TC Electronic Helix Phaser review

TC spins you right round, baby

  • £95
  • €129
  • $129
There are Vintage, Smooth and, of course, custom TonePrint modes on offer

MusicRadar Verdict

The Helix sets our faces to stunned. Mini next, please, TC!


  • +

    Vintage mode nails Phase 90-style tone. TonePrint custom settings. Great build.


  • -

    Very little.

MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

The TonePrint line has long been missing a couple of crucial mod effects from its roster, but this year, TC has set out to right this wrong with the Helix Phaser, which packs in analogue dry-through, stereo inputs and outputs, plus, of course, TonePrints themselves.

"Unlike many multi-mode phasers, it doesn't sound digital, with midrange peaks in all the right places"

Digital phasers released over the past decade or so have been hit and miss, but the Helix's vintage setting is a near dead-on Phase 90 impersonation.

Unlike many multi-mode phasers, it doesn't sound digital, with midrange peaks in all the right places - up the depth and feedback control and it'll drive your amp hard.

Flick over to the smooth setting, and while the sweep's peaks and troughs are smoothed out, the phasing effect is more intense and vocal, with borderline pitch bends - think the 'wow-wow' warbles of the rare Ludwig Phase II on Sonic Youth's The Diamond Sea, then crank everything to full, and rate to minimum for Mike Einziger's 12-stage Boss PH-2 sweeps.

TC's TonePrints give you even more versatility, from John Petrucci's subtle Alex Lifeson impression to Guthrie Govan's wah-like Thing.

You can run any of these sounds pre- or post-distortion in your chain; the mix control and analogue dry-through always keeps your original tone in check.

Michael Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.