The BIG Octave Shootout


The ever-growing BIG OCTAVE SHOOTOUT is based on 4 rounds of sound clip comparisons.

  • Round 1 – Fingerstyle
  • Round 2 – Synth
  • Round 3 – Slap
  • Round 4 – Tracking Test



You may think most octave pedals sound very similar. Sure, they track quite differently, but the sound is well just an octave below, right? Not quite. When I began this shootout, I was surprised how different octaver pedals really sound when you compare them head to head, anyway.

In the first round, you can listen to a fingerstyle octave groove where the octave is phased in gradually: Subtle, Medium and Heavy. Then, in the second round, you can hear the octave in complete isolation in a more synthy kind of take. All octave pedals are unique, but most of them are capable of producing at least two different flavors of ‘synth’. They may use different means, such as filters, various pre-baked EQs, 2 octaves below, etc., so this is not so much a direct comparison as it is a demonstration of how they can sound with the octave signal isolated.

The third round is all about slap bass with a medium octave setting.

The final round is a dedicated tracking test. There are two takes of each pedal – first long notes which reveals how far down the pedal can go still keeping track of the original tone. The test goes all the way down to an open E-string. Well, maybe it is not exactly long notes, but using an octave doesn’t really invite you to play really long, legato notes, but in an octave pedal context, I’d consider these notes fairly long. With that sam thing in mind, I often ‘adapt’ to the pedal, meaning that when I know the pedal is struggling with a certain range of notes, I usually play very short notes, which makes it possible to ‘extend’ the range, so the second take is based on the same concept, but using short notes.

At this point, you can compare these octave pedals:

  1. Boss – OC-2 Octave
  2. MXR – Bass Octave Deluxe (M288)
  3. COG Effects – T-16 Octave
  4. Red Witch – ZEUS Bass Fuzz Suboctave
  5. COG – T65 Octave


You can check out each of these pedals in much greater detail and listen to many more sound clips in the individual reviews.











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