Digitech DBM Bad Monkey


What is it?
Digitech DBM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive from Distortion series. Made in china around 2008.

Bought mine for a very low price as an broken unit through ebay. As usual, my first suspicion was that the unit had gotten a jolt from wrong polarity supply. This wasn’t the case. Seller stated that he “don’t know what’s wrong”. But just seeing the unit gave an explanation why this pedal wasn’t working. It had been either thrown around in anger or kicked with intention to break it. The gain and level knobs were broken from getting a hit. I opened the box up and probed to confirm. Yes. Both of those pots had internal damage. In fact, the sweepers were simply ripped off from the carbon strips inside the pots. Took me a while to track down the exact pots and new original spare part knobs. Those did not come cheap, but overall, i still got away with about 25% less money spent that i would have used on a new unit at cheapest.


The board apparently uses the same base layout as all the other Distortion series effects (Screaming Blues, Death Metal, Grunge and Hot Head). Mix of Panasonic metallized polyester caps and standard small surface mount components. The design and almost everything about these boxes are just too modern for my taste. So these are not my favourite things to collect, but once i happen to find one for a reasonable price or as broken challenge – i can’t seem to help myself.

How does it sound?
Not too great. Very deep mid honk accompanied by similar tone controls found on DOD Grunge. I would say it sounds very much like a Tubescreamer alternative. Can’t say if it is any better than a TS. For my style of music and playing it is more or less useless. The EQ section offers more versatility than most other TS alternatives/clones,but let’s face it. The tone controls on this particular design have not reached the level of “any good”. If you’re looking for a TS with more bass, this might be your choice. Due to the fact that it sounds exactly like TS with more bass and the price of a new unit is somewhat unbeatable when compared to quality. Not great. At all. But for the price.. Very good.


4 Responses to “Digitech DBM Bad Monkey”

  1. Valentin Says:

    i also received a digitech bad monkey from ebay today. I was just looking for a simple tube screamer clone as the original ones are overprized as sh#t. Mine was heavily damaged by package service. The Board, case and jacks are perfectly fine but the potentiometers are bent and broken. Glad I found your blog searching for help. Can you tell me exactly what pots i need? As an electronics hobbyist I guess I can use generic ones, what matters is that the values and the character (log/linear) is the same. Where did you get yours? Can you send me an e-mail for a response? Thanks a lot!
    Greetings, Valentin

  2. mirosol Says:

    I ordered mine as original spare parts through local music shop. The shaft length and rest of the sizing specs need to be spot on, so i didn’t even try to look for generic replacements. If one would have access to original build documents with actual part numbers, then it would be different case.

  3. Valentin Says:

    Wow that was one fast response, thank you!
    Okay, I will keep researching. The pin layout could be problematic… The shaft lenght should not be much of a problem, as most generic pots come with overisze shafts that are then cut down as needed. I will need some new knobs anyway since they are all crushed garbage now.

  4. mirosol Says:

    I got a couple of new knobs with the pots too. At least it looks like it should..

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