What I can do, though, is give you a list of 12 phasers for creating sonic mayhem. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the 12 phasers at the top of my wish list:
Lovetone Doppelganger( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
This might be the forefather of the modern, tweakable phaser. You won't find many going around, and so supply/demand dictates a high price. But as with all Lovetone pedals the Doppelganger lays out the sonic spectrum and lets you modify your sound via the 8 topside dials and (seemingly) infinite combinations. Definitely on the 'want' list.
Harmony Central Score: 3.5 (Ave. 14 reviews) Availability: Ebay or Reverb Price: Expect to pay US$500.00+ used.
Studio Electronics Mod Max Phaser ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
Despite what I said above, I have actually wanted one of these for years! As with the Lovetone gear, these are high quality effects and you can expect to pay a premium now that they are no longer being made - that's if you can find one... The available demos sound amazing.
Harmony Central Score: 5 (Ave. 1 review) Availability: Ebay or Reverb Price: Expect to pay ~US$300.00 (?) used.
Experimental Noize Aphazing ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
You can read a bit about the Aphazing here in my interview with creator Frank Thomson: Link. Somewhat more compact than the Doppelganger and the Mod Max, but this still has a large footprint and an interesting layout. One big advantage over those pedals just mentioned: this one is still being produced! This is a 12-stage analog phaser... Expect to get some interesting tones out of this thing.
Harmony Central Score: N/A Availability: Link Price: Expect to pay US$169.00 new.
Chase Bliss Audio Wombtone ( Reviews: Link// Demo: Link )
Chase Bliss says the Wombtone has an analog signal path with digital interfaces, giving you extra tweak. Fitting all of that circuitry into such a small, stompbox footprint looks like a feat in and of itself. The original model was discontinued, but the new model features a dry mix knob and accesses switching between 2, 4 and 6 stage and tap tempo too.
Harmony Central Score: N/A Availability: Link Price: Expect to pay US$349.00 new.
Subdecay Quasar DLX ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
The DLX's have developed quite a reputation as a cool bit of gear. As a 4 stage analog phaser with 11 LFO shapes, there certainly are a lot of choices to be made here. Read a bit about the development of this kit here: link. While the Quasar DLX has been discontinued, the Mk II has taken its place.
Harmony Central Score: 4.5 (Ave. 4 Reviews) Availability: Link Price: Expect to pay US$249.00 new.
Prophecysound Systems Infinitphase ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
Is this the holy grail of phase? Technically a 'marriage of phase shifter and analog sequencer' (per its maker), this thing has so many control options that I can't even begin to explain exactly what is happening inside it. Its a max 8 stage phaser+ based on the Mu-tron Bi-phase design with a sound output verging into filter and vibrato... and, as the name suggests, probably near-infinite possibilities from there. Made in Adelaide, Australia this one is close to my heart. You can still find MkI and MkII models going round on eBay occasionally.
Harmony Central Score: 5 (Ave. 5 Reviews) Availability: Ebay or Reverb Price: Expect to pay US$500.00 used.
Musitronics Mu-tron Bi-phase ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
The Mu-tron Bi-phase mentioned above proves that tweakability isn't just for the new kids on the block. Produced in the 70s, the Bi-phase had just as many controls as the new breed: a dual-phaser with the possibility of pedal control over various elements - this truly was the 'phaser lover's phaser'.
Harmony Central Score: 4.5 (Ave. 5 Reviews) Availability: Ebay or Reverb Price: Expect to pay US$1000.00+
PS - if you are looking for a Bi-phase, consider the Prophecysound replica for a faithful reproduction with modern quality control!
Toneczar Halophaze ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
Scoring points for mildly steampunk (?) aesthetics is the Toneczar Halophaze. This is a two-speed, stereo phaser: not a two pedal in one design, with switch options between allowing for interesting combinations. Expect reasonably high prices and reasonable wait for this handmade gear.
Harmony Central Score: N/A Availability: Link Price: Expect to pay US$375.00 (or more)
4ms Pedals Phaseur Moire ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
The team at 4ms is renowned for tweak. Sadly discontinued before I had a chance to try it was their Phaseur Moire. Claiming a pulse variety from 'sea-shore' to 'machine gun' it seems this unit covered the territory. But far from the calming sea or jarring weaponry fire, listening to the demo leaves one with a sense of intrigue first and foremost.
Harmony Central Score: 4 (Ave. 12 Reviews - Phaseur Fleur) Availability: Ebay or Reverb Price: Expect to pay US$375.00
Empress Effects Phaser ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
Select from 2-stage, 4-stage or... 3-stage (!) phasing, with 8 waveforms and tap tempo. With ring mod, wah, univibe, vibrato and 'jet sound' stylings, this is more than your standard phaser. Don't forget the 'Auto' mode for envelope following too.
Harmony Central Score: N/A Availability: Link Price: Expect to pay US$349.00
Blackout Effectors Whetstone ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
According to Blackout, this is an OTA-based phaser with tweakability "out the wazoo"... which until now I thought was only an Australian saying. On paper its difficult to separate this unit from the Empress phaser as it too features the ring mod, vibrato, octave, tremolo variations. Currently in its v2 iteration, the demos sound great.
Harmony Central Score: 4.5 (Ave. 1 Review)4ms p Availability: Link Price: Expect to pay US$275.00
Glou Glou Rendezvous ( Reviews: Link // Demo: Link )
This is an analog filter/phaser that looks like it might be able to cover all of the above territory. While its early days for the French-made Rendezvous, its got enough dials to keep the tweak-freak happy for now.
Harmony Central Score: N/A Availability: Link Price: Expect to pay US$635.00
There are of course a number of other great, tweakable phasers outside this small list. Check out the following:
Moog MF-103 12 Stage Phaser
Pigtronix Envelope Phaser
TC Electronic XII B/K Programmable Phaser
Check out the following sites for additional info on tweakable phasers, used in putting the above list together: