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Phaser advice question... VFE vs HBE vs MojoHand

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by smeet, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I've been reading and listening, but there aren't a lot of demos on bass... I want a really good-sounding phaser that can nail that Pink Floyd chewy thing, has no volume drop, and can also get crazy as needed. Getting crazy is a secondary consideration. Mainly, I want to get THAT classic sound, but with more versatility, blend, feedback, etc.

    The three that I'm looking at:
    HBE Psilocybe
    VFE Enterprise
    Mojo Hand Nebula IV

    Help! :hyper:
  2. chaosmic


    Feb 6, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Not on your list but definitely check out the Mr. Black GilaMondo. I think there's a Pink Floyd demo clip on his site and you can hear the bass really well. I love mine and have owned and used extensively the Psilocybe and Grand Orbiter. The GilaMondo can get really wet and syrupy or nice and subtle with just the 3 controls. Plus, it's got the really cool "stuck" phase feature. It's an 8-stage phaser and it's deeeeep....
  3. XXL


    Jun 14, 2007
    Chewy is how I would describe the HBE Psilocybe . It doesn't get all that crazy but does have two switches you can mess with.
  4. Sir Sly Ry

    Sir Sly Ry

    May 21, 2013
    So I'm guessing the Orbital Modulator wasn't to your liking, eh?
  5. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I wouldn't say I don't like the Orbital... It sounds quite good, different from the Phase 90, but just as good. The Phase 90 is chewier and more aggressive/biting sounding. The Orbital is more thick and warm/smooth (and TONS more versatile obviously). The Orbital is just more functionality than i need, since I really don't like chorus or flange. So I figure I should spend my money on something with less knobs to mess up, and hopefully zero in on something that makes me go "WOW!!!!" as opposed to, "hey that's pretty good".

    The sound a couple of seconds in here: seems to be a seasick sounding pitch wobble, pretty neat. Can the Psilocybe do other tricks like that?

    I assume the VFE is the most capable of making crazy sounds. But which one will best get me the thick 70's chewiness with added versatility??? Arg.
  6. I've tried the HBE and VFE. The HBE is nice but very limited. Only one switch setting is really useable on bass. Essentially all you can control is the speed of the phaser.

    The VFE is more flexible. Very deep phaser similar to tge Grand Orbiter. The freq control isn't ideal for bass but I'm sure Peter could modify it to effect a different frequency range. Also the VFE has a volume control via an internal trimpot which for me is a must. 2 stage phasing is too subtle for me, 3 stage is a little weird and has more pronounced low end loss. 4 is pretty typical phaser sound. The feedback control is cool as is the mix knob but it doesn't get as crazy as you would think.

    I think with some tweaks the VFE can be a great phaser for bass but as it stands right now the Cusak Tap-a-Phase is king.
  7. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    just make sure to set it to stun:D

    couldn't resist.
  8. here is a clip i made a little while ago but never got around to uploading.

    Tap-A-Phase vs. Enterprise, with a Bluebeard in front of them. I just cycle through a riff and mess around with the settings.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  9. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I love my HBE. It got bumped from my board for the versatility of the EP-2, but in terms of 70's chewiness it nailed it.

    It has two phases: chewy Stranglehold goodness and the more classic "phaser" sound. Warm and right at home doing classic rock, but not limited to it, IMO.
  10. j0616bass

    j0616bass Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
    If you're looking for some crazy sounds, the HBE won't get you there. I don't need anything over the top though, and I really love mine
  11. Moogerfooger 12 Stage Phase Shifter
  12. One day.
  13. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    All right guys. You pushed and pushed, and now you've done it. :eyebrow:

    I am getting one of each, used in good condition. Then, they will do battle with my modern Phase 90 Block logo and Source Audio Orbital. :bassist:

    Then you will learn, ... uh, which one I happen to prefer at this particular time...?
    Maybe I'll get motivated and make some recordings. Although I don't know, 5 phasers, it makes me tired just thinking about it... If there's enough demand maybe...
  14. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I will say, when I A/B'd the phase 90 and the Orbital playing along with Pink Floyd (Have a Cigar and Sheep), the Orbital actually fit in better. It seems to add lows, while the Phase 90 bumps the mids so it sounds a bit more cutting and thin. Also the Phase 90 is so chewy and wet it's kind of too much. Even in the mix you can hear it going wawawa. The Orbital is audible but becomes more of a phased texture as opposed to advertising its presence. I wish MXR had included a blend knob, I would probably never have embarked on this quest.

    I'll try them both at rehearsal with the Floyd tribute band tomorrow.
  15. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    OK, I'll confirm that the Orbital in 4-stage mode blends in better with the band than the Phase 90. It actually adds some bass, and the texture is chewy-ish, but the sweep isn't as obvious (which is good), and the harsh midrange boost of the Phase 90 isn't there.

    Also, I just bought a BYOC Phase Royal, which is based on the Phase 90 circuit, but adds a few controls including blend and 6-stage phasing.

    I'll start a new thread with some reports and recordings when I get them all, hopefully my financial recklessness will prove useful to someone else...
  16. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
  17. fishtx

    fishtx Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    I like a phaser with a relatively smooth sweep, and I didn't think the Psilocybe was smooth at all. Plus it seemed to be very power sensitive, and didn't play well on my board...I traded it away. I now have the Mojo Hand Nebula IV and love it. It is a bit dark, but I feel it is very smooth (similar to the phase 90), but with more flexibility and variation...

    I would like to try the EQD Grand Orbiter at some point as well...
  18. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Please check out my shootout thread and weigh in with your thoughts. I try all three of those (Psilocybe, Nebula, and Phase 90), and you may be suprised at the results.

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