Usually on Thursday we’ll do a Throwback Thursday post, but every now and then we like to switch it up. So today I'd like to take a moment check out some of our favorite vintage, hard to find, or discontinued pedals. So in a way, it is still a Throwback Thursday of sorts as we reflect on the gear of yester-year. For today's entry of Vintage Pedal of the Week we’ll be talking about the Pearl Octaver OC-7.
For those unfamiliar, Pearl (not to be confused with the drum company of the same name) was an effects pedal company based out of Japan in the eighties. They were very common in Japan at the time, with the only foreign market really being Europe, unfortunately hardly any of these pedals made it stateside. They released a line of twelve different compact pedals and three double pedals to compete with BOSS. At the time the pedals were made to be an alternative to BOSS with most Pearl pedals functioning similarly if not exactly to their BOSS counterparts. The Pearl line of effects came in a very sturdy metal container, you pick one of these up and there’s a fair amount of weight to it. Pearl pedals had very robust construction and were about a couple centimeters bigger than your standard compact BOSS pedal. They had your standard line of Distortion, Overdrive, Flange, Chorus, Phaser, nothing too out of the ordinary. In some cases the BOSS alternative was the clear choice, but in the rare case of the Pearl OC-7 it is an absolutely unique and amazing pedal that rivals the fan favorite BOSS OC-2 and can even give it a run for its money.
While the BOSS OC-2 is still an amazing pedal and an effect we at Pedals And Effects swear by, next to the Pearl OC-7 it almost feels limited. The Pearl OC-7 offers not one, not two, but three octaves including the original signal in the mix! (Octave +1, Octave -1, Octave -2).The tracking is solid for the octave down, and the octave up is really subtle and natural sounding. The octave sound you can pull is huge! Whether you want to get a really deep low end, or emulate a 12-string guitar, the Pearl OC-7 is a one of a kind octave pedal that really goes the extra mile.
Unfortunately Pearl is all but gone from the effects pedal environment, only really thriving in the used and second hand markets. I imagine some guys have made some clones too! You can keep an eye out for them on Reverb, eBay or Craigslist, but be sure to keep an eye out for pawn shops as well for any Pearl effects. There’s a pretty good chance that most pawn shop guys don’t really know what they’re sitting on when it comes to Pearl effects so you might be able to get some for real cheap!