Best UK Phaser Pedal
Updated: September 2020
These are our top ranked selections in the category of best phaser pedal to buy right now in the UK.
#1 Pick: Overall Rating = 87%
#2: Best Quality Alternative
#3: Best Deal Right Now
Phaser Pedals: A Buyer’s Guide
As most musicians will know, the music you make and play doesn’t start and end with your instruments. There’s a huge variety of kit out there, most of which will help you to refine or power up your sound. Guitarists, for example, will likely come across a phaser pedal or two in their time, and for good reason – it’s one of the most important pieces of kit they’ll need when gigging and performing.
Many musicians set up a variety of pedals and boards to create different sounds and effects while they perform. Many people aren’t content with just the simple, organic instrument sound! When playing in certain genres and styles, for example, some players may expect there to be a little more power or swirling to their playback. Phasers, ultimately, help to capture that swirl effect which you’ll hear in classic rock music and even some soul.
But what do you do when you want to capture that eclectic sound for yourself? How do you narrow down the phaser pedal market? If you’re a seasoned guitarist, you may already have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for. But where exactly does that leave the rest of us?
In this buying guide, we will take you through everything you need to know about the iconic phaser pedal. We’ll show you why there are different types on the market, and what you should think about looking for if you want to add the FX system to your sound board. Regardless of the music or genre you play, a phaser pedal could make all the difference to your on-stage and even studio tech. Take a look at a few frequently asked questions at the end of the guide, too.
Why Use a Phaser Pedal?
The simplest answer to this question is probably going to be quite annoying – why not use a phaser pedal? The fact is, we all have very different tastes and needs when it comes to the music we produce. Therefore, a phaser pedal is one of many pieces of kit that can really help to up the ante as far as your ideal sound is concerned. It helps guitars to produce a fabulous swirling effect, one which you might have heard played on many different classic rock songs in the past.
A phaser pedal is different to many others as it helps to add a psychedelic, dreamlike touch to the sounds you play. While many pedals will give you simple overdrive or flanger, a phaser kit will allow you to transfer your sound into a whole other realm. Many genre musicians, such as those playing ambient rock or psychedelia, will likely stray towards phaser technology as crucial to their setup. However, there’s nothing stopping other musicians and other genre players from mixing things up a little.
Phaser pedals are also very easy to come by and are extremely easy to start with. Therefore, any budding guitarists who want to start experimenting with their sound sooner rather than later will likely want to invest in this type of pedal as standard. Of course, phaser pedals can also come in handy alongside a wide variety of other sounds and effects, making it one of the most versatile units of its kind. Therefore, it’s worth keeping your eyes and your mind open if you’re new to fine-tuning your sound at all.
Things to Compare and Contrast
If you’re already looking around for phaser pedals to add to your board, then you will likely already know that there is a mountain of choice available. Phaser pedals are some of the simplest around, yet they are often some of the most diverse. Therefore, before you go ahead and put any money on one pedal in particular, it is well wroth knowing what you should be looking for in terms of your first major investment.
Ease of Use
If you’re just starting out with phaser pedals, or with FX in general, then you will likely want to keep things pretty simple. Luckily, there are plenty of pedals out there which only have one or two features – you might even find some which have basic on/off switches. However, if you do want to really diversify your sound and experience, it’s likely that you’re going to need to invest in something that offers more than a basic swirl effect.
The best phaser pedals will give you greater control over the FX you create, as well as over the soundscapes you build. Therefore, while the most basic options will be easy to use and will give you a basic phaser profile to work with, you may actually prefer to work your way up, or to feel your way around. Some of the most successful musicians honed their sounds through simple improvisation and trial and error. For that reason, it may be worth looking out for tech a little more complex than your average one-switch pedal.
Analogue or Digital?
As with plenty of music tech nowadays, there is a debate over what works best overall – analogue tech, or digital standards? Digital phaser pedals are easy to use and are arguably more flexible than traditional standards. However, many musicians feel that nothing really beats that classic, scratchy analogue sound.
When it comes to phaser FX, you are likely looking to create a very specific sound going back decades. Therefore, it does make plenty of sense that you will want to look for a system that is slightly retro in its output. Some guitarists will also tell you that analogue systems give you more control over the sounds you create, meaning there are more opportunities for you to create some truly unique music. That’s what many people look for when starting out.
If you’re going to take your pedal on tour with you, it’s going to need to withstand a lot. While you and your roadies might be the most careful movers on the planet, there will always be a gig or two where equipment comes close to breaking or fusing at the worst possible time. Therefore, it makes sense to look for a phaser pedal that’s nice and robust. Try and opt for tech that’s nicely cased, meaning that it’s hard and resilient on the outside, but flexible and lightweight enough for you to still use in a variety of applications. It really won’t weigh your guitar bag down – let’s face it.
Sound and Style
The fact is, not all phaser pedals are actually going to sound the same. Apart from price, this is pretty much what sets the major choices apart from each other online. Therefore, do be willing to watch a few online videos to see if you can get an idea of what the unit sounds like. Some products may even give you example or demo videos to show you what sort of FX you can expect. Otherwise, it’s here where you may need to depend on what others have to say.
Check out verified buyer reviews, for example, if you are unsure whether or not a phaser pedal you’ve seen is going to be worth the price of admission. Beyond this, try to sample a few in the real world. Can you get to a music shop or outlet which will let you test equipment before you buy? It’s probably a good way to try and see what fits you best.
Frequently Asked Questions
As always, it’s time to look at some common queries and concerns people have when buying phaser pedals for the first time.
Do I Need a Phaser Pedal?
A phaser pedal isn’t a piece of kit you should need, it’s one you should want. If you are playing classic rock or anything slightly psychedelic, then it is probably going to be a bit of an asset to you. However, you really need to look at the sounds you want to create – don’t let anyone dictate to you.
What Puts Phaser FX Above the Rest?
Many people enjoy phaser pedal sounds because they are clean, natural, and less tinny than some of those you might hear through, say, flanger pedals. While flanger definitely has a market, phaser FX are likely to appeal to those who want their sounds to be crisp, clear, and free from anything unnatural clogging up the soundscape.
How Much Do Phaser Pedals Cost?
This varies from model to model. Generally, you can expect to pay more for more advanced tech. However, in some cases, you may actually pay for the brand name. This isn’t something you should sway to! Choose a pedal based on its own merits. In terms of cost, get ready to pay somewhere in the region of £20-£40 for a basic piece of kit, but hold out for more if you want the really fancy systems.
Phaser pedals are one of many brilliant assets guitarists can add to their performance and recording boards. Not everyone will need or want a phaser pedal, however, it’s a great starting point for anyone who might be struggling to achieve that bespoke sound. Take a look at what others have to say, and where possible, make sure to try out a pedal or two before you buy.