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Safe But Not Exactly Sane: This Man's Impressions of the MXR Script Phase 90 w/ LED

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by andvari7, May 2, 2010.

  1. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    I did a very stupid thing yesterday: I woke up late. Yes, it was Saturday, and yes, I got in late from the Dave Willis/Dana Snyder live show (hilarious, by the way), but when I awoke at 7:30, I knew something would be...off...that day. Apart from an annoying sinus infection, I temporarily forgot, as do we all, about the legendary side effect of eating asparagus. It never stops me from eating it, but still...

    Anyway, this does get to a pedal.

    So, after spending far too long on cleaning my grill, I went to my local Guitar Center, which takes about twenty minutes to get to - perfect, if I want to listen to "This American Life," as is my wont. After the predicted disappointment, I went on to Best Buy, in the effort to buy a Blu-Ray for my snazzy, not-so-new player. Since I refuse to buy "Avatar," because I can't stand the films of James Cameron, save for two (they both share the same word in their titles), and because I didn't see anything else worth buying that day, I went to the musical instrument section of the shop. I've always been slightly apprehensive about Best Buy incorporating an instrument section, but I was ill, and bored. In said section, which consists solely of the big brands - Fender, Gibson, the lot; in other words, nothing interesting or good - I found one gem amongst the landscaping gravel: an MXR script-logo Phase 90 w/LED. I asked the store clerk to tell me what I don't know about it, which is actually quite a lot, and he had the audacity to tell me that all effects are digital these days, so it doesn't matter which model I bought. Although I got the pedal, I now realize WHY I hate that section of Best Buy. To paraphrase the buzz word of Meir Kahane: Never Again.

    After some other irrelevant Best Buy-ery, I went home to try my pedal.

    BUILD: It's an MXR. It's the same little box as every other MXR pedal. What do you want to hear? The paint is different, though: there is no clear-coat on it, unlike the other pedals in the range. I am also a bit annoyed by the location of the 9v input jack. It should be on the top of the box, like a Small Stone. That's not an opinion; that's fact.

    COST: A c-note. I feel no shame in admitting that, because if you go online, you'll find it easily enough.

    SOUND: It is distinctly different from the block-logo box, but I'm not so certain about it being entirely faithful to a real '70s Phase 90. It is a bit subtle on a low 'B,' but not inaudible. Otherwise, through my Roland JC-55, it is a delight on a bass. It may not be perfect, but it's good enough for my ears.

    WORTH THE SINUS INFECTION, THE MORONIC CLERK SHENANIGANS, AND THE $100? No. Why is it that every time I get excited about an effect, I'm either deathly ill, or they release a "High School Musical" movie?

    In short, don't buy your pedals at Best Buy, unless you want your nose to melt off.
  2. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Upon reflection, I forgot to explain the title. I've been on a quest for the craziest phaser possible, and this pedal is the antithesis of crazy phasers. One knob is pretty controlled. Yet, despite this, I had this desire for a smooth, classic phaser, like I'd heard Joe Strummer and Mick Jones use on "London Calling," the album I'd describe as having the best utilization of phase shifters. I feel that this pedal has gotten me as close to that sound as possible, considering I don't own a Fender Telecaster.

    There was also a segment about me lecturing the clerk, a drummer, on effects pedals, and growing increasingly impatient with him, to the point where I was ready to shiv him. I edited it (wisely) from the OP.
  3. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    You should give Avatar a go. It's like Dances With Wolves, but with Smurfs instead of Indians.
  4. I used to own a Phase 90. I liked the effect, but hated that it seemed to keep on whooshing away after it was turned off... Does yours do that at all?
  5. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    I actually have it right here with me, and I can say that it does not behave that way. There is some whooshing, but that's from a Roland Jazz Chorus.
  6. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Excellent thread. It's the only location I'm going to openly admit to enjoying Avatar, on a very base, but still measurable, level.
  7. kugelspot


    Jun 8, 2009
    I have a phase 90. Its the block version though. I found the script one a bit too subtle. I picked it up for $65 on ebay. Suits my purposes fine (I don't need a phaser too bad), but I am looking into an EBS Dphaser
  8. kenstee


    Oct 9, 2009
    Just scored an old Boss PH-1r on CL. Very pleased! It was released about the same time - and intended to be a competitor - to the original Phase 90.

    So, you want the "craziest phaser possible?" Find a discontinued Danelectro Sitar Swami........
  9. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    Are they 'Titanic' and 'Titanic II'?
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    When I saw "Safe But Not Exactly Sane", I had to wonder: but is it Consensual?

    Well, at least you were Aware of the Risks. [​IMG]
  11. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    I'm going to assume that this is the MXR CSP-101SL which looks like this:
    You might be slightly disappointed if you open up the box.
    It's simply an EVH phase 90 with the script switch hardwired to engaged and put in a different enclosure.
    I'm fine with the one that I own, but it may or may not be a deal breaker for someone else.

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