Gear Review: Donner Tuner, Looper, Ultimate Comp and Holy Octave Pedals

(Image credit: Billy Voight)

There's a song in which Ani DiFranco calls herself "32 flavors and then some."

Donner isn’t far off. While some companies specialize in drives, clones or modulation pedals, Donner seems to build it all.

Here’s a rundown on four new flavors—I mean pedals. Each pedal runs off a common 9-volt power supply, has true bypass switching and is housed in a compact 1.5” x 3.5” aluminum chassis.

DT Deluxe Tuner (Clip 1): It doesn’t get simpler than an on/off switch. This strobe tuner claims +/- 0.1 cent accuracy. The tuning mode is chromatic, so alternate or drop tunings will work as long as you know the name of the note you are tuning. With a frequency response of 12hz to 4186, it tracked all of my guitars and a five-string bass easily.

Looper (Clip 2): Following in the footsteps of simplicity, the Looper sports an on/off switch and a Level knob to control the playback volume of the loop. The Looper can record up to 10 minutes of audio at 48khz/24-bit quality. Included is a USB cable that allows you to Import/Export your loops to a computer. I built a quick loop off a two-note lick then added some chords and a bassline.

Ultimate Comp (Clip 3): There’s a popular argument on whether or not a compressor should color the tone of your guitar. To keep both sides happy, Donner added a Tone knob and a Treble accent/Normal toggle switch. The remaining two knobs are Level and Comp. In my clip I used the Treble mode for a heavily compressed funk guitar tone and then switched it to Normal mode for a light compression to even out the volume of an acoustic guitar.

Holy Octave (Clip 4): While the other pedals bask in simplicity, the Holy Octave is a little more complex. It squeezes 11 combinations of + or - 2 octaves from the fundamental note into one pedal. The toggle switch offers three settings; Up (+1 and +2 octave), Down ( -1 and -2 octaves), Down/Up (+1 and -1 octaves). The two knobs marked Upper and Lower are volumes controls for their assigned octave and finally Dry is a volume knob for your guitar’s signal. In my clip, I didn’t hit all 11 combinations, but I wanted to show how the Holy Octave can add subtle depth or some glitchy goodness when it’s overloaded.

Price: DT Deluxe Tuner, $27.99; Looper, $64.50; Ultimate Comp, $35.99; Holy Octave, $52.50

You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at

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