MXR's custom shop is slowly but surely getting itself something of a reputation and, if it continues to produce the goods such as this Variphase, long may it continue.
Although sadly only available in limited numbers, the pedal is, in a nutshell, a Phase 90 placed inside a Crybaby's chassis, the treadle of which allows you to alter the speed of the phasing in real time.
The one thing it doesn't do is act as a stand alone phaser because, if you take your foot from the pedal, it springs back into its full-back position, thus bypassing the effect. Controls include small side-mounted volume and mix controls and, inside the battery compartment, there is a shallow/ deep switch.
One thing to be aware of is that we found we needed to set the volume control to minimum, which sets the wet signal to the same volume as the dry. If you set it any higher, the wet sound is significantly louder than you may expect - the shock of which is likely to cause, if you're anything like us, a dropped can of fizzy pop...
Clean and shallow
Clean and deep
Dirty and deep
Needless to say, the phasing here is excellent and the perfect example with which to describe the effect exactly, is to say it's in the same ballpark as that classic chord at the intro to Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond: just beautiful.
At its quickest the phaser ticks over nicely, while adding a slower throb to subtler phrases is an efficient method of increasing the overall musicality of your tone.