Boss - OC-2 Octaver  [schematic]

All about modern commercial stompbox circuits from Electro Harmonix over MXR, Boss and Ibanez into the nineties.

Re: Boss - OC-2 ( Octaver )

Postby amfarina » 28 Aug 2017, 09:30

skrogh wrote:The first schematic posted isn't of the Boss OC-2, but a modded "chopped version"

Before diving into OC-2 modding it is important to know, that three different versions exist: The old Japanese, the old Taiwanese and the "new" Taiwanese.
The old Jap. and Tai are identical, while the newer Tai has some different ICs, a different PCB and a different power-section.
-The different IC's should not make a difference. (There is some hype about Jap's sounding better, tracking better and being full of magic. I don't buy it.)
-The different PCB made production cheaper and accords for the changed ICs.
-The different power-section allows the newer Tai to operate on a 9v regulated supply, whereas the old ones required a, I think it was, 9.6v non regulated.

The easiest way to spot the difference is to locate the psu jack. If its PCB mounted, it's the new, if not, its the old.

Schematics only exist (to my knowledge) of the old one. Both schematic and PCB of the old is listed here.

On Improving tracking on bass:

First of all it is very important to notice, that technique and string age plays a big role in OC-2 tracking.
With my old strings and good technique, I get good tracking down to G. And can get it to hold the low E for just a moment.
Play with your right hand (left for lefties) fingers close to the neck.
Play up the neck, avoid open strings and frets close to the nut.
Mute ALL other strings, than the one you are playing. Especially when playing close to the 12'th fret, make sure to mute the strings properly. If more than one string rings out, the OC-2 will have a very hard time, guessing what you are playing. Remember it's monophonic.

Dead spots
Around ~5-9 fret on the G string the OC-2 will always (on most basses) sound like crap. This is due to the deadspot. Deal with it, and play those notes on another string.

"Not tracking" or "sounding like shit"
Many people confuse "not traking" and "sounding like shit". When I said I get good tracking down to G, that was true. BUT it sounds like shit, when playing down there. "not tracking" sounds like either noise or an appegiator on acid (or simply an unoctaved note), "sounding like skit" sounds like a broken car, or something flapping.
Octaving a note at 55Hz(low A) will produce a note of 22.5 Hz - that's very close to what is inaudible.

Don't overdirve it
The OC-2 doesn't have a lot of headroom, I can easily overdrive it with my active bass. If it distorts (especially on the E sting), turn down the volume of your bass.

Improving tracking electronically
If after perfecting your technique, you still find the tracking of the OC-2 lacing, well it is meant for guitar. Tuning some of the filters might produce a better result.
Double C21, C5 and C4. This limits treble to the tracker.
Double or tripple C22 and C23. These are the most important c
aps to fiddle with. I personally haven't changed the ones in mine, but have simulated it and it seemed to work.

All information is obtained through own experimentation, and is by no means a complete answer, but a poke in the right direction.
Happy modding!

I made the above mods so I can confirm the validity only for double C21, C5 and C4. :applause:
The mods related to C22 and C23 worsen the sensitivity and I advise against to build. [smilie=nonono.gif]
I tested with active 5 strings solid body bass, the response is very good for 1st and 2nd strings, instable for 3rd and more strings.
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Re: Boss - OC-2 Octave

Postby nunomaio » 08 Nov 2017, 00:05

Brainbender wrote:Hello to everyone! :)
I found some guts photos of the MIJ Boss OC-2 Ocrave (not Octaver), so here they are:

I have this exact pedal that I got second hand in very bad shape. The direct signal and Octave 2 work normally I guess, but Octave 1 is not working. I tried changing the pot and re-soldering all the solders that looked bad and nothing.
I have no idea what could be worng. I replaced IC4 and it only disconnected the Octave 2 from the circuit.
Any idea on where I should look? Maybe another IC or maybe one of the Jfets?
I took the readings for all the IC's and all the voltages were pretty high all is the 9v ballpark for all the IC's. Not sure what it means but besides Octave 1 everything works normally.
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Re: Boss - OC-2 Octaver

Postby custucru » 01 Jun 2018, 10:38


I got a problem with the diy version of sabrotone. impossible to debug it.
4 or 5 tensions value of mine are differents of yours. Strange thing : they are pretty same of yours when I put my hand to the ground during measurement! at this moment the single bad tension I have is pin 8 ic3 (8, ic4 too) supposed to be 7,57 v. Instead of this value I got a tension which range from about 0,8 to 1,2 volts. Have you got an idea, my friend ?
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