I picked up this guitar pedal when it first came out. As a connoisseur of pitch shifting and octave effects, I had to put this pedal to the test to see if it lived up to the hype. Needless to say I’ve spent a lot of time with it using it on both guitar and bass, and I’d like to share my experience using this unique pedal with you in my Electro Harmonix POG 2 review. Is it the best guitar and bass octave pedal? Let’s find out.
The POG 2 is the second generation version of the original POG, or Polyphonic Octave Generator, released by Electro Harmonix. The original POG let you add one octave up, two octaves up, and one octave down to your original signal, blending them as needed. The POG 2 takes it further by adding an extra note two octaves down for maximum versatility.
Let’s run down the full list of features and dig into our Electro Harmonix POG 2 review.
Volume Control Sliders for Dry Output, -2 Octaves, -1 Octave, +1 Octave, and +2 Octaves
Attack Control Slider for Volume Swells and Reducing Pick Attack
LP Filter Control Slider for 2-Pole Resonate Low-Pass Filter
Detune Control Slider for the +1 and +2 Octave Signals
Dry FX Push-Button and LED for 4 Modes of Effect Processing Bypass
Q Push-Button and LED with 4 Modes of Resonance for Low Pass Filter
Preset Knob for Selecting and Saving up to 8 Presets
Preset Footswitch for Selecting Presets
Bypass Footswitch with True Bypass Switching
Includes 9V AC Power Adapter
Enhanced Sound Algorithm Over Original POG
So what exactly does the POG 2 sound like? What can you do with all these octaves?
For guitar, you can use the one octave up to simulate the original Roger Mayer Octavia sound pioneered by Jimi Hendrix on the guitar solo to Purple Haze. The POG 2 is even more responsive than an Octavia as you don’t have to rely on the neck pickup for the clearest signal. Cool stuff. Now crank the dry output with one octave and two octaves up for some serious modern lead sounds. This pedal is made for taking your tone to the next level.
And you can get amazing, shimmering organ sounds. I’ll never forget the first time I plugged the POG 2 into a Dunlop Rotovibe to simulate that Organ with Leslie speaker sound. You can conjure up some dreamy soundscapes or some 12-string (18-string?) sparkle with ease.
Try using the dry signal, -1 octave, +1 octave, and +2 octaves to get the Jack White sound on Blue Orchid by The White Stripes. The POG 2 pulls it off even better than the original POG he used on the recording. The creative possibilities are limited only by your imagination as the octave possibilities go well beyond what other pedals offer.
For bass, you can use the higher octaves to emulate guitar sounds. You can also use it as a subtle boost effect. And of course blending an extra octave or two can fatten up your sound nicely.
I must report that latency is a non-issue on both guitar and bass. This pedal is completely responsive to your playing. It reproduces notes instantaneously without hiccuping over fast runs. It allows expression to flow when inspiration strikes. Kudos to the Electro Harmonix engineers for such smooth tracking.
The POG 2 also responds very well to “loose” playing. I made a guitar preset recently for a show to play a song with a heavy, aggressive monophonic riff of single notes with all 5 octaves engaged and played with a very heavy-handed swagger. Think Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine for what I was going for. Even though I was raking my pick across all of the strings, the single note I was fretting always pierced through in its massive glory without reproducing any string noise. You can get absolutely brutal riffs from this thing that remain tight and focused even during extreme performances.
Other octave effects, like the Boss OC-3, require a more precise attack and don’t respond as well to aggressive playing. Any extraneous noise confuses the algorithm and can cause fluttering. The POG 2 can handle grit for hard playing and still produces a pristine signal. Note reproduction is clear all over the neck, and clean tones are especially shimmery and smooth. The POG 2 is flutter-free throughout the range of guitar and bass.
The Low Pass Filter works beautifully when you want to shave off some of the top end if it gets too jangly. You can use the Q Button to tweak the response of the LP Filter, or you can use the Dry FX Button to bypass the effects altogether and rely on the volume sliders for sound control. There’s a lot of versatility here for dialing in your sounds.
Polyphonic performance is great although you can mud up the frequency spectrum by overdoing it with too many octaves while playing chords. The POG 2 rewards tasteful expression for those who can find the right balance of octaves to use. And again, warbling notes aren’t a problem as with other pitch shift pedals when using them for octave effects. Immaculate performance all around. Also, if you dig pitch-shifting and octave synth awesomeness, check out the Electro Harmonix Slammi and the EHX HOG 2 which takes the POG 2 concept to the next level and is EHX’s flagship guitar synth pedal.
So let’s see the final result.
Electro Harmonix has taken a good thing with the POG and made it even better. As no other product even comes close to matching the sound quality and performance of this pedal, the POG 2 truly stands alone as the best guitar and bass octave pedal. The POG 2 handles shimmering cleans and high gain sounds flawlessly, cranking out immaculate tones with ease. It can handle the full range of notes all the way up the high E string on guitar down to the lowest registers of your bass. Without a doubt, the POG 2 is the best octave pedal on the market and a must-buy if that’s what you’re looking for.
That concludes our Electro Harmonix POG 2 review. Thanks for reading.
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