MXR Phase 90

First released in the '70s, the Phase 90 pedal helped establish the MXR brand, and now it continues to be the go-to phaser for many guitarists.

MXR Phase 90

This compact, single-knob pedal was our top phaser pedal pick, besting other modern pedals with its simplicity, classic tone and value.

Before you look past this seemingly simple pedal, you should know that the MXR Phase 90 was the most notable phaser effect for guitars during the time when phasers were only starting to make its appearance. Guitarists like Brian May, Steve Hackett and Eddie Van Halen were all impressed with the pedal and put it to good use, incorporating the pedal into some of their most memorable tracks. Fast forward to the present, the MXR Phase 90 is still doing well and continues to sit comfortably on pedalboards and rigs around the world.

The current production model MXR Phase 90 retains the straightforward design of the original, albeit utilizing modern materials. It still follows the analog four-stage phasing design of the original, which allows it to add phasing without sucking up the tone too much. This makes it ideal for adding subtle to mid-level shimmer, swoosh and warble to your riffs and leads.

Control is limited to just one Speed knob, which lets you adjust the speed of the phasing effect. This means that the amount of phasing and frequency are all set in stone, this can be both a good thing or bad thing depending on the user. This pedal will not please those that want to tweak the phasing effect in detail, but it will please those that want simple and easy to setup effects. The Phase 90 literally brings you the same phasing sound as used on many classic recordings right out of the box. The Speed knob comes with a rubber cover that will let you adjust the speed rate as you perform - with your feet.

Due to its lack of control, the MXR Phase 90 may seem lacking when compared to modern phasers, but since that didn't stop Van Halen from using the pedal on many of his earlier works (including the popular "Eruption" guitar solo), I don't see any reason how it could hinder you or any other player from making great music. In fact, the simple one knob operation can be convenient and it can help you focus more on your playing and music, instead of endless tweaking.

Finally, the pedal housing is tank tough and users will testify that it has completed all sorts of gigs without breaking down. The pedal's compact shape also lets you save on valuable pedalboard space, as much as it helps you save on some cash, thanks to its reasonable price tag.

The MXR Phase 90 is currently retailing for $79.95. Visit Jim Dunlop for more details.

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