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Is There a Better Tube Overdrive Than The Bad Monkey? (at it's price)

Brandon Butler
July 14th, 2009, 04:21 AM
I love the Bad Monkey, and I am not the only one! I gave one away to a forum member not to long ago - Here is the very one gave away being used with a flying v into a Blues Jr.

BcTb1fof0to

As of right now, I don't know of an overdrive pedal that can beat the Bad Monkey at this price. I am open for suggestions and sound clips/videos. I am very curious to know! Keep it at $50 and under, guys!

markxander
July 14th, 2009, 10:28 AM
I really prefer the Dano Cool Cat drive, but the Bad Monkey's not a bad pedal

ProToneThinline
July 14th, 2009, 10:40 AM
I have an early, US made Monkey. It's a cool pedal, but I just never bonded with it. The tone just seems overly "hyped" to me. It's either too dark or too bright.

Some fo the under $50 O/D's that I've used and liked:

Boss SD-1 (modded). Tons of mods out there so you can voice it however you please. Much more "articulate" than the Monkey.

Ibanez TS-7. This is a very under-hyped pedal. The "hot" more is great for lead playing.

Dano CC Drive. Currently one of my favorites. What more can you say about a $30 OCD?

DeltaLab Tube O/D. Very nice tubescreamer clone. No new ground here, but a good TS pedal for a good price.

MXR Classic Distortion. GC was blowing these out a few months ago for $30. Similar ton to the DeltaLab. Again, just a nice TS clone for little money.

The Dano, DeltaLab and MXR are also true bypass pedals, if that makes any difference to you. I use both TBP and buffered pedals on my board, so I don't really care, as long as I don't lose much tone. The Monkey had a noticable insertion loss when its bypassed.

FWIW, this is only my opinion, and as always, YMMV.

bowlfreshener
July 14th, 2009, 11:17 AM
I think there is an Arion pedal with tube in the name that I have seen some people like, and they are only around $20...

Jakedog
July 14th, 2009, 11:28 AM
I always thought the Bad Monkey sounded really grainy and harsh, others really like it... Here's what I like for under $50:

Delta Labs Tube Driver- $49 IMO can't be beat for less than double the money, and even then, can't be beat by much of anything.

Dano FAB OD- $15 Holy crap. that's all I can say. Is it the best OD in the history of the world? No, of course not. But it is the best value period. It'll kick the crap out of tons of pedals four, five, even six times it's price. It's not the best built unit in the world, but for $15 a pop, you can keep spares, and never have to worry about your precious boo-teek boxes getting torn up on gigs.

Larry F
July 14th, 2009, 11:50 AM
I'm down with the Bad Monkey. I have tried many more expensive pedals, but keep coming back to the BM. However, I am really liking the ZenDrive2 that I just got. It's $250, well out of the price range being discussed here.

hou35male
July 14th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Digitech Screaming Blues pedal. When I A/B'd them together, the Bad Monkey was way to "muddy" compared to the Screaming Blues. And I think it was only ten dollars more!

RJ

k tone
July 14th, 2009, 12:44 PM
I have tried numerous different OD's on my board. The latest being the Dano TOD. The Bad M always makes it way back. I have a Maxon OD-808 (boost) into a Bad Monkey (gain>75% - crunch) that has been on my board for months now. That pair never leaves even though I am constantly shifting everything else around!

ibobunot
July 14th, 2009, 01:50 PM
In the one step up the food chain department.... :grin:

ModTone MT-OD Dyno Drive

MI Audio Blues Pro
Barber Electronics LTD & Direct Drive
Earthquaker Devices Crimson Drive

There's nothin' wrong with the Bad Monkey though.

Chet Johnson
July 14th, 2009, 01:54 PM
I favor the Boss Blues driver. I have dialed in subtle boost with a tiny bit of drive when you dig in , all the way up to zz top type tones. I leave mine somewhere in between.

Chito
July 14th, 2009, 02:12 PM
Either the Danelectro Cool Cat Drive or Transparent Overdrive. You can't get any cheaper than these pedals. They are 'supposedly' clones of the more expensive, Fulltone OCD for the drive and the Timmy for the Transparent Overdrive.

electrablue
July 14th, 2009, 02:37 PM
I've been using the Danelectro Transparent Overdrive (version 1) lately.

trag-o-caster
July 14th, 2009, 05:07 PM
Are there any Transparent Overdrives left out there? I just went on a drive-hunt, and scored the CC Drive. No luck on the TO though. I think they're all gone, and we're all waiting for version II - whatever THAT is.

I really like that CC Drive though!

I tried the BM for a few minutes once, and was not impressed. I also tried it's speaker simulated out into the PA once, and was much LESS impressed. I've heard other people get good sounds from them though, so it's probably just me.

11 Gauge
July 14th, 2009, 08:33 PM
Digitech Screaming Blues pedal. When I A/B'd them together, the Bad Monkey was way to "muddy" compared to the Screaming Blues. And I think it was only ten dollars more!

RJ

The best part about the Screaming Blues is that it's a Boss BD-2 Bluesdriver clone, but Digi made the bass adjustable, where it's fixed in the BD-2!

I personally don't care for OD pedals that use op amps (chips) with an active bass boost stage. The Monkey is one such animal. Not only am I an analog pedal snob, but I also favor passive tone controls. The implementation of the Baxandall tone stack in the Xotic line is perhaps the rare exception.

davidge1
July 15th, 2009, 06:59 PM
personally don't care for OD pedals that use op amps (chips) with an active bass boost stage. ...I also favor passive tone controls.

Can you explain why? Im just curious.

studio1087
July 15th, 2009, 09:10 PM
I've been using the Danelectro Transparent Overdrive (version 1) lately.

Fantastic Pedal.....it's the Timmy knock-off. I love it.

Here it is against the $225 Timmy.

Ma6HjVb3doM

$38. Metal chassis. True bypass.

John

studio1087
July 15th, 2009, 09:13 PM
You can buy the Dano Transparent Overdrive right here - Linky (http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Danelectro-Cool-Cat-Series-CTO1-Transparent-Overdrive-Guitar-Effects-Pedal?sku=482332)

There are plenty left and they have $49 free shipping. Buy the pedal and three sets of strings to hit the $49. That's what I did.

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/regular/2/8/9/554289.jpg

By the way...the tone pot is a double pot shaft....seperate bass and treble....NICE!

John

11 Gauge
July 15th, 2009, 11:00 PM
Can you explain why? Im just curious.

Two reasons:

1. Along with boosting your signal, active circuits bring up the noise floor as well, in many instances.

2. It basically turns part of your OD/distortion pedal into a graphic EQ, which to me sounds "unnatural," for lack of a more definitive term. IMO, the harmonics, overtones, clipping, intermodulation, etc. sound more like a pedal and less like amp overdrive or distortion. It's almost impossible to design an active circuit where the crossover points don't leave "holes," or provide too much overlap. Or the "Q" is too high, IMO (I'll leave it up to you to research what "Q" is).

Good examples of passive tone circuits are the Timmy (and TOD), the ZenDrive, and the Rat, IMO.

Good examples of active tone circuits are the BD-2, MT-2, Dano Fab Tone (the big maroon one). The latter two boost treble, mid, and bass!

Fair examples of passive "mixer" or bandpassed tone circuits are the DS-1, Big Muff, and Guv'nor. I list them as fair because it's always a compromise to attempt to passively filter different multiple frequency bands and leave ample adjustment at the tone knob(s).

I think that the Timmy is probably the best example of all, since it has both a passive bass cut and a treble cut. With both at low cut, the midrange falls away rather nicely, IMO. With both at high cut, the midrange is more apparent, but it doesn't sound overt like an active mid boost.

I hope that makes sense. If it doesn't, go try a MT-2 Metal Zone. You can actively boost bass, mid, and treble. Plus, there's a pre gain fixed mid boost, and you can adjust the frequency of the adjustable mid boost!

JohnK24
July 21st, 2009, 04:48 PM
Gotta say the MXR Classic Distortion (or Distortion III - same box, different paint/name)...great pedal, less mid hump, nice top end. Almost zenlike in higher gain settings if you dial the tone knob in right (2-3 oclock). I just snagged one off ebay for $30. ymmv

holgaguy
July 23rd, 2009, 07:55 AM
Had a Bad Monkey and liked it - sold it when I bought a Dano Cool Cat drive and Transparent Drive. Both are great pedals for the money.

Ben Harmless
July 23rd, 2009, 11:25 PM
I know the pet pedal around here use to be the Nobels OD-1 (I think). I don't know if they stopped making it or not, but there were folks that swore by theres. I see Nobels pedals around every once in awhile, but they always look super cheesy to me.

I try not to judge the book by its cover though.

Verne Bunsen
July 24th, 2009, 12:02 AM
I like the SD-1 with the C6 cap removed to open up the tone. If you crank the gain, it will suffer from a bypass-bleed-through or whatever you want to call it, basically the gain bleeds through on your signal when the effect is bypassed. I don't worry about it though because I use it for very mild gain and it hasn't been an issue. If it's problematic for you, the mod to remedy it is supposed to be pretty simple.

bluemud928
July 27th, 2009, 09:03 AM
a good friend ordered 2 dano drive pedals,1 for him,1 for me.both are being returned.in this forum i've read that they're a great ts style pedal,that they've kicked monkey butt,that they're warm,etc...we could'nt find a store that carried them, we went for it anyway... geeez,that pedal sucked.i used it thru a champII at a small gig. cold, harsh,brittle.the pedal,not the weather. my buddy put his thru a 15 watt bad cat,same ****.i tried real hard to find a setting i liked and i failed.i guess the drive is a rock styled pedal.i play blues.this experience has stopped our order of the dano t.o.. for comparative purposes,i use a vox valve-tone,bad monkey,sparkle drive,catmods daddy-o,dano fab distortion for clean boost and a bbe treble boost.i've given away a load of od's in the past.my buddy has settled on a keeley bd,ts-7 and some clean booster. this reply is a perfect example how we all hear differently. the video shows me the timmy is worth every penny.

FenderGuy53
July 27th, 2009, 03:31 PM
+8 for the Cool Cat Danelectro Duo: CO-1 Drive and CTO-1 Transparent OD. Both are the cat's "meow" for my dollars.

I owned a Bad Monkey briefly, but never got "wow"ed by it.

spameister
July 27th, 2009, 03:54 PM
The tone just seems overly "hyped" to me. It's either too dark or too bright.

+1

I used to have one on my board, and now it lies in the pedal graveyard behind my amps. Only worked well for me in some certain circumstances. Also, I dropped it and the gain pot broke so it's stuck on either full or no gain. :sad:

Soopajeanmi
July 28th, 2009, 08:02 AM
Sold 2 barber LTD (black and SR) and stopped using the bad monkey after I got my dano transparent overdrive. It's awesome.

Nub
July 28th, 2009, 11:29 AM
I had a Bad Monkey for a while, I didn't think it sounded very good by itself. It sounded good as a "fat" boost after my other pedals, but I suspect most of that was the Barber Small Fry running into it & the Orange Rocker 30 after it. There are a lot of much better sounding TS-flavored pedals out there, for just a little more money.

I also tried a Dano TOD recently... like the Monkey, I just couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Even if it had sounded good to me, though, the placement of the knobs would've been a deal breaker. And I didn't think it sounded much like a Timmy at all... YMMV.

Colt W. Knight
July 28th, 2009, 11:36 AM
I have the monkey and a Rocktron Austin Gold OD, the Austin Gold blows it out of the water, but it was 59$.

ProToneThinline
July 28th, 2009, 11:37 AM
This monkey thread made me curious, so I dug out my Bad Monkey to re-visit the tone. I was quite surprised - the Monkey did a much better job at low/meduim gain (sweaty) OD than my CC Drive. It took a few minutes to dial in the tone controls. Too much of either bass or treble, and the tone does get too "hyped", but once it's dialed in, it's very cool. I was surprised at how smooth and natural you can make it sound.

TheDragonReborn
July 28th, 2009, 02:46 PM
+8 for the Cool Cat Danelectro Duo: CO-1 Drive and CTO-1 Transparent OD. Both are the cat's "meow" for my dollars.

Just got back to TDPRI after a few months abscence. I heard of these two Dano pedals
before but this thread made me order the both of them! Paid just under 60 Euro's for
both, inculding tax & shipping.

Can't wait to try them!

TDR

FenderGuy53
July 28th, 2009, 02:55 PM
Just got back to TDPRI after a few months abscence. I heard of these two Dano pedals
before but this thread made me order the both of them! Paid just under 60 Euro's for
both, inculding tax & shipping.

Can't wait to try them!

TDR

As far as OD pedals go, these two Cool Cats are Dano's flagship pedals. It's great that you were able to grab the originals and not the reissues. Great value for not a lot of cabbage. I think you'll be pleased. :grin:

mrcrappypantson
July 28th, 2009, 03:23 PM
I checked out some comparison videos between the CTO-1 and the Timmy after I heard some of those rumors going around. CTO-1 is in the mail now. Thanks everyone.

FenderGuy53
July 28th, 2009, 03:44 PM
I checked out some comparison videos between the CTO-1 and the Timmy after I heard some of those rumors going around. CTO-1 is in the mail now. Thanks everyone.

Firstly, the Germandude demo was slightly biased toward the Timmy (the EQ setup was disparate in the demo); however, the CTO-1 still held its ground.

Secondly, those rumors have now morphed into established facts! Both Dano pedals were successfully reverse-engineered and confirmed to be clones of the Fulltone OCD (CO-1 Drive) and Paul Cochrane's Timmy (CTO-1 Transparent OD).

richey88
July 29th, 2009, 11:12 AM
I have tried numerous different OD's on my board. The latest being the Dano TOD. The Bad M always makes it way back. I have a Maxon OD-808 (boost) into a Bad Monkey (gain>75% - crunch) that has been on my board for months now. That pair never leaves even though I am constantly shifting everything else around!


Me too k-tone. I had the CC drive for quite a while and really wanted to dig it. Was able to get some cool tones out of it on home recordings (using external EQ's, reverb, etc.) but got nothing but screechy annoying tones live no matter the setting. The Monkey is a mainstay on my humble pedal board. Would like to try the TOD, but now use the BM and boost with an LPB-1 for solos and stack sometomes with a Guyatone OD-2 (also nice for the price, lotsa mids though. It does sound nice with the BM in front of it, noisy as hell, but in a live bar type situation who cares). I also have the CC fuzz and really dig that pedal by itself or boosted w/ the LPB.

telekaster1999
July 29th, 2009, 03:05 PM
Its hard to beat the monkey.

TyPierce
July 29th, 2009, 04:08 PM
Digitech Screaming Blues pedal. When I A/B'd them together, the Bad Monkey was way to "muddy" compared to the Screaming Blues. And I think it was only ten dollars more!

RJ

Same experience I had! The BM sounded too muddy, indistinct and fizzy - like it was adding dirt around the notes instead of the grit being an organic part of the notes. The SB can be a bit harsh depending on pickups, but it's easy enough to just roll back the treble and rein it in.

It also seemed to have a bit more clean boostness on tap than the BM, for those that are into that sort of thing.

But yeah, I A-B-ed them, too, and greatly preferred the Screamin' Blues.

Also, the two Dano Cool Cat pedals - Drive and Transparent Overdrive - are great budget choices.

Nub
July 29th, 2009, 04:16 PM
Gotta say the MXR Classic Distortion (or Distortion III - same box, different paint/name)...great pedal, less mid hump, nice top end. Almost zenlike in higher gain settings if you dial the tone knob in right (2-3 oclock). I just snagged one off ebay for $30. ymmv

A huge +1... I snagged a Classic Distortion a couple of weeks ago, and it's definitely a keeper.

davidge1
July 29th, 2009, 04:18 PM
The BM sounded... like it was adding dirt around the notes instead of the grit being an organic part of the notes.

That's exactly why I like it! With the gain down fairly low, it just creates a nice fullness to the sound, but the sound of the notes isn't changed very much. To me, that seems more like what a clean amp does when you turn it up loud. Either way, it's just a great sound to my ears.

r.jones1116
July 29th, 2009, 10:11 PM
Its hard to beat the monkey.

Try spankin' the monkey. (sorry, couldn't resist)

richey88
July 29th, 2009, 10:58 PM
I love the Bad Monkey, and I am not the only one! I gave one away to a forum member not to long ago - Here is the very one gave away being used with a flying v into a Blues Jr.

BcTb1fof0to

As of right now, I don't know of an overdrive pedal that can beat the Bad Monkey at this price. I am open for suggestions and sound clips/videos. I am very curious to know! Keep it at $50 and under, guys!

Nice....no, very nice playing brah. YOU ROCK! I gots a Blues Jr. and a Bad Monkey.....have V gas now! That axe sounds very nice.

JohnSS
July 30th, 2009, 12:00 AM
I always thought the Bad Monkey sounded really grainy and harsh, others really like it... Here's what I like for under $50:

Delta Labs Tube Driver- $49 IMO can't be beat for less than double the money, and even then, can't be beat by much of anything.

Dano FAB OD- $15 Holy crap. that's all I can say. Is it the best OD in the history of the world? No, of course not. But it is the best value period. It'll kick the crap out of tons of pedals four, five, even six times it's price. It's not the best built unit in the world, but for $15 a pop, you can keep spares, and never have to worry about your precious boo-teek boxes getting torn up on gigs.

+1 on Dano FAB OD. Planning to get the Cool Cat as well, but I use the FAB OD and a Hardwire SC-2 Valve Distortion in my main signal chain.

TheDragonReborn
July 30th, 2009, 04:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDragonReborn View Post
Just got back to TDPRI after a few months abscence. I heard of these two Dano pedals
before but this thread made me order the both of them! Paid just under 60 Euro's for
both, inculding tax & shipping.

Can't wait to try them!

TDR
As far as OD pedals go, these two Cool Cats are Dano's flagship pedals. It's great that you were able to grab the originals and not the reissues. Great value for not a lot of cabbage. I think you'll be pleased.

Contacted the shop I ordered them from today. They say I should expect the Drive CO-1
after the weekend. So far for the good news...

The Transparent Overdrive CTO-1 is in "back order". It will take another..
gulp..8 weeks to arrive... I wasn't to happy about that but at least
they were sure that batch consisted of the V1 of the Transparent Overdrive.
Guess it is in a container on a slow boat from China.

TDR