Best Phaser Pedals for Guitar | Frequency Changing Reviews [2019]

Since its invention in the 1960s, the phaser pedal has evolved to be one of the most popular guitar effects on the market. It was introduced by world-renowned guitarists like Van Halen and Hendrix and can alter your tone beyond recognition.

Unfortunately, this effects popularity has also led to a flood of options on the market. If you’re a bit lost on which to choose, we can help. Let’s explore some of the best phaser pedals currently available on the market so that you can find the right one for your needs.

Our Top Pick

While it’s up to you to make the final decision, we would like to recommend the Empress Effects Phaser Pedal. With this versatile piece of gear, you get all the features you would ever need in a phaser pedal. It gives you a wide selection of functions and endless possibilities when it comes to creating your own presets. It is also reasonably priced for the features it has to offer.

Best Phaser Pedal Reviews 

Empress Effects Phaser Guitar Effects Pedal – Best Overall Phaser Pedal

The Empress Effects Phaser pedal is loaded with features and functional options that make it one of the most versatile models on the market.

 

Key Features

  • Eight auto modes
  • Eight waveforms
  • Five Rhythms
  • True bypass
  • Gain boost up to 6dB
  • Universal Control Port
  • True Display LEDs
  • 9 to 18-volt DC power input
  • Die-cast aluminum case

 

What I like about this product

The Empress Effects phaser pedal offers virtually everything that a musician would ever want, all in a single package. It’s rare to find a phaser pedal that has adjustable waveforms. That’s what sets this pedal apart from its competitors.

A simple turn of the waveform knob lets you select eight different waves, each with unique characteristics. With the blend knob, you can mix up your wet and dry signals. The speed/ratio knob allows you to control the rate of the effect.

What’s more, you can regulate the variation of audio waves and overall pedal output using the width and gain button. In addition to the knobs, this pedal also comes with five toggle switches, including stages, mode, expression, speed range/attack, and resonance.

With all these controls, you can expect to get a mind-bending experience from the Empress Effects Phaser pedal.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Unfortunately, with all the bells and whistles this model offers, it may not be a good choice for you if you are into simplicity or you’re a beginner to pedal effects.

 

 

Pros

  • Highly versatile
  • A vast range of controls and options
  • Gives you endless sonic possibilities

 

Cons

  • Not ideal for those looking for simplicity

 

All in all, the Empress Effects phaser pedal offers everything you could ever need in a phaser pedal. It is an excellent choice if you are looking to create complicated riffs with a device that responds effectively to every single turn of the knob. If you’re looking for something simple, however, this may not be the right choice for you.

 

Overall Rating: 4.9/5.0

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Pigtronix EP2 Envelope Phaser

The Pigtronix EP2 Envelope Phaser delivers a vast range of effects intensity. It achieves that through the many controls and variables that it is equipped with.

 

Key Features

  • Pigtronix 18-volt DC adapter
  • LFO Modulation with depth, speed, and center
  • Side-chain trigger for beat sync
  • Intelligent envelope response
  • Invert switch for positive or negative phase
  • Blend combines envelope and LFO signals
  • Expression pedal inputs
  • True bypass

 

What I like about this product

This pedal is equipped with ten knobs and switches that allow you to tailor the sound to your liking. The sensitivity knob controls how much the envelope should open based on the available signal. There’s also the depth knob, which regulates the amount of LFO modulation being used.

You can use the depth knob to activate either EF or LFP modulation. With the center knob, you can set the brightness or darkness of the tone. Also worthy of note is the staccato switch, which is designed to close the envelope whenever there is a pause in the notes. It also makes the envelope to pop on every note.

Other valuable controls include the LFO smooth switch, invert switch, EF sweep switch, speed knob, resonance knob, and blend switch. An 18-volt DC adapter is also included in the phaser package, so you don’t have to worry about how you’ll power it.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The only disadvantage is that you can only use this with the provided power supply. Otherwise, you may end up damaging your pedal.

 

Pros

  • Wide variety of jacks and knobs
  • Versatile
  • 18-volt DC power supply adapter included

 

Cons

  • Should only be used with the manufacturer’s adapter

 

Overall, the Pigtronix EP2 envelope phaser is an excellent option if you are looking for that smooth, funky sound. It is ideal for guitar or bass and responds naturally to your playing dynamics. This pedal is designed to offer a wide range of modulation effects, and so is the most flexible phaser pedal on the market.

 

Overall Rating: 4.8/5.0

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MXR Phase 90 Guitar Effects Pedal – Best Vintage Phaser Pedal

A product of Jim Dunlop, the MXR Phase 90 phaser pedal has been one of the top choices for guitarists since its introduction into the market in 1974. It delivers a distinctive and lush tone to various styles and musical instruments. It’s a great option if you are looking for a modest, compact phaser pedal without many elaborate features.

 

Key Features

  • Single knob operation
  • True hardware bypass operation
  • 9-volt DC power supply and battery
  • Compatible with keyboards, bass, guitar, and vocals
  • Speed control

 

What I like about this product

The MXR Phase 90 pedal utilizes only one knob to generate bright effects that enrich the sound of your guitar. It is an analog pedal, so you can expect a clear, free-flowing tone and feel. With just a speed control button, you’ll have an easy time creating some impressive phase effects that spice up the tone of your instrument.

This phaser pedal features a true bypass design, so it doesn’t produce any clicking sounds. With its simple design, it can be perfect for a beginner who is just getting started with phaser pedals.

 

What I don’t like about this product

However, the single knob operation can also be a shortcoming as you have a limited range of functions.

 

 

Pros

  • Clean analog sound and tone
  • Mimics Van Halen solo sound
  • True bypass minimizes buzz
  • Exceptional sweeps and velocity

 

Cons

  • Single control knob

 

The MXR M101 Phase 90 Pedal is an excellent option for anyone looking to buy a compact and straightforward pedal that doesn’t have any fancy features. It is responsive for numerous, instantly noticeable riff manipulations. While it is simple in design, it offers everything you need for a rich guitar playing experience.

 

Overall Rating: 4.7/5.0 

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TC Electronic Helix Phaser Pedal – Best for Versatility

TC Electronic holds a reputation for producing just what the market needs, and the TC Electronic Helix strongly attests to that fact. The most outstanding feature of this pedal is its TonePrint technology, which lets you build your own phaser from scratch.

 

Key Features

  • A vast range of top-notch phaser tones
  • TonePrint enabled
  • True bypass
  • 9-volt/100mA power consumption

 

What I like about this product

You can easily create your own phaser with the aid of TC Electronic’s editor, which has a wide range of options. This pedal also offers stereo input and output, making it one of the most versatile phaser guitar pedals currently available on the market.

The pedal comes equipped with four control knobs: speed, depth, mix, and feedback. The speed and depth knobs allow you to regulate the frequency of the effect and the depth of the dips. The feedback knob is for adjusting the resonance.

With the mix knob, you can set the magnitude of the effect that is available in your signal chain at any given time. There’s a switch between these control knobs, and it features three positions. The top position delivers a more vintage effect.

The middle position holds the TonePrint technology. With this technology, you can copy presets from renowned guitarists or create your own presets from scratch. The bottom position serves to smooth out the phaser shift.

This pedal delivers a fantastic performance. Regardless of the mode you choose, there’s a range of options to work with.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The only setback is that some old instruments may not be compatible with the TonePrint app.

 

Pros

  • Extremely versatile and dynamic
  • Easy to customize to your needs
  • True bypass
  • Affordably priced
  • Compatible with the TonePrint app

 

Cons

  • The TonePrint app may not work for some older devices

 

If you are into technology, the TC Electronic Helix would be a great phaser pedal for you. It is a highly versatile choice with integrated TonePrint Technology, giving you loads of possibilities when it comes to creating tones. It is also reasonably priced for the high-tech features it has to offer.

 

Overall Rating: 4.7/5.0

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Walrus Audio Vanguard Dual Phase Pedal – Best 2-in-1 Phase Pedal

If you are looking for a fully digital phaser pedal that has a modern touch to its sound, you might want to try the Walrus Audio Vanguard Dual Phase Pedal.

 

Key Features

  • Three selectable modes
  • Blend between two phaser types
  • Eight controls
  • Four-stage filter: ten-stage with regeneration, and six-stage with pitch bend
  • Single phaser usage supported
  • Expression pedal or remote controller input
  • 9-volt DC power supply
  • Rugged Aluminum Case

 

What I like about this product

The most remarkable attribute of this phaser pedal is that you can shape and tune the tone and sound to an unprecedented degree. That’s because the device offers two distinct phase systems.

While it can be quite challenging at first, two phasers offer immense benefits in that you can play with the settings and discover extraordinary sonic variations. Also worthy of note is that this pedal features four phaser circuits.

You can control the primary phaser circuit using the knobs on the top row. This circuit gives you the ability to blend in three unique phaser effects. With the top row knobs, you can control depth, rate, and feedback.

With the knobs on the second row, you can control three different voicings, namely:

  • Ten-stage phaser with regeneration
  • Four-stage phaser with pitch bending
  • Six-stage phaser with resonant low-end pass filter

 

You can blend each of these voices independently with the main ten-stage phaser. That is achieved with the wet and dry mix knobs. Another remarkable feature of the pedal is the footswitch, which allows you to create and save your own phasers.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Unfortunately, this pedal can be quite complicated to operate. It is also high priced and so may not be a good choice if you are working with a limited budget.

 

 

Pros

  • Utilizes two different phasers setting simultaneously
  • Extremely versatile and dynamic
  • Modern-sounding tones
  • Programmable personal presets

 

Cons

  • A non-analog phaser pedal
  • Quite pricey
  • Complex to operate

 

The Walrus Audio Vanguard Dual Phase Pedal is a fantastic piece of gear. It features two phasers that are ideal for creating tones that are out of this world. While it can do everything you would want from a phaser pedal, it may not be ideal for you if you are shopping for an affordable phaser option.

 

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Red Witch Deluxe Moon Phaser Pedal – Best Boutique Phaser

If you are looking for a device that offers both phase and tremolo effects, you should consider the Red Witch Analog Delux Moon Phaser. This pedal offers not only tremolo and phasing effects but also a unique tremophasing effect.

 

Key Features

  • Tremolo and phase effects in one pedal
  • Three phaser setting options
  • Built-in bias adjust control
  • True bypass operation
  • 100 percent unique tremophase function
  • Stereo output
  • Noise-less FET based phase system
  • 9-volt DC power supply and battery

 

What I like about this product

The Deluxe Moon pedal features a sturdy casing, making it a durable choice. It is equipped with three control knobs, but it delivers the kind of versatility you would expect from a device of its class. Moreover, it offers stereo outputs.

The three knobs are for controlling trajectory, cosmology, and velocity. The velocity knob allows you to regulate the speed or frequency of the effect. With the trajectory knob, you can determine the depth of dip as well as the effect’s overall shape.

When it comes to using the cosmology control, you may want to refer to the manual as it can be quite complicated at first. Basically, it lets you choose between one tremolo effect, two tremophase effects, and three phase styles.

With these three controls, you can get an impressive range of phaser effects. The extra tremophase and tremolo effects also deliver some impressive results.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The major downside of this pedal is that you’ll need to spend some time playing around with it before you find the sound that works for you. Some users have also complained of a high failure rate. Red Witch did replace these units, but it took some customer service back and forth to do so. This aspect is unfortunate, given the high price tag.

 

Pros

  • 100 percent analog pedal
  • Distinctive tremophase effect settings
  • Robust design
  • Far-reaching and effervescent tones
  • True bypass preserves your tones

 

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Needs lots of experimentation to determine the right sound for you

 

Despite lacking some standard features, Red Witch Deluxe Moon is a versatile phaser pedal with decent range. It delivers just the kind of premium performance and sound you expect when you purchase boutique. It offers virtually limitless ranges of sounds with its three simple controls. We only wish it was a bit cheaper.

 

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0

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MXR M107 Phase 100 – Best Vintage-style Phaser

Here’s another fantastic phaser pedal from Jim Dunlop. The MXR Phase 100 is the bigger version of the MXR Phase 90. It offers a wide selection of deep, immersive phaser effects in a user-friendly and attractive package.

 

Key Features

  • Footswitch
  • Speed knob
  • 9-volt DC power supply and battery
  • Red On/Off LED indicator
  • Intensity knob

 

What I like about this product

This phaser pedal features robust build quality, so you can expect it to last a good number of years. While the controls that this device comes with aren’t sophisticated in terms of range or performance, they give you the ability to modify the tone with sufficient accuracy.

In addition to the speed control that you get in the MXR Phase 90, this model is also equipped with an intensity control knob. With this knob, you can choose between four distinct phaser shapes that are clearly explained below their respective positions. These controls give you an impressive level of versatility.

When it comes to performance, the MXR 107 delivers a pure and clean tone. Various phase contours are clearly defined. Their response to both clean and distorted channels is quite impressive as well.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The biggest disadvantage of this pedal is that you can’t set the depth of the effect as it doesn’t have a depth control knob.

 

 

Pros

  • Four unique waveforms presets
  • 100 percent analog
  • True bypass preserves your tones
  • Mind-blowing, ambient sound
  • Vintage Tone

 

Cons

  • Lacks depth control

 

The MXR M107 100 phaser pedal is an excellent option for anyone looking for a vintage design pedal that is easy to use and delivers quality performance. It is the most comprehensive phaser pedal MXR has ever produced. It offers four distinct waveform presets that allow you to tap into some awesomely wild swoops and sweeps.

 

Overall Rating: 4.4/5.0

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Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Nano Analog Phaser – Best Budget Phaser Pedal

If you are looking for a high-quality, compact phaser pedal but working with a tight budget, you might want to look at what Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Nano Analog Phaser has to offer.

 

Key Features

  • Adjustable phase shift effect
  • Color switch
  • Rate control
  • Compact size
  • One 9-volt battery

 

What I like about this product

While this is a small and lightweight phaser pedal, it offers virtually all the features you would need to enrich your guitar playing experience. The Small Stone Nano is designed to produce a full phase effect with immense transparency. It achieves that with very few controls.

The device features a rate knob that lets you choose between slow and fast shifting. There’s a color toggle switch, which helps to enrich the character of your sound. Overall, this pedal delivers impressively bright sweeps.

 

What I don’t like about this product

However, some users have pointed out that it tends to produce some clicking sounds. Nonetheless, it is an excellent piece of equipment for the price.

 

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Competitively priced
  • A vast range of sonic possibilities
  • Lightweight and compact

 

Cons

  • May develop some clicking sounds

 

The Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Nano is a durable, versatile pedal sure to work well for a variety of player types.

 

Overall rating: 4.3/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

How to Choose the Best Phaser Pedal for Your Guitar

There is a wide selection of phaser pedals available on the market, and not all of them are going to work well for you. There are several factors to consider to ensure you purchase a pedal that suits your needs. Let’s explore some of the basic considerations:

 

  • Adjustability – You may choose to use simple or complex guitar effects depending on the type of tone you want. It is advisable to invest in a phaser pedal that allows you to adjust the speed, resonance, as well as the depth of the lows and highs depending on the tone you want.

 

  • Analog or digital – When it comes to purchasing a phaser pedal, you can choose from either the older analog circuits or the modern digital phasers. You should realize that analog phasers deliver a clearer tone. However, if you wish to add some thickness to your tone, a digital phaser would be the best option.

 

  • Phaser stages – It’s essential to consider the number of stages your preferred pedal has. These stages define the overall character of the phaser. Different phasers have different numbers of stages, also referred to as ad all-pass filters.

 

Some analog pedals feature 4, 6, 8, or 12 stages. Conversely, digital phasers can offer up to 32 stages. Some offer even more.

The number of stages determines the number of peaks/notches in the sound, which, in turn, affects the general character of the sound. A phaser with x stages usually has x/2 peaks in the spectrum.

That means an eight-stage phaser will have four peaks. Hence, the more stages a phaser has, the more complex the sound it produces. It’s advisable to go for a phaser with at least four stages.

 

  • Controls – Another important consideration when shopping for the best phaser pedal is the controls that a pedal has. It is advisable to go for a phaser that has at least the following controls.

 

  • Rate/Speed – This control allows you to regulate the speed of the LFO, which controls the position of the pedal’s all-pass filters. With a low rate, you get a slow-burning open-and-close effect. If you adjust the rate upwards, you can get a rich, mind-blowing tone.

 

  • Level/Mix – This option is at times referred to as wet/dry control. It allows you to regulate the magnitude of the effect applied with the dry input signal. When set to minimum, you get a subtle change in your tone, but a max setting makes the sound of your instrument virtually unrecognizable.

 

  • Depth – With this control, you can regulate the size of the notches and troughs in the all-pass filter. An increase in the depth setting makes your guitar sound more warped.

 

  • Feedback – With this control, you can determine the magnitude of the output signal that is fed back into the input. It is normally used to create a dramatic effect that gives your sound an eccentrically distorted quality.

 

  • Ease of use – While phasers are quite basic modulation effects, they are usually not easy to use. There are several basic rules to follow to get the best results out of your phaser. If you are just getting started with phase effects, you should consider choosing a simple phaser pedal with simple configurations.

 

  • The cost of the pedal – Just like it is the case with other types of guitar pedals, phaser pedals are available in different price points. Naturally, there are differences in terms of features and performance when you compare a high-end model with a budget-friendly one. However, both of the options will deliver the same core effect.

 

It’s entirely up to you to make a decision based on your budget. Nonetheless, it is advisable to go for a unit that best suits your desired tone and style of playing—don’t make the mistake of focusing solely on pricing. There are budget pedals that offer comparable performance to high-dollar options, and vice versa.

 

Final Thoughts

Phaser pedals can add a lot of spice to your music. Many guitar enthusiasts use them. There are many of them available on the market today, and it can be challenging to choose the right one. That’s where these reviews and buying guide come in handy.

We have reviewed some of the top-rated phaser pedals here. Each of them has its own merits and demerits. Take the time to review them and choose one that best suits your sound. Be sure to take into consideration the adjustability, ease of use, stages, controls, and whether the pedal is digital or analog. Your budget will also contribute to the kind of phaser you get.

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