Blue box or build?

Dan0h

Well-known member
Mxr Blue box. For $80 it’s almost worth just buying one… thoughts, equivalents, is there an octave down build that doesn’t fuzz the signal?

One of my percolator builds adds a wicked octave on the G string fret 7 and lower, and of course my Life clone does the octave thing, but thinking a straight octave pedal would be cool.
 

BuddytheReow

Breadboard Baker
If you want straight octave, then the blue box isn't the way to go. There's a stripboard layout for one to toggle the octaves (1 or 2) which is pretty cool. I'm finishing up that project hopefully soon.
 

Bricksnbeatles

Well-known member
The blue box is fun but not necessarily practical. The PedalPCB Ocelot might be good for a clean octave for you, but i personally don’t love the oc-2 as much as the hype around them made me think I would.
Personally my favorite diy octave is the U-235 by Parasit Studios. It’s a CMOS based octaver with great tracking and a really clean octave sound, either one or two octaves down (or a “detune” mode which is really weird but useable sound), and they have a PCB for it, or you can just build the stripboard layout for it.
 

Dan0h

Well-known member
The blue box is fun but not necessarily practical. The PedalPCB Ocelot might be good for a clean octave for you, but i personally don’t love the oc-2 as much as the hype around them made me think I would.
Personally my favorite diy octave is the U-235 by Parasit Studios. It’s a CMOS based octaver with great tracking and a really clean octave sound, either one or two octaves down (or a “detune” mode which is really weird but useable sound), and they have a PCB for it, or you can just build the stripboard layoutfor it.
Very good to know and thank you for the link. I might try to Perf board this build.
 

Gordo

Well-known member
Blue box sounds like nothing else. Well it does sound like the Zep recording but even that's a stretch. And Jeff Beck's use is like everything else he uses...nobody else can get that sound.

It's worth building.
 

Mentaltossflycoon

Well-known member
Octave obsessed individual here. I've built all of these and I'd suggest you also build them all. I agree that the blue box is definitely the least useful. Parasit has some fun synthy ones too. The 8bitar is pretty sweet for such a small pcb but my favorite is the arcadiator. Ocelot is the king overall but I wouldn't be caught without my meatbox either, but that's another animal entirely. I added a boost circuit after the ocelot as I alway feel like it needs a tiny bit more volume than provided.

The u235 is cool but I honestly struggled to use it and I can't quite put my finger on why. It's definitely it's own thing, not an oc2, not synthy like the other parasits. Ended up putting it in an electric kalimba and it shockingly sounds amazing with the cheapo piezos.

I'm currently working on a pearl octaver(delyk up down daddy). The board has ics on both sides which is cuckoo and most of the resistors have to be put in sideways but I'm getting excited. I wish I had more to report on that.
 

Matmosphere

Well-known member
I really like the u235 as well, it has a really deep, full sound. I was getting some bassy Deep Purple/keyboard type sounds out of it. Lots of fun. Great for single notes, less so for chords.

I made a Bitbreaker Deluxe from Parasit and it is crazy fun. Roll back the tone pot, play around the twelfth fret, take any not so great modulation pedal and run it with a Bitbreaker Deluxe and you’re in toan heaven. Just massive.
 

Mentaltossflycoon

Well-known member
Multi instrumentalist actually but bass is the current main. I used to be in a rhodes trio switching between an electric upright and a baritone through an EHX H.O.G. The bassist role was passed around a bit, even within one song. While my favorite use of octaver is bass into a clean oc2 with the oct1 soloed (a la Tim Lefebvre), I find guitar through the oc2 into dirt to be a wonderful wonderful thing.
 

daeg

Well-known member
Multi instrumentalist actually but bass is the current main. I used to be in a rhodes trio switching between an electric upright and a baritone through an EHX H.O.G. The bassist role was passed around a bit, even within one song. While my favorite use of octaver is bass into a clean oc2 with the oct1 soloed (a la Tim Lefebvre), I find guitar through the oc2 into dirt to be a wonderful wonderful thing.
Ah yeah. That's what I was guessing.

After trying a Blue Box and some of the Parasit Studio circuits I decided I liked clean analog octave into distortion more than the square wave octave down. By pairing an OC-2, POG, UBoat, U235 or similar with a distortion pedal, you can get cool roots rock or synthy sounds, but still have some dynamics if you want them. With the ones that just beam signal straight out of a Logic IC, you're stuck with totally flat dynamics and a sputtery decay.

Currently my board has a Digitech Drop and an OC-2 (PedalPCB Ocelot), and each are really only seeing use as faux Bass for looping. Despite it's limitations the OC-2 has more spunk, no latency and can be a bit more convincing at times.
 

Mentaltossflycoon

Well-known member
The digitech stuff is like the only commonly used octave pedals I've never tried. I think my experience with a digitech RP-6 back in the mid 90s put me off the brand. I found zero useable sounds in that thing. It's probably time for me to try a whammy or something. They've come a long way.
 

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