DigiTech Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive Reviews
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 ... read more
Trusted musician and artist reviews for DigiTech Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive
Based on 28 Reviews
a really nice nd affordable alternative to a TS9
Digitech's bad money is literally a tubescreamer variant with treble and bass controls. I acquired one of these for like $20 when I was fiddling with TS9 alternatives many years ago. I quite liked it through a fender amp although the tone controls never worked the way I imagined they would... but I spent much more on pedals by xotic in this style and had a similar experience. In the end I really like the SD1 and MXR Custom Badass... I prefer the clipping and voicing and I definitely find the 100hz knob on the MXR to be the most useful additional tone control ever on a soft-clip overdrive. If I wanted extra knobs on a symmetrical clipping TS type pedal I would get a green rhino mk2. But for the price you may have a love affair with the bad monkey. Its a really fine pedal.
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
edited 4 months ago
During a certain period of time in the mid-aughts, the Bad Monkey reigned as the de facto "affordable tube screamer," and as a result ended up being a lot of young guitarists' first overdrive pedal, myself included. While there's some truth to the TS comparison, I also think that it's surprisingly underrated in its own right.
I've almost sold the Monkey probably 5 or 6 times over the years, but I just can't ever bring myself to do it. I've A/B'd it with several other great overdrive pedals over the years and whether or not I'd say it's my "favorite," I'd certainly say that it keeps up with the best. Also, I think that most guitarists could use a spare overdrive pedal on the shelf, because they can end up being useful for a variety of purposes. And this one is better for that than most, because the separated bass and treble EQ means it works great as a solo boost when you want to stack it after your main drive and sculpt the frequencies a bit. I often used it for that purpose back in my college days and it never let me down.
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 :p
Plus, I have a theory that 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 flip for a mint on Reverb.
Amazing bass OD
As I understand it, the Bad Monkey is just a Tubescreamer clone, but I've never heard anything this good in terms of OD. The key to using it with bass is turning both EQ knobs to max, using extremely high drive from your pre-amp or using a boost pedal, turning the gain as you'd like, and then turn down the level to unity so as to not get the full on distorted sound it'll give if you push it too hard. The cab sim sounds phenomenal. This is my only always-on OD/dist/fuzz pedal!
Fantastic TS type pedal
The Bad Monkey was SO good that Ibanez had to step in and tell Digitech to back the F off... its a fantastic cheap alternative to a TS pedal and I prefer it to any TS's ive tried (TS808, TS9, Mooer Green Mile, TS Mini) with the exception being the Boss Blues Driver. This is most likely because i never liked the nasally tone i found you get with a TS. I found the likes of the TS mini and the Mooer to be far too dark for my taste. The fact that you can use this straight into a PA means i have 3, one on my board, one in my bag on the off chance my amp decides it doesnt like living anymore and the 3rd boxed up at home as a backup. Get them while they are cheap.. or dont so i can keep buying them as i see them!
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!
edited almost 2 years 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.
Everybody's got something to hide except my and my monkey
What's small, green, ugly as hell, but works perfectly as a gain booster to push my drives and distortions? The Bad Monkey of course. The best bang for the buck pedal in my set. Besides, if your'e using batteries instead of a dc power unit, it will sound even more sweet. The mixer output is a great feature too, not only to send the signal directly to a mixer but to make the monkey behave more like a transparent drive with absolutely no buzz. Just loving it!
I've bought the pedal because I was looking for the sound of a Ibanez Tube Screamer, but I didn't have the money to buy one. The Bad Monkey is a great, cheap alternative for the Tube Screamer. Of course, the Tube Screamer sounds slightly better, but the price-quality of the Bad Monkey pedal is phenomenal!
The cheapest, the trashiest
This pedal is CRAZY. It was dirty cheap when my guitarist got it, eventually it made its way to my board. I personally use it to boost my solos, super high gain and highs. It gives my bass a Lemmy-ish tone, with a lot of sustain and feedback. It's crazy how good it sounds considering the price tag. It's also very well built, and sometimes I use the extra mixer output to run the bass through a guitar amp and basically annoy everyone and everything
Great affordable tube screamer
In a blind test it wouldn't quite fool you when pitched against a real tube screamer, but I prefer this over the real thing because of the increased amount of distortion available and the individual treble and bass controls. The price is also incredible.
edited 4 days ago
One day it just stopped working - but it turned out it was the battery connector that had gone bad but it still didn't run as expected on a 9V P/S. After trying it with the 9V 10W power supply from an old Alesis Microverb 3 it suddenly started working again.