Today, I saw mention of the Carl Martin Octa-switch Guitar Effects Switching System. I like switching systems, so I wanted to take a closer look. About a year ago, I created a true-bypass loop strip, but I’m starting to run into problems with how I want the loops and the ability to combine loops. I’ve looked at a few systems, but I’m always irritated by the complexity of the systems. I just want something simple (not programmable, etc).
Carl Martin Octa-switch Guitar Effects Switching System is something that is fitting my requirements. Here was have 8 switches. You can plug in 8 sets of true bypass loops (basically what I have but 8 vs 5). Where it gets cool… the DIP switches. Brilliant. Each footswitch has a DIP switch which you can select combination of loops. So switch 1 you can turn on loop 1, 4 and 5, etc. LEDs will light up accordingly showing what loops are activated.
The switch also has optional input buffer, and has has stereo out.
Here is the official description by Carl Martin:
The concept of the Carl Martin Octa-Switch Guitar Effects Switching System is simple: take your 8 favorite effects pedals, plug them into the 8 individual loops (all true-bypass gold relays) on the Octa-Switch, and then designate what effects you want connected to each of 8 banks via the world’s simplest and smallest DIP switches (located over the top of each of the 8 bank switches).
When Carl Martin decided to create a baby brother for his world famous Combinator, the details of simplifying an already simple effect controller made his head hurt. So Carl enlisted the help of Thomas Guldmann, and the Octa-Switch Switching System was born.
Thomas chose DIP switches because they are just 8 individual on-off switches in a tiny package. So if your guitar effects are plugged into Loops 1-8, you simply turn the DIP switch on for each of the effects you want in Bank 1, and then Bank 2 etc up to Bank 8. You can use one or all of the effects in each bank, and once you have designated a bank, do us both a favor and cover the DIP with a bit of tape to ensure nothing happens to the DIP switch when you are not looking… like an errant hand, or a flood of beer.
The Octa-Switch has 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 Carl Martin Octa switch is mono-in and mono/stereo out, with a choice of a buffered signal or not. The effects unit is powered by dual 9v batteries, or a regulated power supply like the Carl Martin Big John Power Supply, and is housed in an all metal case with heart-stopping (ok, well almost) graphics. So, the same basic options found in the digitally controlled units the famous guys are using, at a fraction of the cost.
Please note, the DIP switches are slide type, NOT push down. They are easily operated with a small screwdriver, a pen, or a very small finger. On large stages when running long connected cables, there is a definite drop in the high end of your guitar sound (more or less depending on the input impedance of your amplifier). The solution according to Thomas was once again simple. He built in a buffer circuit at the input, so you can choose between 100% true bypass, or buffered bypass to beef up your signal
I found this video by DemoColorScheme:
You can pick up the Carl Martin Octa-switch Guitar Effects Switching System for $377.30 at Musician’s Friend.
I might have to save up some scratch and pick this up for myself!!!