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Ah, Jeez: The First Disappointing MXR Pedal Without The Words 'Zakk' Or 'Wylde'

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by andvari7, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    This past Sunday, I was subtly kicked out of my brother's Chicago abode, on the account of him needing sleep. Rather than do the sensible thing, and drive home, I chose to slice to the right, onto Lincoln, and seek out the Chicago Music Exchange. For those unfamiliar with the area, parking is a joke. It's where Cubs fans have to park to get to Wrigley Field, as Wrigley has no parking lot. After finally parking, I walked, possibly in vain, as it was a Sunday, to the storefront. Opening the door (fifteen minutes before the sign said it was open, no less), I entered a very, very large room. Remember that really cool shop in Madison, where I bought my DEM back in July? The one where I almost tripped over an Acoustic 360? Picture that, but with larger ceilings, and Fender Starcasters. The real ones. Four of them. And, there were 1960s Jazz Basses galore.

    That wasn't why I went, though. I went for effects. Madison, Wisconsin, the city in which I live and work, is, by and large, useless for the effects junkies of the world (I ask myself why I live here every moment of my life), so when I found out that the Chicago Music Exchange carried Chicago Iron pedals, I had to experience the Parachute for me-self. Except I saw it: The MXR Bass Octave Deluxe. Being a recent interest of mine, I had to give it a go. So, after idle chit-chat with the guy behind the counter, I took it for a spin.

    For reference, I used a 1967 Fender Jazz Bass, an Eden E300T (interestingly, all references to David Nordschow, or however he spells it, have been removed from Eden's website), and cables.

    This will be fairly short, as I only had an hour to play with it, because I would have gotten a parking ticket otherwise.

    As with all of MXR's pedals these days, this one is built very well, and it's fairly small (compared to, say, the entire EHX range, prior to 2004). Like the Carbon Copy, it has two blindingly bright LEDS, which are blue, but should be yellow, given the blue paint job on the pedal.

    And, I'm just going to get this out of the way right now: below open 'A,' it is completely useless, unless you like inarticulate nonsense.

    But, the other notes work rather well. But there is something very...off...about this pedal. It felt weak. Maybe it wasn't EQ'ed properly, because I know there's a trimpot in there for the mids.

    Again, I point out that I had a limited time with it, and I can't very well adjust the EQ at a guitar shop (especially since you need a Phillips screwdriver to get at it, and I didn't happen to have one). But, sadly, I think I've been let down by MXR. No, I take that back. I've been let down by octave pedals in general. I've always wanted to like them, but they all let me down. Except for the BMS, which I absolutely adore.

    But, more importantly, I have yet to find a use for an octave down effect on a bass.

    On the bright side, Zakk Wylde doesn't endorse this pedal, and that's always good news.
  2. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Before I forget, I never actually got to try the Parachute, because never has that pedal entered that store. But, they do have some other goodies there, and I'm going to Chicago in the near future, so I might get something. Except that Chicago has a 900% sales tax. Gee, thanks, Richard Daley.
  3. Wasted Bassist

    Wasted Bassist

    Nov 11, 2008
    Fargo, ND
    If you find any good stores for pedal heads in Chicago, I'd be very grateful. I'm going to going to Chicago at least 2 or 3 times this summer, and I'd like to have some ideas. Fargo, ND has an incredibly limited supply of pedals. Pretty much the only ones availible are Boss and Digitech.
  4. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Chicago Music Exchange has some cool stuff; GC on Halsted has a decent selection, but it's really cramped; Make'n Music appears to have some out there merch, but the hours are a bit limited; and I can't really think of anything else right now.
  5. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
  6. you know there's a big thread about this pedal here in the effects forum already, right? Not too many people have tried it, your experience may be of interest
  7. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    How would you compare it to other octavers you've played? Obviously you didn't A/B them, but any idea how it'd match up with an OC-2, -3, Whammy IV or POG?

    Also, yeah, Madison is a pain when it comes to pedals. There are five shops and they don't have anything more interesting than Pigtronix. I'm going out to Full Compass in Middleton to try and get my hands on a Pitchfactor.
  8. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    Are you an English major?
  9. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    I haven't tried the Thesaurus function on TB yet, but now I've got GAS to try it out!

    Just kidding, but quite eloquently spoken, Andvari.
  10. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    1. Rock N' Roll Vintage wasn't open on that, or any, Sunday.

    2. I could have just posted as a reply, but I worked very hard on the title. And, because it's not so much a thread for the anticipation, since, obviously, I have used it, I figured I'd start a new, "I've used this pedal, and I was disappointed" thread.

    3. I did not A/B it to anything that afternoon, because my car would have been towed. But, I have used an OC-2, -3, EHX Octave Multiplexer and the Digitech Whammy IV. The Whammy IV is a different beast unto itself, largely because it can do so much. In fact, I'm strongly considering buying one and getting it modded by Molten Voltage; I've wanted a Whammy for many years. It would be grossly unfair to both the Whammy and the Bass Octave Deluxe to compare and contrast. This MXR pedal is, to meinen Ohren, closest to the OC-2, and, by extension, the OC-3. It colored my sound properly, but I'm always left wanting something...more. I haven't tried the POG, HOG, or any other -OGs (funny, considering I am OG), but that's because I haven't found any use for an octave pedal.

    4. Full Compass, eh? I would never have considered them as a source for pedals, and Middleton is right there.

    5. Nope. I have an anthropology degree.

    6. I might have overlooked the one key issue with Chicago Music Exchange: couches. Wait, did you just say 'couches?' Yup. They have couches in the store, on which you can sit. Never mind the awesome selection of some of the rarest instruments ever made (including four Fender Starcasters, and ten Rickenbacker 4001s, which aren't that rare, but...), or the largest selection of EHX effects (I was really GASing for the Polyphase that day; next time I'm there, I'm testing it) I have ever seen. A guitar shop with couches is like having whoever they're saying the two hottest, non-related girls are these days. At the same time. With one another. And, there's a roasted leg of lamb, tabbouleh, and a Rusty Nail (one part Drambuie, one part good scotch).
  11. Guess ill hold onto my OC2 for the moment then :(

    TBH the youtube vid i saw of it didnt overly blow me away. Sounded like an oc2 pretty much to me. As far as tracking goes, well its analog, its not really gonna fare that well below A, is it?
  12. Madcity Fats

    Madcity Fats Supporting Member

    May 28, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I have nothing to add. I just wanted to hang with the other Madison cats here.

    Curious which store you found the Acoustic 360, andvari7. I'm betting Sound Logic. Second guess is Ginter's just across the street.
  13. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Ginter's. He was prepping it for shipment that day. But Sound Logic, eh?
  14. Nikoubis


    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
    It is going to be hard for the Bass Octave Deluxe to live up to the hype, I guess... :meh:
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs

    No actually the truth is it took me three read-throughs before I caught which pedal you were talking about.
  16. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008

    I completely missed that amidst the crossfire.
  17. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    It's a bit like Will Self's old restaurant reviews for The Observer. :)

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