Reviewing some Monoprice gear

Someone on Reddit recently asked about Monoprice’s guitar pedals. Nobody had any first-hand experience with them, so, seeing as I live a few minutes from their warehouse, I decided to pick some stuff up and check it out.

I grabbed the Tube Overdrive mini, which is a TS mini clone. It’s really solid, like most stuff from Monoprice. Sound-wise, it’s not bad, although turning any single parameter all the way up can have some pretty negative effects. The most useful range for the controls is between 9-3 o’clock, which is pretty standard for Chinese clones in my experience.

I was reminded of the Alpha Drive/Ultimate Drive controversy. People that tried both usually said the Alpha Drive was the better pedal, as the range of effect was more focused compared to the Joyo. That’s how I’d compare the Monoprice to the TS mini. The TS mini doesn’t have as wide a range as the Monoprice version, but the whole range is usable.

The 9v power supply and daisy chain are pretty great. They feel sturdier than other brands like the 1spot. The wall wart doesn’t go sideways though, so it will cover adjacent outlets unless placed at the bottom, which is a bummer. Definitely a good buy for roughly 10USD total.

The 8″ patch cable is the big winner. It feels much sturdier and better quality than similarly priced pedalboard patch cables. I mention in the video that Monoprice’s old “instrument” cable was anything but. It was microphonic as all get-out and completely unusable for guitar. In my research, I discovered that the cable only behaves that way when used in high Z connections (like a guitar with passive pickups). These patch cables are actually made from the same stuff, but pedals do not output a high Z signal, so it is a non-issue. I also discovered that they have begun selling a “cloth series” cable that is apparently a proper instrument cable.

I’ll definitely make it a point to check out their other pedals. They’re cheap and tiny. Perfect for an effect that you don’t use often, but want to have around just in case (I wish they had a mini chorus effect, I only ever use that on “Anything, Anything”). I’m also going to check out their new cloth covered instrument cables. The prices are even lower than the RoadHog cables I’ve become so fond of over the past year or so. If they’re of the same quality I normally expect from Monoprice, they will be an excellent find as well.