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What about phasers?
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Concretebadger
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:19 pm    Post subject: What about phasers? Reply with quote

a.k.a. "phase shifting for cheap bastards."

I hankering after a modulation box so I figured I'd look into phasers. I like the sound of both the MXR and EHX designs - on YT demos I hear a bit more midrange from a phase 90 (sort of more "eeeeaaaooowww" than "oooowwwweeee") but a Bad Stone reissue is only fifty quid from new and I quite liked the Russian Small Stone I use to own. Plus I'm seeing Mooer and Joyo do phase 90 clones for less than that. Would one of those be a better bet than a more spendy MXR?

Then there's the univibe clone side. I dig the standard phaser sound because it's like an automatic wah (an effect I've never really got the hang of) so the cyclic eq sweep is fun. But the univibe sounds like a different sort of effect...less like a typical phaser and more like a seasick chorus/flanger on certain settings. I dunno if that versatility of a 'vibe is a bit misleading...they seem to be sold on the assumption that you're specifically in a Hendrix or Trower cover band.

Thoughts? Personal experiences with all things phase-y? I'm pretty interested in the technical side of these things too, since the three main types (MXR, EHX and Univibe) apparently work on totally different circuits.
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paul_
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The downside to that mid-boosty sound of Phase 90s is what can manifest itself as a noticable gain increase when the pedal is engaged, particularly with lower-wattage tube amps (or just ones without much headroom like old british tube heads). There's a resistor swap mod a lot of people use to sort this out:

tonepad.com wrote:
The resistor to change the level is the 150k which connects between the collector and base of the PNP transistor: 120k to reduce gain, 180k to increase it.


A lot of the Van Halen geeks probably like the idea of more gain, but for lush clean stuff I always thought a reduction over the stock block MXRs' gain boost would be nice. I never did get around to modding mine, but then I haven't had a crystal-clean tone in over a decade anyway... if you're already running really clean or really gritty it's negligible, but it really fucks with the middle-ground/"verge of breakup" area of amp dirt.

The Univibe is definitely the odd one out there... they were originally billed as a rotating speaker simulator and you could control the sweeps with an expression pedal.

Quote:
The effect, though often associated with chorus, is in fact created through a staggered series of phasing filters, unlike the usually aligned filters of a normal phasing effect. Unlike most other phaser pedals, this is achieved without the use of op-amps.

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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Phase 90 that I bought off a bandmate, and I love the sound. My amps are all pretty high headroom clean (aside from my AC30), so the gain boost in it has never been an issue for me. That said, I am looking at probably replacing it. The one-knob design is kinda great except that you can't adjust the effect level or intensity, just rate... which is generally ok, but can be problematic in certain situations. One venue I play (which I'm playing tonight, incidentally) does not agree with the Phase 90 at all, I click it on in there and it's the only thing you can hear, all "eeeeaaaooowww" and no notes, and it goes over *everything*, even the other instruments. I basically can't use the phaser in that venue, even with amp EQ tweaks.

I've been patiently awaiting the new TC Electronic Phaser, and considering it instead... or simply replacing the phaser with a flanger, maybe. I haven't figured out which would be more useful to my sound.
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benecol
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like phasers, but have got subtler and subtler with them over the years: from Flanger Hoax (it phases too, I think), to Moer Orange 90, to Phase 100 to Phase 45.

I love the Phase 45, more subtle and useful, and cops a decent Univibe sound when set fast. The Phase 100 was too much for me, although I had lots of 70s-disco-Keef fun with it. I'd recommend the Mooer first and foremost, then work outwards from there. Never had a Small Stone (although I'm sure I will one day soon) so can't comment on those.
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singlepup
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Used a small stone for several years before my pedal board was stolen. Not much to compare it to, but it was quite subtle and had a good range of sounds. Would buy again.
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the behringer VP-1 (small stone) and it's a pretty accurate copy of the EH 1 knob from subtle phase through to jet taking off.
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Golden_Sonic
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try a Boss PH-2 or an EHX Stereo Polyphase
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Fakir Mustache
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

paul is totally right about the gain boost of the MXR units, however, if you don't mind/like the gain boost you should check out the Behringer MXR clone (blue MXR type case), it sounds really good and is a good deal, case is also metal (although you can't tell by looking at it).
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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved the EXH Nano Small Stone when I had it. As far as phase pedals go that was the most useful one I've owned. I've got a NUX Modcore at the moment and the phase sound on it is fine, plus it has a bunch of other cool sounds so it might be worth checking one of those out.
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Doog
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get in the bin, phasers
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doog wrote:
Get in the bin, phasers


I agree it's all about teh chorus pedalz
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Johno
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nux Mod Core, cheap as chips highly tweekable.
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Noirie.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dezb1 wrote:
Doog wrote:
Get in the bin, phasers


I agree it's all about teh chorus pedalz


+1
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Doog
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CHORUS AN ALL
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71Smallbox
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doog wrote:
CHORUS AN ALL

Then throw some flanger on that bitch, then we're talking!
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daftsupernova
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i used to hate chorus, then i liked it, then i got tired of it, and then now i fucking love it +1 for the chorus love (i need a flanger too)
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Noisy Cat
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chorus and phaser, but not together. Fuck flange.
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Freethenoise
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the Hardwire phaser for about four weeks, then it broke.

Had the Boss CE-5 for a couple of years, it does the subtle chorus thing really well. Really pisses my dog off though.
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JohnnyTheBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok Martin, i've still got your old russian small stone on my pedal board, and it still sounds cool! Forgot i'd bought that off you years ago! I also use an EHX Clone Theory which does nice chorus, but tremolo also, and was an ebay steal!
Still loving the mustang too thanks!! The neck feels like my 78 Musicmaster...
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Concretebadger
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, yes...the old russian small stone. I was wondering where that one went! iirc it had a nice sound, but the enclosure's a bit on the large side. Glad to hear the Mustang's found a loving home. Smile

I'm starting to think that an EXH-type phase is the better option if the MXR type gives a volume boost. I tend to run my amp *just* under the level of breakup, so it sounds nice and smooth when the fuzz kicks in. I've looked at vibe clones, but it seems that the good ones come at a price...I'd have to be sure I *really* want one first. In the meantime, the Nux Mod Core might be my best bet - give that a try for a while, to get a feel for what modulation effects I'd realistically end up using. Cheers all!
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