Roger Mayer (engineer)

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Roger Mayer is an electrical engineer who developed several electric guitar effects, including the Octavia, an effects pedal which reproduced the input signal one octave higher, and mixes the two sounds with some added fuzz. The effect was popularized by Jimi Hendrix, and can be heard during the solos on the song "Purple Haze".[1]

The Octavia, as well as several other effects, are still being produced under Roger Mayer's name.

Mayer was originally an acoustic engineer working for the British Admiralty on underwater research projects. At a time when guitar effects were virtually unknown, he designed and built fuzz boxes for leading English guitarists such as Big Jim Sullivan, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. His effects can be heard on P.J. Proby singles such as "Hold Me" (1964) and on numerous Yardbirds tracks.

In early 1967, he saw Jimi Hendrix play at Chislehurst Caves and introduced himself. Hendrix was aware of the Yardbirds' records and wanted detail on how the guitar tones were created. Within weeks Roger Mayer was in the studio with him, working on tones and designing custom effects to realize the sounds Hendrix 'heard' in his head. His designs can be heard on the albums Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland.

Mayer worked with many other artists from the Isley Brothers to Bob Marley. He also co-built a pioneering early synth for Stevie Wonder.

Since the 1990s, Tom Principato has enjoyed ongoing endorsement deals with Roger Mayer effects pedals.


  1. ^ Gallagher, Mitch (2012). Guitar Tone:: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound. Cengage Learning. p. 261. ISBN 9781435456211. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 

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