Watch the Octavia online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Guitar Effects Survival Guide
The Octavia was created by Roger Mayer for Jimi Hendrix in 1967. It’s musical debut can be heard on “Purple Haze” on the Are You Experienced record. One of the many ground breaking sounds on this recording. The pedal produces a doubling effect an octave above the fundamental note. The octave is similar to a ring modulator in that it is kind of dirty and strange sounding. The best way to get this sound out of an Octavia is by using the neck pickup on the guitar and by experimenting with the tone knob to get a more pronounced octave effect. Some other famous Hendrix tunes using the Octavia are “Who Knows” and “Machine Gun” from Band of Gypsies. If you want to put together a Jimi Hendrix pedal board, the Octavia is a must. There are many great reissues of this pedal on the market, but if you get a chance, like fuzzes, try a few of them next to each other. Even a few of the same pedal, as they often sound very different. One may have more of an octave effect, or be warmer sounding etc. This is due to the use of the transistors that can often have slightly different values that can make big tonal changes.