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Z. Vex Octane 3 Fuzz (Zvex)


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 All Z. Vex pedals are hand painted and hand assembled, and each is unique. The pedal you purchase may vary in appearance from this stock photo.

Remember the late sixties? Jimi turning everyone on to wild fuzz stuff? Maybe not. But you don't have to be old enough to be a hippie to get off on this wild pedal. The circuit uses a combination of germanium diode and transistor fuzz generation and a ring modulator to turn simple chords into nutso note combinations and complex chords into incredible noise...and makes solos soar impossibly high.

Far right knob controls input (drive) level. Use just enough for fun but not too much if you need less noise during quiet spots.

Output level is on the left Watch out when you turn it up.

Turn to right for mid scoop tone ( mellow)...to left for more mids (aggressive).

Use simple chords...three notes if possible... or limit voicing to octaves and fifths. This way you let the pedal generate thirds and control the color of the chords. For solos, play at the twelfth fret (double dot) or higher, using the rhythm pickup. This gives you the purest upper octave result with any brand of high octaver.

The newest Octane has the exact same audio circuit as the older ones, but has a special LED switching system that preserves the true-bypass while adding an LED on/off indicator. Also, this switching system silences the pedal's circuitry while it is in the "off" mode so it doesn't squeal or hiss in the background. Finally, there are two improvements to reduce radio reception, which was a serious problem with the older designs, and the main reason why Z. Vex discontinued the pedal in the first place. In some cities, the older octanes picked up radio louder than the guitar!

As with any fuzz, the nuances of the pedal's tone are lost with a distorted amp. Play fuzz boxes on a cleaner setting to hear the tone... this pedal is so distorted that you won't need any more distortion anyway.

Like all Z. Vex designs, current flow is low in this circuit (<4mA), enhancing battery life. Boards are hand soldered and the electronics are tested three times before shipping.


The box is hand-drilled using no petro lubricants, degreased with natural ethyl alcohol, and hand painted so that every box is unique. Knob are from Harry Davies, who uses the same molds they've had since the fifties. Each effect is dated, signed, and serial numbered.