PH-3 Phase Shifter Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 08/05/2011 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: PH-3 Phase Shifter
Compact pedal with versitile vintage and modern Boss phasing effects. New "Rise" and "Fall" modes create unidirectional phasing sounds.
 Sound: 7.6
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 7.6
 Ease of Use: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (8) pictures (2) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
PH-3 Phase Shifter Reviewed by: ACDCrox74, on march 08, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 109.79

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: Do you own a PH-3 Phase Shifter? Consider yourself lucky if you do. These baby's can get an easy use out of just about any guitar or amp. They run on 9 volt batteries and it takes about 25 seconds to replace the battery, they also run on some kind of Adapter too(I use the batteries though). The PH-3 Phase Shifter has different tones you can make out of it. It is as simple as just turning a nob or two and you can get a perfect sound.There is a manual that teaches you the different sounds you can get out of it too. They are easy for travel to, you can put this pedal in your gig bag, pocket. I don't know if you can find any pedal with these effects that work this easy! // 9

Sound: Do you like the sound of the "phase" or the "shifter," why don' you put them together and you get the best sounding pedal I have ever used. By turning the nobs you can probobly get around 75 or more different types f sounds. I honestly think that this pedal works good with any guitar or amp. I have a Marshall halfstack and a Fender 30 watt, and I personally think sound comes out a little clearer and better out of my Marshall. I use a Fender strat and Epiphone les paul (I will be trading those both in for a Gibson in he summer). I don't really think mch difference of a sound comes out with either of my guitars, but I will tell you this, it doesnt't really work good with acoustic electrics. I also use a hell babe wawe pedal and a Hot Head Distortion pedal. if you hook the three of those up at the same time then you you got some pretty freakin' awesome noise! Different types of genres work with this pedal, but I would prefer poeple who play rock or metal to use this rather than country or something like that. I would bet any person that they would not be able to find a phase shifter that has better sound than my PH-3 Phase Shifter. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Are you wondering how long they last or if you would have to take a bunch on a tour cos your worried they would brake, well take those other ones back, the pedals last through a bunch of concerts before you even have to change the battery. I still have my first phase shifter that I got 2 yearsago and it might have better sound now than it did then. I can rely on these things for a real long time! So, please take the back ups you got back to the store and keep our first one, it will last, trust me. // 8

Overall Impression: The PH-3 Phase Shfter has many effects, I sometimes feel like I am using 4 different pedals at once! I play rock and metal music and this matches it perfectly. I have been playing for 5 years and I have had this for a little over 2. Ther is absolutely nothing I wold have wanted before I got this, the minute I tested it at the store, I fell in love. I do wish it had 1 more feature on it, that is distortion, but I have no problem because I use my Hot Head Distortion pedal with it, but it would be easier if I used just one pedal and I am not a big fan of amp distortion. If I lost this I would probobly cry, when I play my guitar this is one of my common used things so I would be said. I would have to buy a new, but I would. I wouldn't just be like, "Oh no, to bad I am not spending 110$ again so. "I would be like" I am going to guitar center right now to get me a hase shifter." The one thing I don't reallylike is if set the settings lower than it makes a bubble sound, it sounds cool but you can't hear the notes that you play, but there are many features and I love this! I honestly recomend this to everyone who is looking for a good effect pedal! // 10

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overall: 7.8
PH-3 Phase Shifter Reviewed by: mr. riff, on may 26, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 116.59

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: From the get-go this pedal isn't too difficult to set up. If you know anything about phasers the rate, depth, and res(resonance) knobs should be self-explanatory. The stage knob may confuse those Who don't know about phasers but after a few minutes of dinking around you can find the sounds you want and start jamming. One thing that can be an issue though is the fact that a certain setting on a particular phaser stage (say 8-stage) may not sound good when switched to another (10 or 12-stage), so you kind of have to get a feel for what settings work best with the type of phaser sound you're using. The manual gives a very basic overview of the pedal but doesn't leave out any vital information and should be easy for beginners to understand. There is also a set tempo function which is very useful if you have problems getting the right rate on your phaser but getting in and out of this mode can be frustrating at first. // 8

Sound: For the amount of effects packed into this little green stompbox you'd think that they cut a few corners on the quality. Well, yes. I would have to say I've heard much better phase sounds out of cheaper pedals. Many of the various phase sounds don't add flavor to your sound as much as they "take over" your sound. Most of the time I have to keep the res knob low so that my overall tone can come through over the phaser, especially when I use distortion. With that said I still like to keep this stompbox in my pedalboard. The variety of sounds you can get out of this thing is incredible. I can get tremolo effect, a wierd techno-dely sound (thanks to the cool step function), and an awesome underwater, aquatic sound. I use this pedal mainly with my Jackson Kelly Proffesional and my Boss MT-2 and DigiTech XP400 Reverberator and it works very well with them. The Metal Zone and Phase Shifter seem to be made for each other. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I probably wouldn't gig with this unless I had the settings worked out prior to the show. Also this thing just eats up batteries so I suggest getting an adaptor for it. Other than that this thing is completely reliable. It's built for war and can handle all the stomping and smashing you can dish out. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall this pedal is a dream come true if you are looking for a diverse and compact phaser. I don't use it too often because I mainly play metal and only need it for intros or interludes but this thing is perfect for any genre. For what I payed I wish I could've recieved a little more but if you can find this used or on sale I suggest that you get it if you need a good phaser. What I love the most about this pedal is the various sounds you can get. The step function would have to be my favorite part of this pedal. What I hate is how it masks your tone rather than blend with it, but with the right settings this won't be an issue. I wouldn't buy it again if it were lost, but only because paying another $100 for the same pedal wouldn't sit right with me. This pedal is pretty much great for all your phasing needs! // 8

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overall: 8.5
PH-3 Phase Shifter Reviewed by: daevyne, on september 18, 2003
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 118.5

Purchased from: Musician's Marketplace

Ease of Use: It's easy to get a good sound of it, however this pedal has so many capabilities it's honestly hard to play with them all. The PH-3 Phase Shifer manual gave 3 pages of settings I could use including tremolo, flanger, warped flanger, etc. It comes with 4 knobs: rate, depth, resonance and a vibration selector (I think that's what it called). The last knob goes from 2,4,8,10,12,Rise,Fall and Step // 10

Sound: I use this pedal with a Fender amp and it dishes out amazing sounds. For the Incubus techno sound and other those crazy delay tricks, this pedal is it. It combines the phaser and flanger sounds to give something new while also maintaining the normal attributes of them. They sound dampens or softens the distortion when they're used in combination, but still nonetheless very cool. It's quite distinct how the sound starts to die when it's used up the battery, but generally keeps the sound. I've used it with acoustic and electric guitars which differ but still give great sound. It gives a full sound and a variety that is unmatched. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The pedal is quite dependable, I've had it for 2 years but it drains the battery like milk. I usually play for a couple hours, and I believe even with fresh batteries, the sound grew weak due to the batteries draining. However it wasn't a problem after I used a cable. I wouldn't generally trust this at a gig unless I brought my cable along with me. But other than that, I've had no technical problems with it for 2 years I've owned it. // 4

Overall Impression: for any style of music, I think this pedal is a really fun toy to play with. It gives a bunch of sounds that I'm sure that could be right for anyone no matter their taste. I paid 150 for it, and I still think it's a pretty good bargain. The sound hasn't failed me once, but it's only flaw is it's battery consumption. I highly recommend this pedal to everyone but there are still plenty of other pedals if you hesitate. // 10

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overall: 10
PH-3 Phase Shifter Reviewed by: Will B-R, on august 01, 2005
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: You can get some great phasing from this pedal but I would first like to tell you a about how I've found it useful as a tone pedal as well. You can get some wacky tones, if you turn rate and depth to their minimum you can play around with the different modes and resonance to get some cool electronic sounding tones. The phases work just as you expect and given a bit of time you can set them up to mimic your favourite artists. The standard 4, 8, 10, 12 stage phase modes all sound class with and without distortion. There are some very accurate sound demos on the Boss website. The manual describes the Rise and Fall phase modes as phase with a continuously falling/rising sensation. These sound great when used on songs by Coldplay and Radiohead, or even with a bit of distortion to kick it up with Muse. I suggest you try these mode out in a shop or listen to the audio demos on the Boss website, they really do kick ass. I've had absoluted no problems at all with noisy lines even when used with 3 or 4 other pedals. I use this a lot with a cheap "top twenty" guitar that's older than me, it's from the '60s I think, but even with it's crackling pots and decapitated frets it sounds amazing. I've also used this with Squire and Fender starts, Epiphones and an Ibenez. It sounds great with all of them. I've also tried it with a wide range of amps. The biggest ones were 100watts. I've not had any problems with noise or lose of tone with any of them. // 10

Overall Impression: If this were stolen I was defiantly feel the lost and be inclined to buy a new one. I love the new Rise And Fall modes added to this model they sounds great all the time. The only thing I could even dream of adding to this would be some sort of distorted octave effect, but I've not seen that in another pedal so I douth that will ever happen. // 10

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overall: 6.5
PH-3 Phase Shifter Reviewed by: Horror-Punk77, on may 26, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: This pedal's knobs give very different sounds depending on how you set them, however they're all based upon the same thing, Phasing. There are no presets included, and no user-programmable presets available for programming. Although the pedal is easy to use, the sound can get very muddy, and unclear at times, and the sound is a lot of treble. Mine didn't come with a manual, although I assume that it is simply what Boss have on their website for this pedal. // 7

Sound: I've used a Jackson DKMGT Dinky with it. Also, a Squier Affinity Strat, and a Gibson Les Paul Supreme. I've run them all through a Marshall MG250DFX Combo amp, the Squier was utterly terrible with it. The sound was all flappy, and thin, and did not suit my likings. With the Jackson, the sound got better, a bit clearer, and with the Les Paul, the sound got even clearer. To suit my needs, I keep the pedal on a low volume, with low settings. Overall the sounds are a bit thin, but they can suit some people. I'm not insulting the pedal, I'm just saying it doesn't suit me. The phasing is actually good. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I would never bring it to a gig because I don't like the sound, although the metal casing seems like it would last, and the knobs don't seem like they're coming off any time soon. // 5

Overall Impression: I play music in the style of Pink Floyd, to Led Zeppelin, and from Metallica, to Children Of Bodom, and you don't often hear a phaser in Metallica, Led Zeppelin, or Children Of Bodom, although you hear a bit in Pink Floyd. I would need a clearer sounding pedal to get Pink Floyd sounds for use with my setup (Even though you don't hear much phasing in Pink Floyd Songs), because I wouldn't want to buy an American Strat just for this issue. I wish I had looked in to phasers more before making a purchase, because in general, I'm not a fan of phasers. If it were stolen or lost, I would move on. Overall, I don't like the pedal in general. I wish it had less sweep because it is just too much for me. And I wish it would be clearer and sound less thin! I just really wish it was clearer and sounded less thin, basically! Thank you :) // 7

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overall: 7.3
PH-3 Phase Shifter Reviewed by: ~Shred Hero~, on august 11, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 92

Ease of Use: This pedal isn't that hard to use. There are four knobs: rate, depth, res., and the last knob (stage) controls the type of phaser. The guy from the music store gave me the manual for the RV-5 Reverb so I had to download it from the Boss site. It gives a bunch of sample settings and explains what each knob does. The first knob controls how fast the effect is, the depth pretty much controls the depth of the filter, the resonance controls the strength of the effect and the stage knob sets which type of phaser which inclues a 4, 8, 10, and 12 stage phaser, along with a rise and fall mode, and a step mode. // 9

Sound: I use this pedal with a Squier Strat (new pickups) and a 30W Vox amp. I also played this using an Epiphone Les Paul as well, both gave similar results. I also use this with a Boss DS-1 Distortion. The pedal itself doesn't give and buzz and I had no problems with feedback, I don't play on high gain either. To be honest, the phaser is really digital. The effects aren't weak or anything, they are just really digital. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is encased in metal and thus it won't break anytime soon. Also, you can register the product for free and it comes with a 5 year warrenty. You can definately gig with it, and you don't need a backup unless. Most batteries last 90 hours, as long as you don't leave it plugged in, else the battery will continue to drain. Buy the Boss PSA-Adapter or a Daisy chain adapter if you have multiple pedals. // 9

Overall Impression: I play everything really. I play classic rock, rock, hard rock, metal, blues, bluegrass. This pedal is good for more modern rock songs that use phaser, and possibly metal. That's really it to be honest. I really wish I would have boughten the MXR Phaser. This pedal is a digital phaser, while the MXR is an Analog phaser. If you are looking for that Eddie Van Halen phaser sound, do not go with this, go with an analog phaser such as the MXR (which EVH used himself). If this was stolen I wouldn't buy it again. I would go with the MXR. It's all about what you are looking for I guess. // 5

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overall: 7.5
PH-3 Phase Shifter Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 16, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 100

Purchased from: Long & Mcquades

Ease of Use: Engaging the pedal is simple and obvious. If you are familiar with the standard setup for any phaser, you should not have any difficulty using this pedal. The four knobs on the control panel of the pedal are; Rate, Depth, Resonance and "stage," respectively. The "stage" knob is a selector switch to choose between different 'voiced' phasers. This may be confusing at first, but some experimenting with the ears lets you understand. There is a "tap-tempo" feature which makes the pedal very convenient, but I could not see this function being used in a live setting. To engage the 'tap-tempo' mode, you must hold down the pedal for 2-seconds. Also, once in tap-tempo mode, you must disengage this mode before you are able to turn off the pedal itself. This is difficult to use and inconvenient. The manual for the pedal was simple, clear and reasonable. // 8

Sound: This pedal has a reputation for being a 'tone-sucker,' and I can see why! When the effect is engaged, there is a significant drop in volume and your tone becomes somewhat compressed. This tone-compression is so noticeable, that I often use the pedal as a simple Compressor - If I lower the depth, resonance and rate of the effect, of course. As a 'classic' analog phaser, this pedal really does not do the job. You can spend less money on a higher quality phaser tone, with other brands and models. The Pros: This pedal is a terrific noise-maker. I often like to experiment with interesting sound effects, and this pedal sounds great! For a really 'chubby' Dub-reggae sound, this pedal is terrific! For a really 'wet' sounding rhythm of funk tone, this pedal is also great. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This pedal seems to be built like a tank. I have owned this for aprox. 1 year and I have had zero issues with power or anything breaking. Boss makes very sturdy equipment. I use a daisy chain to power my pedals, and have never used batteries for this pedal (It requires a 9-volt), but I have been told that it really sucks the life out of batteries. This seems important, as it wouldn't be good to have your rig 'die' on you mid-show, or in any situation. // 9

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this phaser pedal is that it is a terrible phaser; But a great pedal in general. If you are looking for a classic phaser tone, this pedal is not for you! If you're interested in interesting sounds, ambient tones and variety - Then this pedal is worth taking a look at. I play a lot of reggae, and spacey type music (Clean tones), and this pedal really works for that. Not unlike many Boss pedals, the tone of this pedal is very artificial... But that's what I love about the pedal. If the pedal were lost or stolen, I would consider buying another one, as it frequently used in my rig. // 7

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overall: 7.8
PH-3 Phase Shifter Reviewed by: GiantRobot95, on august 05, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: Pretty basic even if you're new to phase shifters, but mess around with it for a good 15 minutes and you'll probably get the hang of it and get some cool tones out of it. Knobs are pretty self explanitory and I rarely use the tap tempo feature because it doesn't really seem that useful. // 8

Sound: Well for my setup I mainly use a Jackson JS30DK into my pedalboard then running into a Behringer Xenyx mixer/equalizer into a Crate G60XL. This pedal sounds great on a clean channel but not the best pedal for distortion. When you engage the effect there is a noticable drop in volume. It is most noticable when using the 4 stage setting but you still get it with the other modes too. Another drawback with the volume drop is if you're playing live or with a band and you turn the effect on, it doesn't even sound like a phaser, it just sounds like your guitar's volume is fading in and out. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Pretty sturdy pedal I guess. Haven't had any problems with knobs breaking or anything like that. I've only had it for about 4 months so I can't really say much but it seems pretty reliable so far. // 10

Overall Impression: I mainly play metal, although I also enjoy playing anything from blues to ambient to 80's hair metal. I mainly use this pedal for Slipknot and Stone Sour covers to add some color to lead riffs or solos, but like I said before, when using distortion, this pedal gets VERY quiet. Overall I'd say try it before you buy it. I think its an ok pedal but I might try a Small Stone or a Hyperphase instead. // 7

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