Heptode Virtuoso Phase Shifter review

That 70s sound

MusicRadar Verdict

If you want a certain early 70s flavour, you'll find it here.


  • +

    Flawless sound.


  • -

    Limited control.

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Where the original Maestro PS-1A was a beast of a pedal, Heptode's take cuts it down to a manageable footprint that's just right for housing three footswitches (each with a different coloured LED), but it remains rather tall at 70mm from the base of its rubber feet to the tip of a footswitch.

We didn't miss a speed knob because the three speeds cover plenty of musical possibilities, and the option of changes on the fly is a great onstage asset with the speed ramping up or down when switched, as on the original.

The phasing sound is thick and natural, sits well with guitar and features a unique complexity to the sweep with bags of vintage flavour.

While we didn't have an original to compare sounds with, we reckon this pretty much nails it - when combined with our 1973 vintage 'Rams Head' Big Muff it was the nearest we got to that Isley Brothers tone than with any other phaser.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.