Jam Pedals has just unveiled the latest guitar effects pedal from their ever-inventive Custom Shop and it is so cool that, well, it comes out of the box dressed head-to-toe in an olive drab suede jacket. The pedal is the Octaurus and it is an octave fuzz pedal inspired by classic octafuzzes of yore but with some nice contemporary twists.
No, the Greek stompbox company has not gone digital here, but it is cognisant of the fact that today’s player likes options, the more the better, when shaping their electric guitar tone.
And so you’ll find switchable clipping – choose from asymmetrical or symmetrical – on one toggle switch, plus mids-scooped and full voicings on another. Choose the tighter mids-scooped voice for a “more industrial fuzz” in which that octave effect will be a little more noticeable.
The full voicing is more full-range and you can bet your bottom dollar that at extreme settings with everything close to or dimed all manner of extra harmonic will come tumbling out of the speaker cone, which from time to time is exactly the sort of anarchy you want from an octafuzz.
Thereafter you’ve got the holy trinity of Level, Tone and Gain to dial in a sound. Tone adjusts the Tone. Gain adjusts the gain and Level… Well, you get the picture.
“Inspired by the octafuzz tones from the golden era of guitar music, the Octaurus ltd is not looking to emulate but rather build on this rich lineage while claiming its place as one of the finest examples of the genre out there,” says Jam Pedals. “Identifying our favourite behavioural attributes scattered across many different legendary octafuzzes of the past, our mission was to find a way to bring them all together in a single standalone device.”
If the switching options is where you’ll find the brand building upon that storied lineage, under the hood is where you might recognise some some of the circuitboard of classic units gone by.
Now, this section of the spec always gives the cork-sniffers reason to get excited – a significant portion of the guitar playing demographic less so – but it should be noted that Jam Pedals went digging in the crates in search of NOS transistors for this.
The stars of the Octaurus’ turret-based point-to-point circuit are early ‘60s NOS silicon transistors manufactured by Transitron or General Instruments and are “similar to” 2N335/336s. The innards of this pedal certainly does look aesthetically pleasing and in order.
The zip-up pedal cover looks incredibly cool but if you’re wondering how it’s going to sit on your pedalboard then fret not because each pedal comes with an aluminium plate to ease mounting.
This bull will rage on 9V from a pedalboard power supply but also can take a battery. It is true bypass and available now. Initial batches have sold out direct from Jam Pedals but more are planned, expected to ship by the end of February 2024, and you might find some via select retailers.
The Octaurus is priced £399/$419. See for more details.