That swooshy, swirly goodness known as phaser comes packaged to guitarists in pedals ranging from the simple, one-knob MXR Phase 90 to the 12-stage, 6 knobs and 2 rocker switches of the Moog Moogerfooger Phaser. Somewhere in the middle sits Flex Reaction’s AR Phaser.
Flex Reaction’s AR Phaser offers the classic analog voicing of a 4-stage phaser with four knobs to help fine tune your sound. Those knobs are Speed, Depth, Level and Tone. If you unscrew the backplate there’s also a trimpot that can boost or cut the overall volume of the pedal.
All of the jacks are located at the top of the pedal. There are ¼” input and output jacks and a center negative 9 volt DC plug. Plugging in the power supply, I noticed it was a snug fit, but once it's in, it’s not going anywhere! Other features include true bypass switching and a hip blue LED light.
Opening up the AR, I was impressed by the build quality. The pots and the enclosure are definitely gig-worthy. The dimensions of the pedal are 2 ½” x 4 ½”, so the footprint falls right in between an MXR and a Boss pedal.
Sound-wise, the magic of the AR is in its Level and Tone knobs. Level adjusts how much of the effect is blended with your dry signal and Tone controls which frequencies are hit by the phaser. Together they make the phaser as prominent or subtle as you want.
Clip 1: Here’s the AR Phaser with the Speed dialed back, the Depth cranked and the Level and Tone a little over halfway. I was playing a Telecaster on the neck pickup and put a Mad Professor Golden Cello in front of the AR for some overdrive and delay.
Clip 2: By raising the Speed and Level and lowering the Depth and Tone, I was able to get more of an ambient sound with my acoustic guitar. Definitely a cool way to add another dimension to a basic strum pattern without losing the top end of the guitar.
Clip 3: For some funky clean tones and a complete contrast to the last clip, I bumped up the Depth, Level and Tone to soak the whole guitar signal in phaser. I was playing a Strat in the 2nd position with the neck and the middle pickup on.
The Flex Reaction AR Phaser is available now for $199.
For more on the pedal, head on over to flexreaction.com.