Watch the Phase Shifter online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Guitar Effects Survival Guide

Phase Shifter pedals found their way into the guitar community in the 70's with pedals like the MXR Phase 90, Mutron Phase Shifter, EH Small Stone, Foxx and others. The sweeping sound it produces is unmistakable and a legendary trademark of many guitarists sound. The MXR Phase 90 can be heard all over Van Halen 1 and II. Brian May used the Foxx phase on “Sheer Heart Attack,” The Eagles “Life In The Fast Lane”, and Led Zeppelin’s “The Rover” to name but a few. The effect also took Nashville by storm in the 70’s as well and was a favorite of Waylon Jennings' music and others. What the effect does is mix the guitars signal with a slightly delayed reproduction of the signal. This delay shifts the waveform a few milliseconds thus producing the out of phase sound. It then uses a LFO (low frequency oscillator) to control the sweeping effect of the phaser. This pedal is key to the classic VH guitar sound!
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