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In the market for a killer octave pedal?
We’ve rounded up 7 of our favorites
Octave pedals have become quite popular for guitarists and bassists, as well as other instrumentalists. An octave effect offers an array of possibilities to spice up your music, from fatter lines to all-out experimental sound.
What Are The Best Octave Pedals?
Our choice for best octave pedal is the MXR M288 Octave Deluxe. It offers a creamy analog tone with a great variety of options from subtle to extreme. For those on a budget, the Donner Harmonic Square is a fantastic choice with plenty of features in a compact size. If you demand the best there is, our premium option is the Electro-Harmonix Micro POG.
Our candidates for 7 Best Octave Pedals are…
MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe (Our Pick)
Donner Harmonic Square Digital Octave (Best Budget)
EHX Micro POG
Boss OC-5 Octave pedal
Mooer Pure Octave
TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver Dual Octave
JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octave Fuzz
1. MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe (Our Pick)
The MRX M288 Bass Octave Deluxe pedal is our top pick for this list. It is a dual-voice octave pedal that allows you wide options for tone shaping while offering analog sound and true bypass.
It is very easy to operate (with only three knobs) and allows you the flexibility needed for just doubling lines all the way to creating your very own experimental sounds.
Dual-voice octave pedal
Girth controls low-frequency octave-below tone
Growl controls midrange octave-below control
Add up to 15 dB of mids
The MRX M288 Bass Octave Deluxe offers two independent analog sub-octave voices with a Dry control and a Mid boost switch to optimize the sound of our parallel clean signal. MRX’s 18-volt Constant Headroom Technology provides a good amount of headroom and great tracking.
To mix in your direct signal, you can use the Dry knob and if you wish, you can also add up to + 14 dB of internally adjustable mid frequencies (400 Hz or 850 Hz) by engaging the Mid+ switch.
All of these options come in a very durable enclosure and a well-planned design. This pedal’s layout is simple enough to get a great tone right out of the box. With a little adjustment, the M288 Octave Deluxe is capable of pricing sounds for the most discerning players.
The Growl and Girth controls are where most of the action is in this pedal. The Growl knob is the mid-range, slightly edgy octave-below controls, while the Girth knob is for a smoother octave-below. Since these controls are independent of each other, it opens up a great array of tonal possibilities. The Dry Knob helps you achieve the precise blend of effects to signal ratio.
The MRX M288 Bass Octave Deluxe works with a 9 Volt battery or a Dunlop power adapter. Overall, a fantastic choice offering great tone, flexibility, options, and a great price.
2. Donner Harmonic Square Digital Octave (Best Value)
The Donner Harmonic Square Octave is an octave and pitch shifter pedal that will work great with any six-string guitar, 4-string bass guitars, baritone guitar, etc. It offers three modes of operation. By using its toggle you can choose between Sharp, Detune, and Flat. Each of these delivers a different flavor of octave and lets you explore a myriad of sounds.
The Donner Harmonic Square has 7-octave modes that you can switch by turning the main knob: ±2, ±3, ±4, ±5, ±7, 1 octave, and 2 octaves. All of this is housed in a very compact aluminum alloy chassis that will easily fit on any pedalboard and be able to take road and gig punishment.
This pedal offers three knobs (2 tiny and one normal) and a toggle switch to allow you to be in full control of your sound at all times. One of the tiny knobs is labeled “Wet” and sets the volume of the effected signal.
The other tiny knob (Dry) sets the volume of your original sound. The toggle will produce the most drastic changes in sound as you can change it to choose between the Sharp, Detune, and Flat modes to dictate the amount of pitch-shifting you wish. The big knob (the encoder) will allow you to choose to go up or down by the desired semitones, as well as 1 or 2 octaves, all in a simple to use fashion.
The Donner Digital Octave is one of the best octave pedals, especially if we consider its features, tiny size, and price.
The Micro POG is a leaner and meaner version of the classic EHX Polyphonic Octave Generator, redesigned with buttons instead of the eight sliders featured on the original. It allows you to create new tones by mixing together your original dry signal with two different octaves, one above and one below your original pitch.
All of this is accomplished with a simple set of controls that lets you quickly dial in your sounds. This pedal is digital and features tighter and quicker tracking than the original POG.
This is a musical octaver without unwanted glitches in lower notes and chords, allowing you to transform your electric guitar into a 12-string, a bass, or even a church organ.
The original POG features an additional octave up, which is not featured on the Micro POG. However, this pedal comes in a much more compact enclosure and with simpler and more streamlined controls than the original, while still offering great tone and the ability to easily blend octaves in a variety of ways, from subtle tones to experimental sounds.
The Boss OC-5 is one of the most popular octave pedals in the market. This pedal picks up right where the Boss OC 3 Dual Super Octave pedal left off. It provides a Poly mode that offers numerous enhancements for extended range playing as well as a Vintage mode for a recreation of the Boss OC-2. It also adds an octave up feature for a full three octaves.
Mode switch for optimized tracking for bass or guitar
Direct out for wet/dry setups
Poly mode for chord playing
Lowest Range setting applies the octave effect to the lowest note on the chord
The OC-5 octave pedal provides great sound and playability and features a newly developed tracking engine. This feature delivers clean and accurate performance with no latency.
This pedal also offers a wider range and greater polyphonic capabilities than the previous OC-2 and OC-3, while covering your octave needs in full.
With a long history of octave effects pedals, Boss included a Vintage mode on the OC-5 to provide the iconic OC-2 mono sound. However, this sound now features an improved response thanks to the new tracking engine.
You can have quick access to an endless variety of sub-octave colors thanks to the dedicated level controls for 1 and 2-octave effects as well as direct sound.
Another useful new feature of the OC-5 is the octave-up effect, with can be used in both Vintage and Poly modes. You can crate octave-down effects for extended chord voicings, as well as unique solo tones, and even make your electric sound like a faux 12 string guitar.
This pedal also lets you optimize the performances of its tracking engine for either guitar or bass guitar via a dedicated switch on the body of the pedal.
With the Direct Out jack, it is now easy to route dry and effects sounds to different destinations. This makes it possible to use a two-amp setup onstage or with discrete channels on a mixer or audio interface.
The Mooer Pure Octave is a mini-size octave pedal with versatile blending options and a wide choice of octave modes. It comes with eleven different octave settings with up to five available octaves in a single setting. This pedal will easily fit in any pedalboard and stay there for a while thanks to its rugged metal chassis. A good choice for those with very limited space.
11 different octave modes
Precise polyphonic octave effects without distortion
Durable metal shell
Extremely compact design
The Mooer Pure Octave is the smallest pedal on this list. It features a large rotary knob that lets you select among 11 different octave modes, with different combinations of one and two octaves above and below. The blend is added via the volume knobs for dry sound, the sub-octave, and the upper octave.
A single octave up produces bright tones that are very guitar-like, without the grit or limited neck range of typical analog octave effects. Two octaves up produces a piercing, more brittle tone that gets into synth-like territory.
The appeal of this octave guitar effect pedal stems from the various combinations it offers. The slight volume modulation that accompanies the octave down adds a bit of movement to the dry signal and sills out the frequency spectrum in the second octave down. You can also combine the octave-up with the dry signal to produce a believable 12-guitar sound. If you want a pipe organ sound, add a second octave up.
This pedal tracks very well has no latency issues and is always on pace with the player. All the notes open, sustain, and decay naturally without glitches or unwanted artifacts, making the Mooer Pure Octave a solid choice for the guitarist that wants a good octave pedal in a tiny enclosure.
TC Electronic's Sub 'N' Up Octaver pedal has the power to turn your guitar tone into a ringing 12-string, a mammoth synth-style tone, and still offer plenty of control to create your very own soundscapes.
Smartphone app allows you to create custom TonePrints
The Sub ‘N’ Up features an elegant and streamlined design with four knobs and a true bypass switch. This slick and polished design has two sub knobs in the bottom (Sub and Sub 2) with Dry and Up knobs at the top. These offer you a lot of flexibility to dial in your sound with a great range, from subtle octaves to gargantuan synth-like sounds.
TC Electronic offers a smartphone app named TonePrint that allows you to download artist Sub N’ patches and soundscapes. With TonePrint, you can also create your own custom sounds and get lost experimenting with your sounds.
This is great not only for guitar players but for composers that are always looking for inspiring new sonic territory. TonePrint allows you to add modulation to the mix via the editor, creating great polyphonic tracking in the pedals octave engine.
The JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octave Fuzz offers the guitar player some options to dial in the desired sound. It is built like a tank and will fit nicely in most pedalboard setups, plugged in with its 9V current.
At a low setting, this pedal provides a vintage-type fuzz sound that can fit quite well in a variety of situations. Blues and rock players will feel right at home with this pedal. Jazz players can also use the Voodoo Octave Fuzz to their advantage, especially in more modern or experimental situations where an octave pedal is required. Even country players can use this pedal to achieve that extra spice in their playing.
The JOYO JF-12 features a mid-cut that allows you to scoop out some of the body. That can work quite nicely when playing some crunchy power chords. This pedal offers a lot of sustain for your solos and leads that stand out and cut through a busy mix. When combined with the Octave Up feature, the Fuzz can sound a bit like the White Stripes.
This pedal features three knobs: fuzz, tone, and volume. Between the last two, there is a switch for normal/mid-cut, that can work wonders for heavier styles of music. There are two buttons to press with your foot: Octave Up and True Bypass. Overall, a solid octave pedal with a no-nonsense approach built like a tank and at a great price point.