One of the most unique effects you may use in your guitar rig is a phaser pedal, which is part of the modulation family. It’s most typically employed to give your tone a flurry of movement, but it may also be used to give individual notes more body or to simulate the sound of a rotary speaker. Of course, you’ve heard phasers on everything from the Isley Brothers’ Who’s That Lady to Van Halen’s Eruption – but whatever your taste, knowing the ideal phaser pedal for your needs is crucial.
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MXR Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal
- Combines mixer's most iconic phase circuits in a single mini housing
- About half the footprint of a standard mxr pedal
- 45/90 Switch toggles between phase 45 and phase 90 circuits
The MXR Phase 95 is the Best Phaser Pedal in 2023 that incorporates both the Phase 90 and Phase 45 circuits into a single unit at a great price tag. It not only combines the two circuits, but it also lets you pick between the antique “Script” and current “Block” versions of each, giving you a total of four phasers in one compact pedal. The vintage phaser has an all-analog design, full bypass, and only consumes 8mA of current while running on 9V DC power, making it one of the guitar pedals that can fit on any pedalboard.
The MXR Phase 90 is a traditional analogue phaser with four stages with a sound that ranges from smooth to full-on bubbles; the Phase 95 compresses it down to a mini-pedal size while also adding more capabilities. The Phase 95 includes a Phase 45 circuit for delicate two-stage sweeps, as well as a script switch that toggles between feedback techniques, enabling vintage and modern tones. Many guitarists consider Eddie Van Halen’s Phase 90 to be the definitive phaser, but the Phase 95 improves on it in a size that fits on every pedalboard.
Despite the fact that the Phase 95 performs the functions of two classic phasers, it does the phase sound with the same ease as its predecessors. Speed is controlled by a single knob, which is a global control knobs for modulation rate. The only difference from the prior pedals is the addition of a “45/90” button for selecting which circuit you want the pedal to voice, as well as a “Script” button for selecting between the Script and Block versions of each voice.
When it comes to phaser pedals, there’s no better place to start than MXR, and the Phase 95 does an excellent job of paying homage to both vintage and the best phasers that MXR made famous. It’s also around $100 brand new, making it a near-budget-friendly alternative for most people.
Fender Lost Highway Phaser Pedal
- Foot-swithable fast and slow speeds
- Independent rate and depth controls
- Wave toggle switch chooses sine or triangle waves
Fender is most renowned for its outstanding guitars and basses, but they also make some high-end pedals. The Lost Highway is an analog phaser pedal that adds unique textures and movements to your instrument. The Lost Highway’s quality is undeniable, thanks to its instantly identifiable form, robust aluminum casing, and specially built circuitry.
With a footswitch-adjustable speed control, you may change the phasing speed of the pedal from slow and progressive to fast and chaotic. Each phasing speed has its own rate and depth parameters, allowing for a variety of dimensions. The pedal can instantly change the tone of your guitar from clean to sci-fi.
A wave switch is also included, which is very useful. This provides you access to a variety of sine and triangle waveforms that are great for lead guitar, chords, and ambient textures. The pedal’s resonance is controlled by the 4 and 8 stage phasing capabilities.
The Lost Highway features a sensitivity control to round out this very detailed phaser. When you raise up the volume, the modulation rate rises and responds to the speed with which you play. The audiovisual design of the pedal is completed by a Fender amp jewel LED light.
From footswitch control to velocity-sensitive modulation, the Fender Lost Highway phaser pedal is jam-packed with hands-free controls and functions. As a result, I’d recommend it to guitarists who want to change their tone frequently during a concert and need a quick and easy way to do it. This Fender phaser pedal is extremely detailed. It’s built like a tank, has an array of real-time controls, and can make just about every phased tone you can think of. It’s the kind of pedal you can spend hours with, discovering new sounds to add to your collection.
Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
- Phase Shifter Pedal f Guitar/Bass
- New "Rise" and "Fall" modes create unidirectional phasing
- Realtime control of Rate via optional expression pedal
For good reason, the Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter Pedal has been around for a long time. The digital phaser offers speed, depth, and resonance controls, as well as a mode that allows you to choose between four, eight, ten, or twelve phase stages.
Two additional modes, as well as a step effect, are used to accomplish unidirectional phasing, which creates a continuous rise or fall. The inclusion of tap tempo mode keeps you in time, and you may regulate it more easily by connecting an extra expression pedal. As a result, a wide range of digital phasing sounds, including classic analogue imitation, are available, all constructed with Boss’s legendary durability.
The PH-3 is a tiny phase-shifter with a varied and fantastic sound. If we count the multiple stage options the pedal provides, there are potentially four different phasers within this single pedal (4, 8, 10 or 12-stage). The Boss PH-3 has us covered on all things phaser with its amazing vintage and modern phasing effects.
In addition to the four stage options, the PH-3’s Stage switch also contains “Rise” and “Fall” modes for distinctive unidirectional phasing, as well as a “Step” function for non-consecutive filter adjustments. The pedal has tap tempo, which allows us to sync any phaser effect to the chosen pace. The PH-3 from Boss also offers an expression jack as an alternative. You can control the phaser’s rate, filter, and tempo characteristics in real time by connecting an external expression pedal. This is one of the Best Phaser Pedals in 2023.
TC Electronic Helix Phaser Pedal
- Amazing range of high-quality Phaser tones
- Tone print enabled - for a world of signature and customizable effects
- Stereo I/O
You can’t go wrong with most TC Electronic pedals; they’re generally the best overall easy to use and dial in a tone, plus they come with the TonePrint library for even more distinctive tones. A three-way toggle switches between Vintage, Smooth, and TonePrint modes, while four dials control the tone – Speed, Depth, Feedback, and Mix – and this is a stereo in/out pedal. Quite a different concept than the Wombtone mentioned above, and clearly full digital versus analogue with digital controls – definitely a fantastic alternative for your board – and at a very fair price.
To manage and produce gorgeous and wide phase-shifted signals, this TC phaser pedal includes both stereo inputs and outputs. This multi-purpose phaser is deserving of a place on this list. The Helix sounds great straight out of the box, and it can be tweaked to sound even better in your setup beside chorus pedals. Its small size makes it easy to fit on most pedalboards.
The Helix, like other TC pedals, is true bypass for maximum clarity while not in use. If you do need a buffer to prevent high-end loss, the pedal provides a buffered bypass switch as an option.
The TonePrint technology from TC is included into the design of this pedal. With the free TonePrint Editor, you may create your own customisable phaser effects or obtain those from the community. These tones can be wirelessly uploaded or plugged using the built-in USB port.
Under the Old voicing, which sounds like a four-stage phaser, the Helix can effortlessly deliver vintage style phaser sounds. The Smooth voice adds a filter effect that reminds each other of Boss Phasers or a TalkBox effect, as the modulation sounds like it’s pronouncing vowels.
Electro Harmonix Small Stone Nano Analog Phase Shifter Guitar Effects Pedal
- True bypass
- Variable rate control allows slow and smooth to rapid edge frequency sweeps
- Color switch adds Q and thins the moving comb filters
The single dial, single toggle switch electro harmonix nano small – which generates luscious tones in the simplest way possible – is at the more cheap end of the scale. The ‘Color’ toggle selects between two different audio flavours / voicings, and the Rate dial controls the modulation speed; that’s it; turn up the dial for more swirly / oscillating sounds.
This famous Electro-Harmonix design, now available in a Nano chassis, would be missing from any list of the greatest phaser pedals. The Small Stone has a more ethereal edge than the Phase 90’s all-out rock swoosh. However, thanks to a Color switch that adds a more noticeable frequency shift, EHX’s offering can get more extreme than many of its competitors.
In an updated device with a smaller footprint, EHX’s nano chassis pedal gives us the same iconic phaser sound that made the original 1970 Small Stone famous. The Small Stone is one of the best phaser pedals out there because of its iconic sound of thick sweeping phase-shifting mixed with liquid transparency.
Toggle the colour selection When you turn the knob higher, you’ll hear a complete and robust phase-shifter effect. When you turn it down, you’ll hear the phaser circuit’s pronounciation improve with a hollowing effect. From blues to country to metal, the Small Stone has you covered when it comes to phase-shifting.
Walrus Audio Lillian Multi-Stage Analog Phaser Guitar Effects Pedal
- True bypass, all analog, multi-stage Phaser
- With controls like rate, width, feedback, and d-p-v blend, The Lillian is packed with a wide array of Analog Phaser goodness waiting to be dialed in
- The “stages” switch allows the user to select 4 or 6 stages which alters the overall voice of the effect from warm and tight phasing with 4 stages...
Lilian is a genuine bypass, all-analog multi-stage phaser pedal from Walrus Audio. With tonnes of flexibility, this adaptable gadget gives the lovely spinning and whooshing sound of a traditional analogue phaser. The Lillian boasts a tiny footprint, quiet switching, and a long-lasting design. It’s a great addition to any pedalboard.
Smart momentary switching is also included in the pedal, allowing latching and momentary switching on the same footswitch. If you keep your finger on it, you’ll get a brief burst of engagement. The footswitch will latch if you tap it.
The D-P-V, or dry, phase, vibrato control on the Walrus Audio Lillian Analog Phaser Pedal is a notable feature. This blend function offers a wide range of sensitivity, from no phase to 50/50 to full application, covering a wide range of phasing effects. The D-P-V is accompanied with a four- or six-stage phaser, the latter of which boosts the sound. You may even pause phasing by holding down the foot selection.
The rate setting is one of the slowest we’ve encountered, with a level of subtlety that makes it ideal for playing less complicated pieces. Pushing the Walrus Audio forward, especially with the feedback and blend controls set high, provides all the phasing pedals on the market.
Empress Effects Phaser Guitar Effects Pedal
The Empress Effects Phaser is a one-of-a-kind piece of gear. It achieves an extraordinarily high signal-to-noise ratio by using a unique VCA-based (voltage-controlled amplifier) architecture (104 dB). A 2-stage, 4-stage, and patented 3-stage phaser setting are also available.
With a digital microprocessor, this phaser pedal features an all-analog signal channel. It combines the genuine analogue sound of a pedal with the capabilities of a digital pedal. The pedal can make a phaser’s famous jet sound. It can also be configured to produce a gigantic vibrato/uni-vibe effect or to achieve the auto-wah of an envelope filter.
The Empress Phaser provides a tremendous lot of controllability, regardless of phase-shifting method. To modify the parameters of the pedal in real time, use an external expression pedal control or control voltage source; an external tap footswitch; external audio control or MIDI.
The Phaser can be configured as an envelope filter or an audio-triggered sweep. We can also programme modulation rhythms or manually adjust the modulation. The Mode toggle switch on the Empress Effects Phaser allows you to choose between three different modes of operation.
So, without going into too much detail about the Phaser, we can see how effective it is. When we consider that the pedal is also MIDI compatible (through 1/4-inch jack), we can see how flexible this pedal is. The Empress Effects will provide you with whatever phaser effect you desire, as well as much more. As a result, this pedal earns a place on this list!
MXR EVH90 Phase 90
- Grab a piece of Eddie's magic with the MXR EVH 90—a collaboration between Eddie Van Halen and Dunlop
- Instantly toggle between a vintage, "Script Logo" phase tone and a more modern "Block Logo" phaser
- EVH 90 sports the greatest graphics in the history of rock: the red, white, and black stripes from Eddie's legendary Frankenstein guitar
This satisfying Phaser guitar effects pedal is a reworked and improved version of the well-known MXR Phase 90, which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. The enhanced model is the result of Jim Dunlop’s collaboration with Eddie Van Halen. The graphics are identical to Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstrat guitar. It retains the same spacey swirls and distinct rings as its humble predecessor. Customize the phase speeds and leave the rest to the guitar effects pedal.
With its Script Logo and Block Logo Phaser settings, the MXR EVH90 Phase 90’s easy-to-use switch mechanism lets players easily transition between vintage and modern voicing. When compared to its blocky predecessors, it has slimmer dimensions and should fit on most pedal boards. The MXR EVH90 Phase 90 is a modern take on a traditional phaser pedal, with the added bonus of Celebrity seal of approval from the founder of phasers himself. This is a perfect first phaser pedal.
JOYO JF-06 Vintage Phase Guitar Effect Pedal
- Beautifully replicates sound of phaser guitar effect of the 70's and 80's.
- Easy to use, with just the single "speed" control knob-you can dial up that in-and-out of phase tone in no time.
- Whether just want to add a little bit of space or swirl to tone or want to turn it all the way up and get a swirling Leslie type effect this JF-06 can...
The JF 06 Vintage Phase pedal is quite similar to the MXR Phase 90 in terms of design. The most evident distinction is that it is less expensive! The unit, which comes in an orange metal housing, has a comparable speed control and a basic on/off switch. The JF 06 sounds fantastic and can easily compete with other phaser pedals, such as the MXR Phase 90.
With this choice, you’ll still be able to get that Van Halen sound while saving a few bucks. The device also includes genuine bypass, which means that when the effect is turned off, your guitar tone is unaffected.
EarthQuaker Devices Grand Orbiter V3 Phase Machine Guitar Effects Pedal
- Guitar Phaser Pedal with 100% Analog OTA-based Circuit Rate
- Sweep Controls
EarthQuaker Devices is known for their amazing handcrafted analog pedals manufactured with high-quality components. The Grand Orbiter is no exception, with a plethora of functions that turn it into a very versatile effects pedal. The upgraded three-way rate toggle controls the basic modulation effect, with one setting for slow sweeps, two for killing the LFO, and three for rapid sweeps. It features a flashing LED visual assistance that stays on even when ignored, letting you know what it was previously set to and preventing it from kicking in with an incorrect setting on your next solo! There’s also a Rate control to fine-tune the LFO speeds even more.
Using the incremental Depth dial, control the intensity of effects by mixing them more or less with the dry signal. Capable of a variety of phaser transitions, ranging from vibrant mayhem to leisurely swoops to a darker, slow 70’s atmosphere. The resonance slider allows you to adjust how distinct the resonant tone is.
Keeley Dark Side Fuzz Mod Workstation Pedal
- The individual pieces that make up the Dark Side workstation are Fuzz, Delay and Modulation
- Keeley engineers painstakingly extracted the nuances of earlier transistor based fuzzes to make a more transparent Big Fuzz
- Select from 12 different multi-head tape style syncopated delays or a combination of Flanger, Rotary Speaker Cabinet, U-Vibe, and Phaser and start...
The Dark Side by Keeley is a high-end pedal that generates a variety of phase-shifting effects in addition to many others. An all-inclusive multi-effects pedal combines classic tape delay, gritty fuzz, and numerous additional modulation options.
The Dark Side’s individual effects are good enough to fill up an entire pedal on their own, unlike most multi-effects pedals where detail is lost in favor of quantity. With the help of the many onboard features, it’s an excellent tool for producing psychedelic phaser tones.
The delay channel, which offers 12 syncopated patterns and real tape noises, is exceptionally precise. The fuzz, which is based on the op-amp fuzz technology from 1977, easily cuts through the background noise. The insertion of a sizable modulation part follows.
You can pass a lot of time playing with the Keeley Dark Side’s modulation choices. There’s the adaptable phaser, real sound flanger, rotary speaker, and u-vibe. The addition of an Order switch makes it possible to choose the order in which the effects on the pedal should be used, allowing you to anticipate and plan for this in advance.
Having the Keeley Dark Side Workstation pedal on your pedalboard is like to having a DAW. For audio freaks like me who love to customize every part of the modulation effects, it’s ideal. This multi-effects product will save you time and space on your pedalboard if you want to buy several high-quality pedals in addition to a phaser.
It’s challenging to imagine a phaser pedal that can match the Keeley Dark Side in terms of detail. It not only offers you a wide variety of top-notch modulation effects, but also top-notch fuzz and delays that are so superb they might easily be included separately on several pedals. Although the price tag might seem a bit intimidating, the quality of this pedal is commensurate with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Phaser Pedal?
A Phaser pedal is a modern foot-operated instrument that allows guitarists to quickly turn on and off certain amazing chorus pedal effects. Users can try out different settings with different models. The majority of them come in the shape of a stomp box. Their circuitry is typically modern and digital these days, but some are still built with vintage analogue parts, which have fewer stages.
There will always be electric guitar purists who favor traditional circuitry, and the formula for producing Phaser guitar effect sounds is not difficult. While digital Phasers can simulate a greater number of steps, this isn’t always necessary for everyone’s tastes. Some of the best phase pedal examples show that it’s not so much about the Phaser’s specs as it is about how you use it. Overuse is obviously excessive at times.
Where Should a Phaser Pedal Be Positioned in Your Signal Chain?
Phaser pedals are categorized as modulation effects and are typically placed at the end of your signal chain. Other than that, phase is normally placed before most other pedals, with the exception of space-based effects like delays and reverbs.
But, that is merely a suggestion, and there are undoubtedly alternative methods to arrange your signal chain and produce intriguing outcomes. The reason that phrase is customarily used after other effects is that it indicates that all other pedals, including distortion-based pedals, EQs, filters, and compressors, will be impacted by the phaser pedal.
In my own experience, I’ve discovered some of my favorite sounds by going about things incorrectly. Having a sense of where pedals should be placed might occasionally restrict your ability to shape sounds. It’s vital to experiment with the placement of your effects pedals to find the arrangements that sound best to you.
How is Phase Produced?
The technical name for a certain location on a frequency spectrum is the phase. In essence, an audio waveform is made up of several phases that begin and end as they approach the zero axes. A “phase-shift” is a better way to explain the effect that a phaser pedal creates.
Two identical signals combined together result in a phase shift. A dry, unprocessed signal is one of the two, while the other is placed through an all-pass filter that enables any of the frequencies to be increased or decreased. A mixture of the processed signal and the original signal is produced by adjusting the position of the all-pass filter using an LFO (low-frequency oscillator).
The sound is phase-shifted as a result of the LFO’s ability to move the filter. The two signals line up as a result, then continually drift out of alignment. The phaser effect is brought about by this frequent switching between being matched up and unmatched.
By employing more than one all-pass filter, it is possible to gradually add layers or stages to a phaser pedal. Additional feedback can be produced, fed back through the pedal’s input, and added to the overall sound to provide another layer.
Clipping of digital audio results in digital distortion, which typically has a harsher, more intense distortion than tube amp distortion. For instance, overdrive distortion pedals function by introducing a gain increase at specific audio output positions. These pedals typically have thresholds built in, much like a compressor, to identify which sections of the guitar input are quiet or loud, adding distortion to the louder notes.
Standard digital distortion pedals don’t rely on controlled clipping like overdrive pedals do. Instead of depending on the amount of amplification, these stompboxes alter the audio wave’s shape to produce certain patterns. Without the warmer overtones of a tube amplifier or an overdrive distortion pedal, this results in a response that is more flat.
Can I use a phaser pedal with other effects?
Yes, phaser pedals can be combined with other effects to create a wide range of sounds. They often pair well with overdrive, delay, and reverb effects.
Where should I place the phaser pedal in my signal chain?
While there are no hard and fast rules, a common placement for phaser pedals is after any gain-based effects like overdrive and distortion, but before time-based effects like delay and reverb.
What’s the difference between a phaser pedal and a flanger pedal?
While both phaser and flanger pedals create sweeping, swirling effects, they do so in different ways. Flanger pedals work by delaying the audio signal, while phaser pedals work by altering the phase of the signal. This results in slightly different tonal characteristics, with flangers typically producing a more intense, jet-like effect, and phasers producing a more subtle, spacey effect.
What are some popular songs that use a phaser effect?
Phaser effects can be heard in many classic songs, such as “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” by Van Halen, “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin, and “Breathe” by Pink Floyd.