Nano Small Stone Phase Shifter review by Electro-Harmonix

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  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Sound: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (16 votes)
Electro-Harmonix: Nano Small Stone Phase Shifter

Price paid: € 59

Purchased from: Olimpus Music

Ease of Use — 9
The pedal is a great pedal and it is very easy to use. Everything is well labeled and there are only few controls so it is a fool-proof pedal. The input and amp are well labeled. Also, the supply is labeled and 9V and it shows with a symbol that it is center negative. There is 1 toggle switch that is the color switch. It changes the voice of the phaser. The difference can be easily heard and with two positions one can quickly decide what they prefer. There is 1 knob that controls the rate of the shifter. It controls the speed of the movement. There is a footswitch to switch the pedal effect on or off and a status led indicates the status.

The effect comes with a paper to be posted for warranty. and another small paper printed from both sides serves as a manual and future reference if one wants to claim the warranty. The manual has a small paragraph describing each feature but it lacks diagrams to easily explain the settings or typical setups where the pedal may be used. It also lacks suggested settings of the pedal itself to give a novice a jumpstart in getting a great sound. with the price of the pedal it can easily attract beginner players as it is on the cheaper side of the market.

Sound — 8
The pedal can be used in a number of styles, I like the pedal to create some movement in the song. I started by placing it in the effects loop between the chorus and the delay, but now I moved it out of the FX loop and placed it before the amp. I have it set after the Wah and before the overdrive pedal. This way I get a smoother effect on distorted sound. I also use it instead of the wah to get a very similar effect.

My favorite way of using it is on a clean signal with a digital delay set at about 380 ms and having about 4 repeats. The setting of the phaser rate is just beyond 9 o'clock and the color switch off.

Reliability & Durability — 7
The pedal looks robust enough as is has a cast alloy case. Also, the by-pass switch looks robust enough but, on the other hand, the toggle switch is not as well designed. Being so long, it can be easily hit by a foot if not careful enough, even though it is placed next to the rate knob not instead of the status LED as depicted on the packaging box. I do not think that it would necessarily break, but especially if it is set in the off position, you may switch the setting of the color switch by mistake with your foot. Mine is placed in a loop with a bypass switch pedal so I do not toggle it with it's foot switch. I never had trouble with the pedal.

Overall Impression — 9
The pedal is a great pedal and just fits in perfectly in my setup. I would say that my 3 best or most used pedals would by my delay, distortion and this phaser. On the other hand, the finish is not as nice The rear plate screws do not fit perfectly to in their pocket, and the plate is slightly off center compared to the rest of the casting. This is by 1mm or less nothing really drastic but I noticed it. Also, the nut of the by-pass switch slightly covers a character of the print that says "EH4800 phase shifter." Furthermore, the packaging box and the pedal are not identical. The box has the status LED position switched with the color switch. Nothing that would effect the pedal's performance but just general lack of detail.

Having said that, overall it is the coolest looking pedal with the alloy texture and the black white and red print. Also, it comes at a cheap price, actually I believe it is the cheapest pedal in my setup. The tiny problems I mentioned are barely noticeable but I pay attention to tiny details and they do not alter the performance of the pedal in any way.

When I was shopping I intended to place the pedal in the effects loop and I compared it to the MXR Phase 90. The Phase 90 had a volume drop that I could notice when placed in the effects loop. I also compared it to the DigiTech Hyperphase that was my old phaser. This was a birthday present from my girlfriend and she just couldn't get me a better present.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I have an already packed metal set-up and needed something small I could fit into my board for a MXR Phase 90 type flange feel for solos. I have EHX stuff and they are always really great, but if the MXR 90 was nano I would have got it, except I am very happy I decided to get a Small Stone nano instead after comparing the two. Some of my fave bans use the phase 90 but I think for anyone looking to insert a small size but rock solid industry known phaser, then this is really worth checking out. Its been around since the 70s and in nano form just literally takes your solos up a notch. I try not to use it too often and also you sort of got to learn how to play along with the phase to make it sound great. This is a great effect addition and the price is a steal really for it being nano too.