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Back in 2017 we got to review Coppersound’s Telegraph Stutter pedal with its unique momentary switch that uses the mechanical concept of old timey telegraphs. Now Coppersound has gone to a whole new level. Working with Jack White’s Third Man Records, the telegraph concept is expanded to new highs, and lows with the Third Man Triplegraph Octave pedal.
Size wise it’s not much bigger than the standard 3-button effect pedals, with three of the telegraph switch assemblies, or “keys” located on the top. These are more advanced, and far more mechanically robust than the previous telegraph stutter design and meant to live under foot.▼ Article continues below ▼
Now here where it gets fun, the left switch engages an octave down effect, and the right switch does an octave up. Each footswitch can be set for latched (Coppersound calls this “loctave” mode) or unlatched/momentary operation independently. Unlatched means, when you press on the pedal, the effect is on, and when pressure is released, it’s off. Set it to latched mode, and the switches work like a typical effect pedal, press to turn on, and press again to turn off.
Now the middle switch has two modes, one is a kill for the dry signal — if both the effects are off or not being pressed down in momentary mode, it kills your signal totally. The second mode engages an effects loop, with a send and return on the back of the pedal, players can insert effect (or effects) into that loop, and when the middle pedal is engaged the effect (or effects) in that loop are patched in. It’s a momentary option only, though.
Plugging it in, the lower octave effect tracks really well overall, with no glitching; the effect itself is digital, however, it maintains a warm response that sometimes gets lost in digital pitch shifting. It’s also polyphonic, meaning chords do translate well. Simple voicings bring the best results on typical strumming or rhythm playing, so when you get into more complex voicings like 7ths or 9ths, your mileage may vary depending on the picking technique and what you’re shooting for.
Add in a dirty amp, and lower power chords really do bring in great results, thickening things up in a real big way. It kind of makes sense considering Jack White had a hand in it, however, your bass player may give you the stink eye when you kick this in. The upper octave effect is quite chimey overall, and in a way it’s a great faux 12-string effect with open chords and arpeggios. Blending both in at the same time, and it really gets nuts, in a good way. It’s not quite an organ, but it’s more bigness (if that’s a word).
Using both octaves at the same time, and then engaging the middle switch, it feels in a sense that part of the concept is the middle drops out, letting the octave effects just do their thing. But the real kicker is using it as a momentary effects loop. We had a blast plugging in all kinds of effects in there: flangers, chorus, tremolo as well as an EHX synth pedal. Being able to just throw a quick blast of one (or more) of those effects on for, well effect, is awesome.
The only downside is that certain kinds of players may want to tweak the levels of the octave effects. Well, those players are out of luck, as the levels are already preset, and at levels that make sense for guitar and bass. The octave effects are meant to be heard and felt. But the entire time using the pedal, we never felt the need for any these adjustments.
This isn’t some hipster, lo-fi gimmick, it’s a new pathway to approach creative playing and really altering guitar (and bass) tones, without presets, parameters and menu-diving. Highly recommended.
Excellent tracking, interesting/creative approach to octave effects