A quick 6-phaser shootout
OK, so I bought 6 phasers to compare:
MXR Phase 90 (recent block logo)
Source Audio Orbital Modulator
BYOC Phase Royal
Mojo Hand Nebula IV
I recorded the same short Floyd snippet on each, with (crappy) drums on the second half to hear how it sits. I also recorded some sustained harmonic chords. For each, there is a clean recording, plus the 6 phasers, which are numbered but not named. Some of these phasers are very versatile, so I put the Phase 90 knob at noon, and tried to make the others sound pretty much like that.
Please let me know which ones you like/dislike, as well as (of course) which is which. If there's enough interest, I can record other sample settings too.
Until a few people have listened and weighed in, I will refrain from comment, except to say: the recorded samples may not all sound wildly different, but the differences in feel when I'm playing each one is much greater.
Recorded on a Nordstrand VP5 with tone 75% up, Rotosound 66 strings, played with a pick, direct out of an SVT 7Pro.
This a set of the 7 recordings of the Have a Cigar bassline (order is #6, #5, #4, #3, #2, #1, Clean):
This is a set of 7 recordings of sustained harmonics (order is #5, #3, Clean, #4, #1, #6, #2):
Here's a clean Cigar bass track by itself if anybody wants to run it through the phaser of their choice:
Here's the Maestro PS-1A, kindly supplied and applied by bkbirge:
Here's how I first uploaded the Cigar shootout, in one longer file, but I think the fixed order biases the way you hear them:
Man I love the way phasers sound.
Just through laptop speakers, I think #1 is my favorite.
I'm not in the market (holding onto my Phaseur Fleur) but thanks for doing this.
commenting because i want to know what #1 was.
1) 1 smooth, nice bottom end
2) less low end?
3) thinner even than #2
4) pretty close to #3
5) pretty close to #4
6) no - way too thin.
I too like #1 best. I pretty much agree with TinyE. But for some reason I like the sound of the last one, aside from the bottom end loss. It has that far-away sound, just like the outro of the song.
Interesting... I have similar reactions to all of you on listening back to the recordings. But the experience of playing through these pedals is VERY different, and my favorite to play through is different than what I like when listening. It's funny how the differences we feel are so important often don't translate to the audience.
I'm also realizing that the order they are in influences how they are percieved.
Also, I think that #6 is probably defective, but I figured I would include it anyway.
If I could only use one effect, it'd be a phaser.
Great comparison. They all sounded good to me except for #6. While there might be some subtle differences, I don't think you'd ever hear it on a gig.
The important question is which looks best on your board?
I am going to say Number 1 sounds the best. I'm also going to say number 1 is the Phase 90. Number 4 sounded good to me in a different way as well. I'm curious as to which is the Psilocybe as I've been interested in checking that one out. Thanks for the shootout though I love me some phasers
#1 was good.
#2 was also good, and sounded like it had a little vibe effect as well.
#3 was nice, but also sounded like something else was going on (had almost an envelope filter feel)
#4 meh...sounded tinny. Someone else said "thin," which may be a better description than tinny.
#5 better than 4, but lacks some warmth. SOrt of Sterile.
#6 worse than 5...even more sterile sounding...but better than 4.
I think I'll probably record some long sustained ringy chords and harmonics, that way you will hear the details of the sweep in each of these guys. When you play a line like the Cigar bassline, you hear the overall texture, but one of the big differences between these pedals is the shape and range of the sweep, which isn't always obvious. Hmm, does that mean it doesn't matter?
I hate keeping people in suspense, so I'll probably put up the second set of recordings tonight, and reveal the identities tomorrow.
Great job on the RECORDED demo of the phasers. I fully expected to see a 10 paragraph written review with no audio like the majority of gear reviews here. :) Love the idea of having the gear soloed, then in a mix of some sort. Kudos.
I hope it proves useful to some people, even if all we learn is "it really doesn't matter which one you use..." :hmm:
I will of course wax loquacious about all of these pedals after the reveal. But phasers are all about texture and tone, and that is so personal and hard to describe. Interestingly, the experience of recording the pedals has given me a different view of them all. They now sound different to me than they did before.
I also liked #1 the best...
I can't listen yet, but I am overdue for a similar shootout on the overdrive pedals I have been amassing. I really need to get my computer back up to recording speed.
I got my Psilocybe to sound just like how #1 sounds, but maybe its #3.
love me some phasers!
I guess #1 sounds the best to me, closely followed by #2.
In a band mix, out of all the phasers I've tried, Phase 100 does it best for me.
Throw a fuzz in front of it = bliss!
I liked #1 the best for sure.
Interesting shootout. 4 of the 6 are Phase 90 type phasers with varying levels of modification and the other two are the Psilocybe and Source Audio.
The speed controls are pretty close in each clip but not exact which does change how the tone is perceived.
I'll be interested to see if my guesses are right.
Well, I think XXL got it right. I have a Psilocybe and it sure sounds like #1 to me.
I like #1. Is that the VFE?
Thanks for doing this!
I am by no means a Phaser expert, but I do use a Phase 90.
Of the clips recorded, I liked #1 the best, followed closely by #2.
I however have no idea which is which, and don't even want to guess.
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