MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe
The MXR M288 is the best bass octave pedal if you are looking for a good deal. This pedal strikes the perfect balance between sound, usability, features, and price.MORE INFO
Why do you want the Best Bass Octave Pedal?
If you are a bass guitar player, chances are you have heard of the bass octave pedal. This is a pedal used to create the octave effect, which basically shifts the audio signal coming out of your guitar an octave or two up or down. Of course, you can always just play an octave up or down on your bass guitar, but the bass octave pedal is a much quicker way to do this.
Picking out the best bass octave pedal is not so easy. There are many choices out there for you, and as a buyer, you should be well-informed of the various choices for you.
First and foremost, you should know that octave pedals for bass are divided into analog octaves and digital octaves, just like any pedal. This is something we think many people don’t realize and is the most important categorical divide between bass octave pedals. We can get into a whole book about the minute differences.
If you want the short version, the main difference is that analog signal is continuous without breaks, and digital signals are processed, and made of discrete individual points. By comparing the sounds produced by analog pedals such as the Boss OC2, EBS, and MXR to the sounds of digital pedals such as Akai Deep Impact and Digitech, you should be able to hear a difference. The best thing to do here is to watch some youtube videos or sample them in person to hear out the differences.
Perhaps the more important question that most bass players ask is how is the tracking? In the world of bass octave pedals, a bass octave that tracks well is one that most accurately outputs a true octave up or down without any sort of note misalignment. While most average listeners probably won’t even be able to tell, as a musician, it is very obvious when a bass octave is not tracking 100% accurately.
Best Bass Octave Pedal
- MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe
- Boss OC-3 Octave Pedal
- EBS Sweden Bass Octave Pedal
- Electro-Harmonix HOG2
- Electro Harmonix Micro POG pedal
1. MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe
The MXR M288 is the best bass octave pedal if you want a nice balance between affordability and performance. This is a dual-voice octave pedal that has really gained popularity in the last decade. It goes to show that bassists can enjoy modifying their sounds and that octaves are not just limited to guitar players. In terms of price, the MXR M288 Bass octave deluxe really hits the middle of the road for bass octaves.
Perhaps the best feature of this analog bass octave pedal is that it has one of the better trackings of any analog octave we tested. This makes the MXR M288 extremely versatile and means you can use more of your fretboard across the strings. More importantly, we really love the analog sound produced, and really gives your basslines that extra fat deep kick. You should search youtube for some sound demos if interested.
No review is complete without covering the controls. The MXR Bass Octave Deluxe has three knobs: growl, dry, and girth. Dry mixes your clean signal with the octave effect, adding up to 15dB midrange. Growl and girth will add midrange or low end to outputted sound, which basically shapes the color of your tone. Finally, there is a MID+ button, which will kick the mid frequencies into overdrive and boost the 400 Hz zone.
Overall, this bass octave is a high-quality gadget that any bassist should have in their arsenal. It can really take a lot of abuse as the buttons and switches are made of high-quality materials. It runs off of a power supply or even a 9 V battery, which is always a plus.
– Great value
– Analog octave
– High-quality build
– Nice fat sound and cool controls
2. Boss OC-3 Octave Pedal
No list of bass octave pedals is complete without at least mentioning the Boss OC series. There is the analog OC-2, which is not really made for bass, and the OC-3, which is digital but has more features such as a bass input. Out of the two, we prefer the Boss OC-3. The OC-2 has a cool natural tone, but the OC-3 is just loaded with so many features that it overcomes the sound difference. Also, the OC-2 is a discontinued unit, so it may be a bit hard to find.
As a significant upgrade from the OC-2, the Boss OC-3 now has a dedicated bass guitar input, so the pedal will automatically optimize itself with the range of a bass guitar. Also, it does a bit more than just add a simple octave up or down. The beauty of this pedal is in the various settings and controls offered.
We like how there are three different modes provided: the original OC-2 mode, a polyphonic Octave mode, and a Drive mode. The original OC-2 mode converts the OC-3 into an OC-2, which has 3 knobs for direct dry level, one or two octaves below.
It starts getting interesting at the Poly or Drive mode. Drive mode adds distortion to your octave effect which leads to a fatter tone. Additionally, the Poly mode is great when you want to add octaves when playing chords. This opens a whole new world of distortions and octave sounds.
All in all, we really like the Boss OC-3 as the goto octave pedal for bassists because of its versatility in sound. Since it is a digital pedal, it will sound a bit artificial at times, but this is a small sacrifice for the increase in functionality.
– Loaded with features
– Drive mode and Poly mode
– Can revert back to old OC-2
– Versatile in sound production
3. EBS Sweden Bass Octave Pedal
If you are looking for the best bass octave pedal that is analog, the EBS Bass Octaver is certainly one of your better options. This analog octave pedal creates a note one octave below, which adds new effects to your sound. If you end up playing chords, the pedal will recognize these chords and use the lowest note. Also, the EBS is designed specifically for the lower range, so perfect for the bass guitar.
In terms of controls, the EBS Bass Octaver lets you choose between three different ranges: low, mid, and high. These allow you to mix in the octave effect with the original tone in relation to the audio frequency range dialed. With these controls, you can really change the character of the sound in the low, mid, and high audio range.
For example, the high setting adds upper mids and high-end accents, which gives the octave effect a lot of presence and grit. On the other hand, the low setting creates more of a sub-bass effect, and the mid-setting sort blends both original and effect signals smoothly.
Also, we like the fast-tracking, which is much better than most of the other bass octaves we tried. This allows you to play at the speed you want and is not limited to the speed the divider allows. Combine this pedal with some light distortion and you got a killer setup. Although it is not the lowest price in terms of bass pedals, you are truly getting a nice full analog growl.
– Transposes lowest note of chords
– Low, mid, and high settings
– Great sound
4. Electro-Harmonix HOG2
The HOG2 is the best bass octave pedal for those who want the jack of all trades. This is a stomp box with all sorts of pedals built in. It is basically an octave generator, a whammy, a harmonizer, a POG, a synthesizer, a freeze pedal, and s Superego all built into one unit. While it is pretty expensive, it is actually not too bad considering the amount of pedals you are getting with this combo package.
Let’s focus on the octave generator for this review. This bass octave comes absolutely loaded with features and you will feel like a kid in a candy store messing around with the control. To make things simple, it can shift up to 4 octaves up and 2 octaves down, and also anything in between.
In fact, there are 10 different fader controls with 10 different intervals of pitch shift. You can even go a perfect fifth up, 2 octaves and a major third up, and all sorts of non-integer octaves. These octave shifts can be played polyphonically with perfect tracking as well.
With the HOG2, you can create new unique tones on the fly from going to extreme sub-bass, going up a fifth to a third, and even handling multi-octave chords. It really is everything you ever need in a bass octave pedal. The only thing is if you are just using it as an octave pedal, if may not be so economical.
– Multi-pedals in one unit
– 10 different phase shift modes
– Loaded with controls
– Very expensive but worth it
5. Electro Harmonix Micro POG pedal
Any bass player who is looking to add some pedals to his or her collection has probably heard of the EHX Micro POG. This is one of the iconic octave generators for bass and guitar players around the world. The Micro POG is basically a polyphonic digital octave shifter that goes an octave up or down. The selling point is that it has one of the best polyphonic tracking in the industry. Also, it has a classic and simple design that is very easy to use and integrate with other pedals.
The Micro POG only has three controls: dry, sub-octave, and octave up. The dry knob only controls the volume of the dry signal, the sub-octave controls the volume of the signal one octave down, and the octave up knob controls the volume when you want to pitch shift up.
What we like about the Micro POG, and what everyone likes, is the super fast polyphonic tracking. essentially it plays chords, single notes, and even arpeggios with no glitches. Additionally, it works great for the bass guitar as well as a normal guitar.
– Polyphonic digital octave shifter
– Very fast tracking
– One-octave shift up and down
– Plays chords, arpeggios, and single notes