Malekko have really got on to a good thing with their Omicron Series pedals. Providing the market with ultra-compact, high quality, well priced sounding pedals, Malekko are sure to take on a lot of the established pedal manufacturers.
The Phase analog phase shift is a great little addition to the Omicron series. It’s quite impressive, and not just because of it’s small size. Unlike the other popular four stage phase pedals, the Malekko unit provides quite a bit of control over the phaser’s tone.
The two controls on top of the Phase are Color and Speed. The Color controls provides a dark, more vintage tone with more bass, and as you spin the Color clockwise it will take on a bright, more modern sound with more treble.
Playing around with the Speed control you can go from nice slow phasing, through to fast phasing madness.
Under the hood the Phase has an internal trimpot that allows tonal adjustments to the Phase. The course frequency range selector allows more low-end frequencies to to be phased when turned counter-clockwise, and when turned clockwise it allows more high-end frequencies through. This control is perfect for dialling in the Phase to suit your tastes and your instrument.
One of the most well known users of the phase effect in the rock world is Eddie Van Halen, and many guitar players are after the sound he got from his MXR Phase 90. The Malekko Phase is more than capable of those tones made famous for EVH, and more.
It works brilliantly for both rhythm and lead work, dirty or clean tones. Just be aware if you are playing with a clean tone, and you have fairly high output humbuckers that the phase tone will have a little bit of grit in it. Dial your guitar’s volume knob down a little and it will settle down though.
The really cool thing I liked with the Malekko Phase is that it was capable of very vocal, almost wah-like tones at the higher ranges of the Color control. It sounds great with dirty tones, and probably even nicer for cleans. Set the speed control to taste and enjoy the extra flavour the Phase gives you for slow jams, and fast funky numbers.
Noise-wise the Malekko Phase produces the usual swirling noises that phase pedals typically produce. On clean tones its not too noticeable, but it is with distortion. This is pretty standard for any phase pedal, and the important thing to remember is that with it’s true-bypass wiring it wont be bothering your dry tone at all.
Like the rest of the Malekko pedals I have reviewed the Phase is solid as a rock, with high quality aluminium enclosure, heavy duty switch and controls. Malekko build their pedals to last, and will hold up to the rigours of being on stage.
Overall the Malekko Phase analog phase shift is an amazing pedal, capable of creating the archetypal phase sounds and more. If you are looking for more tonal control and versatility from a phase pedal the Malekko Phase should be the first pedal on your list to demo. It’s tiny size makes it a no brainer for your pedal board, and the fantastic tones it produces will ensure it stays there.
Thanks to Anthony from Niche Music Supplies for providing the Chicklet for me to review.