Vintage Boss PH-2 Super Phaser

The Boss PH-2 is a “super” phaser because it delivers loads of control over a wide range of sound effects options, more than just the average vintage phase shifting pedal. There are several options to control the phase of the original signal when playing the guitar through the PH-2 Super Phaser. This is controlled through four knobs on the pedal which included: Rate, Depth, Res and Mode (I and II).

The Mode selector creates very different tonal versions of any of the combinations of settings on the other three knobs and is a good place to start when tweaking the settings. Mode I can be set to give the effect a high level of depth of the actual “phase” sounds.

This is accomplished with a 10 stage circuit design. Mode II is where guitarist, bassists and keyboardists as well will find a huge range of phase shifting sounds available in this pedal. This second mode has a 12 circuit design and the sounds that you can create range from tight sweeps to actually mimicking completely different musical instruments. This is possible due to the wide range of control you have over the actual phase effect so you can use it to make your guitar sound like synthesizer effects or other oddball instrument mutations to some degree.

Using the Rate knob will help you keep a handle on all of these wacky sounds since it controls the speed range from 100ms to a whopping 14 full seconds. The two modes (I and II) are very different so using the Res knob will allow you to dial in just the right amount of phase depth of feedback. This knob is great for setting up the pedal to work well within different musical styles. The Depth knob is useful for setting up the sound of the phaser to emulate different amp types, for instance the sounds of rotary speakers found in older vintage amps or the rougher, gritty overdrive tones in other old amps. It is not an exact science so experimentation is essential.

This should give you a basic overview of what the knobs can be used for but the combinations of settings are nearly endless. The earliest PH-2 pedals from the mid 1980s (earliest circa 1984) and those made in Japan are sought after by vintage guitar pedal collectors. However the construction quality as well as the tonal quality of the Boss pedals remains high in those made in Taiwan as well.