The list for today brings you the Top 13 Phaser Pedals for your bass guitar. This list provides information about some of the best brands, including MXR, JOYO, Behringer, Electro-Harmonix, Boss, Source Audio, TC Electronic, Walrus, Earth Quaker, Aguilar, Zoom, and Empress.
The market is overflowing with effect pedals right now, all unique in their own way. Some of them differ in terms of looks, some based on features, size, price, or you name it. It’s the toughest task in the world, picking one out of the lot. Don’t worry, though, because we’ve got you covered.
In this article, you’ll find some of the very best phaser pedals available, and by the end, you’ll know all you need to know in order to make an informed decision about which pedal best suits your needs. The size of the Pedal, the set of features it possesses, the types of outputs, Phaser capabilities, and the price all play a significant role in deciding what’s most suitable for you.
So many options await. Let’s discover the perfect one for you. Let’s figure out what best suits your needs. The journey starts now.
1. MXR Phase 90 M101
This tiny orange petal is vibrant, packs quite the punch for its form factor, and is extremely simple to use.
Founded in the year 1972 and acquired by Jim Dunlop in 1987, MXR is considered by many as part of the holy trinity of effect pedals, and their equipment is sought after the world over. MXR offerings are some of the finest ever to grace the market, and this Pedal is no different.
Megastars such as Billie Joe Armstrong, Billy Gibbons, John Petrucci, Slash, and Tom Morello use MXR music equipment. World-famous bands such as Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, and Trivium all use music equipment from MXR.
- Unboxing and First Impression
The popular Pedal comes in a matte black cardboard box, a rubber grip for the control knob, an MXR equipment catalog, a user manual, a quick guide, and a warranty card. The device is mini-sized at 1.25″ x 2.25″ x 4.25″ and is brilliant orange. It weighs 0.84 lbs. The front of the device features a shiny black control knob, the brand’s Logo, an LED indicator, and a footswitch with the mention of ‘phase 90’ just below. The left side of the device hosts an output jack, while the right side features an input jack and a 9V DC power socket.
- Use and Initial Thoughts
The device offers true bypass. Though primarily geared towards the bass guitar, you can connect keyboards or even a microphone, making the Pedal quite versatile and a great on-the-go option. The Pedal introduces a kind of special sparkle to the lead licks. It also adds a prominent rustle to the chords.
The control knob is very prominent because of its size and color. This Speed knob can be turned in either direction to set the rate of the overall effect. The footswitch can be pressed to activate the effect or allow bypass. The footswitch has a dedicated red LED indicator that lights up when the effect is active.
The device has an Input impedance of 1 MΩ and an Output impedance of 10 kΩ. The nominal Input and output levels of the device are -20 dBV with a noise floor of -96 dBV. The Pedal can operate on a 9V DC Power supply Brick or on a single 9V battery. You’ll need to remove the base plate of the Pedal to replace the battery.
The device is compact and easily fits even on most congested pedal boards. With true bypass and a single control, the Pedal is easy to use, making it an excellent option for beginners and established artists seeking a simple pedal that doesn’t take up much space.
The device may not appeal to those who prefer bulky multi-function effect pedals with more complexity. The power adaptor is sold separately, and it’s a real hassle to replace the 9V battery. Some competing pedals in the same price range come with more features.
2. Joyo R-09 Vision
This dual-channel modulation pedal possesses 9 unique effects and supports multiple stereo outs and ins.
JOYO Technology specializes in Research and Development, manufacturing, and marketing. The band produces a large variety of products, including practice amps, guitar amps (Acoustic, Electric, and Bass), audio interfaces, and of course, effects pedals.
Known for their inexpensive products that bring a lot of value, the brand has really delivered with this fantastic effect pedal jampacked with a truckload of features. This impressive-looking Pedal possesses phases, flange, tremolo, and chorus modulation capabilities.
- Unboxing and First Impression
The Pedal comes packed in a black cardboard box with a shiny golden top, foam padded from the other side to keep the top of the Pedal protected. In the box, you’ll also find a patch cable, a foldable user manual, and 4 rubber pads for the base of the Pedal in case you decide against placing it on a pedal board. The device looks gorgeous, with a gold-brown paint job and subtle matte shine. The device measures 13 cm x 11 cm x 5 cm and weighs 0.43 kg.
The front of the panel has 8 shiny control knobs with a tiny switch amid them, 2 footswitches each an LED indicator located just above. A Joyo Vision logo sits between the 2 footswitches. The rear of the device hosts 2 Input jacks (Right and Left), a DC power socket, and 2 Output Jacks (Right and Left). The base of the device features an Ambience Control Switch.
- Knobs and a Mini Switch
The 8 shiny knobs represent Speed, Rate, 2 Control knobs for Mode A and B, 2 Type knobs for Mode A and B, and 2 Depth/Mix knobs for both Modes. The Speed knob adjusts Mode A’s modulation speed, and the Rate knob does the same for Mode B. That essentially means 4 of the knobs cater to Mode A while the other 4 cater to Mode B. The mini switch between the knobs is for selecting between Mode A and Mode B.
- Footswitches and LED indicators
The 2 blue LED indicators show the status of the 2 Modes (A and B). When either mode is activated, its LED indicator lights up. These indicators start blinking at the rate of the tap tempo when it is triggered on either mode. The Left footswitch controls the effects of Mode A, and the right controls the effects of Mode B. The Tap Tempo is activated or deactivated by keeping the footswitch pressed and held for a few seconds. Once active, the footswitch can be pressed twice to set the effect speed.
The device is packed with 9 different modes and 2 independent Mode modules with 18 modulation effects. With the number of features it packs, this unit by Joyo offers exceptional value for money. The device hosts 2 different connections and an independent tap tempo.
The Pedal is on the larger side compared to most Phaser pedals. The device packs a wide variety of features, and while that can be seen as a huge plus, it’s a negative for those seeking simplicity in a smaller form factor. A battery cannot power the device.
3. Behringer Vintage Phaser VP1
This unique and exciting affordable phaser pedal is a great introductory pedal into the phase world.
In 1989 Behringer was founded by Uli Behringer, a Swiss Engineer in Germany. The company has gained popularity ever since and is the preferred brand for many famous musicians worldwide.
Still chaired by the founder Uli Behringer, the Music Tribe’s company portfolio comprises some world-renowned brands such as Cool Audio, Turbosound, Midas, TC- Helicon and TC Electronic, Tannoy, Lab. Gruppen, Klark Teknik, Aston Microphones and Behringer of course.
- Initial Reaction
The Pedal features a boxy form factor with a silver and black old-school design. The device overall feels pretty durable, with the knob, sockets, and switches all firmly in place. The Pedal feels sturdy and measures 2.9″ x 3.3″ x 5.6″, so it won’t take up much space on the pedalboard. The unit weighs less than a pound at 0.86 lbs.
The layout of all the elements is very common. It’s simple and similar to most pedals this size, featuring a control knob centered at the top, with a gap in between where the model of the Pedal is mentioned, followed by the footswitch. Something uncommon, however, is the inclusion of a tone switch next to the control knob. An LED indicator is placed at the other side of the knob, which sums up the device’s front panel. The rear of the device hosts 2 quarter-inch sockets for Input and output, along with a power socket, which is convenient. With all the sockets placed at the rear of the device, cables won’t get in the way, possibly saving space on the pedalboard.
- Phaser Modes
When this switch is at its lower position, it will let you select negative feedback phaser mode, resulting from the delayed signal being inverted before being fed back to the signal. Pushing the switch upwards will allow you positive feedback in phaser mode, resulting in a delayed signal not being inverted. This gives the effect a detuned character similar to a vibrato effect.
The power socket is located at the rear of the device in between the input and output jacks. There’s also a convenient battery compartment at the base of the device. The device needs a DC Power adaptor or a 9V battery to function correctly. There is no power switch, and instead, the device can be turned on when an instrument or patch cable is plugged into the input jack. This will prolong the battery life.
Priced well under the $50 price point, the Pedal is extremely affordable and brings great value for money in terms of high-quality sounds. The device is also straightforward and would be a fantastic low-cost option for beginners and those willing to venture into the Phaser world.
Many pedals by competitors offering the same features are much more powerful than this effect pedal. Some users have noticed that the Pedal produces an unwanted hissing at times. This device isn’t for those who want more features or complexity from their device.
4. Electro-Harmonic Small Stone Analog Phase Shifter
This colorful funky looking Pedal features a sturdy build and a compact form factor.
In 1968, Electro-Harmonix company was founded in New York City by Mike Matthews. The company initially provided very affordable effect pedals, which were state-of-the-art. Over the years, EHX guitar pedals have managed to gain worldwide popularity.
Many world-renowned artists use EHX pedals today, including Thurston Moore, Seth Avett, John Frusciante, Bootsy Collins, Jeff Matz, Noel Hogan, Miguel Angel Hidobro Preciado, Daniel Barros, J. D. Cronise, Philip Jamieson, Simone Ulino, Shane Parsons, Dann V, and James Frost.
The Pedal features a very compact form factor and weighs about half an lb., making it a tiny space-saving pedal. The front of the device hosts a control knob, an LED indicator, a mini switch, and a footswitch. The Pedal’s right side features an Input jack, and the left houses an Output jack. The power socket is located at the rear of the device. The Pedal feels sturdy. The knob, switches, and sockets are all pretty solid.
- Color Switch and Rate knob
The Color switch can be used to set the phase shift sound between a full phase shift (while the switch is turned downwards) and a much more pronounced phase shift (when the switch is pointing upwards). The rate control knob is timebound and can be turned in either direction to set the phasing sweep speed.
- Footswitch and connectivity
The footswitch holds a similar function as footswitches in other effect pedals. It can be pressed to activate the effect or allow bypass via bypass mode. The red LED indicator above lights up when the effect is active. The right side of the device features a quarter-inch input jack for you to plug in an instrument. The Left of the Pedal houses a quarter-inch output jack for an amp or speakers. Of course, the two jacks may also connect the Pedal with another pedal.
The device’s rear hosts a power socket for a 9V power supply. The device can also be powered via a 9V battery and only powers on if or when the input jack is in use. In order to replace the battery, you’ll need to unscrew 4 screws and remove the base plate.
The device is very compact. It is very simple and can be powered via a 9V battery or Power Adaptor. It would be a great carry-along effect pedal for beginners or those who prefer simplicity.
Replacing the 9V battery is a nuisance. You need to unscrew 4 screws and remove the base plate to access the battery. The device is very simple, but some multi-function competing options also exist at a slightly higher price point, offering much better value.
5. Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
This bright green offering by Boss comes with a whole bunch of different effects and a great mix of sounds.
Founded in 1973, Boss is a globally recognized manufacturer of musical equipment and primarily effects units for electric guitars as well as for bass guitars. The legendary company’s headquarters are located in Hamamatsu, Japan.
A division of the Roland Corporation, Boss is a globally recognized manufacturer of musical equipment, including guitar pedals. Artists like Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Eric Johnson, Gus G from Ozzy Osbourne, and many more use boss equipment.
- First Impression
The device is boxy and feels very sold. The knobs and sockets are sturdy too, and it features a bright green and black design with shiny silver and matte black text. One of the best things about this Phase pedal is that it houses a ‘Stage’ control knob that hosts many unique effects. The Pedal also features ‘Tap Tempo,’ which is another very useful as well as entertaining function. The 3 other knobs can also be used to form unique combinations. The device measures 1.4″ x 2.9″ x 5.1″ and weighs almost a pond at 0.9 lbs.
- Phase Stage Knob Switch
This knob lets you choose the phase type as well as the number of steps in Phase. The knob allows you to choose between 7 modes, 4-Stage, 8-Stage, 10-Stage, 12-Stage, Fall, Rise, and Step. The 4-stage phaser provides a light, classic feeling vintage effect. The 8-stage phaser introduces a balanced sound, and the 10-stage introduces a deep effect. The 12-stage phaser (6-2tage phasers x2) provides a powerful effect. The Rise effect initiates a constantly rising sensation, and the Fall effect brings a constantly falling sensation. The step effect features non-consecutive modulation that allows some illusional effects.
- Control Knobs: Rate, Depth & Res
All 3 control knobs are glossy black, like the Stage knob. The Rate control knob is timebound, and it adjusts the Speed of the effect. The Depth control knob sets the filter change depth. The Res knob sets the filter effect strength. The effect sound grows in strength as the knob is rotated to the right.
- Footswitch, LED indicator, Power, and Connectivity
You can press the footswitch to activate or deactivate the effect. It can also be used to set the Tap Tempo. The thumbscrew at the base of the footswitch allows you to access the battery compartment. The Pedal uses a single 9V battery and may also instead be powered by a PSA series AC power adaptor (sold separately). The power socket is placed at the rear of the device, and the LED indicator nearby denotes battery status. The indicator also denotes the status of the effect and Tempo. The Left of the device hosts an Output jack, whereas the right of the device hosts an Input jack and an EXP/CTL jack.
The Pedal has an extremely solid build. It features a bunch of phaser modes. The device’s simulated phaser also sounds fantastic, as does its DSP (Digital Sound Processor). It hosts a variety of effects ranging from vintage to modern, which make the Pedal hugely versatile.
The effect pedal doesn’t bring the best value considering it’s at the expensive side of the spectrum, and most competing pedals are more affordable. There are a few competing pedals that come with a similar price tag, but they are multi-function pedals with more to offer.
6. Source Audio Spectrum Intelligent Filter
With a compact brushed aluminum exterior, a mystic purple paint job, this pedal is absolutely stunning.
Space Audio was founded in the year 2005, making it one of the younger brands discussed in this article. However, ever since 2005, it has gained traction and popularity very quickly. The company’s goal has always been the introduction of innovation in the audio effects world.
The world-famous brand is loved and endorsed by many musicians, including the likes of John Mayer, David Bowie, David Gilmour, King Crimson, Victor Wooten, My Morning Jacket, The Cure, Phish, Aerosmith, U2, and so many more.
- Look and Feel
The effect pedal incorporates a common boxy design with a unique paint job. The aluminum chassis adds to the overall resilience of the device. The 4 shiny off-white knobs really contribute to the overall purple and gold design. In between the knobs, you’ll find a tiny but firm 3-way switch. The front of the device also houses a silver footswitch with ‘Spectrum’ and ‘Intelligent Filter’ mentioned just above. There’s a bright yellow LED indicator right above the model’s mention and a tiny LED right above the knobs. The brand’s Logo has been placed at the bottom left corner. The device measures 10 cm x 7 cm x 6 cm and weighs exactly 1 lb.
- The Spectrum Filters – Green Bank
The 3-way switch between the 4 off-white knobs allows you access to the device’s 2 banks, the ‘Green Bank’ and the ‘Red Bank.‘ The Green Bank includes 3 filters namely ‘Tron’ (switch: left), ‘Dumpling’ (switch: centered) and Thrust (switch: right). The Tron filter recalls the legendary Mu-Tron III (1972). It incorporates a lower resonance and low-pass filter and a responsive envelope (dynamically). The Dumpling filter takes after the Lovetone Meatball (the mid-90s) and works particularly well with a Bass Guitar. The Thrust filter fattens the sound and incorporates emulation of the monophonic tones (analog) of OC-2.
- The Spectrum Filters – Red Bank
Similar to the Green Bank, the Red Bank also includes 3 filters, ‘Punch’ (switch: left), ‘Vocal Synth’ (switch: centered), and Octave Lead (switch: right). The Punch filter is perfect for bold guitar solos, staccato-style funk, and slap bass. The Vocal Synth filter features a monophonic octave and a gated fuzz added to the dry signal, which then goes through a 3-stage phaser filter. This allows for a vocally growly synth. The Octave Lead filter allows thick default spectrum sound to be added to solos and lead lines.
The Pedal is one of the most powerful effects pedals with its stereo filter. It features great envelope filter effects, 6 inbuilt sounds, distortion, and octave tones. It allows you to create your own presets. The device comes jampacked with features that make it hugely versatile.
Some users have complained that the quality of the sound effects didn’t pop as they had expected. A few users have reported their devices stopped working but were later replaced by the company. The Pedal is on the pricey side of the spectrum, but it arguably justifies the value.
7. TC Electronic Helix Phaser
This bright yellow effect pedal is tweakable and packs a braod variety of vintage and modern phaser effects.
TC Electronics was founded in 1976 by Kim and John Rishoj. The company has since been creating recording and guitar products that have inspired artists on a global scale. The company has also won many accolades, including ‘Guitar Invention of the Year 2017’.
In 1985, TC Electronics also won multiple Awards from NAMM’s ‘Hall of Fame.’ Musicians and bands such as Anthrax, George Michael, Depeche Mode, John Petrucci, Kraftwerk, Skrillex, Mike Patton, Kimbra, Imogen Heap, and Snow Patrol used TC products in their rise to fame.
- Unboxing and First Impression
The device comes in a neat white and black cardboard box which also contains the user manual and a TC Electronic sticker. The Pedal features a common boxy form factor but with a unique bright yellow paint job. The front of the device most prominently hosts 4 shiny black knobs, an LED indicator, the Helix Phaser logo, a tiny 3-way switch, and a footswitch with the brands name mentioned below. The device measures 3″ x 3.3″ x 5″ and weighs 0.35 kg.
- Shiny Black Knobs
The 4 shiny knobs are for Speed, Depth, Feedback, and Mix. The Speed control knob regulates the rate of the modulation frequency (time between peaks). The Depth control knob adjusts the intensity of the ‘Phaser effect.’ The Feedback control knob can be used to set the amount of signal feedback to the phaser input. The Mix control knob lets you set the phaser effect’s level.
- Phaser Type Switch
The Phaser type switch lets you select between 3 phaser types, namely, Vintage, TonePrint, and Smooth. The Vintage type settings introduce swooshy and gritty effects, the TonePrint type settings let you use TonePrints, and the Smooth type settings, allow you to make less pronounced and mellow phaser effects.
The left and right sides of the device house 4 quarter-inch sockets, and the back panel supports a mini-B USB port and the power socket. The mini-B USB port can be used to connect your Pedal to your computer to load TonePrints from your PC to your Pedal. It will also allow you to make your own TonePrint with the use of TC Electronic’s TonePrint editor. The Pedal’s firmware can also be updated through the PC as well. The Pedal requires a 9V power supply (sold separately) which provides 100 mA. A power supply that features isolated outputs can reduce humming. The base of the device features a large screw that allows access to replace the battery.
The Pedal provides great tone and sculpting control. Digital units packs rich phase tones. The TC also offers Tone Print functionality and is a hugely versatile product. The chassis is very solid, all 4 knobs are very sturdy, and the sockets are firm in their place.
The sum of dry coupled with phase signal sounds less than seamless at some settings, leaving much to be desired. Though the Pedal brings a lot of features and versatility, some pedals from competitors arguably pack greater value with more to offer at similar or lower price points.
8. Walrus Audio Lillian Multi-Stage Analog Phaser
Incorporating a similar design to their Julia, this sky blue Walrus pedal features the character Lillian.
In 2011, Walrus Audio was founded by Brady Smith, a former employee of Keeley Electronics. Old Blood Noise Endeavors was also founded by Smith, In the year 2014. Keeley is thereby one of the youngest companies to have their phaser pedal featured in this Top 13 list.
Joe Bonamassa, Ed O’Brien from Radiohead, and Nels Cline established Walrus Audio on a global scale. John Cummings (Mogwai), Phil X (Bon Jovi), and Scott Shriner (Weezer) also use Walrus effects pedals. This pedals bring a great deal of versatility and variety to the table.
- Unboxing experience
This phaser pedal comes packed in a cardboard box, a soft microfiber pedal pouch, a user manual, and a warranty card. The Pedal comprises 4 shiny black knobs for rate, width, feedback, and d-p-v. The front of the device also hosts a stages switch. The rear of the Pedal features 2 quarter-inch jacks and a power socket. The device measures 4.77″ x 2.9″ x 2.3″ and weighs just over half a kg at 0.59 kg.
- Paint job and Sketch
The Pedal has a lively blue paint job which depicts the color of the sky and assists in providing emphasis to the sketch character. The sketch is Walrus’s tribute to a World War II pioneering Pilot, Lillian Yonally. She was a part of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) program which saw US women Air Force pilots take to the sky for the very first time. Lillian went on to receive a Congressional Gold Medal for inspiring service.
- Knobs – Rate, Width, and Feedback
The Rate control knob adjusts the Speed of the LFO sweeps from no movement to a crazy whirling phase. The Width control knob can be used to set the frequency range of the filters, between less dramatic effects all the way to well-defined phaser tones. The feedback knob decides between traditional phaser tones and a resonate filter sound for the sound to become more severe and intense.
- D-P-V knob
D-P-V stands for ‘Dry,’ ‘Phase,’ and ‘Vibrato,’ and the knob allows you to choose a point of preference between the three. If the knob is turned to its left extreme, the signal will remain dry. If the knob is pointing upwards, it’ll allow a balance between wet and dry, which is the traditional phaser setting. Turning the knob towards its right extreme will result in wet pitch vibrato.
- Stage Switch
This switch lets you select between 4 and 6 stages. This changes the voice overall from tight and warm phasing (4 stages) to a filtered complex sound (6 stages). 2 swept filter notches combine to form the 4-stage mode, whereas a total of 3 filter notches need to combine to create the 6-stage mode. Both modes have their own voices.
- Footswitch and LEDs
Then there’s a footswitch that can be held down for the activation of effect or allow true bypass. Two LED light indicators are placed to the right and left of the footswitch to denote Bypass and Rate.
The Pedal features exceptional control for phase-crafting. It’s an all-analog multi-stage phaser with a true bypass. The D-P-V, Feedback, Rate, and Width functions allow a wide array of combinations which make this Pedal the most comprehensive and versatile on the market.
The effect pedal doesn’t bring the best value considering it’s at the expensive side of the spectrum, and most competing pedals are affordable. There are a few competing pedals that come with a similar price tag, but there are multi-function pedals with more to offer.
9. Earth Quaker Devices Grand Orbiter Phase Machine
With a diverse and unique set of features, this 4 stage OTA-based phaser pedal is absolutely fantastic.
In 2004 EarthQuaker Devices was founded by Julie Robbins and a musician, Jamie Stillman, in Akron, Ohio, USA. From Stillman’s basement in 2004, the company had grown to 50 employees and a 15,000 sq ft building on Bowery Street by the year 2019 (15 years later).
Also, in 2019, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognized the company as ‘The Small Business Exporter of The Year. Today, their equipment is used by Andrew Whiteman (Broken Social Scene), Arianna Powell (Halsey), Frank Lero (My Chemical Romance), and many more.
The Pedal comes in a colorful cardboard box featuring a graphic of the EarthQuaker Octopus. In the box, you’ll also find an instruction manual, a warranty card, a soft pouch for the device, and a black and white brand sticker. The Pedal measures 4.75″ x 2.5″ x 2.25″ and weighs 0.32 kg.
- First Impression
The Pedal feels very solid to hold. The black knobs with silver tops add to the device’s metallic maroon and white paint job. The Orbit logo has also been nicely incorporated into the design, just as the mention of the brand and model.
The front of the panel houses 4 knobs for ‘Sweep,’ ‘Rate,’ ‘Depth,’ and ‘Resonance.’ The front panel also features 2 mini switches for Rate 1/ 2/ 3, and Phase/ Vibrato. Just below the Orbiter graphic is a footswitch with a dedicated LED indicator next to it. The sides and base of the Pedal are plain. The rear panel hosts 2 quarter-inch jacks for Input and output, and in between them, you’ll find a 9V power socket (Power supply sold separately).
- Knobs – Sweep, Depth and Resonance
The Sweep control knob adjusts the sweep’s frequency peak. You can turn this knob towards the right to allow a higher peak. Turning the knob left will get you lower peak. The Depth Control Knob lets you adjust the phase effect amount. The knob can be turned right for intense phasing. This knob doubles as a volume control knob in the Vibrato mode. The Resonance control knob can be used to set the phase signal’s regeneration.
- Rate Knob and Switches
The Rate control knob regulates the Speed of the LFO. Turning the knob right increases the Speed, and the Left decreases it. The Rate 1/ 2/ 3 mini switch brings you 3 quick settings. For slow mode, turn the switch to Rate 1. For a fixed resonant filter, turn the switch to Rate 2. Rate 3 takes you to fast mode. The Phase/ Vibrato switch reduces the dry signal and generates a vibrato effect. The footswitch can be used to activate the effect or allow a 100% True Bypass.
The Pedal provides fantastic precision and comes with a whole host of phase and vibrato sounds that make it a very versatile machine. The device is a very responsive 4-stage OTA-based phaser pedal that is among the most comprehensive phaser pedals available.
The Rate control isn’t very powerful when the LFO is disabled. The Pedal does not have a battery compartment, which means the device can’t be powered via the battery and that the only way to power it is with a 9V DC power supply, which is sold separately.
10. Aguilar Grape Phaser Bass Phase
This purple grape-colored Pedal incorporates the same design as the Octamizer and Filter Twin.
In the year 1995, Aguilar was launched by Dave Boonshoft. In order to record Bass, the company designed the very first tube preamp, which later assisted in revolutionizing live amplification. Today, the company is world-renowned for its bass amplification equipment.
Globally known and loved musicians such as Sharlee D’Angelo (Arch Enemy), Rhoda Smith (Jeff Beck), Adam Nitti (Stephen Curtis Chapman), Tully Kennedy (Jason Aldean), Oscar Stagnaro (Paquito D’Rivera), and many more share an inclination for Aguilar equipment.
- Unboxing and First Impression
The Pedal comes packed in a neat white box with an image of the Pedal printed at the top. The box also comprises an owner’s manual and a 3-year warranty card (limited). The Pedal has a solid steel chassis. The knobs, footswitch, and ports are all firmly in place. The device measures 6.8 cm x 5.3 cm x 13.3 cm and weighs 0.65 lbs.
- Look and Feel
In keeping with the name of the Pedal, it features a grape purple paint job. The front of the Pedal houses 2 knobs for Rate and Color and a Footswitch to engage the effect to allow true bypass. The device also features a blue LED indicator placed strategically as the dot on top of the ‘I’ in the Aguilar Logo. It lights up when the effect is active. The sides and base of the effect pedal are plain, whereas the device’s rear panel features 2 quarter-inch jacks for Input (impedance: 1MΩ when the effect is active) and output (1KΩ), and between them, a Power socket for a 9-10v DC power supply (center terminal negative). The base of the device holds a battery compartment as well.
- Rate and Color Knobs
The Timebound Rate control knob regulates the Speed of the effect modulation. The Color control knob determines the amount of original signal which passes back across the phase-shifting circuit.
- Other Features
The Pedal brings all analog technology, ensuring that the original sounds remain intact. The Pedal also holds the rare function of allowing the signal to pass even if the battery is fully depleted. This feature is especially useful in case the battery dies during a live performance of any kind.
With just 2 knobs and a footswitch, this Pedal is one of the easiest to use. It packs a powerful punch in terms of its quality steel exterior and performance. It offers unique color control and also ensures that the original tone remains intact. The Pedal produces overall warm sounds.
The extreme range of color control may introduce unwanted distortion. The Pedal is simple and great for beginners, but it will appeal to only those who prefer larger, more complex pedals with multiple features. The unit is on the expensive side and can only be powered via a power supply.
11. Source Audio Lunar Phaser
This pedal is a beast of a device, comprehensive to exactly what a phaser should come equipped with.
Since its initiation in 2005, this young brand has released some fantastic innovative effect pedals, and this one is no different. The company has also introduced some great software, such as the Source Audio Neuro Application, that offers some really powerful features.
The Pedal incorporates the exact same design as some pedals from Source Audio’s One series, such as Kingmaker and Vertigo, LA Lady, Ultra Wave, and Gemini, varying, of course, in color. The design is also similar to the brand’s Spectrum pedal but differs in terms of the knob color.
- Look and Feel
The effect pedal features a common design with a unique blue brushed paint job. The lightweight steel chassis adds to the ruggedness of the device. The 4 shiny black knobs for ‘Depth,’ ‘Speed,’ ‘Resonance,’ and ‘Shape’ really contribute to the overall look of the unit. In between the knobs, you’ll find a tiny 3-way switch for ‘Vibe,’ ‘Classic,’ and ‘Multi’ phaser modes. The front of the device also houses a silver footswitch with ‘Lunar Phaser’ mentioned just above. There’s a bright LED indicator just above the mention of the model and a tiny LED is centered over the knobs to denote power. The brand’s Logo has been placed at the bottom left corner. This phaser pedal measures 11.6 cm x 7 cm x 5.6 cm and weighs 0.62 lbs.
- Neuro Technology
The brand’s Neuro application is compatible with the phaser pedal and can unlock a wide array of effect types and control parameters and grant access to the online community for Neuro. The app also brings new presets from artists and users completely free. Up to 128 presets can be stored in the app’s hub. They can be accessed with the use of a MIDI controller.
- 4 Knobs
The LFO (Low-Frequency Oscillator) depth can be set by the Depth Control Knob. This will allow you to adjust the phase effect’s prominence and strength. The Speed control knob can set the phaser effect speed by controlling the LFO’s frequency. The Resonance control knob, as the name suggests, lets you set the resonance of the effect higher or lower based on your preference. The Shape control knob lets you select between ‘Sawtooth,’ ‘Square,’ and ‘Sine.’
- 3-way mini switch, Footswitch, and LED indicator
The mini switch allows you to select allows you to choose between 3 different phaser modes, namely, Vibe, Classic, and Multi. The Pedal’s footswitch can activate the effect or deactivate it, allowing bypass. The dedicated green LED indicator lights up upon phaser effect activation.
The Pedal supports dual Inputs and dual outputs. The Pedal is easy to use and is one of the most comprehensive Phaser pedals available. The 3-way switch provides a whole host of phaser options. The Pedal has a solidly built exterior and looks great on a pedal board.
The Pedal is on the expensive side, priced around the $200 mark. The Pedal features a relatively focused approach (focusing on Phase), which may not appeal to those seeking a larger variety of features and devices, such as multi-function pedals.
12. Zoom MS-60B
This pedal is incredible in looks and the vast array of features it brings to the table, like Phaser variation.
The Zoom Corporation was founded in the year 1983. The company’s headquarter is based in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, the company has established itself on a global scale with its digital mixers, recording devices, multi-effect processors, samplers, and effect pedals.
With some exceptional effects, such as its Synth sounds and great distortion, along with the sheer number of features this device offers, it really is a very strong jack of all trade pedals. To add to that, the Pedal also provides some fantastic Amp Sims.
- Look and Feel
The Pedal looks identical in design to the other pedals from the MS series, such as the MS-70CDR and MS-50G. The exterior is very solid, and the maroon paint job also appears to be of high quality. The black knobs and the shiny footswitch and jacks also add to the device’s unique appearance. The knobs, buttons, footswitch, and sockets all feel really sturdy.
The Pedal’s front panel most noticeably hosts a digital display. Just below, you’ll find 3 parameter knobs, followed by the MultiStomp Logo and the device’s model number. You’ll find 4 cursor keys surrounding the footswitch in a disc-like formation. The device weighs 0.35 kg (without batteries) and measures 13.03 cm x 7.75 cm x 5.85 cm.
- 3 Parameter Knobs (Left, Middle, and Right)
The 3 parameter knobs are located near the center of the Pedal and angled towards the display. The knob to the Left allows you to rearrange effects, remove effects, or set effects. It also lets you view the version of the current firmware. The middle knob allows you to access the memory screen through which you’ll be able to alter, choose or save patch memories. In order to scroll through the various parameter pages, you can turn the knob to the right.
- Footswitch and Cursor keys (Up, Down, Left, and Right)
The footswitch lets you activate or deactivate the effect, and the LED indicates accordingly. If you keep the footswitch pressed for 1 second, you’ll be able to access the Tuner or Tap Tempo. Out of the 4 cursor keys, keeping the up and down keys pressed will let you choose the effect category. Keep the Left and right keys pressed to add an effect on either side of the effect currently selected.
- Mini USB port, Software, Quarter-Inch Jacks, and Power Socket
Instruments can be connected to the device through the quarter-inch Input located on its tight side-the left panel of the Pedal houses 2 quarter-inch Output jacks for Mono and Stereo connectivity. For firmware upgradation, you can connect the device to a PC using the mini USB port. The device is bus powered and can also be powered via a power supply (sold separately) or by batteries.
Affordably priced around the $100 mark, the Pedal possesses a wide range of effects and features, more than justifying its value for money. The software can be updated via PC connectivity. The Pedal can be powered by batteries, power supply, or Bus powered via USB.
Some tones aren’t as impressive as most others. A few even sound plasticky and very unrealistic, and some users have complained. An argument could also be made for this jack-of-all-trade pedal being a king of none since there is room for improvement in some aspects.
13. Boss GT-1B Bass Effects Processor
The Boss GT-1B is a formidable effects processor for your tone-shaping needs.
Coming in a rather large floor unit form factor, the processor measures 2.9″ by 12.06″ by 6″ and doesn’t need to fit on your pedalboard as it has all the ingredients to replace your board completely, thanks to what lurks inside its silvery exterior.
Loaded with all kinds of input/output options, the GT-1B covers all your connectivity needs. For such an advanced unit, the processor has an uncluttered interface with an easy-to-navigate display and user-friendly one-touch buttons to activate various parameters.
There’s a very comprehensive “Phaser” menu on the GT-1B. You’ll see 4 phase types as you enter the menu. Depending on how subtle or intense you want the phaser to be, you can select 4 stage, 8 stage, 12 stage, and BiPhase types. The BiPhase option is unique as it puts a couple of phase shifters in a series connection. From the same menu, you can also set parameters like “Rate,” “Depth,” and “Resonance.” These values are set between a range of 0 & 100. Finally, you can edit the effect’s center frequency and volume to help it cut through the mix.
The most prominent feature of the user interface is the small but descriptive display. Under the screen, you’ll find a strip of one-touch buttons to access different parameters, including Reverb, Delay, Modulation, Preamp, Overdrive/Distortion, and Limiter settings. Through the “Menu” button, you can access the main and submenus. Also, the three knobs to the right of the display will change the digital knobs that appear on the screen to adjust different aspects of an effect.
Starting from the far left, you’ll find an input for your bass guitar, next to which is an aux-in for connecting a mobile device to jam along with. You’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a couple of stereo outputs on the output side of things. Finally, like most Boss units, you can connect an external footswitch or expression pedal to vary specific parameters. To the far right is where you’ll find a USB port for firmware updates and linking to a computer to download presets directly onto the unit. The last thing on the back is the 9V power input. You’ll be happy to know the unit can also be powered using 4 double A batteries.
The pair of footswitches on the left marked with arrows help the user cycle through patches, but that’s not their only function. Pressing both pedals will activate tuning mode. If your string is sharp, the footswitch on the far right will light up. If the note is flat, the left one illuminates. Finally, the center pedal will light up to indicate that the perfect pitch has been achieved. The processor also features a looper that allows you to loop 32 seconds of audio. The central pedal and right footswitch can start, playback, overdub, and stop the loop.
This nifty effects processor from Boss offers a ton of cool things. The GT-1B has effects like Phaser, Reverb, Delay, Compressor, Distortion/Overdrive, multiple EQ options, and more. You also get a looper to help write songs and unleash your creativity. In addition, the layout feels great and undaunting.
You have to weigh your options if you’re new to phasers and want a decent one for your setup. If the aim is not to spend much, a specialized phaser unit may do the trick. Also, if you have most of the other effects the GT-1B offers, why get something you won’t use? However, this processor is a jack of all trades and can cover all your requirements well.
Empress Effects Phaser
This green multi-effect phaser Pedal is very versatile with its vast array of features, sounds and effects.
In the year 2005, Emilia-Claire Barlow, a 7-time nominee and 2-time winner of the prestigious Juno award, founded Empress Music. The musician released a total of 12 albums and sold more than 150,000 copies globally, with more than 190,000,000 digital platform streams.
Empress Music artists include Amanda Tosoff, Kathryn Rose, David Blamires, Laila Biali, Bocana, and Emilie-Claire Barlow herself. When it comes to Phase, this might be the most comprehensive Pedal available in the market right now.
- Look and Feel
The device features a simplistic boxy design and a brilliant parrot-green paint job. The chassis is very solid and durable. The controls are placed at the front of the device, and they’re all very firm, with close to zero wiggle room. The jacks, power socket, and USB port are located on the sides and rear of the Pedal and are also very sturdy. The Pedal measures 4.5″ x 3.5″ x 1.5″ and weighs 1.05 lbs.
The phaser can now be regulated via an expression pedal, a control voltage, an external tap switch, MIDI, or an external audio input. The device offers 3 phaser modes, namely, auto mode, tap mode, and knob mode. In the knob mode, the phaser speed may be set by the speed range switch and the speed knob. In the tap mode, the tap stomp switch determines the Speed of the tempo. The way you play determines the effect parameters in the auto mode.
- 5 Control Knobs
You’ll find 5 knobs for blend control, speed/ratio control, width control, waveform control, and gain control. The speed/ratio control doubles as a sensitivity control knob. The width control also holds the alternate function of release. The waveform control also sets the submode in its alternate setting.
- 5 Mini Switches, 2 Footswitches, Make and Model
Just above the 5 knobs, you’ll find 5 mini-switches for mode (tap/ knob/ auto), speed range/ attack (slow/ med/ fast), stages (2/ 4/ 3), resonance (little/ none/ lots), and expression (speed/ none/ width). In the lower half of the front, you’ll find the mention of the device’s make, model, and country of origin (Canada). On both sides, you’ll see 2 footswitches for tap and bypass (true), along with 2 dedicated, bright LED indicators.
- 8 Submodes
In the auto mode, the device offers 8 submodes, namely Phase shift follows envelope, LFO on envelope, Speed follows envelope (Sine Waveform), Speed follows envelope (Random Waveform), Follow trigger, Trigger random level, Rhythm Mode, and Direct control mode.
This Pedal has a rugged chassis and is the complete phaser pedal on the market, owing much to its vast variety of unique features and range of options and controls. Its hugely versatile and leaves very little else to be desired.
The device is complex and would confuse beginners or those simply looking for simplicity. The device is on the expensive side of the spectrum, priced well over the $300 mark. It also takes up a lot of space on the pedal board.
What are phaser pedals good for? Does it work on Bass?
To put it in simpler terms, relying heavily on an all-pass filter, a phaser pedal takes the original signal, inverts the phase of some sections, and combines this changed signal with the original one. This adds movement to your guitar tone, recreating a sound reminiscent of rotary speakers.
Usually, phaser pedals are used for rhythm work. You’ll notice how electric guitar players and pianists rely on phase pedals to add dynamics and variety to their playing. However, you can just as easily apply the effect on bass guitars to make them sound even more groovy.
Phaser pedals produce some of the most unique effects and sounds across the table. If you have yet to use one, we recommend it as an absolute must. It will open up a new world for you by introducing a burst of movement to the signal from an instrument. Phase pedals are also capable of adding personality to independent notes.
If you’re a beginner or someone looking for a simple phase option that’ll also save space on your pedalboard, look no further than the bright orange MXR Phase 90 M101 and the Electro-Harmonic Small Stone EH4800. With only 2 control knobs, the Aguilar Grape Phaser Bass Phase is another strong option with slightly more features and heft as well.
If you want a comprehensive Phaser pedal, we have 4 picks for you. Source Audio Spectrum Intelligent Filter comes with 6 unique filters. The TC Electronic Helix Phaser possessed 3 distinct phaser types (Vintage, TonePrint, and Smooth). Empress Effects Phaser is a little costlier, but it’s a solid phaser pedal if budget isn’t an issue. Our 4th pick, the Walrus Audio Lillian Multi-Stage Analog Phaser, packs a wide array of combinations that make it very versatile.
Joyo R-09 Vision and Zoom MS-60B are 2 multi-feature pedals that hold the best value for money, priced around the $100 mark. Priced around $40, no other pedal even comes close to the Behringer Vintage Phaser VP1 if you wish to go for a budget-friendly option. If you have the space and wish to venture over to a multi-effect processor, the Boss GT-1B Bass Effects Processor is your best pick.
Sultan Zafar is a guitar player from Islamabad, Pakistan. He has been playing music with various mainstream musicians for over 20 years. He is a song writer and music producer. These days he spends his time exploring different music genres and collaborating with fellow musicians on various projects. Read more..