MXR M-101 Phase 90 Pedal Review

A classic re-issue that does not disappoint

Cost: $79.99 new, purchase your own!

This pedal was purchased for review and personal use after learning my idolt, Mick Jones of The Clash, was an avid user.

How It Works and Final Score: 9.0

The Phase 90 is one of the simplest and most popular pedals of all time. Found on the pedal board of countless icons, it features only one knob which controls the speed of the phaser effect. While some tone heads may be upset by the lack of other controls, it is pretty clear many famous guitarists are willing to deal with having only one knob. It also comes with a removable sleeve for the control knob, which can be used to protect it while making adjustments with your feet.

Sound: 9

Similar to Ibanez’s TS9, it is hard to find faults in the classic sounds of the Phase 90, even though you do sacrifice controllable parameters found on other phasers. Overall though, you can go from subtle to bubbly to full on warble. This reissue stays incredibly true to the original that can be heard on famous tracks by Van Halen, The Clash, and Pink Floyd. The four stage phaser is really just so simple and reliable that you can’t go wrong with it for most applications.

Durability: 10

Another classic pedal that has stood the test of time, you really can’t have any durability issues with the Phase 90. Especially with the extra sleeve that will protect the knob from wear and tear that would otherwise be experienced at the expense of your foot. I’ve had this for years now and can also report absolutely zero issues. This review may seem shorter or less detailed than most, but really, this pedal is that simple and reliable and the review should serve as a great example of how we judge pedals here at Guitars For Idiots.

Value: 8

While the $79.99 makes it one of the cheaper pedals we’ve reviewed to date here, you’re paying for the sound and brand name here. It’s such as simple pedal from a tonal and construction standpoint that I have to imagine it costs them barely anything to produce them at this point. Furthermore, other alternatives like the Phase 100, Helix, or PH-3 phaser all have multiple knobs allowing you to dial in a greater variety of sonic options. But should you buy this pedal anyway? Hell yes!

Published by

Matt Dunn

Guitar and music journalist for Ultimate-Guitar.com and Guitarsforidiots.com as well as a contributor for Guitarniche.com and Stringjoy.com. Reach out to talk about guitars or guitar music anytime.

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