The Top Rated Octave Pedal for Bass Sound

Dave Mostert
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You don’t always have to carry an amp to gigs.

Yes, it might not sound so great when you play outdoors, but it sounds pretty good to me. An e-guitarist can never have too many pedals.

Octave pedals are a must-have for dirtying up your sound and adding depth, warmth and uniqueness to your guitar playing.

Below find a review of guitar pedals that do the job.

NameCategoryProduct
BOSS OC-3 Electronic Keyboard Pedal or FootswitchBest OverallBOSS OC-3 Electronic Keyboard Pedal or Footswitch
Donner Digital Octave Guitar Effect Pedal Harmonic Square 7 modesBudget PickDonner Digital Octave Guitar Effect Pedal Harmonic Square 7 modes
Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator Guitar Effects PedalUpgrade PickElectro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator Guitar Effects Pedal

1. BOSS OC-3 Electronic Keyboard Pedal or Footswitch

Our rating: 9 / 10

BOSS OC-3 Electronic Keyboard Pedal or Footswitch

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Pros:

  • A very high number of reviewers are pleased with the pedal (almost 5 stars)
  • It’s fairly priced compared to similar octave pedals

One of the most popular pedals among electronic music enthusiasts and keyboard players is the Boss OC-3.

This model, as you can see above, can be used either as a pedal or a foot pedal. So, you can easily operate it with your feet while seated at your instrument, or you can purchase an optional adapter (Boss PED-1) for use with a standard guitar pedalboard.

The pedal provides you with three modes – Up, Down, and Detune. The first two are pretty self-explanatory while the third is good for creating a different sound. In the event you aren’t familiar with how an octave pedal functions, it works by adding an extra octave to whichever note you’re playing. So, if you press down a C note on your keyboard, hitting the 3 bass pedal will play the C as an octave below. So, if you want to steal a sound from the synthesizer, anybody using one will never realize you’re using a low budget model of pedals.

2. Donner Digital Octave Guitar Effect Pedal Harmonic Square 7 modes

Our rating: 8 / 10

Donner Digital Octave Guitar Effect Pedal Harmonic Square 7 modes

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Pros:

  • Multiple sound mixings
  • Dual switch for your picking convenience
  • Tone modifiers
  • Cascading effect
  • 70” 7-conductor cable

This pedal is ideal for bassists looking to add some analog octave to your tone. It will give you a clean and effective sound. Features like seven classic modes and a dual switch give you the handling you need when playing with this pedal. Plus, there are tone modifiers and cascading effects to go along with the cascading function.

In terms of the pedal itself, it’s a 70” 7-conductor cable that connects to the pedal for a greater level of flexibility. The pedal height is 3.9 inches and 1.5 inches wide, which will fit in most pedal boards easily.

One last thing to mention is the operation, which requires an AC adapter or a battery. It also comes with the manufacturer’s warranty, so you can rest assured that this will not be a problem over time.

3. JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octava Guitar Pedal

Our rating: 8 / 10

JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octava Guitar Pedal

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Pros:

  • Good value for the money
  • Accurate sound
  • Sturdy construction

The Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava Guitar Pedal brings depth and excitement to your electric guitar and bass with its 3-octave range. This tube-like effect pedal is designed for smooth and creamy sound effects for a whole new level of creativity on the stage and beyond. It can also be used to thicken up your overall sound for solos and gives you musical clarity even when you’re using a low-gain amp or distortion pedal.

The Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava Guitar Pedal uses a 12AX7 vacuum tube to deliver that much-loved vintage sound. It has a two-band EQ with a volume switch for easy tweaking along with an overdrive and gain knob to enrich your overall sound. It features a 3-way selector switch where you can choose your desired octave: 3, 5, or 7.

The Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava Guitar Pedal is powered by two 9V batteries (not included). Despite being only 8.4×6.7×2.7 inches and just 4 pounds in weight, the pedal is crafted from thick metal housing. It comes with a warranty card and booklet.

4. MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe

Our rating: 7 / 10

MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe

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Pros:

  • Internal splitter
  • Analog pedal with a true bypass design
  • Durable metal housing
  • 8- to 12-string range
  • Available for left- or right-handed guitarists
  • Budget-friendly
  • All-analog circuitry
  • Convenient size – won’t take up much space on a shelf or in your gig bag
  • True bypass design
  • Great sound quality

Cons:

  • A bit cheaper than some comparable bass octaves
  • Some users found the bass boost circuit to be inadequate for their needs
  • Doesn’t work with all instrument types
  • Low-end frequencies are emphasized way more than the bass boost circuit is
  • Bass boost doesn’t allow the instrument to sound its best

5. Catalinbread Octapussy Modern Octave Fuzz Guitar Effects Pedal

Our rating: 6 / 10

Catalinbread Octapussy Modern Octave Fuzz Guitar Effects Pedal

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Pros:

  • Modern octave doubling for bass and guitar
  • Silk-screened artwork, heavy-duty footswitch
  • True bypass
  • Buffered input to allow long cable runs
  • Buffered output to reduce loading
  • Battery powered footswitch with LED
  • Clean sound with volume control
  • Complete with power supply, and cables

Cons:

  • It is a big pedal, regardless of what you use it with
  • It uses a 9 volt DC adapter instead of batteries

6. AROMA Electric Guitar Effect Pedal Mini Single Effect

Our rating: 6 / 10

AROMA Electric Guitar Effect Pedal Mini Single Effect

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Pros:

  • Reasonable cost
  • Pedalboard-friendly size
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Includes a one-year limited warranty

This may be one of the coolest pedal effects for bass guitar that you’ve seen. This pedal can be useful in a lot of ways. Instead of just adding a bass effect, you can also use it to add a second effect to your bass guitar. It’s also a great practice tool, which allows you to develop various kinds of hands-free techniques. You can even use it when you’re tracking to add specific effects to a particular part.

The pedal comes with a 9-volt battery, so you can start using it once you set it up. This powerful little effect pedal has a guitar output and a guitar input. The pedal uses a true bypass circuit, so your signal won’t be affected when the pedal is in use. The pedal is lightweight, compact, and super easy to use.

This octave pedal features three control dials – a Level control, a Low Boost control, and a High Boost control. Depending on the type of guitar or bass you’re using, changing the control levels will change the dimensions of your sound.

7. Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator Guitar Effects Pedal

Our rating: 6 / 10

Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator Guitar Effects Pedal

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Pros:

  • Small footprint, fairly lightweight
  • MIDI controllable
  • Reasonably priced, considering the features this pedal offers

This is one of the best octave bass pedals in the market today. The EHX Micro POG has a basic, open-box design that allows for easy access to the battery and individual controls. It has a total of eleven knobs on the pedal, including “Envelope,” tone, “Glide,” volume, and “Sub-Octave,” just to name a few.

For easy operation, you can view the functions of each knob as they light up on the control panel. The Micro POG has power rails on either side and an all-metal housing for durability. The pedal requires a 9V DC adapter. When you purchase this pedal, it comes with a 24-inch cable included but not attached to the pedal.

8. Electro-Harmonix Octavix Octave Fuzz Pedal

Our rating: 6 / 10

Electro-Harmonix Octavix Octave Fuzz Pedal

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Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • Big octave range available
  • Built-in bass fuzz
  • Very powerful
  • High quality potentiometer
  • 3-way toggle switch to select to select from octave, sub-octave, and fuzz
  • True bypass design
  • Fairly compact in size
  • Great for bass guitar

Cons:

  • Oscillation issue at various settings can be annoying
  • Not a true-bypass design
  • One of the higher priced octave pedals on the market
  • “Deep” mode can get very noisy

As the most affordable and one of the most useful octave pedals for bass guitar on the market, the Electro-Harmonix Octavix is quite exceptional at several points. For starters, it’s very powerful.

The Contour knob on top of the pedal not only allows you to select the type of octave you’re using – whether a high or low octave (you select the range), or whether you’re using the sub-octave (which adds a very deep sound much closer to the bass guitar) or bass fuzz (which adds some nice texture), but it can also be used to cut the bass in the lower registers if needed, giving you more control over the low end.

9. TC Electronic Sub 'N' Up Octaver Pedal

Our rating: 6 / 10

TC Electronic Sub 'N' Up Octaver Pedal

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Pros:

  • Ability to add sounds from your favorite bassists
  • Holds up to years of use and abuse
  • Excellent value for what you get
  • Will not color the tone of your bass

Cons:

  • It’s not a real bass amplifier … so you cannot get plugged in
  • Not as many tone options as some other octavers

This pedal should be on the top of your list if you are looking for a genuinely unique octave sound. An octave pedal will make your bass sound higher and can be customized to have different tonal qualities as well. This pedal claims that it can help you get the best sounds of the world’s biggest bass musicians.

This pedal is a power player when it comes to the best bass guitar octave pedals. It features a high-frequency filter to allow you to dial in your tone and a frequency scale to help you get the right tune. It also comes with an auxiliary input for recording, so you can hook your bass up to a recorder easily. This is another advantage of this pedal that others don’t have.

One of the most positive things about this pedal is that it allows you to use it with an amp. This is one of the best octave pedals for bass if you need a bass pre-amp mainly.

10. Electro-Harmonix Octave Multiplexer XO Pedal

Our rating: 5 / 10

Electro-Harmonix Octave Multiplexer XO Pedal

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Pros:

  • Simple 3-knob design
  • Solid construction with sturdy metal casing
  • Compact for convenient carrying
  • Auto-shut off saves battery power
  • Versatile settings for a wide variety of tones

Featuring a simple 3-knob design, this pedal allows you to add a deep sub octave to your sound. Basses, synths, and keyboards can benefit from this feature, making this a good option for both beginners and advanced musicians.

Albeit it will take some time for some users to get used to hearing their guitar tone only, there are many other features that will make up for it. One of these is that it goes beyond what the standard octave pedal offers. It has a range of up to 4 octaves and is also capable of other intervals like a 5th, 7th, and 24-cent steps. There are also bypass settings and the ability to adjust the sub-octave tolerance.

This Octave Multiplexer XO works best with synthesizers, keyboards, and bass guitars. If you’re looking for something that can be directly attached to an electric guitar, this pedal might not be the best choice for you. However, you can still use the pedal to add a little extra edge to your guitar tone but it might not be as convenient as other options out there.

11. EarthQuaker Devices Tentacle Analog Octave Up Guitar Effects Pedal

Our rating: 1 / 10

EarthQuaker Devices Tentacle Analog Octave Up Guitar Effects Pedal

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Pros:

  • Available in a choice of black or white
  • It enables the guitarist to get tones similar to Steve Vai, Jack White, John Mayer, and Joe Satriani
  • It produces a classic and powerful tone
  • It comes with a lot of versatility because it has three control knobs
  • It is a low-noise pedal
  • Very dedicated to customer service
  • Great for studio or live performance
  • You can get it at an affordable price

Cons:

  • It is not ideal for a beginner as it requires special knowledge regarding tone and mixing
  • The manual is not very helpful

The EarthQuaker Devices Tentacle Analog Octave Up Guitar Effects Pedal is an expert musician’s tool for achieving guitar effects and tones similar to world class guitarists. As a standalone effect or paired on with your Overdrive, Wah, or Fuzz, you can add an octave up to your bass line, slide, chop, or slam. With its controls of filter, gain, and volume, the Tentacle pedal is an extremely versatile piece of equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best octave pedal for bass?

Octave pedals, as you can imagine, do exactly what they sound like they'd do: they pitch shift a signal up or down one full octave.

An octave pedal is one of the most fun pedals to use when you're messing around or playing with your band. However, many bassists find one octave just not enough or they don't feel the effect is convincing enough. If you're a bassist who hasn't found the perfect pedal just yet, we highly recommend trying out the MXR M149 Micro Octave pedal. This one was designed to give you the perfect bass sound. Like many of the other pedals on the list, it's been a top-performer for years.

What is the best octave pedal?

The octave pedal is a little more complicated than the first two pedals on this list as it has a couple of different uses.

In its simplest form, it allows one to play the octave above or below the note they are currently playing. In another useful application, it can be used to increase the volume of a single note when layered over it.

Most musicians will want a simple but versatile pedal that can do both. Although there aren’t many products that explicitly say they do both, there are a few that specialize more in one area than the other. Neckerson for example is more a specialized gain structure pedal than a versatile one.

On the other hand, some pedals, such as the MXR 6- Band EQ Stereo, has a gain structure but also has a balanced effect for the keyboard.

We recommend taking into consideration what kind of musician you are and what you’ll use the pedal for on a regular basis.

Where should octave pedals be placed?

Generally speaking, octave pedals should be placed on the pedal board right after your overdrive and distortion, or before your modulation effects. Although this placement isn’t strictly necessary, it will give you the best tone.

You can experiment with placement, though, and you may find a nice sound placement for your octave pedal after your delay or reverb.

How do you use a bass octave pedal?

One way to use your octave pedal is by gating the signal from your bass, which we explained earlier on in this post.

But we have the pedal now, so let’s look at the other options of how to use it now that we have it in our hands. Here, we found that a good 90% of musicians are using these pedals for drop tuning.

In this case, you just plug your bass directly into the input of the pedal. You turn the pedal on and you’re now playing with a high “octave up” … if you need to drop down to play a low “octave down”, then you press the “down” button and you stroke the string.

Conclusion

You’ve no doubt heard from plenty of musicians that the best octave pedal for bass sound will help you get an amazing sound. But there are so many options out there that it can be difficult to know where to begin. So we’ve put together this guide to show you details of the 6 top octave pedals for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
BOSS OC-3 Electronic Keyboard Pedal or FootswitchBest OverallBOSS OC-3 Electronic Keyboard Pedal or Footswitch
Donner Digital Octave Guitar Effect Pedal Harmonic Square 7 modesBudget PickDonner Digital Octave Guitar Effect Pedal Harmonic Square 7 modes
Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator Guitar Effects PedalUpgrade PickElectro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator Guitar Effects Pedal