Gear Review: Flex Reaction AR Phaser

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(Image: © Billy Voight)

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.