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Old July 14th, 2009, 04:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is There a Better Tube Overdrive Than The Bad Monkey? (at it's price)

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.



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!

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Old July 14th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I really prefer the Dano Cool Cat drive, but the Bad Monkey's not a bad pedal
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Old July 14th, 2009, 10:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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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.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 11:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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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...
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Old July 14th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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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.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 11:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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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.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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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
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Old July 14th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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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!
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Old July 14th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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In the one step up the food chain department....

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.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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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.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 02:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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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.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've been using the Danelectro Transparent Overdrive (version 1) lately.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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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.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 08:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hou35male View Post
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.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 06:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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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.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrablue View Post
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.



$38. Metal chassis. True bypass.

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Old July 15th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You can buy the Dano Transparent Overdrive right here - Linky

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.



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

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Old July 15th, 2009, 11:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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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!
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Old July 21st, 2009, 04:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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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
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 07:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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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.
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