Quick Hit: Pigtronix Octava Micro Review
Amazing oomph and wonderfully weird ring-modulator tones somehow cram in next to classic octave sounds in this tiny treasure.
Recorded with a Squier/Warmoth “Jazzblaster” into the Octava Micro and an MXR Reverb, and then routed to a Jaguar HC50 miked with a Royer R-121 and a Goodsell Valpreaux 21 miked with a Shure SM57, both feeding an Apogee Duet going into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Bridge pickup. First bypassed, then with Octava volume at 3 o’clock, blend at max, filter at 1 o’clock, drive at 4:30, and fuzz circuit disengaged.
Clip 2: Neck pickup. First bypassed, then with Octava (fuzz circuit engaged) volume at 11 o’clock, and blend, filter, and drive at max.
Killer range of gnarly, classic-sounding fuzz and octave tones. Astounding oomph in tiny footprint.
Lacks mind-controlled Inspector Gadget-style popout footswitch for fuzz circuit.
Ease of Use:
The Octava Micro uses five controls—a fuzz-circuit pushbutton and volume, master blend, filter, and drive knobs—to cram an updated take on the analog octave-up circuit from Pigtronix’s Disnortion into a housing with proportions roughly the inverse of its havoc-creating potential.
While the fuzz is unfortunately not independently footswitchable, the Octava Micro is capable of lardaceously huge tones even with fuzz disabled, thanks to the powerful drive section at the beginning of the signal path.
The blend knob determines how much classic-toned octaving goes into the mix—vintage-flavored tones that’ll remind some of Hendrix and Trower—while the low-pass filter control lets you brighten or tame EQ response for different pickup types. And the volume control packs serious amp-driving wallop.
With fuzz engaged and extreme blend and drive settings, the Octava becomes far more than just an octaver, going from ring-modulator-ish sounds that eff-up certain scale intervals in a deliciously unpredictable way to transforming just about any guitar—including my vintage-voiced Tele—into a doom-rock/metal bludgeon.