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In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best octave pedals for guitars.
I’ve compared sound, features, design, and cost to determine which is the best.
What Is The Best Octave Pedal?
Octave Pedal Reviews
BOSS OC-5 Octave Pedal
BOSS OC-5 Octave Pedal Review
The BOSS OC-5 Octave Pedal is an excellent all-purpose pedal, catering for a variety of different needs at once, without sacrificing its ease of use. It is also ideal for either guitar or bass, and a dedicated switch on the side of the pedal allows you to optimize the tracking response for either instrument in an instant.
One of the most attractive features of the pedal is the option to move between ‘Vintage’ mode and ‘Poly’ mode. The former recreates the classic BOSS OC-2 mono octave effect while using enhanced tracking, and the latter serves as a polyphonic sub tracker, greatly enriching your sound in solo or acoustic-type settings.
Both modes benefit from an octave up effect, while the pedal itself can be wall or battery powered. As a result, the BOSS OC-5 Octave Pedal may be the best octave pedal if you are looking for one that can cover all bases.
Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork Polyphonic Pitch Shift Pedal
Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork Polyphonic Pitch Shift Pedal Review
The Pitch Fork Polyphonic Pitch Shift Pedal from Electro-Harmonix is suitable for use with either a guitar or bass guitar and offers a + or – three-octave range.
It can be used to thicken up the sound of your chords, which is especially effective for solo guitar play, resulting in an excellent overall tone.
Options to power the pedal through a power supply or a 9V battery allow it to be used in all settings and situations and the pitch shift function means a six-string guitar can sound like either a 12-string or 18-string. Pitch can also be transposed up, down, or one up and one down simultaneously.
The Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork Polyphonic Pitch Shift Pedal may be the best octave pedal choice if you are seeking a dedicated polyphonic pitch shifter to use as part of your pedal board setup.
Although it is not the most budget-friendly option on this list, it offers versatility, excellent tracking, superb octave range and one of the best layouts.
Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal
Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal Review
The most expensive option on the list, the Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal may also be the best octave pedal for users looking to create some truly unique sounds that are not possible on most other pedals.
In addition to the five polyphonic octave harmonics, the pedal features an effects section, including an attack delay slider, a low-pass filter and a detune fader.
The pedal is powered by a 9V DC power supply and can be connected to other guitar pedals to create more intricate and sophisticated pedal setups.
Best of all, once you create a sound you like, the pedal allows you to save it as a preset and then instantly recall it in the future.
In total, the pedal’s memory provides space for up to eight different presets and it is quick and easy to switch between these saved settings, resulting in supreme control over your sound.
DigiTech Whammy 5 Pitch Shift Pedal
DigiTech Whammy 5 Pitch Shift Pedal Review
DigiTech’s original Whammy pedal was widely regarded as the best octave pedal of its generation and was the first major pedal on the market that allowed for foot-controlled pitch shifting.
While the DigiTech Whammy 5 Pitch Shift Pedal retains the core aesthetics and functions associated with the original, it brings the technology to the next level.
One of the new features is a Classic/Chords switch, with the former option delivering single note bends and the latter option enabling polyphony, providing extra clarity when playing chords.
In terms of pricing, it is a mid-range option, but it provides good value for money. MIDI connectivity means you can connect the pedal to any MIDI device and control the pedal or share information.
It’s also worth noting the pedal makes use of true-bypass circuitry, maintaining your pitch, and avoiding issues linked to signal loss.
Electro-Harmonix Nano Pog Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal
Electro-Harmonix Nano Pog Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal Review
For anyone looking to prioritize simplicity, or hoping to save space on their guitar pedal board, the Electro-Harmonix Nano Pog Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal may just be the best octave pedal on the market.
Measuring just 70mm in width, 115mm in length, and 51mm in height, it packs a lot into its small package, tracking single notes, chords, and sweeps, while delivering that all-important 12-string guitar sound.
Octave up, sub-octave, and dry tone controls are included, along with dry and effect output jacks. Despite its smaller size, it is able to deliver first-class tracking, free from glitches and signal loss.
TC Electronic Sub 'N' Up Mini Octave Pedal
TC Electronic Sub 'N' Up Mini Octave Pedal Review
As the cheapest option on this list, the TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Mini Octave Pedal is naturally going to be among the best octave pedal options for those operating on a tighter budget.
However, its small size also makes it a winner for those looking to save space or hoping to squeeze an extra pedal onto a cramped pedal board.
Controls on the pedal include octave up, sub-octave, and dry tone, and the pedal also delivers polyphonic tracking and true-bypass switching, avoiding signal loss problems.
Meanwhile, the use of TonePrint technology means you can use the TonePrint mobile app and access preset tones made by other guitarists, offering a whole new level of sound experimentation.
On top of this, you can also create your own TonePrints through the editor and utilize these when playing your guitar too.
The Best Octave Pedal Buyer’s Guide
If you are serious about guitar or bass guitar playing, an octave pedal can really help to enrich your sound and provide you with greater options. Nevertheless, octave pedals can be a potentially confusing area to explore, especially for novice guitar players, and this can make finding the best octave pedal a challenge.
This buyer’s guide is intended to provide some quick and useful information to assist you.
How Do Guitar Octave Pedals Work?
A guitar octave pedal is designed to allow you to shift your guitar’s sound eight notes, or twelve semitones (12 frets on a guitar). This is the distance between, for example, one C note and the next C note. This means if you play a C note through an octave pedal, you will still hear a C, but it will be an octave higher – or in some cases, lower.
More advanced octave pedals may also allow you to switch more than one octave at a time. In effect, this means shifting not just the equivalent of 12 semitones, but 24 semitones, or even 36. On top of this, pedals may also provide additional options to enhance your sound, such as by mixing higher and lower octaves together.
What Features Do You Want?
When seeking the best octave pedal, there are certain features you should look out for. Generally, you are going to want modern, digital tracking, as this provides greater accuracy than analog tracking. Your chosen pedal should also provide convenient controls for octave shifting while you play.
Higher-end pedals might offer greater +/- octave range and may also offer optimization for guitar and bass guitar, while some pedals also allow you to save preset sounds, so you can easily return to them at a later date.