016 | Fulltone Octafuzz OF-2: A Closer Look at this Fuzz/Octave Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Welcome to episode 16 of the Sonic Renegades podcast, where we're exploring in Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. We've definitely got one that represents that today, it's Fulltone's Octafuzz, if you love Hendrix and you love that tone, you're going to love this pedal.
Hey everybody, Scott Schwertly here with Siren Pedals.

Austin Bryan:
Hey guys, Austin Bryan here with Siren Pedals.

Scott Schwertly:
And we've got a fun one for you guys today, as we mentioned in the teaser there in the beginning, if you love Jimi Hendrix, if you just love that classic fuzz tone, we've got a pedal that should delight your heart. It's the full tone, Octafuzz, or more properly, the Fulltone Octafuzz OF-2 Pedal, which we're going to unpack for you guys today.

Austin Bryan:
Mm-hmm (affirmative) This is a sweet one, man. Octavia and fuzz in one box, classic 60s, 70s type tone effect, what's not to love about this?

Scott Schwertly:
And if you're familiar or not familiar with the Fulltone brand, just brief history, this is a company that was created by Mike Fuller back in 1991, you're probably more familiar with the full tone OCD Overdrive Pedal. That seems to be kind of maybe Fulltone staple as far as pedals are concerned, but this one's also fairly popular as well, as we begin to unpack artists and folks that use this. You'll see some very familiar names again, just because of the popularity of this specific pedal. And then beyond that, obviously the Fulltone brand.
And interestingly enough, this pedal actually takes a lot. This circuit is the only one on the market that's an exact copy of the Tycobrahe Octavia circuit, which the Tycobrahe Octavia is the one, it's the one that folks hear when they associate Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan and hear a lot of those classic Octavia tones. So this pedal, this OF-2 is actually the most accurate replication of that circuit on the market today.

Austin Bryan:
And that original is expensive.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh, yeah. $3,200 expensive.

Austin Bryan:
And that goes all the way back to 1970, which I guess kind of justifies the price. You're really kind of getting a sort of, historic relic in that case.

Scott Schwertly:
A piece of rock and roll history for sure. $3,200 on eBay right now, it has the box, the original wooden box, the sticker, original manual. Crazy.

Austin Bryan:
Now this one's not as bad as far as breaking your bank, an Octafuzz right now, I believe runs for about $135. I think I was seeing that price on Musician's Friend, Sweetwater, similar sites. So, not going to break your bank, a lot more affordable than, than $3,200 for the original.

And holding this in my hands right now, this is a really well-built pedal for $135. The quality of this enclosure is stunning and it looks almost exactly the same as the Tycobrahe Octavia from that time. So pretty cool.

Scott Schwertly:
It kind of reminds me of a BOSS pedal in the fact that it does feel like it's built like a tank. It feels like you could beat this thing up and it'd be still standing.

Austin Bryan:
If someone threw this at you, it would hurt very bad.

Scott Schwertly:
Yes. Now, if you're curious when this pedal actually came out, it actually came out on May 26th, 2010. So it's been around now for almost close to a decade. So pretty impressive.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, and one interesting thing, Mike Fuller had mentioned, he actually starts the OF-2 serial number at number 4,169. He actually sold a total of 4,168 OF-1's. So interesting how he moved over the OF-2 and started there, and really just wanted to get the same size, wanting to get the Octafuzz in a smaller sized enclosure. But interestingly enough as well, the Octa and the Fuzz toggle switch are something that Mike Fullers mentioned is actually something that a lot of companies are copying. So a lot of the Tycobrahe copies that you see out there actually integrate his mod of switching between the Octavia and the Fuzz. And to better explain kind of what those two are for folks that are new in the pedal world. Octavia is a really, really cool effect that picks up octave up sounds with a slight ring modulator, modulation type feel.

So when you're playing, for example, on the neck pickup using an Octavia and you're picking sort of light, you can actually hear a distinct sound of an octave up aspect going on with your tone. So the Octavia kind of brings your notes, especially depending on the pickup position, will actually emphasize some of those higher octave up ranges, flipping down to the fuzz mode for folks that are familiar with Fuzz, you'll love this part. Fuzz is really that nasty, distorted, sustaining tone, that is very quintessential to a lot of the earliest rock and roll tones. So fuzz is a big part of Hendrix's sound, is a big part of a Stevie Ray Vaughan's tone and this pedal in particular gives you the ability to access, if you want more of that Octavia with a slight fuzz boost, or if you just want to go to an exclusive fuzz tone without the Octavia.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. And as we highlight some of the artists, you'll start to connect the dots on exactly kind of the tone that's captured with this sort of pedal. So obviously folks like Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, as you just mentioned, Austin, obviously kind of embody what the Octafuzz is all about. But so if we kind of fast forward to today, you've got folks like Gary Clark Jr. That have been known to use this pedal. So, if you're a fan of Garry Clark Jr. Probably thinking of songs and tones, definitely again, kind of embody what this pedal is all about. Emily Wolfe, Joe Satriani, James Valentine, all kind of, again, just testament to the types of folks that utilize this sort of pedal.

Austin Bryan:
Earl Slick, Rusty Anderson and Scott Henderson are actually folks that utilize on the Octafuzz because of its distinctive effect and its tone and a lot of players actually credit some songs to this pedal. So, if you're looking for something very specific out there, to really, really get yourself in that world of that kind of that 60s to 70s, kind of that bluesy psychedelic type vibe, this pedal is a really big key part. I would say of that sound.

Scott Schwertly:
It's a fun one. It stands out. It's just nice to have it on your pedal board as just another fuzz option for sure.

Austin Bryan:
And if you don't have octave fuzz or Octavia or something of that sort, it's just a good thing to add to the rig. It sounds cool, and whether you play around with fuzz a lot, or if you're new to fuzz or if you're new to an Octavia, it's just a cool thing to have around you never know when you might need to utilize something like this in a recording or a live situation.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So, obviously it sounds cool. I guess the big question here is, does it look cool? There are some complaints I'd have about this pedal obviously it's built like a tank, as we mentioned earlier, I don't like, and you'll see this complaint across different reviews and things like that, the whole power supply issue is a little frustrating and it doesn't work with everything. So if you like to use daisy chains or things like that, you're going to probably have to default to a nine volt battery and it does burn through batteries pretty quickly. So, a little bit of an annoyance, not the end of the world, it's not a deal breaker, but something to keep in mind if you're considering adding something like this to your board.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. Since it is reverse polarity, you might have to get a special adapter. So something to keep in mind there. Or go to exclusive nine volt, which batteries in this sound pretty decent actually. They can burn through pretty quickly. That power supply kind of tricky for maybe some people.

Scott Schwertly:
And again, this is probably super nitpicky, the warning and all that stuff, like some of this stuffs actually almost appears kind of upside down. Does that make sense? I guess that's a decision they decided to make with it, which is again, not a deal breaker, but it did kind of pop out at us.

Austin Bryan:
For a modern update. That would probably make sense. It could be a lot of factors as to why it's upside down, but definitely an oddity in the way that that kind of looks with the warning label.

Scott Schwertly:
We're pedal builders. So obviously we were being more nitpicky than your average consumer. So again, not a hill worth dying on, but at least worth the mention. I'm sure there's a reason for why they did that, but that's just one thing that just stands out to me, but obviously very, kind of minute flaws here. I think it's got way more strengths, way more pros that obviously outweigh any of those sort of negative things, which really in a day aren't really that big of a deal. So what do we really like about this pedal? Obviously it captures that Hendrix tone, I think at the end of the day, that is the standout feature that if you want to get as close to that Hendrix sound as possible, or even that Stevie Ray Vaughan sound, this pedal will empower you to get closer to that or almost capture it in its entirety.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. It's a key part of, I would say that signal chain for the sounds, I think you could easily play around with the fuzz face and get a few things like a tube screamer and, get in the ballpark of their tones. But I think this is a key part of their rig for maybe some specific tunes or parts that you're going to solo and kind of expand on. It's really nice to have this. I think it's a good pedal for that purpose. And kind of looking at the controls and everything, the volume and the boost and that two-way toggle is super simple. So really, just setting the volume where you need it and then taking the boost, how far you want the fuzz to go, the fuzz can get super nasty and super thick and saturated, which is great. And you can back off of it pretty easy to, so, I got to get it points for versatility as a fuzz pedal, cause it's got a lot of options just on the fuzz mode alone just to be able to dial it back.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. And this pedal also is known to have, what Mike Fuller at Fulltone describes as long lasting pot. So not to get overly technical, but the way they've basically included the pots within the circuit, it's there through PCB method, which they tend to be more durable than your average pot. So pot being, obviously the thing that holds the knobs in place. So, interesting technology on that front. So you again are getting a very durable pedal with, with this type of purchase.

Austin Bryan:
Mike, it's a cool one. This is a really cool one.

Scott Schwertly:
For sure. And I got to love that blue it's a stand out.

Austin Bryan:
Being a replica of the original Tycobrahe Octavia. It really captures that with that color, for sure.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So we're going to take this puddle for a spin. We've got our sort of tele, our standard tele here, that we're using in the office.

Austin Bryan:
The trusty tele.

Scott Schwertly:
So maybe you can use a strap for this, but the tele should be just fine. So we're going to hook that up to the pedal, take this thing for a ride here and we'll see you guys on the other side.

Austin Bryan:
That is the full tone Octafuzz. The OF-2, you heard it here. It is what it is. It does what it does, and it does it well.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Super well, very pleased with this puddle. Love the tones. It's a good one.

Austin Bryan:
You guys should be running out right now and looking for one of these they're great, they're phenomenal.

Scott Schwertly:
And fordable too, which is fantastic.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, for $135 bucks to get an Octavia and a fuzz option, you can't beat that.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So since we're in the world of fuzz right now, we're going to kind of stay in this sort of-

Austin Bryan:
Dirt land.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. And we're going to be covering the TC Electronic Dark Matter Distortion Pedal in our next episode. This one's a fun one. It's almost kind of like, I don't know. I kind of like it is almost the opposite of the BOSS DS-1, as far as distortion, it's just more of an open-

Austin Bryan:
It is a unique distortion pedal. It covers a lot of ground. It's going to be a fun one to talk about.

Scott Schwertly:
And it's in that same price range, about $50 bucks or so, it's a good one for sure.

Austin Bryan:
Awesome.

Scott Schwertly:
Well, good deal. What we're looking forward to unpacking that pedal in our next episode until then, have a great day, have a great week and we'll see you next time.

Austin Bryan:
See you later.

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