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DigiTech Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive Pedal Insight & Review

Updated on December 28, 2014

Today I’m reviewing the DigiTech Bad Monkey tube overdrive pedal. Let me first say I love this thing. It’s inexpensive, has a ton of features and is virtually indestructible. I think it’s the best “bang for your buck” overdrive pedal out there. There is nothing at this price that sounds this good. Musician’s Friend has them for $49.00 which makes it $50 cheaper than the highly touted Ibanez TS-9 and $139 cheaper than the TS-808. In my opinion the Ibanez pedals are essentially the same pedal as the Bad Monkey with fewer features. I’ve been using this pedal for years and for my needs it fits the bill. I use it as a boost for leads mostly but it’s also a great for driving rhythm guitar. It’s very easy to operate and sound possibilities are endless.

Overview

The Bad Monkey has 4-controls Level, Low & High Tone controls(The TS-9 & TS-808 have one tone control knob) and Gain. The 2-tone control knobs in conjunction with the gain knob give you an enhanced tonal palette for shaping your sound. It’s not true bypass and will suck tone to some extent the same way the Ibanez TS and Boss pedals do. A cheap effects looper from E-bay will cure this problem if your ears are that discriminating. Mine aren’t. The tone suck is so subtle that I don’t even notice it. The Bad Monkey also has an extra feature that I found useful. There are 2-output jacks. Output-1 goes directly to the amp but Output-2 is designed to go to a mixer and includes “Cabinet Emulation” so you can add even more tone shaping possibilities to your sound. Another feature of output-2 that I find especially useful is that it will work with a pair of headphones.

Tonal Possibilities

The Bad Monkey Overdrive does an equally amazing job with both single coil pickups and humbuckers. Of course it does matter what type of amp you are using. I use tube amps exclusively and have not used the Bad Monkey with a solid state amp although I’ve had some good feedback. I have a friend that plays a Strat through a Peavey Nashville and raves about this pedal. The single coils give you a chunk ala Clapton/Hendrix/SRV type of sound. Humbuckers on the other hand offer anything from AC/DC to Skynyrd. You aren’t going to get a metal sound out of it. It won’t do Megadeth or Metalica, for that you’ll need a metal pedal like the Boss MT-2. This pedal is more of a mid-boost plus and is more suited to classic rock and blues. The trick is to get it to the point just before break up where it gets creamy. You’ll have fun exploring with the knobs.

Consensus

The Digitech Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive pedal is one of the most affordable and efficient effects pedals out there. Whether you are a beginner still looking for your signature tone or a seasoned professional that is fed up with overpriced “boutique” pedals that don’t live up to their hype, the Digitech Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive pedal is your ticket to tonal bliss. Try it, you’ll love it! I have included a short video clip below. Check it out!

A little dusty from it's home on the pedal board.
A little dusty from it's home on the pedal board.

DigiTech Bad Monkey Pedal Review

5 stars for DigiTech Bad Monkey Guitar Tube Overdrive Effects Pedal

Bad Monkey Short Video Clip

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