The 4 Best Octave Pedals for Guitar – Reviews 2023

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Photo by Neoflox / CC BY

If you’re looking for a cool way to spice up your guitar playing – mainly your solo parts – we would like to kindly draw your attention to a neat effect called the octave pedal. The way these effects operate is that they take your original input signal and craft a synthesized signal with a pitch significantly higher or lower, fusing the two together for a signature octave vibe.

We took the liberty of sifting through today’s market in an attempt to find the best octave pedal for guitars out there (if you want to check out bass octave pedals, we’ve got an article for you too). Our quest yielded four champions across different price ranges so feel free to check ’em all out in the rundown below.

Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork

We’ll kick things off with one of the more popular models – the Pitch Fork from Electro Harmonix. In our humble opinion, the manufacturer really struck that sweet spot between top-notch sound and affordable pricing, giving the user plenty of versatility, a strong organic sound, and a reasonable price tag.

The pedal (see full specs) is capable of transposing the input signal up to three octaves up and down, which is a rather impressive range. There’s an 11-position Shift knob in the front for you to select the exact transposition interval, and further adjust the presence of dry and synthesized signals in the mix through the Blend knob. In total, there are three shift modes you can choose from: up, down, and dual.

The device operates as a mono pedal with one input and one output, but an EXP input was also included in the mix to grant you the ability to control the pitch shift or glissando through an optional expression pedal.

Also included in the mix are Latch and Momentary modes to control how the footswitch and EXP input behave. The product comes with a power adapter, or you can power the whole thing through a single 9V battery. Hands down, it’s one of the best octave pedals for guitar.

EHX electro-harmonix Pitch Fork demo

Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava Guitar Pedal

In the budget-friendly domain, we present you the incredibly cheap Joyo JF-12 Voodoo pedal. This gizmo operates as both distortion and octave pedal, and we thoroughly recommend it for beginners who want to experiment with guitar effects, but have a strict budget to stick to.

But the reason why we singled this fella out isn’t just the cheap price tag, it’s overall value for money – which is through the roof – as well as the fact that both distortion and octave effects here sound decent and not overly synthetic and plastic.

In the octave department, the pedal allows you to go up to a single octave higher than your output signal, while the separate Mid-cut switch allows you to control the sonic output.

The pedal features true bypass wiring, along with 1/4-inch jacks for In and Out, a sturdy aluminum alloy casing with a sleek green finish. For the listed price, everything about this product is stellar, and we thoroughly recommend it as the best cheap octave pedal on the market. Good stuff here!

Boss OC-3 Dual Super Octave Pedal

Picking things up a notch, we bring you another mid-range price representative – the OC-3 model from Boss. This is the very first item of its kind to feature both guitar and bass inputs, so if you happen to be in pursuit of an octave pedal for both guitar and bass, this one is your pick.

Anyhow, one of the standout features of this item is the sound quality. It utilizes polyphonic octave effects, and even allows you add a pinch of drive to the effect, creating a top-quality natural tone.

You can go down two octaves with this thing, with plenty of sonic options to add more bite and aggression to your sonic attack. Additionally, we’ve noticed that the low-end frequencies are especially versatile and high-quality, so if going low is your thing, this one is a valid choice.

It comes with a set of four control knobs, allowing you to control the level of dry guitar signal that’s infused into the audio mix, as well as the sound features of the octave effect itself.

The effect comes tucked within a standard metal Boss casing with a brown finish. Also included in the mix is the company’s five-year limited warranty. Value-wise, this is surely one of the best octave pedals period.

How To Get The Best From Your Boss OC 3 Super Octave

Electro Harmonix Nano POG Polyphonic Octave Generator pedal

As the second representative of Electro Harmonix – yes, they’re that good – we bring you the mighty POG. If you ask us, this pedal delivers the highest level of sound quality on the entire list, and as you might have expected – comes with the highest price tag too.

The pedal (see full specs) features three control knobs for dry sound control, sub octave and octave up, along with silent foot switching, true bypass operation, and comes with an included EHX9.6DC power adapter. Build quality is also on high level, and the metal casing is both good-looking in a retro way and highly durable.

As for that sound, we can describe this sonic punch as clear as a whistle, very organic, natural and vibrant. It’s one of the best octave pedal sounds we’ve encountered in a while, and we absolutely recommend it.

Electro-Harmonix Nano POG | polyphonic octave generator

What Makes a Good Octave Pedal?

As a conclusion, we’ll expand the criteria we used when searching for top octave pedals. Essentially, the main thing we were after was an organic sound of the synthesized signal. Cheap octave pedals tend to have a very plastic, digitalized and highly artificial sound, turning the final sound into a very weak attack. We made sure to single out those models first and what you have here is the list of pedals you simply cannot regret purchasing as far as their respective price ranges go.

Apart from primarily aiming for high-quality sound, we searched for pedals that are versatile and can delve into as many pitches as possible. And of course, we looked for the usual stuff that’s always welcome – high durability, sturdy built, reliability, and value for money.

But enough chit-chat! Feel free to inspect these fellas and treat yourself with a fine pedal as early as today, it just might turn out to be the beginning of a beautiful musical journey.

Written and Reviewed By

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

  • Marko is the senior editor and writer on Ultimate Guitar, the No. 1 guitar spot on the web, since early 2013. His work was also featured on a variety of other notable gear spots such as Guitar Fella, Consordini, and, of course, Song Simian. His musical journey began at a very young age, and he finally opted to pick up an instrument in his early teenage years. A fan of King Crimson. A travel enthusiast.

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