The Phase 45 is one of those pedals that can get you out of a rut. It’s
warm, organic, and rarely harsh. And while you could wile hours away
enjoying the lush and sometimes surreal textures it can lend to the
simplest chords, the Phase 45 can also enliven funk grooves and add a
tipsy swagger to Keith Richards-style leads.
The Phase 45 is certainly subtler and less capable of heavy interstellar warpage than a Small Stone or a cranked Phase 90. But if the stale riffs in your
repertoire are crying for the kind of modulation that can flavor your playing
without melting the minds of bandmates and your audience, you’ll dig what
Phase 45 has to offer.
you’re on the hunt for colorful, lush, but
not overbearing phase modulation.
full-on phase freaks you out, man.
Jim Dunlop Manufacturing
BONES VIENNA CHORUS
By Charles Saufley
If you had to pick an automotive analogy to describe Radial
Engineering’s pedals, you might liken them to an old Mercedes Benz.
They’re built rock solid and you can count on them to work and work
well. With the introduction of the Bones series, the Vancouver, B.C.,
company began packaging the quality, attention to detail, and sonic
possibilities that typified their Tonebone line into a more compact box
that’s friendly to crowded pedalboards. The dual-mode Vienna Chorus
is representative of just how successful that effort has been, and it’s an
exceptional chorus by any standard.
You can almost distinguish a Radial pedal with your eyes closed. Few
stompboxes have the heft of a Radial device, and it instills a lot of
confidence in the Vienna’s roadworthiness. Though the somewhat
busy graphics and a control set that includes a slider switch, four
knobs, and two footswitches makes the pedal look complicated, it’s
actually very straightforward and easy to use.
182 PREMIER GUITAR NOVEMBER 2010
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One footswitch engages the effect, while the other switches between
the pedal’s two modes. Two knobs are dedicated to each mode, which,
like most chorus or vibrato effects, enable control of modulation depth
and rate. The slider switch moves between Normal and Turbo settings,
which affect the intensity of the modulation.
The Vienna’s dual-mode circuit is designed around NOS Panasonic
MN3007 bucket brigade chips from the early ’80s, which gives the pedal
a genuine analog chorus pedigree. But you can’t use a 9-volt battery to
power the Vienna. To get this unit working, you’ll need a standard Boss-style 9-volt adapter.
Quiet and Clear
I explored the Vienna’s many modulation options using a very clean combination of a blackface Fender Tremolux, a Danelectro Hodad 12-string,
and a Rickenbacker 330 run through a JamMan so I could evaluate the
Vienna’s dual-mode setup. On its first channel, I dialed in a very mellow,
slow chorus and on its second, a fast and deep setting.
Playing a mid-tempo, shoegazey set of arpeggiated chords suited the
slow setting perfectly. And the Vienna added a pleasing, hazy swirl that
gave the chiming tones of the Rick and the Danelectro a little more body.
Once I’d looped the pattern, I kicked on the second channel and added
some droning, fast chorused leads over the top. Even in the fairly busy
sonic environment I’d just created, the liquid, and delightfully queasy,
rotary speaker-like sounds popped out of the mix in brilliant detail.