I'm aware that we have an effects gear review section, but thought this section had a bit more traffic and not many people seem to know about this pedal. I bought one of these unheard from Guitar Guitar for the tidy sum of £129.99. Quite a lot, but I knew EQD had a good rep and I was looking for a pedal to emulate the grindy dirty natural sound of overdriven Orange amps. My internet search turned up this beast, as well as the Tech 21 Oxford. The Monarch is meant to sound just like one of the 1970's Orange Graphic models.
The 'Oxford' was slightly more expensive, and Tech 21's graphics have never appealed to me, (I know, I should only care about the soundsszzzz) so after a day's wait, the Monarch showed up on my door.
I've previously owned an AD200B which sounded cool, but I love the older Orange tone...can't quite put my finger on it, but it sounds great. Things like the OR120 are right up my street with bass tonez. Running a Jazz through a GK 800RB, this pedal gave me that great old school tone (sorry for the cliché) straight away. Volume, Gain, Bass and Treble knobs keep things simple but there is a ton of volume on tap. I'm running the Monarch at 9v (it can also be powered at 18v) and unity volume is a shade under 9 o'clock. Madness.
The gain knob is beautiful and set at about 10 o'clock, gives a nice gritty warmth to my tone, but digging in produces a really natural smooth overdrive with a bit of bite and snarl. Gorgeous!
The bass and treble eq is useful and really natural. I think I'm goign to run this almost as an amp-sim and have distortion going into it. I'm also going to run it at 18v when I can and see what it can really do. Haven't used this in a live setting yet, but played loud, my bass stands out really well and the slight grit that I get adds a really cool flavour, depending on how hard I dig in.
I've attached a couple of pics, but no clips sorry. Not that technically minded. I'm well aware that £130 is a lot for a pedal, but I was lucky in this one giving me exactly what I was looking for. Kudos to EQD and Guitar Guitar too!