Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
I paid about $70ish on this thing, it was a decent deal considering these things go for somewhere around $85-90 when bought directly through the company. When it arrived, I was really excited since it was my first pedal. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I bought this mostly because I love Incubus so much and I wanted to recreate the wild and watery sounds of their guitarist.
I quickly learned that this thing is very versatile and can be used to sound like almost any phaser on the market. The rate knob controls how fast or slow the sweep changes. The depth knob controls how deep or noticeable the effect is, and the resonance knob controls how squealy or bright the sound is. The different stage modes basically control how bassy or trebly the phaser can be. The lower the stage is, the more bassy it is and vise-versa. It's extra modes including fall mode, which emphasizes the effect on its way down from the sweep; rise mode which does the opposite; and the step mode, which isn’t that practical or useful, but can create some very crazy alien-like effects at slow rates. It makes the effect distinguishable in noticable steps instead of one constant motion. I’ve found that actually all the extra modes really don’t sound that great, but who knows, maybe that's what some people are looking for. This thing also features a tap tempo mode which allows you to control the rate without bending over. I don’t really like the tap tempo because you can’t set really slow tempos with it, so I almost never use it. On the rate knob, from about 7 o clock to 9 o clock, it freezes the sweep of the phaser which can create very hollow overtones. Another thing to mention is that every time you turn the phaser on and off, it resets the phaser sweep at its neutral position before it starts to change, as opposed to the Boss PH-2, which is always continually changing the sweep, even when it's off. This can be either helpful or hurtful depending on how you use it.
This thing is as indestructible as diamonds (lol not really). All of the Boss products are very sturdy and well put together. I’ve dropped it multiple times and it's still looks as it was when I first got it, which by the way, I bought it used from Ebay, and I have no idea how the previous owner could have scratched this thing a bit. I would definitely gig with this without any backup.
After some research, I’ve come to realize that it isn’t the best phaser out there, and I think the previous model, the Boss PH-2 Super Shifter, has better tone quality, but the PH-3 really comes close to it. Although, the untrained ear really can't tell the difference. Also, if you play heavier genres, using this pedal in the certain places in your effects chain can make a noticeable volume drop. But if you play softer rock like I do, than the change can’t be heard.
Overall, this pedal is okay, it offers a lot of option and by tweaking it certain ways, you can get it to sound pretty close to more expensive phasers. Of course many people complain about the tone having a lot of feedback, but to me I really couldn’t care less just because it's very subtle. Plus, it doesnt introduce any extra hum and has true bypass. If this pedal was stolen, I would probably consider the PH-2, only because of tone, which even then I still don’t really care THAT much about it. This pedal has its flaws, but of course, what pedal doesn’t, it's just a matter of taste, right?