Detailed Review of the Bad Monkey with a 30 watt class A EL84 amp ...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Snakum, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Snakum

    Snakum Member

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    From the test notes ...

    Bad MonkeyCeriatone DC-30 (EL84s, and Vintage 30s)G&L Legacy with Duncan JB on Bridge

    Tone Suck No change in tone is discernable with a single Bad Monkey in the chain and switched off, and no noise is present.


    Transparency When switched on and set to unity with the amp's clean channel, a bit of compression was noted immediately. More compression with this amp was observed. No switch noise at all.

    Clean Channel Boost Boosting the DC-30 set to clean yields a nice punchy clean tone, but with noticeable compression.

    Dirty Channel Boost Boosting the DC-30's second channel (EF86) set to a nice glassy breakup (cranked Vox) send it into a nice sustain and note bloom. The tone stays tight, but some note definition is sacrificed, though not as much as with the Mesa.

    Used As Dirty Channel Used to provide a distortion channel for the DC-30s first channel set to a 'hi-fi', punchy, clean, the tone stays bright and articulate and could easily be stacked w/ another pedal for a lead channel. Very nice with the neck single coils and the bridge humbucker.

    Stacked w/ Second Bad Monkey Stacked with a second Monkey on the DC-30s clean channel, the second Monkey provides an excellent lead tone. However, the noise is an issue and a gate is needed at gig volumes, I feel.

    Overall Noise Not noisy at all when used alone. Relatively quiet for the level of drive that it can reach. Using a second OD pedal adds a fair amount of noise and would need a noise gate for gigging.

    Overall Clarity Very clear at lower gain settings,but sometimes a little harsh with single coils at higher gain levels. Reasonably clear at higher gain settings, with both single coils and humbuckers. Even max gain is useable on the DC-30.

    Overall Compression Adds a little bit of compression at all settings, but not an objectionable amount. Compression increases as the gain is turned up. The inherant brightness of the DC-30 makes it seem more open than with the Mesa, though.

    General Notes Tube Screamer colored the tone and was too compressed and often thin; the ZenDrive was thin and processed-sounding with no transparency; the Direct Drive, Blues Boy were good but not better than the Monkey; Sparkle Drive can be harsh at some settings; the Burn Unit and FullDrive didn't have the EQ capability I really wanted; the Blues Driver was harsh and thin(ish); and the OCD and Crunchbox were excellent Marshall pedals but not transparent at all; Klon is great clean boost but a one-trick-pony.

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    Legend

    Tone Suck - putting the pedal, alone and switched off, into the chain and listen for signal change/loss.
    Transparency - with pedal on then off, playing and then not playing, but listening for change to tone.

    Clean Boost - boosting the clean channel to add a bit of punch and dynamics, without gain.

    Dirty Boost - boosting the dirty channel set to mild breakup to add volume, punch, sustain, and dynamics.

    Dirty Channel - used over a clean amp, or a clean channel, as an overdriven/dirty channel

    Stacked - a second OD pedal added before or after the primary pedal under under test


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  2. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Cool........any hints on where you had der Monkey set, tone and gain-wise?
     
  3. Snakum

    Snakum Member

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    On the Ceriatone, I almost always runn the level at 9:00 ... Bass at 3:00 ... Treble at 4:00 ... Gain is flavored to taste or task.

    This is actually my default/starter setting every time I fire a Monkey up with an amp.
     
  4. III

    III Member

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    I use a BM alot. I always hear additional mids though... even when setting the Low and High knobs a bit past noon.

    Great pedal.
     
  5. Snakum

    Snakum Member

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    It;s definitely mid-humped, but not objectionably so, to my ears. I like that it cuts through the mix and is so 'EQable' with the active controls. I love this little green thing. :D
     
  6. III

    III Member

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    Ok, good. Glad my ears aren't crazy. :) It is a small hump.
     
  7. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    Every review would do well to follow a similar protocol as the one you laid out in your post, Snakum; nice work.
     
  8. alivegy

    alivegy Member

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    I love my monkey. Works great when I stack it with my 808 modded od9. It defiantly has a midhump but not nearly as much as a normal tubescreamer and you can balance it out with the bass and treble knobs.
     
  9. nibus

    nibus Supporting Member

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    I have my monkey on my 2nd board at practice. I leave it at about half gain and never turn it off. THE best $40 you can spend on effects.
     

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