The heyday of the sweepy, whooshy-sounding phaser pedal came with Brian May and Eddie Van Halen, but luckily today’s makers aren’t about to let a great noise fall into disuse. Review by Hayden Hewitt
Although a little overlooked these days in favour of more subtle, boutique flanger pedals, you really can’t beat having a good phaser – and the SP-7 is definitely that. It’s a little bit larger than the standard stompbox and pleasantly weighty, something that bodes well for a lifetime at the end of your boot.
There are four knobs: Speed, which controls the speed of the phaser effect; Depth, which on the envelope and dynamic modes controls sweep and dynamic range while working as a traditional depth control on the other modes; the Modify knob, another multipurpose control which can alter bias, feedback or sensitivity depending on the phaser mode you choose; and lastly Mode, allowing you to choose between vintage-style tones (two-stage and four-stage), modern, boutique, 10 stage, envelope, and dynamic.
Clearly, a lot of thought has also gone into making the SP-7
as gig-friendly as possible. Accessories include pre-cut Velcro to fasten the pedal to your board, a glow-in-the-dark sticker to help you find your pedal when the lighting guy gets rather too creative, and the Stomp Lock, which is a plastic cowl you clip over the knob section of the pedal to prevent you from accidentally changing your settings.
Even the battery access has been considered, as the stomp part of the unit has two sprung hinges; simply poke them with the end of your guitar cable and the top pops off, giving you easy access to the battery. Nice.
Each mode offers truly excellent phase sounds. The vintage ones are more than convincing, and the dynamic and envelope modes really allow you to bring your picking dynamics to the fore in deciding how much effect you want. Whether you want to add a subtle wash of phase or make noises like a ’70s sci-fi movie soundtrack, the Hardwire SP-7 will certainly provide.
You may feel stereo output and all the various modes are overkill for your needs, but we strongly recommend you try the SP-7 because there is a lot to love in this big, green stompbox