What can you say about the crop of pedals coming out of Portland, Oregon from Spaceman Effects? They have taken on a life all their own, with limited edition runs, outside-the-box designs and sonic explorations and a design, both inside and outside the pedals, that is rivaled by none. We try to get our hands on each pedal they release, just to see what they’ve come up with now, and are proud to bring you their latest today: the Explorer Deluxe 6 Stage Optical Phaser.
The Explorer is an optical, photocell-based phaser design, one that features six sweeping analog stages. Let’s run through the knobs – Level sets the output volume of the phase tone, while Mix gives you major levels of control over how your wet and dry signals are blended. Speed is a wide-range control, giving you the ability to control the LFO for fast or slow motion, and a great range in between those two. For the demo below, we used an (optional) expression pedal to control the rate throughout the video, and it makes it so easy to set the pulse to match the tempo of whatever song you’re playing in a second.
Resonance dials in your feedback properties, getting into crazy, outer-spacey, over-the-top phaser tones, if you’re so inclined. Shape is another key parameter here, as it gives you 5 LFO wave shapes to choose from, with a sixth porsition, Manual mode, which disconnects the LFO and freezes the phase sweep. The five shapes consist of Sine, Saw-Down, Saw-Up, Triangle and Square, for seemingly endless phaser possibilities. In Manual mode, you can use the expression pedal to control the manual sweep of the phaser, for bold, impressive wah-like phasing phrases as well.
There’s even a special LED to monitor your LFO speed, which you can manually turn off internally if you choose. Also inside is a pre-gain adjustment for overly hot input signals, and while it won’t be needed in many scenarios, it’s nice that it’s there just in case. The Explorer Deluxe can even be run all the way up to 24V if desired, for more clean headroom than you’ll know what to do with. Another classic gem from the Spaceman Effects crew, the Explorer Deluxe will once again blow your mind, and give you chance to re-evaluate how you listen to and play music. Made again in a small run, if you like phasers and come across one of these, don’t hesitate to grab it up QUICK!