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clips for all of the pedals in this roundup.
Phase shifters are rarely regarded as subtle effects. But if you count yourself among the phase averse because of the heavy handed, all-or-nothing
textures some of them generate, MXR’s ’ 75 Vintage Phase 45 could
change your mind.
MXR’s phasers are rightly regarded as classics. But while the Phase 100
became legendary at the feet of players like David Gilmour, and the
Phase 90 colored Eddie Van Halen’s early work, their more sedate cousin the Phase 45 was something of a wallflower at the dance. With this
beautiful reissue of the 45, MXR may coax this sweet-sounding pedal
into the limelight yet.
As Simple as It Gets
The burnt-orange Phase 45 with its MXR script logo is the very picture of
stompbox elegance. It has a single knob—Speed—that adjusts the rate of
phase. And true to the original, the 45 is strictly battery powered, so there’s
no AC jack. In other words, this is as clean and uncluttered an effect case as
you’ll ever see.
MXR paid just as much attention to authenticity under the hood. The circuit
board, which is padded by thin foam on either side, is handwired. The pedal
also uses the Switchcraft jacks and Carling bypass switch that were used on
the original. Period correct details cost you in one respect—there’s no light
to tell you if the pedal is on or off. Thankfully, the audible clues to the operational state of the Phase 45 are unmistakable.
Because of its simplicity and warm, toneful character, the Phase 45 is a
pleasure to use from the second you plug it in. Setting the Speed to 9
o’clock colored simple arpeggios (played through a clean blackface Fender
Tremolux) with a clear, sleepy psychedelic swirl that was rich with high-end
Setting the Speed to midway gives you a deeper, slightly faster sonic
swish that’s perfect for Stax-flavored, suspended chord-based ballads,
as well as my own pass at the Rolling Stone’s slow burner from Tattoo
Move the knob clockwise between 4 and 5 o’ clock, and the Phase 45
takes on an even stronger personality. Here the phase has more push
and stronger pulses—taking on a character somewhere between a pulsing amplifier tremolo and a Uni-Vibe, but also inhabiting an ideal space
between a phaser and a rotary speaker. It’s a beautiful and natural-sounding effect that can be worked in and out of a mix with crafty use
of your guitar’s volume knob.
Interestingly, the Phase 45 is also very responsive to tweaks of a guitar’s tone knobs. And rolling off the bass and treble tone knobs on the
Rickenbacker 330 used to test, the 45 was a quick way to reduce the
amount and depth of the phase in the mix.
the Straight Truth About Pickups by Jason Lollar
Yes, we’re still chasing the dragon. It’s been on my list of
“great pickups I’ve always wanted to build” forever, and
took several years to design — my new Lollar “Regal”
Based on the classic “wide range” (but with a few twists
of my own), it’s fat and clear, with a nice top end sparkle.
Great note bloom and a vocal midrange that never
sacrifices note definition. Same size as the original —
drop it in and turn it up.
I personally design and wind over a hundred different
pickup models including most of the vintage classics,
obscure works of art from steel guitars to clavinets,
and even a few of my own designs that have never
existed in the past.
I invite you to visit our website for sound clips, videos and
current product information or feel free to give us a call.
Lollar Pickups PO Box 2450 Vashon Island, WA 98070 (206) 463-9838 www.lollarguitars.com
PREMIER GUITAR NOVEMBER 2010 181