Boss OC-3 SUPER Octave
Boss OC-3 SUPER Octave

OC-3 SUPER Octave, Octaver/Harmonizer/Whammy from Boss.

mooseherman 02/08/2010

Boss OC-3 SUPER Octave : mooseherman's user review


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This is primarily an octave shifter pedal, with a few extra unique features such as the Polyphonic Effect and a drive mode which features distortion. These effects cannot be edited through a computer, and the device is not rackable. The pedal uses digital technology. There are two quarter-inch inputs, one for guitar and one for bass, as well as two outputs, a direct out and a mono out. The direct out would take the signal directly to a DI box, and the mono would be run through an amplifier.


The pedal isn't too difficult to use. The effects are easy enough to handle. The pedal in its original mode (the same mode as the similar OC-2) is capable of blending up to three signals, the direct signal, a signal an octave lower, and a signal two octaves lower. The other option is the drive mode, which is basically adding a distortion to the signal you dial in in the original mode. The third mode, the polytonal mode, is interesting in that it will allow you to play chords and double-stops while still achieving the octave effect. This is a bit trickier, as it requires you to adjust for the range that you will be playing in.


I have used this primarily with my Fender Strat, which is my go-to for trying most pedals. The sound quality of this effect, in my opinion, differs between different settings. I personally have never had much use for the second octave below the signal, so I rarely if ever use that setting. I usually just leave that signal at 0. The one octave drop certainly sounds better. It drastically colors the sound of the guitar, and with the drive mode especially it can be an abrasive signal. However, sometimes it's very, very cool. I do wish that there was an octave up feature. The first octave shifter that I tried was the Digitech Whammy pedal, which colors the sound far more than this one does, but also offers you the option of shifting the signal two octaves up. I can't help but compare this pedal to that one in terms of functions, and I usually can't help but be disappointed. As far as sound quality goes though, it is a bit less unnatural-sounding than the Whammy, so if realistic-sounding octave drops are your thing, this is definitely a good pedal to get.


I think I liked the flexibility of signal the most about this pedal. The fact that I could blend three different octaves together into one signal is pretty cool. It greatly expands the range of your instrument, albeit in a limited way. The price isn't really that bad, it usually lists at about $120. I do think that you could get a cheaper octave pedal and be satisfied, but not to the extent that this pedal would bring. The sound quality is one of the more natural-sounding octave pedals I've played. I have played a few other models, and compared to this one, the sound quality was inferior, even if the functionality was greater. I would ultimately recommend this pedal to anyone looking for a more conventional octave pedal.