1985 BOSS OC-2 Octave

Model Description:

Octave pedals are not to everyone’s taste and it’s probably one to be used in moderation. Judicious use of the effect can produce some interesting and cool sounds. The Japanese BOSS OC‑2 Octave was one of those effects that followed soon after the success of its more well‑known older relations. Originally introduced as the Octaver, it changed its name to Octave shortly thereafter. The colour also changed subtly in its early years. Its sounds stem from blending the direct note with notes that are 1 and/or 2 octaves lower. Strangely, perhaps, the OC-2 also became popular with bass players as well as guitarists. While some modern pitch shifters are polyphonic or can add a variety of intervals to the original note, there is a cool simplicity to adding deep octave bass lines to guitar and the variable way it tracks notes just adds to the fun. It doesn’t make your guitar a bass though and it actually takes some skill to get the best from it.

Pedal Description:

Like its sound, the brown colour won’t endear the OC‑2 to everyone, even though it is unusual for BOSS pedals in sporting a rather nice metallic paint finish. At first, I thought this was a 1983 pedal. Now, while it is tricky to be accurate, this particular vintage stomp box seems to date to 1985 based on its feature set, including the original black ‘Made in Japan’ label on the base of the pedal and its serial number. Its excellent condition supports the view that it has seen occasional, rather than heavy, use over its life. There is hardly a blemish in evidence, only a few minor marks to the paintwork. Sonically, with a bit of experimentation, you can tease some massively creative and distinctive sounds from it. Natural sounding, it clearly isn’t. In conclusion, maybe the OC‑2 won’t be a vital addition to your pedal board, although it is one that may set you apart from other, perhaps less adventurous, players.


  • Made in Japan by Roland Corporation in 1985
  • The ‘Oct 2’ knob controls the level of the note 2 octaves below the played note
  • The ‘Oct 1’ knob controls the level of the note 1 octave below the played note
  • The ‘Direct Level’ knob blends the amount of original ‘dry’ signal with the shifted note(s)
  • BOSS treadle footswitch turns the effect on and off
  • LED ‘Check’ light to indicate when the effect is in use
  • Standard ¼” input and output mono jack sockets
  • 12V DC (BOSS ACA) power supply or 9V battery
  • Black ‘Made in Japan’ label on the base of the pedal
  • No box or instruction manual

Detail Gallery:

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