OC-3 Super Octave Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 01/13/2012 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: OC-3 Super Octave
The BOSS OC-3 Super Octave gives guitarists high-quality octave effects with a single stomp. Three modes are provided, including a new Polyphonic Octave mode, a Drive mode with distortion, and the original OC-2 mode. The versatile OC-3 also works with bass!
 Sound: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Ease of Use: 8
 Overall rating:
 8.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 8.4 
 Votes:
 27 
reviews (3) pictures (2) 28 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
OC-3 Super Octave Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 20, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 139

Purchased from: The Music Shop

Ease of Use: There are 4 knobs on this pedal. "Level" which is basicly the output volume. "Oct 1 level" which is the sound of the octave. The third knob controls the tone of the fourth knob, which is a little confusing at first. The fourth knob lets you choose from Polyphonic Octave, a second octave in edition to Oct 1, or a drive setting. The manuel comes with various presets to help you get the basic types of sounds you might want. I recommend reading the manuel several times to really understand what each setting does and how and when to use each setting. // 6

Sound: The octave sounds on this are great. Personally, I use it with a Boss Metal Zone (MT-2) and I get great unique chunky metal drives out of it. I always had a hunch, that if you didn't have a bass player, but 2 guitarists, you could get one on this OC-3 and give him low end octave and pretty much make him the "bass" player. Some things to try on this pedal are things like; soloing on the highest frets you have. It will still keep the octave sounding and it sounds really cool. Switch it to polyphonic and try playing palm muted power chords. Doing this, it is easy to make unique sounding riffs. This pedal will give you a wide range of genre sounds, from metal (use the drive distortion on the pedal) to clean (turn down the drive distortion). Like I said before, you can also use this pedal as a bass, and if you have a bass, you can still use this pedal, as it has dual guitar/bass inputs. You can easily throw this in a line up of pedals with no worry. My setup is as follows: MT-2 -> OC-3 -> amp. This pedal doesn't generate any unwanted noise so I don't really need a noise limiter. The only thing I could picture someone wanting more out of this would be sustain. But you can solve that with a Boss Compression Sustainer and make your harmonics really squeel. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Every Boss product is made top of the line. You could drop it, kick it, whatever, it is housed in a thick metal case(although the pedal is still pretty light). I have even used incorrect AC adapters (not a good idea) and this thing didn't even think about shorting out. I would deffinatly use this on a gig without a back up. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal, and this really suits me perfectly. If I ever lost this pedal, or something had happened to it, I would go out and buy it again. It is worth the money. This pedal is a deffinate upgrade to the OC-2 (Boss's orignial Octave Pedal). I love that this thing has a Direct Output, and a Mono Output. If you don't know what those mean, don't worry, the instructions give you all the info you need to know. // 10

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overall: 9.8
OC-3 Super Octave Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 15, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 120

Purchased from: Long and Mcquade

Ease of Use: This pedal is good for a lot of styles. You can change your sound a whole lot with only four knobs. The POLY mode is great for playing chords, and works really well. // 10

Sound: The pedal sounds really great, even when you have a Squir Strat and a Randall RG75D, which is what I use. The Drive channel is really great if you want to add a little break-up, or if you want an incredibly abnoxious, fuzzy tone. The OCT 2 mode sounds really nice, and if you want to add a second octave to your sound, you can. I find it sounds really neat if you play higher up the neck, but if you play lower down it just sounds really growly. Just remember not to play chords in the OCT 2 mode. If you plan to play chords with the POLY mode, it just gives it a more fuller sound. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's in a really durable steel case, so I don't think it would break if I droped from 10 feet high onto a cement floor. As for reliability, I would not play a gig with it useing only a battery. I had problems with the battery the first day I got it, so buy the PSA adapter (not included). Eversince I got the PSA adapter, I never had any trouble with it. // 9

Overall Impression: If you just play a whole bunch of styles of music, of if you're not sure what you play, I would strongly recomend buying it. I've had it for 2 months, and so far, it hasn't failed me (exept for te battery). // 10

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overall: 8.8
OC-3 Super Octave Reviewed by: njpg, on january 13, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: It's not hard to use, but it IS easy to misuse! Tweaking any knob too far can result in absolutely horrible noises, and on certain settings a lot will depend on your dynamics. The instructions offer setting recommendations, very helpful in giving the musician a place to start. They suggest using the neck pickup alone when using the OC-3, and rolling back the guitar's tone knob if you get noise or incorrect signal processing. I have found that using the neck pickup is indeed usually a good idea, but following these recommendations will not substitute for attention to your dynamics (what your hands are doing on the strings in terms of sound control). This is not a pedal that does what you want all by itself once you set it: you have to constantly interact with it, as with your guitar. // 8

Sound: I use a Godin LG with Seymour Duncan P90 pickups, a Fryette Valvulator to keep my signal clear, several other effects, and a Fender Mustang I amp set like a '65 Twin Reverb. The OC-3 benefits a lot from the use of a Compressor ahead of it in the chain, and I use a Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone, my current favorite pedal, for this purpose. Setting the "level" knob at 3:00 provides unity volume. I NEVER use the "drive" mode, which provides a very hard to handle, ugly and unpleasant variety of distortion and a lot of unintentional noise. When playing jam/jazz/rock type stuff, I usually have it set on "poly" mode, which is not as finicky a setting as "oct 2" in terms of accepting polyphonic signal. You still have to be a little careful: you CAN play chords, but I typically don't when using this pedal. Also, this setting only gives an octave sound part-way up the fretboard and down the strings, depending on where you have the "range" knob set. "Oct 2", of course, provides a much more evident octave sound and the option of a second octave down as well as the first. You can't play any chords or double ANY notes on this setting or you get noise, so take care to muffle all strings but the one you're playing. I only find this setting useful when doing improv free-form jazz fusion type stuff myself, but I'm glad it's there to use when I want a little extra weirdness. I usual have the "oct1" and "range/oct 2" knobs both at 2:00 for the rock I usually play, but this pedal comes in useful in a different format that I'd like to mention. I also play solo fingerstyle country blues, and for this I use the OC-3 on "poly" mode with "oct 1" and "range" set at about 10:30, giving me just a slight low octave on the lower notes only. It sounds like I have a partner playing washtub bass! Preceding the OC-3 in this case is the compressor, on a subtle setting. // 9

Reliability & Durability: My OC-3 seems very sturdy, as all Boss pedals are. // 10

Overall Impression: This isn't one of my absolute favorite pedals, but I do like very much to use it for certain things. It's most useful in funky music, where my Crybaby Wah makes a good pairing. I have enough other distortion and Overdrive options that I don't have to touch the OC-3's horrible-sounding "drive" mode, the only feature on the pedal I find useless. I love the washtub bass sound I can get out of it, which I mentioned above. And I like that it makes me pay attention to how I'm playing, which helps me be a better musician. Still, I will never replace it with another of its kind. It was the cheapest octave pedal I felt comfortable buying, and I got it used. Many higher-end pedals combine higher quality octave generation with lots of other functions, and at some point I intend to upgrade to the Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator or the Electro-Harmonix HOG Octave Generator/Synthesizer. But for an entry-level octave generator, the Boss pedal is great. It will definitely always have a home on my country blues effects board. // 8

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