out a certain capacitor in order to tame the mid hump a bit. IMO, it also added some play to the bass/treble EQ, which was honestly what made this pedal stand out in the first place.
I've almost sold the Monkey probably 5 or 6 times over the years, but I just can't ever bring myself to quit this thing. I've A/B'd it with my own tubescreamer (TS Mini) and while the TS nails that sound like no other, it's hard for me to argue that the Monkey isn't... just better overall? Unlike the TS, you can find good settings that mesh well with a wide variety of amps and other dirt pedals. It could work as a first- or second-stage overdrive if you like gain staging that way.
At this point I'm sure I'm just gonna keep it forever. Even if it's not on my board, I think if I sold it I'd just end up pissed at myself later on :3
Plus, this pedal is primed to be the next Nobels ODR-1 (another OD I enjoy a lot). Like one day we're gonna find out that some session guy has been recording hundreds of hit records over the last 10 years using the Monkey and suddenly these original ones are all gonna go for $800 on Reverb.
edited about 1 year ago
A fine pedal so long as you don't pay silly money!
The now discontinued Digitech Bad Monkey earned its reputation as a worthy budget pedal that could hold its own beside well established and significantly more expensive 'classic' overdrives. If you can find one cheap on Ebay I'd highly recommend it as a first overdrive pedal (and hang on to it; 'upgraders' often regret letting it go). The tonal flexibility provided by its low and and high frequency controls gives it an edge in versatility over some of its more renowned stablemates. The gain pot is responsive throughout its range and overall this is a smooth, low to mid gain overdrive. An often overlooked additional feature is its mixer output; a passable cabinet simulator which justifies keeping it in one's gig bag as a 'backup amp'. Mixer output is how I connect directly to my living room stereo when I can't be arsed to fetch in an amp from the 'play room'. I use it with Fender Mustang Pawn Shop Special which delivers a diverse tonal spectrum due to its splittable Enforcer Humbuckers. The Bad Monkey handles everything this throws at it with aplomb. Now, don't go splurging silly money for this 'legendary' pedal. I score it 4.5 stars but for >£50 there are exceptional 5 star alternatives ( Hey, Soul Food. I'm looking at you! ) but if a Monkey can be found for around it's original retail price this makes a solid foundation from which to develop your tonal palate. It benchmarks well against a TS9 or Maxon 808. Tonally it's as different from those pedals as they are from each other but in a positive way, neither 'better' or 'worse' which is why some pro's find it a worthy alternative.
For when you want a tube screamer in a budget-conscious world
I sat down in the store with this pedal and the TS-9. The difference is small, but the difference in price sealed the deal. A $70 Tube Screamer vs this bad boy for a cool $39.99. You get that essential electric blues sound. SRV to John Mayer to Joe Bonamassa to Albert King, a tube screamer/overdrive sound is essential, and this pedal delivers. Even at high volumes, it doesn't clip (not that I noticed anyway). Love it love it love it. I almost always have it on now when I play.
Bonkers how well this thing works for the price...
I'm amazed all the time. I pretty much never turn it off because with totally neutral settings, it just tightens up the mid range, makes cleans meaty without taking away the shimmer, and sures up the mids in distorted rhythms and leads.
The Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive gives your amp a boost just when you need it. It has been compared to the TS-808 but with having the unique ability to smooth out the distortion by use of the low and high EQ controls. Most overdrive pedals give you one tone control knob thus limiting your tonal options. You asked for a pedal that will maintain your guitar's distinct tone and DigiTech delivered! With its rugged design, separate mixer and amp outputs, and amazing tonal options, this pedal truly is a Bad Monkey. From Blues to Rock to everything in between, it will give you that amazing overdriven tube amp sound that will keep begging you to crank it up!
Features Level boosts the output level of your guitar signal. Low adjusts boost and cut of bass frequencies. High adjusts boost and cut of upper harmonics. Gain provides smooth tube amp distortion to your sound. High adjusts boost and cut of high frequencies. Dual Outputs. The Amp output is for connecting directly to a guitar amplifier. The Mixer output features Cabinet Emulation circuitry for connecting directly to a mixing board or recording device. Specifications Max Input 1 MOhms Max Output 100 Ohms Power Supply 9V Alkaline Dry Battery Power Consumption 4.8Watts (w/optional PS200R power supply) Battery Life Approximately 18 hours (with continuous usage) Dimensions 4 15/16"(L) x 3 1/8"(W) x 2 1/8"(H) Unit Weight 1.38 lbs.