Phaser Stages - Anything to care about?


I'm on a search for the perfect phaser that gives me a nice slow swirl to fast Leslie-ish rotary sounds.

I see almost every phaser description has a "this is a x-stage phaser" statement, anything from 2 to 10, some even more.

So, what does this mean, what does this tell me about the phaser?
From what I've read, looks like more stages does NOT always mean more intensity?

Are # of stages in a phaser something I should care about?
Or is it just more of a technical thing rather than tonal character?

For example, if I were to look for a faux-Leslie phaser, how many stages phaser should I look for? Or would that not matter much?

(I know a lot of you are gonna recommend me a chorus, but let's stick to phasers here)


For a faux-Leslie pedal, you need less stages for what I understood.

For examples, Univibes (which was supposedly emulating a Leslie) is 2 stages.
It seems 2 and 4 stages can simulate a bit a Leslie (even if it will never emulate the Doppler effekt = light pitch shifting).

VFE Phase can do 2, 3 and 4 stages and seems very adapted to what you are looking for.

Frosted Glass

The more stages, the more intense the effect. Classic phasing is 4 stages. 2 stage phasers can be tweaked to sound a bit like a vibe. 12 stage phasers have a massive whoosh.


I actually really like stage phasers myself. Like the DOD 201, Univibe, and Phase 45.

Phase 90 is 4 stage also nice.

Small Stone/Mutron are usually 6-8 stages

Moog is 6/12 selectable.

The Moog Phaser manual actually does a great job of explaining how this works. Basically though yeah more stages give a more intense effect but it also is not just like adding more "depth" to the effect. It actually changes the way the filter itself works.


Platinum Supporting Member
I like the heavily effected sound more stages gives you. My current favorite is the Boss PH-2, but I've really been wanting to try out one of the old TC Electronic Phase XIIs (which seem pretty hard to find, and quite expensive when you do).

Doesn't sound like what you're going for, though.

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