The new MXR M306 Poly Blue Octave pedal takes their Blue Box pedal, and makes the circuit way more versatile. Now you can mix in fuzz and octave effects. It even has a polyphonic or mono switch, making it a significant update to the original circuit, often associated with Jimmy Page.
MXR Blue Box
The original MXR Blue Box, as used by Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin track Fool in the Rain, is a very peculiar pedal. It achieves a fuzzed out monophonic octave effect. I really like the original and use mine for odd effects now and again. But it sure is an oddball effect. The recent Way Huge Atreides Weirding Module reminds me of the Blue Box on steroids, and made my Top 10 Effects of 2021.
MXR Poly Blue Octave
Now, MXR has taken the effect and added more control, and a polyphonic mode and dedicated fuzz switch. You now have access to four separate octave divisions, with their own level controls; Sub-1, Sub-2, Oct+1 and Oct+2 knobs. The M306 Poly Blue Octave also has dedicated mini push switches for both fuzz and mono, plus controls for Modulation and Dry.
Phase 90-esque tones
When used in monophonic mode, it provides swirls and swooshes that MXR says were inspired by the Phase 90, another added option that the original Blue Box circuit didn’t have. You can also use an expression pedal to control various parameters, and a dual-mode modulation effect that gets you in the realm of Leslie/Phase 90-style effects, depending on which pitch-shifting mode you have selected.
It runs from an external power supply only, so no option to use a battery with this new edition of the effect. I think it is definitely one to check out this year, and looks like a lot of fun. Premier Guitar has already had one to demo. You can check it out below to hear this new little blue box in action.
RRP – USD 199