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analog octavers sound comparison w. clips

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bass.bert, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. bass.bert


    Dec 27, 2009
    hi there,
    i recorded some clips of all my analog octavers for sound comparison. i used a looper like this guy to have exactly the same sound source for all pedals and settings. the lick is played on a passive jazzbass through these:

    boss oc-2
    aguilar octamizer
    ehx octave multiplexer
    dod octoplus (modded)
    chunk systems octavius squeezer

    i did all the clips with no clean signal blended in, to make the tonal character more evident. and i use octavers just for synth sounds, so no clean signal is needed anyway...:D

    i'm not sure if the octoplus-clips are 100% representative, as i bought the pedal true bypass-modded and with some additional filters installed. i didn't use the filters in these clips, so i think the basic character is still remained.
    also the octavius squeezer is not really comparable to the others, as it uses a real oscillator, no divider circuit. it's more complicated to get a smooth tracking on this unit, and i didn't spend any time to adjust the parameter for the sensitivity perfectly. so it gets really messy, especially in the clip with the trapeze waveform. normally you can also blend in some clean signal to cover that, which i did not.
    oooops, and i also forgot to dial back the tone control on my bass for all the clips, that makes the tracking for that circuit even more difficult.


    1. oc-2, -1oct
    2. octamizer, -1oct
    3. octamizer, -1oct, filter open + closed
    4. octoplus with distortion
    5. octoplus without distortion
    6. multiplexer sub bass
    7. multiplexer no sub switch, distorted
    8. multiplexer filters open
    9. octavius squeezer triangle octave
    10. octavius squeezer trapeze octave

    for me the octamizer did win in terms of performance, followed by the oc-2. the aguilar is a little bit more stable and can easily go down to an A on the E String, the oc-2 behaves well only to the B on the E string with my bass. deeper would be useless anyway with normal speakers... also the octamizer isn't that sensitive to the usual critic spots on a jazz bass neck, around the 5th fret of the G string as the oc-2. all other the octavers had more problems there. both, the boss and the aguilar give me good control over articulation and dynamics and react precisely and without any delay. multiplexer and octoplus are also quite good, but sometimes a bit more on the sloppy side.

    it's not a fair comparison, cause it's another technology, but the octavius squeezer is the most difficult unit to control and has a short delay when it reads out your pitch and starts the oscillator. but i don't know any other unit in this category, that does this faster or better. syb-5 and the behringer copy have the same issues, and have no analog sound generator. the freqbox does not produce real waveforms in hardsync mode, and i wasn't able to test a mothership or any other analog oscillator based pedal yet.

    option-wise the octamizer, the multiplexer and the octoplus are comparable, as they all have filters to adjust the tone. the most flexible one here is the multiplexer. it covers extreme subbassy sounds as well as distorted ones. it just lacks a volume control to get unity gain for theses settings. for that the octamizer with it's separate volume control for each voice is king. oc-2 and octoplus seem to have a slight volume drop with just the -1oct soloed. but maybe that's just some kind of illusion cause they have are lowpass filtered and have less harmonics, compared to the dry signal. (i tried to improve this by removing some resistors at the volume control of the unused voices of my oc-2. now i have a real volume control with the -1oct knob. works fine)

    also the octamizers octave signal sounds pretty compressed, what might give that accurate playing response. unlike on the dod and ehx especially the attack is really tight.

    for me the oc-2 wins as a fake oscillator in a classic octave > fuzz > filter setup. it has simply the most convincing sound and a stable performance. octoplus and multiplexer are also quite good for synth stuff an even more flexible soundwise, but the basic character is a bit more organic in my opinion, and also are harder to control. you can get some special characteristics in extreme settings, i.e. the multiplexer can sound a little bit like a ring modulator with all filters open. finally the octamizer is not that good for simulating a synth. while the oc-2 has that fine edgy grid (as many others also stated here before...), the octamizer sounds pretty smooth, round and more like a bass guitar.

    pros & cons:

    boss oc-2
    pros: nice gritty synth sound, good performance, relatively cheap
    cons: can distort with too high input, not that flexible (sound), slight volume loss at 100% -1oct (?)

    aguilar octamizer

    pros: great tracking, punchy / articulate sound, flexible sound (filters), perfect volume control
    cons: not really synthy (IMHO)

    ehx octave multiplexer
    pros: very flexible (sound) , relatively cheap, signal splitting possible (dry/wet outs)
    cons: no real volume control, sometimes not that stable sounding

    dod octoplus
    pros: quite flexible (sound) , relatively cheap
    cons: slight volume loss at 100% -1oct (?), not that stable sounding

    chunk systems octavius squeezer
    pros: real oscillator sound, very flexible (waveforms, filter, fuzz)
    cons: real tracking > not that stable, light delay

    hope this is useful to anybody, cheers!
    tightbidness likes this.
  2. fightthepower


    Jan 7, 2008
    San Diego
    Nice of you to take the time to post clips of all those octavers, something many people will enjoy for sure, myself included. :cool:

    How do you figure? I've never heard this before, though I could be mistaken. Based on sound and what I've read, I have to disagree though.

    I use two of them and other than the triangle waveform, all the waveforms sound the same when in hard sync or not, and whether using a MIDI/CV converter to control it with a keyboard or using audio. When using audio to trigger in hard sync mode, the oscillator resets to the pitch of the input signal nearly instantaneously, tracking faster than any other oscillator I've used including teh SYB and Octavius, and less noticeable latency than even the HOG/POG/etc.
  3. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Thanks, yeah, the Aguilar wins IMO. Too bad you didn't have the MXR as well.
  4. bass.bert


    Dec 27, 2009
    i recently checked out a freqbox, and i was disappointed that i couldn't get that smooth triangle-sound in hardsync mode. just the osc out sounded like i expected.
    i also made a post in the freqbox masterthread, and there is also a link to another post where that chunk systems guy explains that the waveformes are cut, to remain the pitch.

    so i think it's true, but hey, i'm not a scientist...;)
  5. fightthepower


    Jan 7, 2008
    San Diego
    I replied to the other thread, but after reading that other link now, it explains why the triangle wave seems to turn into a saw quickly when in hard sync.

    Regarding the Octoplus clip- the unmodded version has slightly less audible distortion. I'd almost put it (with tone full CCW) in between your non-distortion Octoplus clip and first Octamizer clip sonically.

    For a small setup with lots of octave/sub freq capabilities, the Octamizer and Multiplexer seem to offer many great octave tones. Great comparison clips, thx again for posting!
  6. bass.bert


    Dec 27, 2009
    you're welcome. without your and the others' soundclips here, i would have ended up with just a single preamp or tuner... :D

    i really like my modded octoplus because of that light dirt. it gives some special character. but i assume i have to live with a more sloppy response than on the original one.
  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Great comparison. Thanks for the thread.
  8. CliffD

    CliffD Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    San Diego/Seattle
    To the OP, where'd you buy your modded octuplus?
  9. bass.bert


    Dec 27, 2009
    i bought it used from evilbay, it came anywhere from gb. doesn't look like a professional mod. more like diy.

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