Best Phaser Pedals Of 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Phasing is a popular pedal effect for electric guitars. Used widely in Psychedelic music of the mid to late 1960's, notably Itchycoo Park by British rock band Small Faces, and subsequently in the 1970's by Steve Hackett and Brian May and many more.

Phasing is an effect which splits the signal of the sound and changes it so that it – effectively – it goes round in circles. When the sounds match in the split signals, they cancel each other out, creating a dipping effect.

Too busy to read the entire review? No problem, here's our top picks >>

If you're looking for quality, ease of use and eco-friendliness, our Number 1 choice of the best phaser pedals is the MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal.

This pedal offers spectacular swirling sounds and the versatility of switching between the MXR 90 and the MXR 45: both of which are extremely popular phasers.

It's very small and extremely sturdy: you would struggle to break one! As you'd expect with a mini pedal, it doesn't have a 9V battery option, but this will encourage you to plug it in... meaning no dead-battery disasters!

Our Pick

MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal

Our recommended phaser pedal 

MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal

This pedal is a blessing. Versatile, compact and quality.
It only flaw is it's powered using only an adapter which could be a deal breaker for some.

For the more budget constrained our option would be the Behringer Vintage Phaser VP1

It's very sturdy for a budget pedal and also offers a quality phaser effect! Not bad at all for the price and certainly worth it if the higher end pedals aren't an option.

Budget Pick

BEHRINGER VINTAGE PHASER VP1

The best value for money

BEHRINGER VINTAGE PHASER VP1

An excellent budget friendly phaser pedal. Punches far above its weight class.

Ok, let's get back to the review...

At a Glance: Our Choice Of The 5 Best Phaser Pedals On The Market

Preview
MXR M101 Phase 90
Editor's Choice
MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal
TC Electronic Helix Phaser Pedal
Whirlwind Rochester Series Orange Box Guitar Pedal
Budget Option
BEHRINGER VINTAGE PHASER VP1
Product Name
MXR M101 Phase 90
MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal
TC Electronic Helix Phaser Pedal
Whirlwind Rochester Series Orange Box Guitar Pedal
BEHRINGER VINTAGE PHASER VP1
Customer Rating
Preview
MXR M101 Phase 90
Product Name
MXR M101 Phase 90
Customer Rating
Editor's Choice
Preview
MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal
Product Name
MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal
Customer Rating
Preview
TC Electronic Helix Phaser Pedal
Product Name
TC Electronic Helix Phaser Pedal
Customer Rating
Preview
Whirlwind Rochester Series Orange Box Guitar Pedal
Product Name
Whirlwind Rochester Series Orange Box Guitar Pedal
Customer Rating
Budget Option
Preview
BEHRINGER VINTAGE PHASER VP1
Product Name
BEHRINGER VINTAGE PHASER VP1
Customer Rating

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

1. MXR M101 Phase 90

MXR M101 Phase 90

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Made by pedal pioneers MXR, this legendary stomp box is renowned for its simplicity. Its only knob is a big one saying: “SPEED!”

It's been around since the 70s and is still extremely popular, largely due to its simplicity, and partly due to the fact that its design has remained consistent throughout the years.

This is a modest, natural and sturdy pedal, which sounds great and benefits from sturdy metal casing. They are a little pricey, but no more than you'd expect for a pedal of this quality.

It can be powered using a 9V battery or an adapter.

Let's take a look at this product...


2. MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal

MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

This eco-friendly little beauty is a mini version of both the Phase 90 and another MXR model: the Phase 45. Phase 45 offers a mellower version of the Phase 90, and this pedal has a toggle so you can switch between the two!

It looks just like the Phase 90 above, but smaller, and it leaves about 50% of the carbon footprint of the larger pedals, making up for the fact that it costs a little more.

This pedal is a blessing. Versatile, compact and quality.

One potential drawback is that it can't be powered by a 9V battery and is only powered only by mains adapter. Worth considering.


3. TC Electronic Helix Phaser Pedal

TC Electronic Helix Phaser Pedal

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Unlike the simplistic MXRs, this pedal has 4 knobs, allowing you to control 'Speed', 'Depth', 'Feedback' and 'Mix'.

The 'Mix' control is quite a novelty here. This uncommon feature allows you to blend dry and effective signals.

Another key feature of this pedal is its 'TonePrint' function: there is a USB connection, allowing you access to software containing even more customisable settings, and a host of signature sounds!

It will set you back the amount you'd expect to spend on a decent pedal, and its metal case means that it survive a few knocks.

It can be powered using a 9V battery or an adapter.

Let's take a look at this product...


4. Whirlwind Rochester Series Orange Box Guitar Pedal

Whirlwind Rochester Series Orange Box Guitar Pedal

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

The appropriately titled 'Whirlwind' pedal is very similar to the MXR phase one pedal. They even have a designer in common: Michael Laiacona.

It has just one knob – to control speed – and this pedal will be a hit for those who worry that perhaps “they don't make them like they used to...”

This pedal promises to be made just like an early MXR, though they are so similar, and both offer such quality and longevity, that it can be hard to decide which of these really is superior. They both cost the same, too!

Like the MXR, these can be powered with 9V batteries or adapters.

Let's take a look at this product...


5. BEHRINGER VINTAGE PHASER VP1

BEHRINGER VINTAGE PHASER VP1

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

This budget-friendly pedal is another one-knobber. Again, this is to set the speed of the phaser, to control the size of your swirling sounds!

It's very sturdy for a budget pedal and also offers a quality phaser effect! Not bad at all for the price and certainly worth it if the higher end pedals aren't an option.

Of course, the quality of the effects won't quite match up to the MXR / Whirlwind standard, but it's good for the price.

It runs on a 9V battery or an adapter.

Let's take a look at this product...


And The Winner Is...

Wow! Aren't they all fantastic?

The Behringer offers astounding value, the TC Electronic offers innovative technology and the MXR 90 and the Whirlwind Rochester both offer sturdiness, style and stability.

However, it was the MXR M290 Phase 95 Mini Guitar Effects Pedal that we fell in love with.

It's difficult to resist a pedal that offers the versatility of two high quality pedals, at half of the environmental cost of one of them! Its charming miniature appearance, and the genuine coolness of all of the sounds it offers helped, too.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Happy Phasing!

Image Credits:

Featured image source: Roadside Guitars / CC BY-SA 2.0

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Best Phaser Pedals
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Roz is a music teacher and our go-to person for anything music theory! When she’s not teaching or writing for Zing, Roz writes and plays in alternative/ psyche /art rock band The Roz Bruce Infusion.

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