The freshly-pressed Grape Phaser comes with the familiar look and format we’ve come to expect from Aguilar.
Its steel chassis, in a subtle maroon, is simple, effective and ruggedly built, with only two controls for Rate and Color and a pair of 1/4-inch jack sockets. It can be powered either by a 9-volt battery or externally. The controls and stomp button feel solid and sturdy, while the dimensions and weight make it easy to accommodate.
Phaser effects can bring another dimension to your bass tone, and Aguilar have done a sterling job in creating an effective, simple-to-use pedal. None of your bass tone and bottom end is sucked out when you’re using it; although the top end is nicely coloured, the bass and low-mid frequencies are kept in place, offering a funky thump to your signal.
The Rate control increases the degree of modulation; some trial and error is needed to find a setting that suits the effect you’re trying to create, while the Color control dictates the ‘thickness’ of the phasing effect, from a light colouring to a heavily phased tone.
The all-analogue technology gives the pedal a vintage tone with modern power and clarity, while your playing style and technique have a dramatic effect on the sounds produced, the pedal responding to the dynamics of your signal.
Funkateers will get on well with the Grape Phaser, of course, but most playing styles will get some mileage from it. It also offers ‘gig-saver bypass’ so if the battery dies, your dry signal continues unaffected - and with a three year warranty, you’re covered if there are any reliability issues. Another fine effort from Aguilar.