The phaser is another example of how transistor technology has evolved to provide a cheaper solution to a valve-era problem, and again Phil Taylor has found his own way of using valve technology to realise the sonic concept.
It's almost like a 'steampunk' parallel universe: how stompboxes would have developed if Japanese transistors hadn't driven the market.
The three controls on the Phaseomatic Deluxe are width, speed and blend, although this doesn't tell the full story.
As you turn the width knob, it changes the shape of the modulation wave; starting with a smooth triangle wave, moving to a sine wave and then a rounded square wave at the 12 o'clock position.
Then there are rising and falling sawtooth waves, followed by stepped waves with three-eight steps depending on the position of the knob.
The speed control is considerably more flexible than you'd expect from most phasers. The LFO will produce a minimum speed of 1/40Hz, or one sweep every 40 seconds.
This means you can easily get some great 'tunnel phasing' effects, where a static or almost-static sweep sounds like you're playing in a tunnel.
To heighten this effect, the small switch on the front panel can be set to the more aggressive Metallic Resonance setting. For even more fine-tuning opportunities, there are two internal trim controls: one adjusting the amount of feedback, and the other the characteristics of the phaser sweep.
Once again, we are instantly impressed by the warm, rich sound and seemingly total absence of any frequency loss.
The Phaseomatic can produce quite a bit of extra gain (+6dB) and responds very well with a slightly overdriven valve amp.
The wide range of the speed control makes it easy to get a huge range of famous phaser effects; using the slow 'tunnel' settings we nailed Alex Lifeson's Red Barchetta solo tone, before swiftly moving to a fast and wobbly Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden approximation.
The choice of waveforms is where the real power of the Phaseomatic lies, taking its musical possibilities far beyond most stompbox phasers.
The step waveforms are more rounded and subtle than Zoom multi-FX users will be familiar with, but the step shape is clearly audible and highly effective if you have the resonance switch on the higher setting.
The square wave setting also isn't as jarring as you might expect, producing a very musical pulsating effect.