Gear Review: MXR Phase 90 (mod)

the MXR Phase 90The Phaser of choice for many musicians is the MXR phase 90. You’ve probably seen it before, it’s used by hundreds of musicians from all walks of life. The reason I like is because it’s simple, and it sounds great. It wasn’t always that way though. Here’s my MRX Phase 90 story:

I needed a good phase effect pedal for live recording and studio work. Plugins weren’t quite cutting it, and I couldn’t take them with me, so I tested out a few different pedals. I eventually bought a used Phase 90 off ebay for around $50, a total steal. First thing I noticed was that it was built like a tank. It has one large knob that controls the speed of the phase. Out of the box it did not sound that great. There was a huge drop in volume when I would turn it on and so I initially thought it was defective.

After some research, I found a modification that was being done by many people, and was apparently quite easy. I found a link to the Phase 90 mod here and cut out the r28, c11, and c12 nodes. I was very nervous about doing it, but the difference that it made in the sound of the pedal was huge. I take no responsibility if you choose to do it to your own pedal, but it’s hard to understand why MXR makes the pedal with those nodes in the first place. Anyway, I don’t see ever using another phaser. This one seems to do the trick perfectly. Deep smooth watery sounds like nothing else.

If you’re in the market for a cool sounding effect that can be subtle, or over the top, the MXR Phase 90 may be just what you’re looking for.


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