Ok, so you have eight effects pedals which you use regularly. You use various combinations of these pedals in various songs, but you are not good at tap dancing…or you are just clumsy and have (once or twice) stepped on the ultra tricked out-metalized-distortion pedal for the lead in your one ABBA cover. You have seen the digital effects controllers they use on the big stages, and have secretly yearned for one… even though you may never make the big stage. Enter Thomas Guldmann’s Octa-switch MK3. Your eight effects plug into the eight effects-loops on the back of this unit (all true-bypass, impedance free, gold relays so you can run any of your pedals, new and old without problem), and then by turning on or off the numbered switches in each of eight DIP Bank switches, you determine which effects you wish to use simultaneously in each Bank. There is a blue LED for every effects loop used and for each Bank (so once you are programmed, when you step on Bank 6 you will see the lights of all the effects you have assigned to Bank 6 and the Bank 6 LED). The Octa-switch MK3 has incorporated a couple new features as well! The ninth switch on the left side of the case is a BYPASS Switch….this allows you to completely bypass all eight pedals and enjoy only the unaffected sound of your amplifier. There are also two External Switching jacks which allow you to use two amplifiers and/or switch channels on those amps. Once you have all the Banks programmed, we recommend placing a piece of scotch or electrical tape over each DIP (….just to protect the switch from accidental switching, damage or floods….like beer). There is a buffered (or not….switchable) Mono input and a stereo Output, and the unit is powered by dual 9v batteries, or by a regulated power supply…like the PowerJack or the Pro Power (both by Carl Martin).
Harmony Central (US) Nov 20, 2015
The Carl Martin Octa-Switch Mk3 can put an end to your tap-dancing days. For many players, this pedal is going to be a game-changer, allowing them to store and recall up to eight different combinations of the connected effects with just a single button. It’s very easy to set up, and those who don’t want to learn MIDI commands and deal with menus and complicated programming can now enjoy some of the same benefits that have largely been limited to more elaborate MIDI switching systems in the past.
The flexibility of this pedal is impressive, but so is the sound quality. Switching is dead silent, and the Octa-Switch Mk3 doesn’t add any appreciable noise to your sound. In fact, for many users, it’s going to make things sound better because it keeps everything you’re not using at any given moment completely out of the signal path – including the extra cabling. Build quality is what you’d expect from Carl Martin – in other words, excellent.
I’ve really been enjoying the Octa-Switch. It allows me to call up vastly different preset sounds comprised of multiple analog effects with just a single button push – something that would otherwise be impossible to pull off. While I do wish it had a stereo input / output loop, and maybe a few more loops in general (I have a LOT of pedals), there’s very little else about this incredible loop switcher that I could find fault with. If you loathe menus and MIDI but want to have the ability to create complex sounding multi-effects presets using the pedals you already own, then you owe it to yourself to check out a Carl Martin Octa-Switch.
Premier Guitar (US) Feb. 2016
Carl get a PG Award for the Octaswitch MK3 in Premier Guitar’s Feb issue for the mechanical simplicity of the Octa-Switch MK3, great value, incredibly easy to use.
Though it may lack some fancy digital features, the MK3 is capable of a lot more than just switching pedals on and off. You can use it as a killer A/B switcher to route two guitars into two separate amps, with each pair attached to its own group of effects. Just bypass the standard in/out controls and patch everything through the loop jacks.
The mechanical simplicity of the Octa-Switch MK3 is a beautiful thing. The intuitive design means neophytes can get started fast without consulting a manual. And it’s simple enough to make troubleshooting a breeze in performance situations. In an era in which many switchers are as complex as some multi-effects units, the MK3’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get layout cuts through all the frivolities. This bad boy lets you just program the configurations you’ll actually need rather than bog you down with hypothetical possibilities you’ll never actually use.