MXR Phase 90 is one of those vintage pedals that have been famous for their sounds. It is the unit that will come up really often as you look through the old phaser variations. Its character has created a niche place of its own, making it hard to compete with its name. Dunlop has created countless different models since then, but this one still remains the most prominent. But that is not what we are going to discuss today. We have somehow left it in the past, since we do have to look forward and explore newer models. Well, this statement is not completely accurate, but anyway. Our star of the show is MXR EVH Phase 90 – the collaboration between Eddie Van Halen himself and Dunlop. It goes without saying that this pedal has everything this legendary guitar virtuoso would want to see in a stompbox and maybe even more. It combines quality, sounds and eye-catching design with the experience of Eddie Van Halen and as a result, we are dealing with a spectacular pedal. If you want to find out more information about this fella, get the chance to play with legendary tones and do not want to pay too much, then you must read this article till the end. Let’s begin!
We all know what the quality of MXR products is. We definitely do not have to underline that once again since nobody needs that information – good pedals always speak for themselves. The virtue of EVH Phase 90 is not about that, it is about its unique features and qualities. And the design. If this component can be neglected in some other stompboxes, we just cannot turn a blind eye on this one (because it is blinding itself). This wonderful beast has the same appearance as Eddie’s famous guitar – Frankenstein. It sports red glossy surface with black and white stripes, captivating your heart, soul and body for good. Once you mount it on your pedalboard, you feel up with pride every time you look at this thing, that’s how eye-catching it is. I could go on about this for the entire article, so I will just gather my powers and concentrate on more important features.
So, EVH Phase 90 has two different voicings: you have the ability to toggle between good ol’ vibes and modern sounds. This way you can shift between distinctive characteristics with ease and see what works best for you. This baby can be powered by a single 9V battery or an adapter, a typical deal you get with the majority of effects pedals. The footprint is rather compact and will not require any effort to mount this fella on there. As I have mentioned above, the build quality is typical MXR – high-grade components with durable body. All in all, EVH Phase 90 is not the most versatile phaser out there, but it has a unique feel that is really hard to replicate with other units. That is what makes this one a really good option to consider.
The control section is so scarce and lonely that it is hard to gather your thoughts about it. Okay, I am exaggerating, but compared to other feature-laden units out there, this one comes with rudimentary package. However, we should also keep in mind that you do not need much else for the purpose of this fella. After all, it has a sole aim and for that, nobody needs a bunch of encoders and toggles. Of course, EVH Phase 90 has a central knob that is the property of the original, but it does also have a newer addition from Eddie.
We are talking about the Speed knob and Script button. Yeah, you heard me, that is all we are dealing with here (speaking of the simplicity, right?). The former is quite an essential with phasers as it modifies the rate of the effect, and allows you to create slow or fast sweeps – the choice is yours. The latter lets you change the voicing: once you engage the Script mode, you have the ability to travel from vintage phasing to a more modern one. One more thing we have here is our beloved footswitch that lets us access all the good things we have described above. Though my comments about the control section might seem a bit negative, I want to point out that this way your job becomes way easier and opens up more room for playing itself (so I am not complaining).
It does not matter if you have experienced Phase 90 before. EVH Phase 90 will shake you to the core. It is definitely reminiscent of the vintage original, but it is not the exact replica by any means. It just shares certain qualities that let you know that they are siblings. Because it has that legendary swirl and ambience, it will help you nail early Van Halen sounds. And the Script mode is a true blessing, since it basically gives you two different pedals in one package. It can shift between vintage and modern sounds and thus go from warm, mild tone to a more aggressive one. No matter which one you utilize, the phase shifting will still have defined and textured sweeps, as well as the whole package of qualities we are all looking for in a phaser. Even though this one combines vintage character with Eddie’s taste, I am sure it will be a great option even for those who are not fans of Van Halen.
To sum up everything said above, MXR EVH Phase 90 is a wonderful pedal for anyone. It will easily suit different tastes and genres, since it has a wide range of sounds to choose from. Though it is not that versatile, it has EVH vibes and combines them with the tones of the original pedal. And I think these are enough to make any pedal stand out among the crowd. Many will say that it is a bit overpriced for the things it offers, but that is only natural when we are talking about such prominent collaborations. Good luck!
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