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Picky Picker

DigiTech DBM Bad Monkey Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal



Sound Quality

What you've got with the Bad Monkey is a versatile stomp box with I'd say better than average overdrive tone. Does it warrant raves? No, not if its $40 price tag were taken out of the equation. But, it is $40, and since that fact can't be ignored...yes, it deserves a few raves no other OD pedal deserves. (Except the Danelectro for $15! But its CHEAP plastic body combined with the term "STOMP" box seems like a troubling match). Why buy a Digitech Bad Monkey? It's versatile. Big time. Rather than a simple TONE control, there are two controls allowing you to contour your tone for bass "Low" and treble "HIGH". Then of course it has the only other two controls needed for an OD pedal: DRIVE and LEVEL. Regarding its "level" control - this thing makes for a very, very high output boost pedal. Again this adds to its versatility. It dishes out enough highs, booming lows and sheer volume when the level is cranked to make even the most robust 12" driver begin to fart out. Impressive. Its not totally transparent though, so for those of you where complete transparancy is essential, the Bad Monkey won't replace a dedicated booster pedal. It is however more transparent than most OD's because of its two dial EQ controls.Included specifications state you'll get 18 hours from a 9V while Boss and Ibanez OD's average 30 hours. But when you hear this gas-guzzlers output, it's hardly surprising - this thing was made to push tubes into breakup. How about the tone of its drive.. Well, it offers the amount of drive/crunch an overdrive should so its perfectly adequate. If you're not satisfied then what you seek is a DISTORTION pedal. Anyway, The tone of this drive is... well, ok. I'd say a "six".. which is good by my picky-picker standards. But, the fact that you get all this: a booster(wow!)pedal, 2 EQ controls, semi-transparency as a booster, lead-brick weighted feel so it actually stays PUT!, and overdrive tone I'd regard as not bad at all(and not the best).... is a lot to ask in an OD. The Bad Monkey seems the product of a lot of thoughtful design by someone who actually plays a guitar. Even the battery compartment access seems to project "wittyness" as opening it is done easily with the tip of a 1/4 jack: something guranteed available should you need to open it. And it seems secure from accidental opening to boot. I've never seen this much quality and good tone for anything near $40. However, it's mere "good" drive tone that is neither bad nor great will keep it from perfection. And when the tone of a guitarists overdrive is paramount, dropping $200 for tone noticeably better hurts the Bad Monkeys greatest strength, its economy and versatilty. Still, its worth $40 and easily a good deal more. Because of its sheer versatility, for $40 the Bad Monkey is a must have for any electric guitarist: trust me, it will find a reason to be in your chain!

Reliability/Durability

Gets a ten till it breaks.. feels overbuilt. More tank-like than any BOSS I ever owned.

General Comments

You read the review, great for $40.. a must have. You'll have to drop $80 to find better overdrive tone, $200 to match this OD's versatility. Need an OD? I'd say buy it blind because most would NEVER return it or regret the purchase. Its hefty lead-like weight would slow the theif down sufficiently so that I may overtake and then procede to bludgeon... Yeah, I'd buy it again.




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