Boss OC-2 vs. MXR Vintage Bass Octave with recordings

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by JimmyM, Jul 30, 2019.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    A few people requested sound samples of these two pedals because they wanted to see how close the sounds are. Did this rather quickly, but it should give you a good idea.

    I used my Hammersmith PJ with EMG Geezers and Dunlop Super Bright Nickel rounds, P pickup only, into my A-Designs REDDI, with no processing. First I played a little bit of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" with Oct 1, then I played a few notes down the E string to give you an idea of the tracking, then I played a little riff I made up on the spur of the moment using Oct 2. Tried to match levels and playing style as close as I could, but the VBO has a little bit extra gain on tap for the octaves (and a LOT of extra gain for the clean sound) so I may not have gotten them exact, but I tried.

    My thoughts...I am very picky about having the OC-2 sound. There are a lot of great analog octavers on the market, but I doggedly have stuck to my OC-2 since I got it 11 years ago because nothing else gave me a good enough reason to switch, especially when I paid a serious bargain price for it. It's Taiwanese, but it was one of the first and has a Japanese PCB leftover from when they moved production to Taiwan, and it's given me years of trouble free service. It's the only pedal that's been on my board since I started using a pedalboard again in 2008.

    So I'm going to be a little sad to see it sit on the shelf. All credit to Boss for coming up with the octaver that for most people has defined what an octaver should sound like, but for me, the VBO is a no-brainer. It sounds the same, but it has better tracking, a little more gain on the octaves and a lot more gain on the clean sound, an adjustable mid boost switch for the clean sound that I think will prove itself useful now that I know how to set it effectively, and it's 1/3 the size and super light, which isn't a huge deal but it does make flying with it much easier. Plus it's a pretty dark blue instead of the OC-2's poop brown :D

    This is my second go-round with the Vintage Bass Octave. Some of the first units had chattery artifacts on Oct 1 that would ring out long after you played a note, but MXR's rep said they fixed it so I took a chance on it again. So glad I did! Check out my recordings and tell me what you think.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Robertron

    Robertron

    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    You've done a great service for anyone looking for octavers!
     
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  3. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer

    Jan 21, 2009
    Québec
    Awesomeness thank you.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  4. Cool. I actually think the OC2 sounds noticeably better.
     
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i've pretty much given up using an octave pedal --- but i appreciate your quest! it's good to know that the VBO is a better tracker, however. lots of folks will appreciate that fact alone! ;)
     
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Really? I can't tell a lick of difference in the tones. But if that's your opinion, I respect it.
     
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  7. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    Thank you!
    Based on this review I am 98% certain that I'll get one of these on return from holiday, very late August. :thumbsup:


    Still...I might well wait for the special edition in brown. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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  8. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Couldn't say if it's the volume difference doing the talking, but to me the MXR has just a touch more mid presence. Which, if true, I think would help in a mix. Either way, both sound great. OC2 the old standby, and VBO the modern update. I keep wondering if Boss is gonna do a Waza reissue of the OC2 or something.

    I'm personally gonna pick up a VBO for my collection. I like the size especially.
     
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  9. Diegombass

    Diegombass

    Sep 19, 2012
    Spain
    Blind contest?
     
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  10. kranahan

    kranahan Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I've been waiting for these recordings. I'll be swapping my OC-2 for the MXR VBO.
     
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  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Eh, I suppose I could do one, but personally I don't need it to decide they sound the same. I have ears :D
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    And BTW, Juan Alderete agrees with me :D

     
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  13. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Thanks Jimmy! I have an OC-2 on loan from my guitarist right now. Still learning how to integrate it properly into a bass rig, but it sure is fun to kick on in some songs.

    Any tips on where to place it (or any octaver in general) in a pedal chain, and/or how to improve tracking and reduce glitches? What sort of musical context are you using it for?

    Currently GASing for a Broughton Synth Voice, but the MXR looks great too.
     
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  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    No joy I’m afraid. I get this. IPhone specific issue do you think?

    CCAEEEC1-85FD-407E-AA2D-BD1E9C97AA1C.jpeg 3CF0F253-E51C-4371-B5EA-F32DD9213EE4.jpeg
     
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  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
  16. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I put mine as close to the bass source as possible for that exact reason. If I put other pedals before it, the tracking gets affected.

    Musical context? Mostly where I need a synthy sound. Used to love it for when we did songs like "Let's Groove" by Earth Wind and Fire or the intro to "Get Down On It" by Kool And The Gang. It's also fun for Hollywood endings :D
     
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  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    If you guys with iPhones want, PM your email addys to me and I can send you the files in a little bit. Should be about 2 meg.
     
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  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I happen to really like the poop brown of the OC2 :D Thanks for sharing Jimmy!!
     
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  20. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Thanks, just DL'd them on my work computer, so all good.

    I agree that the pedals sound similar enough (on some half-decent headphones) for me to consider them indistinguishable, especially in a dense mix. The MXR having the Mid control and being considerably smaller gives it the edge. Certainly not cheap though, $230 CAD at Long and McQuade. Ouch.

    I've used my borrowed OC-2 almost exclusively for Hollywood Endings :). And I think maybe a few Black Keys type songs when I didn't have a fuzz handy. Great response from the crowd and band-mates whenever I kicked it on, so definitely worth keeping around. :)
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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