Roger Mayer - Octavia  [schematic]

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Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby analogguru » 10 Jul 2007, 18:34

For more info on the Roger Mayer Octavia read this:
Octavia History - Truth revealed ?
this:
Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
and this:
Roger Mayer Octavia Octavio
and look at the:
Tycobrahe Octavia schematic
and the
Roger Mayer Octavia schematic

This is the wrong Helios schematic where all came from:
http://vintageking.com/site/files/image ... -Var-1.jpg

Here is the proof of my theory (scroll down):
http://wc6w.50webs.com/wc6wvint/index.html?fr411.html

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Postby tcobretti » 01 Jan 2008, 09:48

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  [schematic]

Postby analogguru » 01 Jan 2008, 11:29

Here we have the:

Roger Mayer Octavia schematic

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Postby audioguy » 01 Jan 2008, 17:16

Tonepad has the PDF project.
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby alnico » 10 Jan 2009, 10:57

This is interesting:
http://forum.metroamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=21252&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=45

I am not a big fan of the indisputable "accuracy" of forums. There is a lot of posts to read before finding usable info and even that info has to be investigated for authenticity, accuracy and truth. Because of the necessary time and resources needed to prove theory in a forum, it rarely ever happens.The holder of the info most forum attendees are searching for rarely use forums.

This Octave topic is controversial and like a puzzle making it addictive. I know, I am Kurt Stier from Chicago Iron and I find this pedal's history and mystery fun.

Carl is correct, I do have a documented by Roger Mayer BOG era wedge pedal and have studied it for the last 3 years. There have been no less than a dozen people who have helped me along the way to further document this. I have never found another with this layout and design.

When we started building Tycobrahe over 10 years ago with the help of Cesar Diaz, we actually contacted past Tycobrahe people and bought whatever we could from them and some of the items were schematics. When we first reproduced the Octavia, I went and checked the forums and DIY schematics against what we reproduced from actual Tycobrahe units and the Tycobrahe schematics we bought and found that the DIY's were drawn wrong. We also studied the EMP octave pedal and have built a circuit from the hand drawn by Tycobrahe schematic from the Roger Mayer pedal that Tycobrahe originally cloned that started the whole mystery. That pedal, by the way, was never owned or used by Jimi. It belonged to Jeff Beck. That's the connection between Beck and Tycobrahe as told to me by a few original Tycobrahe employees.

The pedal at EMP was never used by Jimi either. It was Keith Relf's and he played harmonica. In fact, the Dunlop and the Tycobrahe are both copies of the "Plain Jane" RM octaves that were released to other artists like Syd Barrett and Jimmy Page. Whether Jimi ever used the plain units is debatable as well, but the box I have has a dozen more parts and extra transistors from what we are used to.

In 1987 I bought a transformer winding machine and destroyed a few Tycobrahe Octavia pedals to research the transformer. Back then the Tycobrahe Octavia was only $300 to $400. Expensive but worth it. After many windings I found the magic is not in the transformer. It's only there to double what you put in it making a mirror reflection 1 octave up. If it doesn't double you screwed up the winding count.

These pedals are not magic. They are a preamp and a full wave rectifier with clipping diodes. All of these ingredients and schematics were available in many electronic component data text books in the 40's. The men that deserve respect for mixing this brew and making it famous is Roger Mayer and Jimi Hendrix and the pioneers like them. I believe Roger when he shares the history. Those were turbulent times and in my mind I see Roger and Jimi working on the BOG pedal in a hotel room. Jimi had lost or had stolen by then all the octave pedals he had and who was keeping track? (insert Purple Haze) The biasing is what I would see in a hand tuned to ear pedal circuit. The wiring is controversial as well. I have studied many octave circuits and they all have some roots that are similar, and Roger made a few different wedge pedal runs so the mystery cannot be solved without records from Roger - if there are any still.

I do a service for original Tycobrahe owners. I will match the pedal they own in tone and playability. I can get them exact, but I have to mess with values on components. Do I document the customer and the changes? No. Each is different from gain to bias. Even the values of the diodes will be different. So Roger probably did the same with Jimi's input, and the box is the only reference as to what is in it.

Yes there is a BOG box. Carl has known for over a year and I can't believe he kept it to himself this long until he was severely attacked. When I started this business Carl was an early customer. One morning the phone rang and all I could hear was Hendrix. It was played so good I thought someone was playing an actual bootleg recording of Jimi. Sitting there with all my hair on end, a voice came on the phone and said "Hi this is Carl....I got the Octavian"

I love guitar. Even better I like getting those calls in the morning!

I got the RM wedge pedal from one of Jimi's musician friends. Jimi loved to jam with this guy. Jimi gave it to him with some other stuff, and said to try it on his keyboards. The guy did and it didn't work so well. He contacted Roger and Roger made him one for keyboards for $1000 and he put this one away for decades. This is in 1969~1970! I have the actual receipt from when it was made and invoiced.

When the pedal is played you will notice immediately the many differences between it and the plain jane circuit. I fully understand the way Jimi played with one hand now. The sustain is amazing - even at low gain like no other pedal I have played. It was an event attended by a few friends and collectors who swore to keep it secret.

I reproduced it even before Tripps and Dunlop made the mad dash and claims. I talked to Jeorge about it when he was still at Line 6. I asked Roger if he would custom build me 500 of them and I would pay him $500 each to do it and he said he would think about it. I asked if Chicago Iron would make it, would he accept some of the financial rewards if I sent them to him and he was very nice and said I was the first guy to ever mention the part including him in the profit. Dunlop never even contacted him.

To try to stop the banter about authenticity, I offered it to Dunlop for a tidy sum and they declined, acknowledging what they were selling was not the documented Jimi effect. They were resting on "It was made by Roger". Who will know?

I bought a few of the Dunlops and have mounted quite a few Octavian circuits in them for customers. It's not a bad octave, they all sound different and the pot wire is in the wrong spot on the PCB for the plain jane design. I was told they were not allowed to disassemble the pedal or look at the bottom of the board and that they said their engineers have enough experience to figure it out...

I have played many octave circuits. Cesar and I decided what was the best combination of ring mod, octave bloom, harmonics, gain and sustain that we found in original Tycobrahe pedals and optimized the circuit we sell today to incorporate the best of each. It has become the benchmark and everything produced by others since we did that is suspiciously groomed with that tone and bloom in mind. The plain jane RM pedal does not sound like the Tycobrahe, but now the Dunlop clone sounds like a Tycobrahe. The transistor gain is different between a Tycobrahe and a RM wedge. Tycobrahe has more gain and "bloom" than the early RM units. The RM wedge octaves really don't bloom much at all. They chime. You would have to play really light on a Tycobrahe to sound like that.

I have had many RM products. I fully understand the forward technology of what he sells in his Octavia and why he does not want to go back to the old design. If I took Jimi's BOG pedal and made it with today's stable and RF rejecting and buffering, it would be close to what you buy today from Roger Mayer. The original Purple Haze box had a ferrite core transformer. If you dropped the pedal the tranny shattered. So that design was scrapped. The BOG has an iron core, like the Tycobrahe. Ever wonder why the old wedges have to have a shielded input which is not on the Tycobrahe, but on the Dunlop? That problem was designed out and with it some of the tonal nuances for stability. I personally like instability better. I know how to adjust knobs and can remember how to keep from oscillation, but I find the most fun when the octave is on the edge of chaos!

With thousands of famous recordings of the Tycobrahe pedals out there and about 12 combined recorded uses of different RM octaves used by Jimi, most of us are tainted. The Tycobrahe pulls an easier octave, sounds almost the same, and if you had one of these BOG units you will have to learn to play it all over again. They are not the same. I thought it was broken the first minute I spent with it, and I have played octaves for a long time. It was just a different technique. Jimi's technique.


:hmmm:
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby alnico » 10 Jan 2009, 15:25

Dunlop gut shots here. Judge for yourself whether the pot wire is in the wrong place on the PCB. It does appear to have the drive pot on the other side of the cap from the expected position, perhaps that's what he meant. Also looks like Q1 is backwards, like the old schems.
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby yeeshkul » 12 Jan 2009, 20:45

Look at the hand drawn schemo by Tyco ingeneers. I wonder what means the wierd additional 5uF/4k7 branch in parallel to the boost...
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby Sickle » 12 Jan 2009, 21:18

RM Octavia is one of the crappiest sounding fuzz boxes I've ever heard. After getting rid of the first one I had I was sold a second one by a french guy who told me it was a Page 1(enclosure was repainted). I tried it again but it was so nasty I just gave it away, heh..
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby yeeshkul » 25 Jan 2009, 21:29

guys could anyone tell me how the transformer ratio (here 3:1) affects the sound?
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby omarhowe » 22 Aug 2009, 10:23

Sickle wrote:RM Octavia is one of the crappiest sounding fuzz boxes I've ever heard. After getting rid of the first one I had I was sold a second one by a french guy who told me it was a Page 1(enclosure was repainted). I tried it again but it was so nasty I just gave it away, heh..


:shock:


try use it this way:
(min:3:17) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqli_Jd7bCk :thumbsup
oh this to(min 2:57): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZTh285NzbM
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby azrael » 23 Aug 2009, 05:31

To get the cool sounds out of the Octavia, you've really got to use it past the 12th fret. That's when the upper octave becomes obvious.
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby yeeshkul » 16 Oct 2009, 06:34

You may also want to try the neck pickup + to turn the tone control down. That very much helps to squeeze the octave out of the Superfuzz.
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby Solidhex » 16 Oct 2009, 16:42

If you build one it can be nice to stick a passive tone control on the input. You can pick your favorite guitars values or make your own. its handy since it will be bypassed along with the effect.

--Brad
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby johnabraham » 16 Jan 2010, 04:35

There needs to be some correction to Kurt's use of the term or abbreviation of "BOG" in the descriptions of his pedal. "BOG" is a term or abbreviation for the "Band of Gypsys" which held shows on December 31, 1969- 1 January 1970 for those who don't know. It was there when the BOG recorded a few famous tracks in which Jimi used the Octavia on Machine Gun and Who Knows, etc. It is fact what Kurt has is a Octavia which Jimi owned and played through, that was authenticated in January 2000- but what is not known, is whether or not he has the same pedal used for the famous recordings.

Jimi owned 1 other unit- and a possible 3rd unit which were configured most likely near exacting to what the famous pedal was. Until Mr. Mayer personally inspects Kurt's pedal, it's unclear whether of not it is the actual pedal used at those famous shows. Mr. Mayer does know for fact which configuration that Jimi used on those shows, there is only one- and it will be distinct from the other units. No slight here to Kurt by any means whatsoever about his use of the term or abbreviation of "BOG" in connection to the pedal he has. It just has to be clear again that it's still unknown as to whether or not he has the actual famous unit, or it exists elsewhere....


END OF STORY ( revision 1) , Everforward >>>>>>>>>>
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby Niraham » 27 Dec 2011, 01:58

Hi everyone.
Long time lurking, first time posting.
Apologeez for my english. It's not very well but I'll be trying to communicate in simple words.

Recently I was looking for the gut shots of Roger Mayer Octavia on the web and what I found was that there are at least two main types of PCBs. You already know the one which is popular. But below you got pics of the other one that seems more interesting:

Image

Image

Image

Image

I don't know much about electronics but for me there are at least 9 transistors and a chip on the pics above. Is this a fake or maybe in 1970's the guts of RM Octavia were different?
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Re: Roger Mayer - Octavia

Postby dai h. » 27 Dec 2011, 11:10

(I'm guessing, but) maybe that was for the optical switching that was apparently in some (IIRC).
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