Ok, so you have eight effects pedals which you use regularly. You use various combinations of these pedals in various songs, but you are not good at tap dancing…or you are just clumsy and have (once or twice) stepped on the ultra tricked out-metalized-distortion pedal for the lead in your one ABBA cover. You have seen the digital effects controllers they use on the big stages, and have secretly yearned for one… even though you may never make the big stage. Enter Thomas Guldmann’s Octa-switch II. Your eight effects plug into the eight effects-loops on the back of this unit (all true-bypass, impedance free, gold relays so you can run any of your pedals, new and old without problem), and then by turning on or off the numbered switches in each of eight DIP Bank switches, you determine which effects you wish to use simultaneously in each Bank. There is a blue LED for every effects loop used and for each Bank (so once you are programmed, when you step on Bank 6 you will see the lights of all the effects you have assigned to Bank 6 and the Bank 6 LED). The Octa-switch II has incorporated a couple new features as well! The ninth switch on the left side of the case is a BYPASS Switch….this allows you to completely bypass all eight pedals and enjoy only the unaffected sound of your amplifier. There are also two External Switching jacks which allow you to use two amplifiers and/or switch channels on those amps. Once you have all the Banks programmed, we recommend placing a piece of scotch or electrical tape over each DIP (….just to protect the switch from accidental switching, damage or floods….like beer). There is a buffered (or not….switchable) Mono input and a stereo Output, and the unit is powered by dual 9v batteries, or by a regulated power supply…like the Big John or the Pro Power (both by Carl Martin).
To set up the Octa-swtch, plug up to eight pedals and amp(s) into the appropriate inputs/outputs on the back of the pedal. The pedals can be in any particular order you prefer or you can follow the general rule from 1-8 of compression, overdrive, and modulation. Then by turning on or off the numbered switches in each of eight DIP Bank switches, you determine which effects you wish to use simultaneously in each Bank. There is a blue LED for every effects loop used and for each Bank (so once you are programmed, when you step on Bank 6 you will see the lights of all the effects you have assigned to Bank 6 and the Bank 6 LED). In order for the pedals to work properly with the Octa-switch, all the pedals must be turned on. (A quick performance note is required here….when you are using the Octa-switch, and there are pedals you only use rarely, it is a good idea to turn them off and then on again to disperse any built up charge that could cause a ‘pop’ when you engage them with the Bank switch….a good time to do this is at the end of each set you play!)
Please note, the DIP switches are slide type, NOT push down. They are easily operated with a small screwdriver, a pen, or a very very small finger.
There is a buffered or True Bypass (non-buffered) switch at the back of the Octa-switch which you select depending on the stage set-up or your personal preference. On large stages when running long connected cables, there is a definite drop in the high end of your guitar sound (more or less depending on the input impedance of your amplifier). The solution according to Thomas was once again ‘simple’. He built in a buffer circuit at the input, so the user can choose between 100% true bypass, or, a buffered bypass to ‘beef’ up the signal.
The Octaswitch has stereo outputs as well as the stereo return on Loop 8 (this is a stereo jack with tip-left and ring-right). Since stereo effects like choruses are placed at the end of your effects-chain, we would typically insert them in Loop 8.
The Octa-Switch has nine switches, the eight are presets and the ninth is an effect Bypass, which will bypass the Octa-switch to your un-affected amplifier sound. Please note if the Buffered Input is engaged at the back of the pedal, it will also be engaged in the bypass Mode on top of the pedal, as they work in conjunction with each other. Similarly, if the True Bypass Input is engaged at the back, the Bypass switch on top will switch to a True Bypass signal.
The Octa-Switch has two external switching jacks for changing channels on your amp(s), or other operational features.
Setting up the External Switches, is as easy as setting up the Banks. The two external outputs correspond to the two DIP switches above them and their Green/Red LED’s. The simplest set-up is with one amp…. plug the amp’s channel switch into the External Switch Jack 1, and select which of the eight banks require a switched channel (ie high gain) by setting the individual DIP Switches to ‘ON’. Now; when you engage Bank 6 for instance, it will automatically switch to high gain rather than having to step on another separate switch.
Please note that different amplifiers and different amplifier companies use different switching systems. If plugging straight into the Octa-switch does not give you the desired result, we suggest you contact your local qualified amp technician and have him make the required change to your amp’s switch, so it will function with the Octa-switch. (It is impossible to have a switching system that will work with every amp on the market, but because all switching systems are similar, it should be possible to have them all work with the Octa-switch with! For safety reasons, we do not recommend you open or attempt to service this pedal, your switches or your amplifiers unless you have the proper qualifications!)
This is what they say
Premier Guitar (USA)
Being an effects junkie myself, I’ve always dreamed of a device like this, something that’s easy to use, sounds good and is affordable.
After a certain amount of conservative experimenting, I realized that I had a very versatile tool in front of me, capable of mixing and matching effects in ways that I’ve always been hesitant to try because it would be such a huge pain to duplicate live.
It was really a great feeling to be able to command such a unique, surprising tone with the stomp of a single switch. I can say with certainty that the Octaswitch could completely change the way that you think about your effects.
See complete review here!
I received two days ago my new Octaswitch.
This product is fantastic, no tone sucking at all, no noise at all, very easy to use, excellent relation price quality, very nice design, etc, etc. I am very much satisfied by the first investment carried out in Carl Martin. Congratulations!!! Your team did an excellent work.
If you have interest I will be going to announce the Carl Martin Octaswitch on myspace:
From Harmony Central.Com
See complete review here!
Vvery easy to use and sounds great no tone loss what so ever!!!
my amp sound better than ever!!!!!!!!!!
Running though a eric johnson strat with joe bardens pickups.
1)budda wah 2)boss tuner,
3)analogman king of tone 3)analogman sd1(frog)mod 4)another sd1(frog)for(lead boost),5)analogman dd6 hicutmod delay,6)boss super chorus and
then into a bad cat cubII non-reverb amp. all george l’s cables
and powered by voodoo lab ………….
This is a great unit, especially if you have a lot of effects and you want to be able to assign preset combinations of them and switch between them. If you want to also switch between amps you can set up the loops as amp sends. I use two amps and this is very useful. The built in buffer allows transparency.
There is no midi to worry about, everything is set up physically with dip switches. I have an all analog rig and the last thing I wanted to do was confuse things with a digital switching system, this is a great way to have intelligent switching without any midi.