JHS Pedals responds to DigiTech Bad Monkey price hikes: “Learn to listen with your ears and not trends, and you will be a much happier guitarist”

JHS Pedals has released a statement in response to rapidly rising DigiTech Bad Monkey prices, after the affordable overdrive pedal received a wave of renewed demand following a recent pedal demo from the effects specialist.

Two days ago, the JHS Pedals YouTube channel posted a 16-minute video that saw brand founder Josh Scott pit the Bad Monkey against a range of popular OD stompboxes, with a side-by-side shootout alongside the Klon Centaur drawing particular attention.

In light of the demo, which seemingly showcased the uncanny similarities between the Klon and Bad Monkey, listing prices for the discontinued DigiTech began to skyrocket, with one listing on Reverb reaching as high as $650. At the time of writing, dozens more Bad Monkeys have now been listed on the secondhand gear site, with one asking for a comical $11,000.

Many pedal fans who watched the video drew a connection between Scott’s demo and the surging Bad Monkey prices, but now the pedal specialist has issued a statement to “the people complaining that I raised the price on this pedal”.

“I would like to remind you you had 19 years to buy one, but you never cared,” the statement read. “This pedal has existed four years longer than JHS as a company, and most guitarists have hated on it since day one. 

“No one kept you from trying it in 2004,” it continued. “Learn to listen with your ears and not trends, and you will be a much happier guitarist.” 

Scott also noted that “people listing for $600 and people buying them for $600 are two very different things”, and assured Bad Monkey fans that prices “will return to normal”. 

It’s an important observation to make. Though prices are indeed increasing – and Reverb’s price checker has shown that the Bad Monkey is currently the most expensive it's been in two years – no unit has sold for anywhere near the eye-watering price tags they have been assigned.

In January this year, mint condition Bad Monkeys sold on average for just $50, while this month has seen that average price of mint Bad Monkeys increase to $202. Expensive, yes, but not quite $650.

Scott’s statement went on, “People will list them for ridiculous prices, and it’s extremely easy to not to buy them at those prices. Just wait. They will return to normal, and people will move on to the next thing.

“One more thing: people listing for $600 and people buying them for $600 are two very different things. Sit back, relax, and enjoy guitar with what you have.”

DigiTech Bad Monkey

(Image credit: DigiTech)

Scott concluded the post by saying the whole point of his Bad Monkey demo video was to help guitarists realize that “what you have is enough”, and sometimes great tones could be found from the most unlikely places. 

Whatever the case, as Scott says, the Bad Monkey situation will likely calm down over the next few months when the next “magic” cheap stompbox is discovered, or if people realize "trend pedals" aren't worth the financial hype.

And, if prices continue to balloon, it’s likely that such effects will be reversed if the newly reestablished DigiTech ever decides to reissue the pedal.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.