Today we are talking about yet another pedal from Behringer. This brand has been famous for its extremely affordable pedals that are not so bad in quality. Usually, they deliver decent performance and acts as wonderful pieces for the price. It is always scary to purchase an electronic unit that costs less than your outfit, but if you go for these prominent brands, the chances are you will be fine. If I am being honest, you should still look at cheap pedals with a grain of salt since they will not be perfect and will lack some stuff in terms of sound or quality. But that does not mean they are bad or unusable. Rather, it means that they have a hard time competing with high-end models, but that is only natural since they are available at only a fraction of the price. But I am pretty sure you already know this stuff, so let me introduce to you Behringer Vintage Phaser VP1. This thing is better than you might initially expect and performs with quality that will make your jaw drop. Trust me, my friend, I am not exaggerating. If you want to purchase a budget-friendly pedal that still does what it is supposed to, then stay with me as I break down its qualities. Let’s get started!
Since I have already underlined the way in which you should consider affordable pedals, I will start this section by saying that Vintage Phaser VP1 is not the most versatile phaser out there. It is more of a one trick pony, but not exactly. What I am trying to say is that it still has a certain level of diversity, which is wonderful and gives us some options to work with. The lack of versatility is not always a horrible thing and we have seen that countless times even in higher-end models. This fella has a decent build quality – it has robust chassis that will last you well unless you keep banging it on the floor and stomping it as if it were a rock (I do not think you should do that to any pedal, really). The design is extremely vintage, showcasing the black shape on white body, and blue writings. More importantly, Vintage Phaser VP1 has two different voicings that are based on the alterations in your tone. This means that while changing the character of the effect, they do also change your tone and make the overall results more drastic. These voicings let you go from a classic phaser to a weirder and extreme territory (that might even resemble a vibrato) by shifting between positive and negative feedback modes. Let’s not forget that this bad boy has true bypass switching that guarantees your tonal integrity. It can be powered either with a 9V battery or an adapter, making it easy to swap between options if needed. All in all, Behringer has done an amazing job at creating a simple, yet usable pedal that knows what to do to your sound. Good job!
The control section of Behringer Vintage Phaser VP1 will never create any problems, as it is as simple as falling off a log. It is equipped with two controls and a footswitch – there is nothing else you will get in the package. However, these are enough to modify your sound to your liking, well, at least to a certain extent. But such layout is pretty common in phasers so we cannot blame Behringer for that. They are simply following the rules and giving us the best option they can for the price. I do not think we can complain about that.
So, this section is comprised of Rate knob and Tone switch. As you probably know, the former modifies the speed of the effect in order to create a range of different sounds. This way you can play with slow yet defined sweeps or go crazy and experiment with fast swirls. The latter gives you access to the positive and negative feedback modes we have mentioned earlier. By messing around with it, you can change the color of your tone and alter the overall character of phasing. Let’s not forget that we have a footswitch that does enable us to activate or disengage the pedal and use the effect whenever we want with ease. It is clear as day that this section is extremely fool-proof and will not be a difficult task for anybody.
The sound is where things get even more interesting. I have underlined a couple of times that we should control our expectations when it comes to the cheaper pedals. However, Behringer Vintage Phaser VP1 will surprise you in a positive way. It will deliver the performance that you might not expect from such a unit. It has a warmth to it that definitely makes it reminiscent of the vintage pedals. The range of rate makes it possible to stay subtle and distinctive, move to a middle speed category or go completely crazy and produce robotic sounds. When you combine it with Tone switch, you are bound to receive interesting results. Tone lets you emit inverted phases that are mixed back with your original or unaffected, more traditional ones. If you tweak this thing correctly, you can even create vibrato, that will diversify your options quite a bit. Keep in mind that Vintage Phaser VP1 can develop some hiss, but there are some ways to work around it, so that is not a deal-breaker by any means.
To summarize everything discussed above, Behringer Vintage Phaser VP1 is a wonderful pedal if you are on a tight budget. It has its flaws, but its virtues definitely outweigh them. You simply have to keep an open-mind and you will be able to nail some badass sounds out of this one. It has simple, yet usable options and its tone is definitely decent. It might not be the best pedal on the market, but it is definitely a leading option in its price range and above. Good luck!
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