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Mastro Valvola’s OFF1 combines octave, fuzz and ladder filter effects in one tweakable pedal

It’s only January and yet Mastro Valvola looks to have already released what looks like one of the most interesting guitar effects pedals of the year. 

Well, we say guitar, but the OFF1, which combines sub octave with fuzz and a ladder-style synth filter, is just as suitable for your bass guitar or synthesizer as it is for electric guitar

Sure to find a following among the musically adventurous, the OFF1’s feature set might sound off the wall, but these three effects tend to play nice and complement each other. 

Combining a sub-octave effect capable of going one or two octaves down with a fuzz circuit with a switchable octave-up mode seems like a win-win for everyone. And while we are there, creating some pseudo synth sounds, why not make a night of it and add a filter section, too? 

You can of course use the octave and fuzz effects independently. The octave effect is monophonic with Sub1 and Sub2 each having their own volume control so you can combine them, plus a Dry knob to control the wet/dry mix for the effect. The fuzz section has a toggle switch to engage or bypass the octave-up effect, with controls for Gain, Tone and Volume, plus a mid cut toggle switch for doing just that. 

Meanwhile, the filter is engaged via toggle switch, and has controls for Cutoff, which selects the cutoff frequency of the filter allowing any sounds below the cutoff frequency to pass through unprocessed, and for Res, which controls filter resonance. 

As you dial in more resonance, you send more of the filtered signal back through the filter, and if you get really generous with it (Mastro Valvola says anywhere past 3 o’clock on the Res dial) the unit will self-oscillate – great for wild musical set-pieces, or for sending your dog mad.

There are two footswitches, one each for the octave and fuzz effects, and these can be used in momentary or latching modes. There is an expression pedal or CV input for controlling the cutoff frequency.

Mastro Valvola combines the OFF1’s three analogue circuits in series and gives you plenty of options for tweaking and combining them for crazy, experimental sounds. Using the octave effect in conjunction with the octave-up fuzz can give your electric guitar those broad-frequency synth-y fuzz pedal sounds. 

And as the demo videos here attest to, the OFF1 has an awesome range, from the conventional to the unorthodox. The OFF1 is handmade in Italy, takes a 9V DC power supply, drawing 100mA, and is available now direct from Mastro Valvola priced €290.

See Mastro Valvola (opens in new tab) for more details.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.