Roger Mayer Octavia Classic


Roger Mayer


The OCTAVIA is probably our most famous and distinctive creation. This effect was designed in early 1967 and featured on "Purple Haze" and "Fire" by Jimi Hendrix. It's unique tones can also be heard on such tracks as "One Rainy ", "Little Miss Lover", "Little Wing", "Machine Gun" etc. The OCTAVIA produces a sound that is an octave higher than the note you are presently playing. This doubling effect is accomplished through electronic mirror imaging techniques that are program sensitive and also respond to the feed forward inputs of the player. The electronic circuitry is analogue in design and will react faithfully to all the subtleties and harmonic overtones from the guitar. The effect produced is very unique but human in quality. The units that are manufactured today are representative of the latest evolution of Octavia that Jimi used and contains the feed forward and gating effect that my earlier evolutions lacked. 

Electronically the OCTAVIA is an analogue circuit with the properties of a frequency doubler, envelope generator and amplitude modulator with addition frequency shaping filter circuits. The effect produced is subtle to wild depending on the settings used and will respond to the attack of the player. A clean tone from the guitar with the tone rolled control rolled off will produce "ring modulated" overtones that characterise the solo to "Who knows ". The sound is tangibly different if a fuzz unit is in front of the Octavia: an upper octave double is created, clearly demonstrated in the solo to "Purple Haze". The bright harmonics are more controllable if the neck pickup is selected and the tone control set to roll off the treble. The effect really comes into it's own on the top E and B strings from the 7th fret up. A clean and precise picking style is essential with particular attention to accurate fretting techniques. 

Jimi placed the Octavia after a fuzz and wah unit in most cases so it would react to the combined effects of both the wah and one or more fuzz boxes. It is important to experiment with how much signal you are driving the Octavia with as this has a great influence on the sound produced.

The Octavia Classic now also comes in the brand new Classic Series enclosure design with the same famous sound and many added extras to help the modern musician and bring the famous Octavia sound forward to the future. The many players who demand the original sound plus a package that is more flexible and pedal board friendly will welcome the additional features and for the purists the famous Rocket Styled Octavia will still be available. 

Octavia Classic Front Panel Controls 

  • DRIVE: This control sets the gain of the stages before the equalizer section and as the gain or drive is increased adds varying harmonics which are then subjected to the Octavia section. It also adds sustain and effects the feedforward action and gating threshold. 
  • TONE: A very effective tone circuit has been added between the drive and octave stages to give control of the signal harmonics. This gives much added flexibility of setting the tone colour required. The original Octavia tone is of course preserved but in the studio with Jimi we used to have various EQ's and drivers to help our Octavia blend and this new feature goes a long way to help you achieve your own perfect blend. 
  • OUTPUT: This controls the final output level desired. 

Octavia Classic Technical Features 

Electronically the Octavia Classic shares all the same basic Classic Series features with dual output buffering or hard wire output etc. 

The Octavia Classic is housed in our new Classic Style enclosure and this new reduction in footprint area together with the jack sockets in the conventional position makes the integration into pedal boards very efficient.

It has both dual direct drive buffered outputs or hard wire output and has provision for an internal 9-Volt Battery (battery life 150Hrs) or can be powered from a 9-Volt DC Power Adapter (not supplied). Extensive internal filtering ensures that noise free operation is maintained even with the most basic of adapters. The dual direct drive outputs that are capable of driving very long leads without any loss and in fact you can use a speaker lead for the outputs if you want without any hum. This direct drive true bypass feature is standard on all our voodoo series and in effect reduces the output lead length to zero. This results in greater detail and fidelity than using two long lengths of guitar leads in traditional hard wire bypass set-ups. The problem of cable noise induced by vibration on stage is eliminated together with electrical magnetic interference induced into shielded cables from lighting rigs etc. Possibly of more importance there is no tone sucking at all from the output length of guitar cable. After all the ultimate guitar cable would have a lead length of zero, and guitar players can detect the difference between long and short cables easily. The overall signal quality in the unit is thus guaranteed right up to amplifier and this overall performance exceeds any other method in use today. When using a Octavia Classic as the last device in a signal chain the distance to the amp does not come into consideration and long leads can be used successfully in recording situations e.g.: playing in the control room. 

  • MULTI-MODE OUTPUTS / HARD WIRE BYPASS/ TWO BUFFERED OUTPUTS: The Octavia Classic has a true hard wire output plus two buffered outputs that can drive long cable lengths with no high frequency loss. These buffered outputs are disconnected when the hard wire output is being used. This means that all performance situations are catered for whether you want a true hard wire output or your situation calls for the advantages of buffered outputs. 
  • BATTERY LIFE: 150Hrs or more using a premium grade alkaline 9 Volt type. 
  • EXTERNAL POWER ADAPTER / SUPPLY: An external AC adapter (not supplied) can be used and access is through a standard DC power jack ( 2.1mm centre pin ) situated next to the jack sockets. Internal onboard filtering ensures that optimum low noise performance is maintained and diode protection provides peace of mind in case of polarity setting mistakes. 
    • Connection protocol: It uses the standard negative centre pin connection protocol used by many leading manufacturers. 
    • Specifications: 9 volt DC. Regulated output is recommended. 
    • Current rating: 50mA or more. 
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: This new reduction in footprint area together with the jack sockets in the conventional position makes the integration into pedal boards very efficient. For a futher reduction in footprint consider our new TC Version of our popular models. 
    • Size: Width 95 x Depth 120x Height 57mm. Weight: 350g.

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