The 4 Best Bass Octave Pedals – Reviews 2016

best bass octave pedal

Photo by Bryan / CC BY

If there’s one thing that can really spice up the sound of a bass guitar and make it more prominent in the audio mix as a solo instrument and not just a groove machine, it’s the octave pedal. With this effect, the sound of your instrument will be kicked up a notch by the pedal crafting a synthetized signal from the original input – but tuned up a whole octave – and infusing it into the sonic attack.

We took the liberty of sifting through today’s market in pursuit of the best bass octave pedal and found four strong contenders worthy of the flattering title.  (And if you’re into octave pedals for guitars, we have an article for those too.)  Make sure to check out the goods below, but, afterwards, check out what we think are the most important criteria you should consider when buying a bass octave pedal.

Boss OC-3 Dual Super Octave Pedal

We’ll kick things off with the OC-3 model from Boss, a highly versatile device that can operate both as a guitar and bass octave pedal. As a matter of fact, this is the very first mass-produced item of this kind ever to utilize the guitar + bass approach. But that’s just a neat fun fact. What matters is that this thing sounds absolutely great and offers a variety of tonal controls.

The pedal is capable of producing notes one octave up and as much as two whole octaves down when utilized on a guitar. Seeing that going so low makes no sense on a bass, we’ll focus on going up. When pitching things up, the sonic quality of the synthesized signal remains strong and clear, allowing the bass to stand out in the mix and operate as a lead instrument.

If you happen to be on the experimental sides and use bass for more than just following the beat – like those crazy two dudes from Royal Blood, for example – this is a great pick.

The effect is tucked in a classic Boss casing with a brown finish, which means sturdy build and high reliability. Great stuff!

MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe

Crafted solely as a bass octave pedal, the M288 from MXR is a simple, yet highly effective tool for bassists looking to pitch it up a notch. The pedal features a basic set of three control knobs, and is quite easy to use.

What we like about the pedal (see full specs) is that pretty much any tonal setting you dial in will result with high-quality sound, and it’s simply a matter of finding the sonic combination that you find perfect.

So, those controls are Growl, Dry, and Girth knobs. The Dry knob allows you to inject the level of dry signal from your guitar, while the remaining two knobs are used for controlling the level of mid-range and low-end frequencies that are infused into the mix.

Another great thing about the effect is that it can be really subtle and used constantly switched on as a cool addition to your standard sound. That layered sound is not something that can easily be bested, and we thoroughly recommend it.

We’re looking at a standard MXR casing, which is fully metal and fully gorgeous. It’s a thing of personal taste, yes, but we’re absolutely in love with that glossy blue finish, making this easily among the best bass octave pedals for the money.

Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator

Picking things up a bit, the Micro POG from Electro Harmonix offers one of the highest quality tones we got to encounter in a while. The thing that makes this fella a standout item is how organic the synthesized track sounds. Many octave pedals struggle in this aspect, resulting in an artificial sound you can’t like even if you try. But with the POG (see full specs), the sonic attack is smooth as a whistle, almost if you had an actual bassist playing a line one octave up backing your performance up.

Anyhow, once again we’re looking at somewhat basic controls, including Dry, Sub Octave and Octave Up knobs. With these three, you’ll be able to control how much clean guitar signal, how much lower and how much higher frequencies will be present in your final audio output.

Two output channels are also present, one for the effect and one for dry signal, allowing you to conduct all sorts of sonic experiments with a pair of amps. When folks ask us “What’s the best bass octave pedal,” we often single out this fella right here.

Mooer MOC1 Pure Octave

Rounding things up on a slightly more affordable note, we bring you the MOC1 Pure Octave pedal from Mooer. First of all, this fella comes with a mini size and maximum punch, which is quite great. While there are plenty of products with all the cool effects in the world, we believe that devices of this size are the future of the pedal domain.

Anyhow, this fella utilizes a very rich set of 11 different octave modes. To our pleasant surprise, it delivers zero distortion in the final sonic output, making your sound rich but clear as a whistle at the same time.

Don’t expect supreme sonic prowess with this thing, as the sound can be a tad on the synthetic side, but this is still a very exciting pedal to experiment with. Most importantly, it’s fully usable in all audio surroundings, whether it’s studio work or live shows we’re talking about. The device operates as a true bypass pedal, and delivers a top bang for the buck when the line is drawn.

What We Looked for When Searching for Best Bass Octave Pedal

As a final note, let’s clarify what exactly we were searching for here on our little quest. First and foremost, we were looking for champions of several price ranges, devices that stand out as best things money can buy for the listed price in a variety of budget options.

Secondly, we instantly filtered out devices that produce too much noise, fuzz or distortion. Octave pedals are about clarity and organic sound; hence, any noise has to go.

Finally, we looked for the usual stuff – general sound quality, durability, reliability and, of course value, for money. We guarantee that as long as you’re looking for a top-notch octave pedal within the given price ranges, these puppies are all products you can’t regret purchasing. Good luck!

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