Monday, January 6, 2014

Jim Dunlop - Octavio

Octave Up effects don't suit everyone.

In general chords just sound horrible and the effect is really only noticeable round the 10th to 14th frets. Some people disregard it as a one-trick pony, and in a way I agree.

I've built a few Octave Up pedals over the years, some I've kept, some I've sold.
Honestly I can't even remember all of the pedals I've made & parted with.
Pretty sure I built a green-ringer once upon a time.

Don't remember selling it or destroying it, but it isn't in the arsenal any longer.

Anyway, my point is, I like the effect enough to keep building variants, but my favourite is the cheese wedge of the Jim Dunlop - OC1 Octavio.

The Octave Up is clear and distinct for about 90% of the Fuzz range, then you hit this tipping point where the Fuzz is really intense and the octave becomes really dirty. It is a pretty loud pedal and has a tendency to clip the input of any buffered bypass effects in the chain.

I've mostly played it with a  regular 6 string and it has been an enjoyably noisy affair, but recently things have taken a turn to the lower end of the range as I have acquired a Bass VI.

I used to think that it would only really suit the 12th fret region on a regular guitar, so never bothered with a bass instrument. I was wrong and I was missing out. The Bass VI produces the octave effect very clearly when playing reasonably calmly, but start going a bit silly and every note distorst in a way that evokes an auditory image of a torn speaker.

Try running it with a nearly exhausted battery. It does gets into synthesizer territory.
Hmm... I think I might need to build a flat battery simulator soon.....

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