Price paid: £ 40
Purchased from: BYOC
Sound — 7
I use this with a Laney VC-15, an Ibanez S470, DigiTech Whammy, DigiTech Digital Delay, EHX Soul Preacher compressor, and sometimes a Dunlop Crybaby wah. This gives great biting, thick fuzz: snarling, vicious and sharp. Absolutely brilliant for really dirty riffing and lead stuff, although I find mine loses punch on the top 2 strings. It also keeps chords fairly well defined until the intensity is turned right up. The octave up is quite a cool feature: it can sound synthy, a bit like a ring mod, or just add extra top end bite without the octave really being audible. There doesn't seem to be any rule to this, it depends a lot on the Drive and your tone (I.e. more treble/bass will change it's character quite a lot). Personally, I'm not interested, but most people probably want this for that Hendrix sound, and I'm not really sure whether it does reproduce that accurately, as I don't really listen to Hendrix, but from some experimentation with amp settings, I've gotten a passable Hendrix-y tone. Of course, some of that difference will be in that I have an amp and a guitar with very different characters to his. Also, because people might care, it is true bypass.
Overall Impression — 7
I mainly play pop-rock/post-punk/experimental music, along with plenty of other styles, and I find myself using this most of the time. It has become a huge part of my sound. This pedal will satisfy most fuzz needs, but doesn't really do that old-skool fuzz sound brilliantly; it's a bit more aggressive, with more gain. It also doesn't get into the weird oscillations/feedback of really crazy fuzz pedals (like Devi Ever stuff). If it were lost or stolen, I would probably not get another, as I'd rather get a bitcrusher or a glitchy fuzz. That isn't because of the quality of this pedal, I'm just more into that sort of noise thing. The BYOC Octave fuzz is a fantastic fuzz pedal, especially for such a low price, AND you get to build it yourself. I realise that it's easily possible to buy the components for a fuzz and build it completely by yourself, but for beginners, this is a good kit, a good introduction to DIY effects, and a great-sounding fuzz.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The reliability of the pedal pretty much depends on the quality of your soldering and assembly. All the components seem good quality, and the enclosure is very solid. It's much tougher than a Boss pedal, and will probably stand up to all but the most ridiculous abuse. I've gigged with it numerous times and it has never let me down. Although I don't use batteries anymore since I got a new power supply, this pedal uses virtually no battery power. I had one battery in for about 4/5 months of regular use and it was fine.
Ease of Use — 8
Making the pedal was pretty easy, as you get given instructions and all you need is a basic grasp of soldering. Also, this particular pedal has a very low parts count and is easy to assemble. This is part of the reason I chose it, as it was my first build. When made, getting a good sound is easy: all settings sound good as long as your amp and guitar do. With just 2 knobs: volume and Drive, and an octave on/off Switch, it's very easy to get the sound you're looking for.