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Microphone Month 5

Fulltone Ultimate Octave Reviews

4.5 stars based on 5 customer reviews
  • from Hot Springs, AR USA June 6, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Excellent Pedal

    I am very pleased with the fuzz sound I get with this pedal, and the octave switch gives that classic Hendrix 'Purple Haze' tone. Very easy to use and is built to last.

  • from Miami, FL August 1, 2011Music Background:
    Recording/Mixing engineer, Guitarist

    Take a snarling dog and the rev of a Ford GT, added to distortion, you'll be somewhere near this sound.

    I feel sorry for anyone who hasn't tried this pedal. As for me, it is now a must now that I have heard it. The price listed for it, I'll call it generous because even if it was $500, it'd still be worth the money. Whether you're looking to wail on Hendrix solos or just experiment with new sounds, this is the very under-rated candidate to accomplish those needs.

  • from Bluffton, IN July 30, 2011Music Background:
    Part time pro, tone seeker, student

    To octave, or not to octave

    Fulltone Ultimate Octave was my first fuzz pedal purchase. Greg helped a LOT AS ALWAYS! He allowed me to demo an MXR classic fuzz, a Hendrix fuzz (the funny wedge shaped one), and the Fulltone Octafuzz (reportedly the exact same circuit as a Tycho Brahe Octavia). These were all great, but none of them were excellent. I was set on leaving with a fuzz, so I browsed on the sweetwater website one more time and found the Ultimate Octave. With or without the octave effect, this pedal is completely usable, the tone knob is great, great as in, there isn't really a "dead zone" in the sweep. It is a pretty loud pedal (the volume on mine never goes further than 10 o'clock). The fuzz knob for my personal taste gets a little too hairy past 2-3 o'clock. The only thing not excellent about this pedal is the "fat/bright" switch. I leave it on fat all the time because the bright is just way too bright without any mids, but its ok, because if I need that sort of flexability, I know I have it at the flick of a switch. Excellent pedal with a very dedicated fan base, as I discovered after I bought it.

  • from Los Angeles area September 22, 2012Music Background:
    audio engineer/analog sound designer/pro musician (30+ yrs.)

    GOOD CLASIC FUZZ BOX

    In my "forever-endeaver" of sound, I recently purchased the FULLTONE ULTIMATE OCTAVE FUZZ box because I was looking to buy another fuzz, one that might compliment my custom hollowbody Les Paul that I play through an ORANGE Thunderverb 200 (I have multiple fuzz boxes that I have purchased over the years as a sound designer) - basically I was looking for something to use more as a filter-in-chain to push the natural harmonics/dynamics of this particular amp a little further without having to turn the drive too high (I personally prefer a classic rock sound NOT shred) - also I wanted a good fuzz for direct recording (I chose this fuzz after reading many reviews and watching multiple YouTubes). With that in mind I will start with the pros and cons:

    The PROs - It's built like a hand-wired tank (as many others state in the in their reviews) - seriously GOOD quality. Also, it is "relatively" low-noise when plugged in for direct recording (kinda noisy with my ORANGE amp (ALL fuzzes make "noise" - this one makes less than most of my other drive pedals). The actual fuzz effect is genuinely REALLY REALLY GOOD - It is NOT "buzzy", but instead it has a high content of harmonics and bite like a lot of fuzz tones of the late- '60s/ early '70s (not so much like CREAM - but think more like ZEPPELIN's first album or SABBATH's 2nd album or even early FLOYD if used with single-coil). The FAT/BRIGHT switch is a nice luxury (my Les Paul (both humbucked and/or coil-split) sounds better in the FAT when the unit is on, but the BRIGHT setting definitely has a lot to offer too). The octave effect definitely adds overwhelming pinch for solos (almost too much, luckily it turns off - see cons). This box is truly about the "fuzz" - it starts off with tons of fuzz and only increases from there.

    The CONs - first of all, because it is all about the "fuzz", there is not a tremendous amount of difference in the fuzz itself once you turn the fuzz knob past the noon position (a little difference if you play with the tone knob but not much different than you would get with the fuzz/tone knobs adjusted differently in relation to each other). For me, there is simply TOO MUCH octave when the Octave mode is on (a whole lot more than when I watched most YouTube examples - maybe it's simply the particular unit I purchased because the amount of octave does NOT change when the tone knob is adjusted as most claim - furthermore the amount of octave effect does not change regardless of which pick-up I use (as most people claim) - could be just my particular unit, I don't know). This issue with the Octave mode is the primary reason that I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 stars. Don't get me wrong - the octave mode definitely has applications, but mostly for soloing (DON'T plan on playing any chords with the Octave mode ON, it's only going to sound like an OVERLY-modulated ring modulator that's out of tune with whatever key you are playing in). If this pedal had a blend knob for the Octave mode then it would be a perfect 5 star pedal - if you want more subtle (more "useable") octave effect, then I suggest that you use an EHX ring mod with the blend knob turned down OR mix this box in a side-chain, otherwise you can easily have too much of an out-of-tune "GHRLRLRLRLRLRL" sound. Lastly, this box is a bit too noisy to use with a high-gain amp (as almost all drive pedals are - welcome to the world of analog (that's the beauty of the beast which all of us "old-schoolers" hate to love) - BUT - not so noisy (comparative to other drive pedals of its type) when used plugged in for direct recording (see pros).

    OVERALL: In short - I own many fuzz boxes from multiple manufactures (old and new) - this one is the best. This is a good little pedal with tons of classic fuzz that is truly "fuzzy" not "buzzy" AND adds harmonic and bite to the sound (whereas most other fuzzes don't). It is manufactured with great quality. The Octave mode is a bit much (unless the unit is revamped through a side-chain) - with that in mind, the Octave mode is cool for soloing. MOST OF ALL, this box does NOT kill your tone if it is left in the FX chain AND actually compliments your guitar sound as a harmonic filter when the FUZZ is in the OFF mode (and that's what makes this box really worth the money!!!).

    P.S. Do yourself a favor and buy the adapter that goes with it (FULLTONE model # FPS-1) and thanx for reading my thoughts on this unit.

  • from CA September 7, 2012Music Background:
    Kitchen/Garage Musician

    FUZZZZ

    At first I thought this pedal was kind of expensive, but...Very worth it! This thing is a fuzz monster. I'm running it through my Mesa dual rectifier and two V30's. Pedal line goes like this right to left: Zvex SHO - Ultimate Octave -EH Pulsar - to amp...Sometimes have a wah in the mix. I'm getting great fat tones out of the Fulltone, it takes some time playing with the adjustments to get what you are looking for. I like the fat setting, I think the bright setting is too bright. I'm getting the best tone with my amp on the clean channel and use the pedal for fuzz..The octave up feature on this pedal works great, you just need to dial in the tone knob to fine tune that setting (I have it at about 9:00 to 10:00 sounds great) also when using the octave up, single notes or two note chords sound best. This pedal rocks! Great purchase

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