We have talked about this subject countless times, but it keeps coming up due to the fact that every other brand tries to replicate the sound of vintage units. With the price of the originals rising day by day, everyone wants to design something that comes close but does not cost as much. It has turned into a sort of race that does not seem to have the end. Thanks to this interminable journey, we have had the possibility to experiment with those admired sounds without spending everything we have on a single pedal. There are many sought after effects stompboxes out there, and one of them is definitely Octavia. Popularized by Tycobrahe Sound company and utilized frequently by Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, it quickly became a hit and has remained a popular item till this day. Fulltone has been renowned with their tendency to bring those vintage circuits to contemporary customers at a fraction of the cost. This way you still have access to those delightful sounds – at least to their siblings. The pedal we are going to discuss today is called Octafuzz: a unit that promises to be one of the first replications of the Octavia. By breaking down all the features and properties we will see if that statement is true or not. Let’s begin and see how this baby performs!
Sometimes the simplest devices become legendary and that was the exact case with the original Octavia. For that reason, the brands continue that pattern in their replication. Fulltone Octafuzz has the same exact circuitry as the original and it even utilizes the transistors from the same brand. Those details are what makes sure that the character of the original is captured and the sounds emitted are similar to the ones that made history. More importantly, this bad boy features the same quality as other products from the brand. It is built with rugged enclosure, top-notch components and the parts that will withstand quite a few years of playing. The design is characteristic of Fulltone, as well – here we have a blue body with textured surface, white label and the logo. You will know what you are dealing with even from far away since this baby isn’t that easy to forget. In addition, Octafuzz blends together octave and fuzz effects and lets you choose between them intuitively. You can skip octave and move on to fuzzy sounds if that’s what you are looking for. Or stick to both and enjoy those magnificent octave-up sounds. This puppy can easily go nuts, but you can tame it beautifully if you control the dynamics of your picking and the volume of your guitar. Octafuzz can be powered with a single 9V battery and a reversed polarity adapter (where positive goes to the center pin). If you utilize a different one, the unit might malfunction which stands to reason. It is clear as day that this pedal takes things easy, approaches its job with simple attitude and succeeds at creating the sounds we all desire so much.
When it comes to the controls of Fulltone Octafuzz, there is one thing you should keep in mind – you do have your typical onboard controls, yet your guitar volume knob plays a huge role here. This baby is responsive to your instrument, which means you can clean up your sound by making adjustments on your guitar. This way you won’t have to lean down and mess with controls every time you want something smoother. But since the onboard switches include only the essentials, determining the sonic outcome of this one will not be a difficult task even mid-performance.
We shall begin with the available encoders. Volume adjusts the overall output of the pedal, which means that you can modify how loud or quiet your affected signal will be. Then we have Boost, which intensifies your sound, adds some extra ‘oomph’ and allows for more distortion if you so desire. This means that you can utilize clean octave up sounds, or steep it with an extra bite and girth. Between these encoders you will find a toggle that shifts between two options: Fuzz and Octa. The former cuts out octave effect from the circuitry and lets you utilize fuzz in its true nature, while the latter combines them both. The footswitch turns the pedal on whenever you decide to employ the effect and deactivates it if needed.
Fulltone Octafuzz really shines in terms of sound as it has many different layers to work with. You can achieve smooth and defined octave up sounds that can be fuzzed up a bit with the help of the distortion feature. It tracks beautifully and adds effect transparently so that your tone does not get colored in any weird painting. If you utilize octave only occasionally, you definitely can cut it out of the circuit with the help of the toggle. This way you will emit well-structured fuzz that has wonderful harmonic content, right amount of gain and sustain and the depth that makes everything so much fuller. As mentioned above, this bad boy cleans up with the help of your guitar volume knob and the sonic outcome will depend on your picking dynamics. It will respond differently depending on the part of the neck you choose to play with so pay attention to the recommendations of the brand for maximum results. All in all, this fella knows what fuzzy octave-ups are all about!
To sum up everything said above, Fulltone Octafuzz is a wonderful option if you want something that you can trust with life. Its sound will mesmerize you and the ease of utilization will keep you busy for a while. The ability to choose between octave and fuzz sounds is amazing as well, and diversifies the unit a bit. Octafuzz is not the most versatile pedal out there, but it does everything it promises to perfectly. Listen to demos, do some proper research and make a decision accordingly. If you are lazy to do so, you still will not be disappointed. Good luck!
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