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In-Depth & Hands-On

REVIEW: The Phaseomatic Deluxe – Effectrode’s All-Tube Phase Shifter

Disclosure Policy | Wed, Aug 8, 2007 | 702 |

Effectrode PhaseomaticModel Effectrode Phaseomatic Deluxe

Intro The Phaseomatic Deluxe is boutique effects company Effectrode’s handsome new photo-optical vacuum tube phase shifter.

Like something straight out of an old Sci-Fi film, this imposingly sturdy little stomp-box features the kind of retro-50’s styling that would look right at home perched on top of your grandfather’s old television console, or perhaps mounted in the cockpit of a WWII-era fighter plane.

But don’t let the old-school look fool you––the phaseomatic produces tones that are just as inspiring today as they were when vacuum tubes were the mainstay of audio electronics. If anything, Effectrode has built a pedal that far outperforms many of the rather lifeless digital phase-shifting products on the market today.

What I Liked Spend a few minutes with the Phaseomatic and you’ll quickly realize that this is one pedal that has truly earned its “Deluxe” moniker. Far more than just a standard phase shifter, the Phaseomatic easily produces very convincing Chorus, Tremolo, and even “Leslie” Rotating Speaker effects––and all with gorgeous 100% tube tone.

Call me a purist, but to my ears digital effects simply can’t compete.

With all Class A circuitry, and a trio of 12AT7 vacuum tubes poking out of the top, Effectrode’s latest stomp-box produces the kind of warm, organic sounds that only old-school audio technology can currently offer. Enough said. And it does it without undue levels of noise or hiss, to boot.

Of course, when it comes to straight phase shifting effects, the Phaseomatic Deluxe truly excels––whether you’re looking for wide, epic phasing sweeps, or short electrical surges, you can pretty much dial-up any kind of sound you could imagine or require.

Easy-access Width, Speed, and Blend controls are all available via classic chicken head knobs on the top of the unit, while a toggle switch allows you to quickly change between Normal & Metallic resonance modes––Metallic mode producing a much more dramatic effect, and being particularly effective when used in combination with slower Speed settings.

As if all of that weren’t enough to keep you very, very busy, the Phaseomatic offers yet more customizable settings in the form of six different wave shapes, including Triangle (the pedal’s default,) Sine, Square, Rise, Fall, and Stepped.

Each wave shape offers an entirely unique blend of tones, and it’s here that you can begin to explore the nearly limitless possibilities of this pedal… at higher modulation rates the Triangle form produces watery chorus-like effects, while playing around with the Square wave can take you straight into classic Vibrato/Tremolo territory. With a bit of experimenting you can even deviate into some outrageously pulsating Sci-Fi type flying saucer effects.

Somehow, all of these effects come out warm and full, and absolutely teaming with life.

And while “tone” may be everything when it comes to guitar effects, the good folks at Effectrode didn’t just stop there––the Phaseomatic simply drips with retro style. Chalk it up to sentimentality, but I’ve come to realize that there’s something incredibly appealing about watching those three vacuum tubes warm up to a healthy orange glow.

On top of that, the pedal is just built like a tank.

What I Didn’t Like Ironically, perhaps the Phaseomatic’s only downside is its incredible versatility. Due to the unit’s footswitchable wave forms––which are accessed by powering off the pedal, powering it back on, and then clicking the footswitch during the one-minute warm-up period––you can quite easily get lost in its myriad settings.

While there are great tones to be had in all wave forms, it can be a bit frustrating if you lose track of which wave form you’re currently in, particularly if you’re trying to dial-up a favorite setting from a previous session.

Of course, the unit I got for review was a prototype, so I’d say there’s still time for Effectrode to correct this one minor glitch––perhaps via a rotary dial. Come to think of it, even just a multi-colored LED would go a long way towards keeping users oriented.

Final Word Effectrode’s Phaseomatic Deluxe is a truly versatile pedal capable of producing a multitude of high-quality effects to bolster your guitar’s tonal palate.

If you’ve found yourself in the market for a one-trick-pony phase shifter, the Phaseomatic may not be a perfect fit, but for tube aficionados who enjoy endlessly tweaking their tone, this badass little stomp-box has far more to offer than your average phaser.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if you had to purchase just one effects pedal for all of your guitar’s Phase Shifting, Chorus, and Vibrato needs, the Phaseomatic Deluxe would definitely be at the top of the list.

Solid construction, impeccable design, Class A circuitry, and a full complement of vacuum tubes ensure that your guitar’s signal will be bathed in top-shelf tone for years to come.

EGR Sound Samples
Recorded direct via Line 6 GearBox

Effectrode Sound Samples

Manufacturer: Effectrode | Model: Phaseomatic Deluxe | Contact: sales@effectrode.com |  Web Site: www.effectrode.com