Fender – a well-known brand that has held a leading position in the world of amplifiers and guitars for a while now – is becoming more and more active on the pedal market. It started off with just a couple of stompboxes, but is continuing to release newer models. Their effects units are usually of high quality – delivering the sounds you would expect from Fender. They have not disappointed us so far and hopefully will continue the same way in the future as well. The best part is that their pedals maintain the affordable price mark and make sure that everything is accessible for the broad audience. Such attitude is really inspiring since you will not have to spend all your savings just to have the ability to experiment with the desired electronic device. Today we are going to talk about the phasers, namely Lost Highway from Fender. This baby has many features that please the eye and soul at the same time. It will add something special to any pedalboard and turn your performance into an enjoyable process. If you are interested, then stay with me and read this article till the end. I will provide you with all the needed information and make sure you know what you are going for before making the purchase. Let’s get started!
If you do not know what to expect from certain effects, you might have a hard time understanding what features are essential and what are additional bells and whistles. Yet the properties of Fender Lost Highway are so simple to grasp that you will know what you are dealing with even if you have not held a phaser before. This fella has very attractive appearance, looking chic and sexy. It has a vintage vibe but still has a contemporary taste, making this one a fabulous purchase. The design is topped with the brands renowned jewel that lights up when you turn the pedal on. The chassis is made out of anodized aluminum which makes it road-worthy and durable. More importantly, Lost Highway has analog circuit that will remind you of the times when the effect was popularized in the first place. This fella operates at two different speeds, and each of them can be adjusted with individual controls. It is equipped with the ability to easily switch between 4 and 8 stages, making it possible to add even more dimension to your sound. This bad boy also lets you select the desired waveform and change the character of the effect noticeably. It comes with numerous LEDs that make its settings visible even in the darkest venue. In case you dislike these shining lights, you can always turn them off with the dedicated switch. Lost Highway can add up to 3dB of boost if your signal loses some of its qualities or volume when the effect is engaged. You should also keep in mind that this bad boy cannot be powered with batteries. You have to utilize an adapter in order to operate this unit.
If you asked Fender for precision and full control over your tone, I have good news my friend – they definitely delivered. Lost Highway has many knobs and switches that put you in charge of the effect and let you tame the beast with ease. You get the ability to alternate between different settings and choose the ones that suit you the most. The cool feature of these controls is the smooth transition between various settings. Everything increases or decreases with even character. In order to understand the full potential of this fella, let’s dig deep in each control and figure out their functions.
We shall begin with the controls that are dedicated to two different speed options. Rate 1 and Depth 2 are in charge of the speed and intensity of Slow mode, while Rate 2 and Depth 2 modify the same parameters in Fast mode. Then comes Blend which alters the ratio between wet and dry signals, letting you to enhance either your original signal or the affected one. Feedback alters the amount of resonance in your sound, while Sensitivity goes from Slow to Fast and vice versa by tracking the dynamics of your playing. We have two toggles over here: Wave Type switch allows you to select either triangle or sine waveforms, while Phase Stage switch lets you choose 4 or 8 stages. Lastly, we have two footswitches: Bypass turns the pedal on and off, while Slow/Fast enables you to toggle between these modes with your foot.
The sound of Lost Highway from Fender is distinctive in the sense that it does not offer typical swirling effect. Its character is rather unique and is wobblier than you would expect. This fella will not resemble your favorite vintage phasers, so if that’s what you are looking for, you might have to look elsewhere. It accentuates the midrange and makes sure they are not lost in the mix, but it is not too sweet. It does so by giving you the ability to add 3dB boost, which can be really useful in practice. More importantly, the possibility to shift between slow and fast modes with a footswitch, as well as complementary controls guarantee that you transition between these settings smoothly but with audible effect. Lost Highway can alter the voice of the phaser completely with Stage and Wave switches. As you increase the amount of stages, you are left with a more texture and way more pronounced frequency sweeps. The difference between sine and triangle waves is that the latter is smoother and more even, while the former is a bit “harsh” to the frequencies.
All in all, Fender Lost Highway is an amazing pedal on its own. If you are someone who is very critical about phase shifting and needs vintage sounds, then this might not be the perfect option. But for those who are ready to step out of the comfort zone and experiment with new possibilities, then this baby will turn into your soulmate. Good luck!
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