M-101 Phase 90 Review

manufacturer: MXR date: 06/30/2009 category: Guitar Effects
MXR: M-101 Phase 90
1978 transitional period, block logo/script back, non-led MXR Phase 90. This is the easiest pedal you could ever use. One knob, set it to your desired speed and forget about it.
 Sound: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Ease of Use: 9.3
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reviews (3) pictures (1) 9 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
M-101 Phase 90 Reviewed by: _timbo_, on october 01, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 70

Purchased from: Denmark Street

Ease of Use: 1978 transitional period, block logo/script back, non-led MXR Phase 90. This is THE easiest pedal you could ever use. One knob, set it to your desired speed and forget about it, seriously! Takes a regular 9 volt battery, no 9volt jack or led so remember to unplug it when you're finished. // 8

Sound: Master Lead Combo, very classic rock. I run the phaser after my eq and before my amp (before overdrive/distortion). It adds very little noise my signal when used with distortion and none when I run my amp clean. The only time I've had problems with it is when the battery is on it's way out. The Phase 90 has a classic and instantly recognisable sound that can be heard on countless albums from the mid '70's up to modern day. It has a smooth and creamy tone that can go from a luscious slow phase right up to an intense "shake" (think No Quarter). // 9

Reliability & Durability: The old MXR pedals have a reputation for being great workhorses. I mean this pedal was featured on the pedalboard's of Page, Gilmour and Van Halen for years! All the electronics are housed in a metal box with four screws holding on the backplate, a heavy duty footswitch and a CTS potentiometer. This thing has being going strong for thirty years and I'm pretty sure it will be in another thirty. // 10

Overall Impression: I am a great fan of the phaser effect in general so the Phase 90 is a match made in heaven. It doesn't offer a great deal in terms of control and tweakability but what it does offer is a timeless sound that I'm sure everyone will knows and likes. I got mine rather cheap for the fact that it has script logo internals in a block logo box. Script logo's sell for quite a bit of money now so if you see an old pedal with no led, grab a philips head and check it out! // 9

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overall: 10
M-101 Phase 90 Reviewed by: eyebanez333, on february 12, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 40

Purchased from: craigslist

Ease of Use: The MXR Phase 90 is probably one of the easiest pedals to use. Set the one knob that controls the rate of the phaser, step on the Switch and go. I got mine used so it didn't come with a manual, but anyone can figure this pedal out immediately. // 10

Sound: I use this pedal with a few different Ibanez guitars going into a Peavey Windsor. The Phase 90 is a perfect phaser for The Music I play, which includes a lot of rock and metal. The sounds range from smoother, shimmery slow cycles to faster, underwater warbles. The classic Van Halen phaser tones are easy to get with these pedals, even more so if you perform the fairly simple modifications to it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've had this pedal for over a year now, and I bought it used. The paint all still looks new and it's given me no problems what'soever. MXR pedals are all built tough, and the M-101 Phase 90 is no exception. I have used this on a gig without a backup and it hasn't let me down. The mods didn't affect the reliability either. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing for a few years now and I own quite a few effects pedals. I play rock and metal and this pedal is perfect for me. I use it a lot on lead playing, just to give that extra flash. I bought this pedal with every intention of modding it (I did the R28, C11, C12 mods). They took less than 20 minutes start to finish and made this great pedal even better. If this pedal were lost or stolen I would definitely buy another one and go through and perform all the mods again. The only thing that would be nice would be a volume knob, just for the added versatility... but it's not a necessity by any means. Great classic pedal. // 10

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overall: 8.3
M-101 Phase 90 Reviewed by: BobDetroit, on june 30, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: EVH model. With one knob it couldn't be easier to use. I like the rubber grip on the knob. Set it and forget it. The perfect sound is just a quarter turn away. EVH has a script Switch for the "old" Phase 90 sound as well as the block logo Phase 90 sound. No indicator for the script Switch but I suspect most people will prefer one sound or the other and leave it there. Script Switch is unlikely to get bumped unintentionally. Manual is brief but sufficient. Blue LED is cool and blindly bright, no question if this thing is engaged. True bypass. Cool EVH graphics. Takes a screw driver to open the battery compartment. // 10

Sound: Use mine in the effects loop of my VHT Pittbull Ultra-Lead. Great lush classic quality phaser sound, the one you know in your head. I'm glad I have a parallel effects loop to make the effect even more subtle because there is no mix knob. Yes, that Classic EVH sound, it's here. In fact it's the one pedal that sounds "just like the record." I set mine at 9:00 and never change it. True bypass is transparent, never know it's there when it's not engaged and quiet when it is engaged. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Here's where the problem lies. Purchased first one. It dies in a puff of smoke in about 10 minutes. Guitar Center exchanges it. Second one? Lasts several days before it quits. Third one I've had for about a year with no reliability problems. It's impossible to use this thing without an AC adapter. It just goes through batteries too fast. AC adapter hole is slightly recessed and the plug constantly falls out. After all this I'm afraid to gig with it. In fact I'm wary every time I use it that it's going to go up in smoke since it's no longer under warranty. It is however built like a freaking tank and I have an old MXR distortion+ from the late seventies that works just like new. // 5

Overall Impression: Overall, great sound, iffy reliability. I'm just wary of integrated circuits in my pedals. I've been playing for decades and I have a studio in my house. This is one of my favorite sounding pedals, just hope it keeps working. If I had to buy again I'd probably look at the MXR hand-wired Phase 90 for a little less money and maybe better reliability. I give it an 8 overall. // 8

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