Mastro Valvola OFF1 Review

A deep octave-fuzz-filter with interactive controls.

Versatile, interactive controls offer deep access to tones. Fast octave tracking.

On its own, the fuzz circuit is a bit bright.

$310

Mastro Valvola OFF1
mastrovalvola.it

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Octave fuzz often sounds best when applied in brutish extremes, where tracking goes explosively haywire. But some pedal builders have made the case for a more refined approach. Mastro Valvola’s OFF1—an octave fuzz filter that combines three analog circuits, an octave with sub1 and sub2 frequencies, a fuzz, and a ladder filter—fits that bill.

The OFF1’s octave and fuzz circuits can be used independently, each controlled by their own footswitch, while the filter is tied to the fuzz circuit. The octave controls are simple, with three level controls for dry, sub1, and sub2. Sub1 tracks well, while cranking sub2 is home to the most glitchiness. The fuzz circuit is bright. And generally, I kept the tone knob at sub-noon settings, with the mid-shift toggle on, so I could tame the treble. But when using fuzz with the octave circuit, all that treble is an asset. The filter has a wide range, and I accessed everything from crushing distorted organ bass to square-wave-style faux synth and treble-y cocked-wah sounds.

The OFF1 rewarded my recent ZZ Top obsession by getting me as close to the Reverend’s tone as I could hope for with an SG and a Deluxe Reverb.

Though I tested the OFF1 with and SG and a Strat-style instrument, I found that the fuzz circuit played best with humbuckers. The OFF1 rewarded my recent ZZ Top obsession by getting me as close to the Reverend’s tone as I could hope for with an SG and a Deluxe Reverb. The OFF1 is a refined, well-crafted pedal, and with so much controllability, there is much to discover.

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