Phaser pedals are an essential tool for many electric guitarists, offering a sweeping, dynamic effect that can add a lush, dimensional sound to music across various genres. From the swirling psychedelic rock of the ’60s to the expressive solos in progressive metal, the phaser effect has been a staple on pedalboards for decades. By modulating the phase of the signal, a phaser pedal creates peaks and troughs in the waveform that result in the characteristic ‘whooshing’ sound that guitarists love for its spacey quality. Below we’ll go over the top 8 best phaser pedal options we recommend.
Not all phaser pedals are created equal, with different models offering distinctive features such as the number of stages—which affects the complexity and depth of the effect—rate controls to adjust the speed of the phase shift, and feedback or resonance controls to tweak the intensity. Some models even include tap tempo or the ability to sync with other effects for greater versatility. When it comes to choosing the best phaser pedal, it’s crucial to consider these features, as well as the overall build quality and the pedal’s footprint on your pedalboard.
Attention should also be paid to whether the pedal is analog or digital, as this can greatly influence the warmth and authenticity of the phaser effect. Analog pedals are often sought for their rich, organic tones, while digital pedals offer a more precise, clean modulation with the possibility for more complex and varied waveforms. Additionally, true bypass is a feature many guitarists look for to preserve their signal’s integrity when the pedal is disengaged.
After extensive research and real-world testing of numerous models, we’ve honed in on the best phaser pedals that deliver exceptional sonic quality and meet the diverse needs of today’s musicians. Whether you’re looking to add a subtle texture to your rhythm playing or want a dramatic sweep for your solos, our findings will guide you to the perfect choice for your sonic explorations.
Top Phaser Pedals for Guitarists
Our carefully compiled selection showcases the premier phaser pedals available on the market. Each pedal we’ve included stands out for its quality, versatility, and the unique tone-shaping capabilities it offers to both amateur and professional guitarists. Whether you’re looking to add a subtle swirl or a deep, spacey modulation to your playing, our list is designed to help you find the perfect phaser pedal to match your musical expression and technical needs.
We believe any guitarist aiming to capture Eddie Van Halen’s tonal magic would find the MXR EVH 90 Phaser invaluable in their pedalboard quiver.
- Effortlessly switch between classic and modern phase tones.
- Iconic Van Halen striped design adds a rockstar aesthetic to your rig.
- Intuitive single-knob operation for ease of use.
- The LED indicator light might be too bright for some.
- A tad pricy compared to basic phaser pedals.
- Limited versatility for players seeking highly nuanced phase settings.
The moment we plugged in the MXR EVH 90, we were greeted with that lush, spacey phase effect that’s been gracing records for decades. This pedal stands out not just for its sound but for the striking aesthetic lifted directly from Eddie’s famed Frankenstein guitar. In a single stomp, you can shift from vintage “Script Logo” warmth to a pronounced “Block Logo” sweep, providing exceptional versatility for both classic and modern styles.
Durability speaks volumes with this unit. It handled our rigorous session with ease, and we anticipate it’ll hold up well on the road. Players who live for the Van Halen sound will find this pedal capable of delivering that signature swirl with a simplicity that’s downright refreshing. One knob controls it all, and that’s all we needed to dial in the right vibe.
Our jam through the EVH 90 Phaser proved one thing: this isn’t just another effects pedal. It’s a nod to the past with a foot in the present. While it may lean towards the higher end of the price spectrum, we felt the investment justified, given the distinct character it breathes into our music. The only snag we hit was the ultra-bright blue LED; it’s a small quirk but might be distracting on a dark stage.
In essence, the MXR EVH 90 Phaser is a robust piece of rock ‘n’ roll history packaged neatly into pedal form. It’s a plug-and-play gateway to classic phase tones with an unapologetic nod to one of the greatest guitarists of our time.
We recommend this pedal for its warm analog tone that defines any performance with its classic phase shifting.
- Effortlessly integrates with various musical genres and instruments.
- Instantly noticeable warm and rich analog effect.
- Renowned durability and simplistic design.
- Battery life can be limited without an AC adapter.
- Single knob design might lack versatility for some.
- The vibrant orange color isn’t for everyone.
From the moment we hooked up the MXR Phase 90, the difference in sound quality was palpable. This stompbox’s ability to enrich the fundamental tone of our guitar with its velvety phase shifting was reminiscent of legendary recordings we’ve all admired.
Housing it as part of our pedalboard felt like bringing a piece of rock legacy to every gig. With its solid build, setting it up was a breeze; the single knob didn’t fuss with too much tweaking, allowing us to focus on the music.
The Phase 90 didn’t disappoint in our jam sessions either. Whether we layered it under fiery solos or let it subtly underpin the rhythm section, the resulting sound always added that sought-after depth and motion to the track without overwhelming the core guitar tone.
If you’re aiming for that classic phase tone within a compact design, the MXR Phase 95 Mini should be on your radar.
- Combines two iconic phase circuits for a range of sounds
- Compact size fits easily on crowded pedalboards
- Script switch offers versatility between modern and vintage tones
- No power adapter included; requires an additional purchase
- Lacks a battery compartment for players preferring that power option
- Softer effect might be too subtle for those favoring pronounced phasing
In our experience with the MXR Phase 95 Mini, we’ve found it to be a true space-saver. Its diminutive size allows us to add this sonic gem to our pedalboard without having to rearrange our setup. The choice between the phase 45 and phase 90 circuits is a godsend for tonal variety, making it feel like we’re getting two pedals for the price of one.
Switching to the script mode, we’ve noticed the subtler phase tones which work wonderfully for those moments when we want our sound to have more texture without overpowering the mix. This flexibility is excellent when we play live and need to switch between a robust, swooping phase and a gentler one.
Our only wish is that the MXR Phase 95 Mini came with its own power source. Having to purchase a separate adapter is a minor inconvenience but worth mentioning. Additionally, those of us used to having a battery option might be slightly disappointed. Nonetheless, the overall quality and range of phase tones this pedal delivers are remarkable, especially given its size.
We think this Donner pedal is an essential tool for any guitarist looking to enhance their sound with robust effects and straightforward controls.
- Wide array of effects caters to diverse musical styles
- Simple controls, user-friendly for both beginners and pros
- High-quality sound output without noise issues
- Lacks a power supply, which is an additional purchase
- The buffer bypass may not appeal to all, especially those who prefer true bypass
- Tap tempo feature can be tricky to master live
Just had the chance to play around with the Donner Mod Square Ⅱ, and it’s definitely a game-changer. The pedal’s ability to mold your guitar’s sound across sixteen different effects is impressive. Whether craving a full-bodied chorus or a psychedelic phaser, it’s all there at the stomp of a foot. The digital circuitry keeps the signal clean, which means no more wrestling with unwanted noise or hum.
The design is compact, which we appreciate, as it fits snugly even on a crowded pedalboard. Setting up was a breeze, intuitive knobs meant finding that sweet spot in the mix was as simple as tuning a radio. The tap tempo is a neat feature – syncing effects with the band’s rhythm came naturally after a few tries, adding a professional sheen to our performance.
However, missing a power supply out of the box can be a hassle. This means an extra step for us to secure a compatible one. And while the buffer bypass maintains a strong signal, tone purists might be missing out on the subtleties a true bypass provides. Lastly, while the tap tempo is handy in practice, it might require some finesse to use effectively in a live setting.
Exploring the Donner Mod Square Ⅱ felt like discovering new layers to our musical expression. Despite the minor gripes, it’s a reliable and versatile addition that brought fresh vibrancy to our sound. We can confidently recommend it to any guitarist looking to expand their sonic palette.
We found the Behringer Vintage Phaser to be an excellent choice for those seeking that classic, swirling phaser effect without breaking the bank.
- Produces a rich, warm phase shifting effect reminiscent of vintage units
- Offers both a Rate control and a Tone switch for versatile sound shaping
- Benefited from a robust build quality, making it feel durable and road-worthy
- The absence of a power supply may be inconvenient for some
- We noticed the tone could potentially be too colored for those seeking a subtler effect
- Due to its larger footprint, it may take up more space on a pedalboard
In our hands, the Behringer Vintage Phaser instantly added depth to our sound. Twisting the rate control, we ramped up from a mellow, spacey swirl to a rapid, pulsating warble that could cut through any mix. Flipping the Tone switch altered the color of our sound significantly, providing us with options from silk-smooth sweeps to aggressive modulations.
This unit gave us a sense of nostalgia, echoing the sonic signatures of legendary recordings. We especially appreciated how easily it integrated into our existing setup. With the LED indicator, we were never left guessing if the effect was engaged during our playing sessions.
Despite its vintage label, we found nothing archaic about its construction. The VP1’s shell felt like it could endure the rigors of gigging without worry. However, we needed to procure a separate power supply, as it didn’t come bundled in the box. While it did eat up a bit more real estate on our pedalboard than some mini-pedals, the trade-off was a sturdy and substantial stompbox that won’t easily shift under heavy footwork.
We highly recommend this pedal for its versatility and portability, boosting creativity in any performance.
- Offers a wide range of modulation effects
- Robust full metal construction
- Highly portable due to its small size
- Runs only on a 9V power supply, which is not included
- Some users may prefer an analog signal over digital
- Bright color might not appeal to everyone
When we plugged in the FLAMMA FC05 Mini Mod, we were immediately taken by the breadth of sound-shaping possibilities packed into such a compact pedal. With 11 modulation effects ranging from classic chorus to a psychedelic ring modulator, the creative doors flew wide open. This tiny powerhouse felt right at home on our pedalboard, adding a vivid splash of color that was much more than just aesthetic.
During a test run, the solid construction became evident — this pedal is built to withstand the rigors of gigging. Despite its sturdy metal shell, it’s quite the lightweight, making it a breeze to carry from gig to gig. We especially liked the intuitive design which made dialing in the desired effect straightforward.
The digital prowess of this pedal delivered consistent, high-quality sounds that could easily become a staple in any genre’s toolkit. However, we did notice the absence of a power supply in the box, so be ready with a 9V adapter. The vibrant green color might not be for everyone, but it certainly sets it apart from the usual pedal hues. Despite these minor points, the FLAMMA FC05 left us thoroughly impressed with its sonic capabilities.
If you’re in search of that classic ’70s vibe woven into your guitar tone, this budget-friendly pedal could be your ticket.
- Authentic vintage phase tones
- Simple one-knob operation
- True bypass maintains signal integrity
- Subtler effect may not suit all styles
- Additional power adapter recommended for optimum performance
- Larger size than expected by some users
The JOYO Vintage Phaser breathes life into riffs with its warm, pulsating tones characteristic of the ’70s era. We’ve found it adds an organic feel to our play, especially with rhythmic passages where this pedal shines. Its sturdy build means it holds up well during gigs and sessions.
Operating this pedal couldn’t be more straightforward; a swift twist of the single speed control fine-tunes your sound to perfection. It integrates seamlessly into our setup, thanks to the true bypass feature that keeps our tone pristine when the pedal is disengaged.
Additional considerations we’ve noted include making sure to use a quality power supply, as this can affect the pedal’s performance. While the JOYO Vintage Phaser delivers its promise, the subtlety of its effect might leave those desiring a more pronounced phaser feeling underwhelmed. Lastly, its footprint is a bit on the larger side, something to consider for those with crowded pedalboards.
If you’re on the hunt for a cost-effective way to spice up your guitar tones, this little pedal might just be your ticket to sonic variety.
- Preserves the guitar’s original tone when not engaged
- Solid, robust build quality in a compact design
- Intuitive two-knob layout for ease of use
- Does not come with a 9V adapter included
- Some may find the phase effect depth lacking
- Noise issues reported by a few users
After plugging in the Kmise Vintage Phaser, we were satisfied with the classic phase tones it brought to the table. The true bypass feature means that your signal remains unaffected when the pedal is disengaged, ensuring the purity of your guitar’s natural sound.
The pedal’s construction impressed us; despite its affordability, the aluminum alloy body feels sturdy enough to endure the rigors of gigging. Its small footprint also fits comfortably on crowded pedalboards, a valuable trait for players who like to travel light.
Tweaking the pedal was straightforward and fun. With just a couple of knobs to adjust, we quickly dialed in a variety of sounds—from subtle texture to a more pronounced swirling effect. This ease of use is ideal for beginners or anyone looking for no-fuss operation during performances.
Despite its virtues, the lack of a 9V power adapter means you’ll need to secure one beforehand. Some players might desire a bit more range from the phasing effect, especially if you’re after more dramatic sweeps. A few users have mentioned noise issues, but we didn’t encounter anything that detracted significantly from our experience.
In short, the Kmise Vintage Phaser suits guitarists who need a simple, reliable phaser without the bells and whistles of more expensive units. It may not be the choice for those seeking extreme versatility, but for the price, it’s definitely a resourceful addition to any pedal arsenal.
When we look for the best phaser pedal, it’s essential we consider some key features that can significantly impact our sound and playability. All choices should cater to personal needs and the specific applications they’re intended for.
Related: How Guitar FX Pedals Work
Stages of Phasing
The number of stages in a phaser pedal can range from 2 to 12, with each stage adding more complexity and depth to the sound. Here’s a simple breakdown:
|Subtle, smooth phasing
|More pronounced swirl
|Complex, textured waves
Remember, more stages don’t always mean better—it’s about what suits our music.
Adjustable speed is critical for tailoring the phasing effect to our playing style. Ensure the pedal offers a wide speed range to cover slow, evolving sweeps and fast, vibrato-like effects.
Depth and Feedback
These controls shape how intense and pronounced the phasing effect is. A good phaser should offer enough range on these knobs to go from a light touch to a full-on psychedelic swirl.
Whether a pedal has true bypass affects our signal path when the pedal is off. For a clean and unaltered tone when the pedal is not engaged, we should opt for a phaser with true bypass.
Durability is a must for any pedal we add to our collection. We should ensure that the chassis and switches are sturdy enough for regular use, especially for those of us who perform frequently.
By focusing on these features and how they align with our needs, we can confidently select a phaser pedal that will complement our sound arsenal.