Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Little, Orange, Awesome!

Bjorn Juhl. What else can I say that hasn't already been said about this man? It is no secret that this is one extremely talented cat when it comes to the world of tone tools. Just look at Bjorn's road of work and it will speak for itself. It is as if this man was born for this, programmed to understand the needs and wants of players, and gifted with the skills to deliver no frills gadgets. To date there hasn't been one Mad Professor stompbox that hasn't impressed me in one way or another. And it only gets better once you start dabbling into the Mad Professor amps. So what is it that people love so much about this brother's work? Why is it that the Mad Professor never misses no matter what type of effect is designed? Of course the simplicity and candy-like look to each pedal is downright attractive, but there's more. I'll tell you what instantly drew me in - It was the sound and response you get from these pedals. The user friendliness designs and endless usable tones that seep from each box. This along with top notch components and a stunning build makes Mad Professor pedals some of the most desirable on the market today. From the guts to the shell these pedals don't disappoint. The first time I had a chance to try a few of these pedals I left the guitar shop flabbergasted. Like a pedal junky overdose.

Mad Professor
Turenki, Finland

Tiny Orange Phaser
Phase Shifter

* Handmade in Finland
* Especially tuned for electric guitar
* Hand matched premium quality components
* Capable of phase shifting to vibe sounds
* True bypass circuit

* Speed: Controls speed of modulation
* Resonance: Sets resonance (tone) of the effect
* Mix: No effect at 12'o'clock, CW and CCW controls depth of two different phase tones


-First Look-
The phaser - It is one of the few effects that I have had a ruff time getting acquainted with, and one of the many effects out there that many have gotten wrong. For one reason or another most phasers I've tried just haven't cut it. Either they've been too intense, too weak, eat my tone, drop my volume, or just all-out sound awful and cartoonish. But this isn't the way of all phasers. Many of our favorite classic rock records had great sounding phase tones. You know the ones I mean. Those lush, silky smooth sounding swirling phasers that give character to a lick, riff, or chord. For me it is this type of phaser that gets my creativity bug jumping, and this is exactly what the Tiny Orange Phaser was able to do for me. If I were to pin-point this phaser's sound I'd say it lives somewhere between the mighty vintage and crisp'n'clear modern. One of the reasons for the Tiny Orange's hit the spot sound is it's specially tuned to work with guitar frequencies. The hand matched parts, premium quality components, true bypass circuit, and intelligent control layout make this one of the top phasers out there today.

-Let's Play-
Whenever I demo any phaser I always like to start out by playing it through the cleanest tone possible. This let's me hear every swirl, whirl, and curl, and gives me a better idea of how to work it into my dirty tones. I ended up testing the Tiny Orange Phaser through a bunch of different amps and guitars, and they all sounded good, but there were a few that stood out from the rest. One of these setups being my AC15 clone and semi-hollow body Hagstrom. Through this duo I was able to dial in the perfect balance between sparkling highs and woody lows. It also made for a nice painting canvas on which the phaser was able to show it's fine work. I began with the speed knob rolled back to about 9'o'clock, mix just behind noon, and resonance at noon. This proved to be a perfect starting point for getting an idea of what the phaser was capable of. The pedal dished out a rich'n'lush tone that gave everything I played more life, character, and substance. The pedal's sound sat beautifully just behind my clean tone and peeked out just enough to make things sound interesting. Perfect for anyone looking to add a little something extra to their sound. Then came a little extra surprise that kind of caught me off guard. With a bit more of the pedal's resonance and a bump in speed I was able to get this stellar sounding vibe effect, something I've noticed vintage phasers are capable of. These vibe sounds always end up being unique and flavorful, which can be of big help to your overall arsenal. Next I took all of the controls straight up to noon and pushed the amp up a little hotter. This got me a subtle crunchy tone mixed with a killer sounding phase tone that ended up working great with all types of music styles. I began riffing around and moving up and down the neck bending and playing double stops. The pedal's sound moved in & out of the amp's grit smoothly and without taking over or ruining the it's feel. With slow chord work the phase shifting was creamy and full of velvety psychedelic goodness. Perfect for that classic Floyd stuff. As I played faster and I began to notice how nicely the phaser shifter accented my moves. This was true of all the dirty tones I dialed in and worked great a bunch of different speeds. From the grittiest to the most overdriven, and fuzziest and to most distorted. The pedal did wonders for me. This got me to the phased out distorted stuff, the stuff we're all used to hearing on our favorite rock records. This meant it was time for a change in amps, and while I was at it a swap in axes. My partner's Super Lead and vintage Charvel made for the perfect rock and roll weapons. I began with the amp hot enough to give me plenty of crunch, harmonics, and sustain. I set the Tiny Orange Phaser with it's speed at noon, mix at 2'o'clock, and resonance at 3-4'o'clock. This made the pedal's effect present but not too present. Just enough to mix and blend in with the amp natural crunch. I began by slamming down some big heavy chords, then some rockin' good riffs. The quality in the pedal's effect was unbelievable! Every little swish and whirl could be heard beautifully. The phaser sat tucked just behind my notes becoming more pronounced as I played harder and stronger. I then bumped up to a lead tone by introducing a booster into the signal and again got more mojo form the Tiny Orange Phaser. The boost in the tone and clarity in the pedal's sound made for an epic overall tone, the classic Eddie phase tone that all of the world's rockers love to play and listen to. The Tiny Orange Phaser did this by producing a human like quality to the sound that attached itself to each note. Even with the heavy rock tone I was still able to feel the warmth of a vintage pedal, only with a modern bite that made it something all it's own. Even at extreme phase settings the pedal was able to keep things usable. My amp's tone was still there 100% with all it's muscle and glory, while the pedal did it's magic on top of it to help it sing and swing. With fuzz mixed into the phase signal the overall tone sounded as if it was floating about on fire. I could hear and feel the Tiny Orange's sound bouncing all around and breathing with life. Rolling down the phaser to a mellow effect was also nice with fuzz and heavy distortion. Perfect for filling in space and double tracking rhythm work. Hands down this phaser is all no frills and all killer tone. The Tiny Orange Phaser doesn't produce wild unusable phase shifting effects like many modern phasers do. Instead it works with you and helps you get to where you're going. The sweep in the speed, mix, and resonance is smooth, and it's range goes beyond most phaser with 3 controls. I never got any unwanted ugliness or unpleasant sounds. I was able to get a sweet balance of clarity, warmth, and sparkle in just about every setting. And last and most important - It did what I wanted a phaser to do. My experience with all of the Mad Professor pedals have been exactly like this, which is what makes these pedals so special. I'm sure most of you by now have had some sort of experience with these boxes. But for those of you who haven't, you are in for a real treat!


For more info on Mad Professor pedals go to or click the Mad Professor logo in our direct links. Remember, these cats also make some stunning amplifiers so make sure to check those out as well. AWC will be looking into more of the MP stompboxes so make sure to keep them eyes peeled.



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