Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive review by DigiTech

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (138 votes)
DigiTech: Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive
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Sound — 8
I use the Bad Monkey purely with a humbucker-driven setup. My guitar is an Ibanez GSA60 and my amplifier is a Sound Drive SG-10. I use the Bad Monkey as a booster for my Beta Aivin HM-200 Heavy Metal distortion pedal, since I play mostly metal, neo-classical shred and experimental, though I also play a lot of rock. The tone is quite weak when the pedal is set to a trebly tone, but other than that, the tone is punchy and strong. As a booster, it shines by cleaning up my HM-200's tone a bit, yet making the volume louder and more middy. As a standalone, it shines when used to play pop-rock stuff like the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, etc, an even Radiohead, etc. It excels more as a mild Overdrive. The Bad Monkey, I'd say, is more of a Tubescreamer kinda overdrive/booster.

Overall Impression — 8
With the Bad Monkey, I boost metal leads, and as standalone, more as a mild Overdrive for the verses of rock songs. I play stuff ranging from contemporary Christian music to modern metal, and the Bad Monkey shines as a standalone Overdrive or a booster. A guitarist for close to 7 years, I know my playing style and I stick to it. If it were lost or stolen, I'd either get it again, or if a Boss SD-1 or Ibanez TS-7 comes up at a cheaper price, I'd get those since the three pedals sound quite similar (Tubescreamer kinda tone). I also like the fact that it has mixer output, and unlike most other Drive pedals, the gain level can be increased without the overall output level increasing as well. I wish, however, that it could have more of a personality than being DigiTech's answer to the Ibanez Tubescreamer.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Its made in the USA, so most would think it more reliable, but for me I don't care if it's made in the USA or China. A well-built pedal is a well-built pedal, no matter what the origin. The Bad Monkey does not disgrace it's origin. It is very well-built, tough, even though I bought it second hand.

Ease of Use — 10
Majority of tones that can come out of this thing are really nice. Personally, I use it as a mild Overdrive though it can go quite high in terms of gain level. I found my favourite tone quite easily. There are only four knobs - level, low, high and gain. So it's quite an easy to use pedal. Mine is made in the USA and no modifications, all stock so far.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Weybl Himself
    Tele Echoes wrote: "I play rock, thrash, hardcore (Christian)" Let's all thrash to some hardcore Christian music! Muahahahahaha. Seriously though, you earn 10 points for pure comedic genius. As for overdrive. I use the Double Muff, because in the words of Jack Black on cock push-ups, "Yeah, one's all you need." If you actually have a tube amp, this would also be a complete waste of money. Fuzz Face, or Big Muff and/or Double Muff are the best ones out there, in my humble opinion.
    Although those are all great pedals (EH rarely put a foot wrong) they are so totally different to an Overdrive pedal that you can't really compare them to the Bad Monkey.
    601210
    Weybl Himself wrote: Tele Echoes wrote: "I play rock, thrash, hardcore (Christian)" Let's all thrash to some hardcore Christian music! Muahahahahaha. Seriously though, you earn 10 points for pure comedic genius. As for overdrive. I use the Double Muff, because in the words of Jack Black on cock push-ups, "Yeah, one's all you need." If you actually have a tube amp, this would also be a complete waste of money. Fuzz Face, or Big Muff and/or Double Muff are the best ones out there, in my humble opinion. Although those are all great pedals (EH rarely put a foot wrong) they are so totally different to an Overdrive pedal that you can't really compare them to the Bad Monkey.
    agreed. And, a Bad Monkey + Big Muff sounds like pure sex.
    mickjones76
    fobio wrote: That sounds like a good deal for 58$
    You can get these for under $40, anywhere. Just for the jokers: this is an overdrive pedal for a tube amp. If you say it sounds good thru a solid state, than you are easy to please, and also dont know what things are for. I run this on ALL the time, clean, distorted, whatever, the bad monkey is never off. I use to it tighten up my sound, and as an occasional volume boost. Everyone should have one, but I think only half the ppl that do have em, use them correctly.
    mickjones76
    Atreideslegend wrote: basically this pedal is designed to make a solid state amp sound like an over-driven tube, but it doesnt really work, if you want the tube amp sound, buy a tube amp + tubescreamer, its the only way.
    OK, you just proved that you dont know anything. The Bad Monnkey is a TS clone. No sarcastic comeback, son, just stop posting stupid, wrong comments.
    bobthecow
    I use the Bad Monkey with my hybrid amps and it sounds amazing. I have both a Vox Valvetronix 30 and a Marshall AVT 50. It sounds wonderful on both, either on clean or distortion. I still havn't been able to get the exact sound I want... but as others have said, for that I need an all tube amp.