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New Pedal Day!

Discussion in 'Bass Pedals, Effects & Preamps' started by Bassist4Eris, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

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    Those of you who follow the "Pedals You Want To Try" thread have seen my posts lately talking about wanting to try some different choruses, some different overdrives, and even that new EHX Mono Synth. So naturally today I did the obvious thing.

    I went shopping for octave pedals. :rolleyes:

    I've had the same octave pedal since about 1990: the venerable Boss OC-2. The problem is that I hear it on almost every funk fusion record from the past five years or so. It's become too trendy, and I wanted something different. The power jack needs replacing, so rather than have the pedal repaired, I decided to see what else was out there first.

    The first store I went to only had one octave pedal in stock, the OC-3. Usually when people insist that the newer versions of pedals aren't as good as the old ones, I'm skeptical. The OC-3 has some additional features, and I figured it was worth a shot. Unfortunately, I pretty much hated it. In "poly" mode, the lower octave sounds mushy, weak, and indistinct. In any mode, the lower octave doesn't sound near as good as my OC-2. It does have a built-in overdrive that sounds pretty cool, but it wasn't enough to sell me on what I considered a "meh" pedal.

    The next store was a bit further from me, but much more promising, as I knew it would be. I tried three pedals in that store, and they were all brilliant. I can recommend all three without hesitation.

    The first was the MXR Bass Octave Deluxe. This one has two different octave circuits. They both produce a note a single octave down from your instrument, but they each have their own distinctive tone, and both can be blended as you please. The "Growl" circuit is more OC-2ish, where "Girth" is warm, fat, and dubby. There is also a "mid" switch, which adds a nice punch, especially when used in conjunction with "Growl".

    The second pedal I tried in that store was another MXR, this time the new MXR Vintage Octave. This one appears to be pretty much an OC-2 clone, both in design and sound, except that it's got the same "mid" switch as on the Bass Octave Deluxe. A killer pedal for those looking to get a slightly modernized version of the classic OC-2 sound. It's also got a nice small footprint.

    The one that really surprised me, however, was the EHX Nano POG. It's a digital pedal, so it can do polyphony, and it also does octave-up. The octave-up actually sounds pretty good. I could see using it for soloing. When soloed, the octave-down has a very smooth sound, nice and fat, but sadly with none of the character and growl of an analog circuit, and a slight delay in tracking can be detected. I always use octave-down in a 50/50 blend with dry signal, and the delay is not noticeable in this context. The tracking, though slower than the MXRs', was virtually glitch-free (although it must be said that the MXRs both tracked really well).

    It was honestly a tough call. I wanted all three. But I went home with the POG. The polyphony and up-octave were both very inspiring, and I can always get my OC-2 fixed if I feel I need an analog octave too.

    What will be interesting to see is if the POG will replace my 8-string bass altogether. If it does, I can remove the gigantic Radial Bassbone from my board and free up space for something else.
     
    Hoggles, jester and RIP like this.
  2. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    The Pog is really nice and polyphonic. I sold mine in favor of the MXR bass octaver deluxe because the latter sounds a lot more aggressive.
    That said, I now also use a bass whammy for the polyphonic bit and I do believe it sounds more tight then the Pog did, but somewhat quirky at times.

    Sometimes I still gaze at the Pog in online stores...
     
    Bassist4Eris likes this.
  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

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    I've committed. The Radial has been removed. Pedalboard pics coming soon to the pedalboard photo thread.
     
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  4. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    Enjoy the pedal Steve!
     
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  5. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

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    Having had a couple of days to play with it, I have to say that the fun factor for this pedal is really high. It's inspiring in a way that few other pedals have inspired me lately.

    I have found that the trick to pulling off an 8-string bass tone with it is to mix the dry signal just a bit hotter than the octave-up. Turn the octave-up even lower and you get something more subtle; almost like a treble boost.

    It's also fun to use just the octave-up (no dry signal) for soloing. It sounds a bit unnatural until you run it through fuzz, and then it's lead guitar city.

    Tonight I was at a friend's house jamming to his drum machine. I experimented with running just octave-down (no dry) for a super-low synth sound. It didn't really cut by itself, but stack a little overdrive on it and look out! It was tracking fine at least down to G, but seemed to weird out a bit around E or F. That's way better than my OC-2, which only tracks down to C or so.

    Of course I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I can see this thing potentially becoming a big part of my sound.
     
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  6. Nachobassman

    Nachobassman Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!

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    I can't see any pic... you know the rules: no pic=there is no pedal. ;)
     
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  7. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

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    For some reason I can't see this on the pedalboard thread anymore, but when I quote my own message it comes up (edit: I just refreshed the pedalboard page and it reappeared). Hopefully this doesn't disappear:

    [​IMG]
     
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