In this article, we’re going to be discussing what the best guitar octave processors are, that are available to buy in 2018/19.
However, as per usual, before we go straight into this, we want to make sure that all of our readers, especially the new guitarists, are familiar with exactly what a guitar octaver is, and the different types that are available. Alongside this, we’re going to quickly talk about when a guitar octave processor would likely be used, so that you can really evaluate if it’s something that you want/need.
What is a Guitar Octave Pedal?
Guitar octave pedals are effects pedals that are able to generate a tone which is an octave above and below the frequency that a guitar is playing. Some guitar octave pedals are even able to synthesize a greater range, accurately emulating a three-octave range.
Monophonic and Polyphonic Guitar Octave Pedals
Traditional guitar octave pedals have been monophonic and therefore this has meant that they can only process the effect for one frequency at a single time. However, due to advancements in technology and the quality of the internal processing units, some pedal manufacturers i.e Boss, have finally progressed to producing polyphonic bass octave pedals. The Boss OC-3 was the first ever polyphonic bass octave pedal and remains a best-seller due to its high sound quality.
Analogue vs Digital Guitar Octave Pedals
Guitar octave pedals have until recently always been analogue, but due to recent advancements in technology, particularly in the digital audio emulation of the warm analogue sounding effects pedals, digital guitar octave pedals have become more available and are an attractive solution.
So what’s the advantage of a digital pedal over an analogue one, well digital pedals have several advantages over analogue pedals, being able to process multiple frequencies simultaneously, with most analogue pedals operating on a simple frequency IIRC. Another advantage of a digital effects pedal is that it can more efficiently monitor notes played, therefore making the processing of the desired effect more accurate to the frequency that is being synthesized.
What Does a Guitar Octave Pedal Do?
As we’ve previously discussed, guitar octave pedals are used to synthesize a frequency or pitch that is an octave above or below the current played frequency
Octave pedals monitor the inputted signal from the guitar to create a frequency output that is an octave above or below the input signal; The original and synthesized signals are then mixed and sent to the output, allowing you to hear the desired sounding effect.
These pedals can be used alongside other guitar effects pedals, to create an audible masterpiece, both in the recording studio and within a live performance setting.
When to Use a Guitar Octave Pedal
Guitar octave pedals are particularly useful to provide a ‘bigger sound’, with the effect also being somewhat drone-like, artificial and unique.
Octave pedals are useful in numerous different settings, whether or not the guitarist is looking to provide a unique sound to a song, or looking to fill up the high-end frequency range (octave above), or the mid-bass range (octave below), it’s really up to the creativity and taste of the musician themselves. These pedals can be very useful and are more commonly used by guitarists on guitar solos.
So let’s get to it, what are the best guitar octave pedals of 2019?
Top Guitar Octave Pedals 2019
- Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octave Guitar Pedal – $ – Budget Priced – Buy on Amazon
- Donner Digital Harmonic Square Octave Pedal – $ – Budget Priced – Buy on Amazon
- CNZ Audio Octopus Octave Machine – $ – Budget Priced – Buy on Amazon
- Mooer MOC1 Pure Octave Pedal – $ – Budget Priced – Buy on Amazon – [Editor’s Budget Recommendation]
- Valeton OC-10 Loft Series Octave Guitar Processor – $$ – Moderately Priced – Buy on Amazon
- Electro-Harmonix Octavix Octave Fuzz Pedal – $$ – Moderately Priced – Buy on Amazon
- TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Mini Octaver – $$ – Moderately Priced – Buy on Amazon [Editor’s Main Recommendation]
- Boss Super Octave OC-3 Unit – $$ – Moderately Priced – Buy on Amazon
- TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver – $$$ – Mid-Range Priced – Buy on Amazon [Editor’s Premium-Priced Recommendation]
- Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator – $$$$ – Premium Priced – Buy on Amazon
- Electro Harmonix Nano POG Polyphonic Octave Generator – $$$$ – Premium Priced – Buy on Amazon
- Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator – $$$$$ – Ultra Premium Priced – Buy on Amazon
Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator – $$$$ – Premium Priced
Electro-Harmonix Nano POG Polyphonic Octave Generator – $$$$ – Premium Priced
Premium-priced, very compact high quality sound and build
- Guitar Octaver manufactured by Electro-Harmonix
- Manufactured in New York, USA
- High Quality internal circuitry
- Extremely small in size
- Durable Die-Cast Metal Chassis for internal circuit protection
- Simple to use with three main knobs
- Positive Amazon Review Ratings [Read here]
- Transform your guitar to a 12-string guitar, bass guitar or organ with the mix of available interface controls
- Monophonic Input & Dual Output
- Interface controls include:
- Dry: Control the level of dry signal in mix
- Sub Octave: Control the level of the sub-octave signal in the mix
- Octave Up: Control the level of the upper-octave signal in the mix
- True Bypass (Footswitch): Engages/Disengages Pedal
- A 9V battery (Not Included) and/or a 9V Power adapter is needed for operation (Included)
- Red LED lights when the pedal is engaged
- True Bypass
- Owners Manual
- 1 x 1/4″ jack input
- 2 x 1/4″ jack output
- A 9V battery (Not included)) and/or a 9V Power adapter is needed for operation. This is included.
- Weight : 0.4kg
- Dimensions : 3.5″ x 5.8″ x 6.2″ inches
Customer Review Rating
The Electro-Harmonix Nano POG unit has received an average rating of 3.9* out of 5 stars from 24 Amazon customer review – Read these reviews here
The Nano POG by Electro-Harmonix is another addition to the POG series, being the younger brother to the ‘Micro POG’ and the ‘POG2’.
The Nano POG is based on the original POG unit, which was widely a-claimed as being a truly remarkable octaver unit. The Nano POG features the same circuitry, including flexible polyphonic tracking, featured in a more simplified physical unit.
The unit is housed in a tough, die-cast metal chassis, which is relatively small in size, and hence able to be placed onto a pedal board with ease, so you can certainly take this unit on the road.
As for what the Nano POG is capable of, well it’s extremely versatile! Due to the advanced internal circuitry and ‘fast tracking’ processor, it’s able to process chords, arpeggios and single notes easily, and simultaneously provide the signal output, 1 octave above, and 1 octave below… All of which can be controlled by the three volume knobs on the front of the interface.
The Pedal has a Dry Output and an Effect Output, where the Dry output can be used to send the signal to a guitar amplifier, whilst the Effect Output could potentially be sent to a Bass amplifier… Popular for bands that may not have a bassist (2/3 piece bands).
Additionally, the Nano POG comes with the 9V power supply included, which is fantastic considering that most other pedal providers generally choose not to include this.
So how exactly does it sound?
As you can hear from the video demonstration featured below, the processor doesn’t change the tonality of the input signal, which is fantastic because we want to let other pedals (such as an EQ, Distortion, etc) take care of this! Instead, the Nano POG just provides high-quality octave processing!
The processor is able to track notes really well, and really does sound impressive.
What would we improve?
This unit has scored an average rating of 3.9/5 from over 24 customer ratings, and hence it’s been able to achieve this level of customer satisfaction because there really isn’t much bad to say about it.
One addition that the POG2 has (amongst many), which we think is particularly good, is the ability to save presets. Therefore, if you’re looking for that function, take a look at the POG2.
Who is this pedal for?
The Nano POG is ideal for the guitarist who wants an extremely small, dedicated, high quality octave processing unit, which is incredibly durable.
However, before you decide, take a look at the video demonstration of the Electro-Harmonix Nano POG in action.
Available on Amazon – Check Price on Amazon
Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octave Guitar Pedal – $ – Budget Priced – The cheapest octave unit featured on the list
Donner Digital Harmonic Square Octave Pedal – $ – Budget Priced – Cheap, Compact and provides upper/lower octave & semitones
CNZ Audio Octopus Octave Machine – $ – Budget Priced – Budget-Priced, Compact, 2 channels, simple to use
Mooer MOC1 Pure Octave Pedal – $ – Budget Priced – Budget-Priced, Plenty of octave combinations, 5 simultaneous octaves at one time [Editor’s Budget Recommendation]
Valeton OC-10 Loft Series Octave Guitar Processor – $ – Budget Priced – All analog signal path, highly compact, simple to use
Electro-Harmonix Octavix Octave Fuzz Pedal – $$ – Moderately Priced – World famous company, compact, high customer satisfaction
TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Mini Octaver – $$ – Moderately Priced – TonePrint Personalization/Editor Technology, 3-Year Manufacturers Warranty [Editor’s Main Recommendation]
Boss Super Octave OC-3 Unit – $$ – Moderately Priced – Industry standard of octave pedal creation
TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver – $$$ – Mid-Range Priced – TonePrint Personalization/Editor Technology, 3-Year Manufacturers Warranty [Editor’s Premium-Priced Recommendation]
Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator – $$$$ – Premium Priced – Premium-priced, high quality sound and build
Well, we really hope that you’ve found this article on the best guitar octave pedals helpful! Until next time!