Phasers: Shannon, Retro-sonic or something else?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by MikeSelmer, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. MikeSelmer

    MikeSelmer Member

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    Hi all! I'm looking into buying a new phaser to replace my MXR Phase 90 reissue. While I basically like overall tone of the Phase 90, I'm fed up with the volume issues and the inevident distortion that the pedal adds to the signal. I play in a band where I use a lot of distortion/overdrive together with the phaser, so added distortion really gets to me!

    I'm looking for a more "hi-fi", pristine and clear phaser that still has that Phase 90 type of lushness and thickness/warmth. Also, I need to have a depth control and, hopefully, volume control, too.

    So far, I am interested in the Shannon phaser and the Retro-Sonic Phaser. I can't try these out anywhere, so could any of you please tell me if either will suit my needs? I haven't seen much about the Retro-Sonic here so that's what I'd really like to know about. The Shannon seems to be popular and seems otherwise great, but I'm concerned about the lack of depth control...will the color control work as a depth control in any way?

    Or are there any other phaser with speed/depth/colume controls?

    Thanks!

    MIKE
     
  2. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

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    I have a uniphase and Love it. The color control is like an internal trimmer he's moved outside, you can change the tonality from dark (CCW to bright CW) It's a very very very smooth phaser. If you want, essentialy a phase 90 but more Hifi, the shannon is it. It's absolutely fantastic. Ultra smooth and very well constructed. It's brighter and lighter at CW settings darker and thicker at CCW settings. he basicaly just relabled depth with color, because on his pedal the color knob does really adjust the color.
     
  3. Wooley

    Wooley Member

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    I hear great things about the Shannon, but you should also consider the HBE Psilocybe. It is my most recent of seven phasers and I have been very pleased and impressed with it. It has, at least temporarily, booted my Mutron and my Ross phasers. Has shimmery chorus-like phase and thick Phase 90-like phase with knobs for depth and speed, and just overall sounds great. Good luck whatever you decide.
     
  4. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

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    I'm starting to go nuts here, so many phasers to choose from!! :dude

    Until about a year or so ago, there were very few True Bypass phasers, now ...

    The Retro-Sonic sound clips are great. Of course it helps to play killer licks. I'm waiting on a special Sweet MoFaux that falls right between a phaser and a univibe. The fact that I only get to control the speed is almost a relief. Several of the phasers that I have let go were ones with multiple controls - Infinitphase, Mod Max, Flanger Hoax - there was a lot of dead space in between the sweet spots.

    The Rastop was quite cool. One very distinctive voice, fast or slow, more or less of it. I could consider getting one again, that would be the third time for me. :jo

    I have heard very good things about the Shannon, but they are out of production and he's going on to different things, so service may be an issue.

    I tired a Subdecay Quasar in a Tour Box and it's pretty nice too. The latest models have the LED blinking in time with the LFO and did away with some background ticking.

    I got a Sobbat PhaseBreaker 2 recently. Two phaser types, one more resonant than the other, and a pitch vibrato mode. The Jag control seems to shift the center frequency around which the phasing takes place, so you can get some nice wobble. Otherwise - speed and depth, and lotsa sweet spots. Some "pop" with the footswitch.

    Right now I'm waiting to see/hear the Cusack Tap-a-Phase, or whatever he ends up calling it. Eight different LFO waveforms of phasing with analog tap tempo and speed ramping. :eek:

    Or you could just get a buncha Behringer Ultra Phasers at $19 each. :D
     
  5. msp

    msp Member

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    you may want to consider a phaser that offers more than the standard/traditional 4 stages

    old mutron phase II sounds great but suffers from the obvious downfalls of a vintage pedal, its a 6 stage phaser

    i really have come to appreciate the maxon ph-350 (has 4,6 and 10 stages to choose from)

    i've gotten sick of the "big rock lead" phase 90 or ehx type of phaser ripoffs...but if thats what your going for the retro-sonic is a great option, allso i have heard good things about the byoc phaser (but have yet to try one)
     
  6. msp

    msp Member

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    where did you find out abut that? any links? sounds really cool...
     
  7. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I've got my mind set on the Red Witch Deluxe Moon Phaser...
     
  8. msp

    msp Member

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  9. Wooley

    Wooley Member

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    Oh by the way, the sound clips of the HBE Psilocybe do not do it justice by a long sight. And it has a couple of modes so you can use it as a more clean vibe/chorusey kinda phaser or it has a really nice 90 sound. Another thought if you like the 90 is to get an original Ross phaser. I have one and it is like a Phase 90 but with depth control as well as rate. In fact, I honestly think it sounds just a little better than a 90. I wouldn't hesitate to use it in any circumstance. I'm using the Psilocybe now because it also has great sounds, true bypass, and it looks cool, but I'm just as happy with my Ross and my Mutron.
     
  10. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

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    I saw it in a post here a few weeks back and then emailed Jon Cusack himself. I just got the Tap-a-Whirl tremolo at Christmas, and I'm a phaser nut, so i'm gassing big time.

    "I should have it ready in a month or two. It's going to be alot like the Tap-A-Whirl, but a phaser instead. I played with the prototype, and I think it's going to be really cool. I've never heard a phaser do the odd waveforms like in the Tap-A-Whirl before (I think it's never been done)."

    check out the tap-a-whirl here - http://www.cusackmusic.com/?page=showDir&type=Products
     
  11. msp

    msp Member

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    just spoke with him on the phone...........YES!!!!!

    half of the design is done... more to come in the next few weeks

    Now i've got gas too
     
  12. ASATClassic

    ASATClassic Member

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    Get a Shannon if you want a "better" phase 90 with true bypass. BTW, the EVH Phase 90 isn't bad at all.
     
  13. cubba65

    cubba65 Member

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    Mike,

    By all means buy a booteek phaser and enjoy the phat tones .... but why don't you try the simple resistior (is it R28?) snip mod that's out there on the web?
    It's supposed to open that pedal up a bit and is easy as can be to perform.
     
  14. MikeSelmer

    MikeSelmer Member

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    cubba65,

    I did the R28 mod. It's better now but I hate the added distortion.
    Good suggestions everyone, keep them coming! I'm crawling through the Internet looking ofr info on the phaser everyone mentioned!
     
  15. godotzilla

    godotzilla Member

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    I have an old Ross Phaser, and it is definitely a keeper. It is not, however, anywhere close to a Phase 90 (except for a similar color). It is a far more transparent phaser, especially at slower settings. It really can't do that thick, chewy bit that makes the Phase 90 so distinctive. At higher rate speeds, however, it is one of the best Leslie simulators I've ever heard.
     
  16. Wooley

    Wooley Member

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    Completely agree that you can clean up the Ross some (which is why the depth knob is key), but a must offer a friendly disagreement: the reason that the Ross is not on my pedalboard right now is that it is too thick and Phase 90-ish for my taste. Many people accused Ross of cloning the MXR when it came out (see the story of this thing in Analogman's book on vintage effects). My friend said what he really wanted was a Phase 90 with a depth knob (he had a Phase 90), so i bought him a Ross, and he is completely happy. IMO, the Ross IS a Phase 90 with a Depth knob so you can clean up a little bit, which is why it is better than a Phase 90. Just my opinion.
     
  17. dbx

    dbx Member

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    Aha...if you can find one, try the SIB Mr. Fazeadelic...no volume control but two rates/depth/feedback, they used to sell for around $99 but I believe that the line has been discontinued. I found the second rate not very useful since it shares the same depth/volume settings but it's very clear and can be more intense than the Shannon. No volume drop perceived...I'm actualy in process with a phaser shootout: Shannon Phaser, Maxon PT-9Pro (original version from Japan), SIB Mr. Fazeadelic, Pearl PH-03. Since I only have a 4-port loooper box, waiting for the next elimination round is a BOSS PH-1r, SubDecay Quasar, and the heavyweight LT Doppleganger...they're all different but lovely in their own way...place your bets folks...

    :cool:
     
  18. tradarama

    tradarama www.PRIMEGUITARS.com Silver Supporting Member

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  19. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    I've only owned the Shannon, Red Witch, Akai, SIB! and Psilocybe... I kept the SIB! Mr. Fazeadelic. It was in-between the Witch and Shannon in terms of tone... not as clinical as the Witch, not as chewy as the Shannon. The big plus is that there's no noise with the pedal... and I found added noise (mainly clipping) in both the Witch and Shannon. The Akai was too huge for what it did, and the Psilocybe clicked with the sweeps (but I heard that's been addressed).
    I find the second rate knob very useful on the SIB! to transition to extremely subtle phasing from warbly noises, and I find that there is neither a boost nor cut in volume it's completely at unity... which was a huge plus to me over the Witch which has a very noticable boost. But I know many people like to have a boost with their phasers.

    -Ben
     
  20. dbx

    dbx Member

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    Hey Ben...thanks for that followup, I should qualify that I didn't find the second rate useful to me because I would have liked to be able to have a separate depth and feedback control for that second rate...but as you use it that way it's great! It's interesting that it won out in your case over the Red Witch, saved me some $$$ ;)...as always with these things ymmv! Have fun!

    (There are still some stock floating around on the "Mr." series so grab 'em if you can find 'em...my "sources say" the Mr. Echo will re-debute as the "Mr. Echo Plus" ...It's going to have a Slam Knob ... and will also have an input jack for a mono passive volume or expression pedal to control the delay time ... no ETA ... could be as long as 4-6 Months and it will be more expensive as well in the $159 to $169 range (street) ... thanks "B" :D)....

    :AOK
     

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