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  • Empress Phaser ...VS... Whetstone

    Going to get another phaser soon - had the Whetstone and loved it; sounded sublime ... and up until now, I hadn't thought tap tempo on a phaser would be necessary, and still sorta question whether I'd need it or not. Then again, it would be pretty useful to have especially for recording if I was trying to nail everything down in time.

    But as far as pure sound quality, how do the 2 compare? The Whetstone sounded amazing... just plain awesome - the best phaser I've ever heard. AND it had an unbelievably slow creep, which is pretty much how I had it set. So how does the Empress sound? Just as good? Better? Does the Empress do a really slow creep like the Whetstone? Thanks for the info...
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  • #2
    If you are using it for recording, I would recommend recording the guitar dry then adding the effects afterwards, which imo, takes away the need for tap tempo
    Originally Posted by mdrake34


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    • #3
      I've had both. Empress, hands down. The Whetstone does have some unique tones though. I believe it's based on the Small Stone which while I like, I prefer the sound of the MXR Phase 90/45, which is what the Empress is based loosely on I believe.

      While they both seem to have a lot of controls for tweaking and unusual sounds, the Empress just has more of everything, while at the same time it can be a pretty simple set and forget phaser. I feel like I still haven't scratched the surface of all it can do, which is nice. The expression pedal input reacts differently in some modes than the auto mode (and there are 8 different phaser wave forms), which reacts differently from the tap tempo mode. So in some ways its like 8x3 = 24 different phase sounds, many of them subtley different, but still.

      First off, the normal phase sound is really nice. If you want a nice lush phase 90 sort of tone, you got it. On the stage 4 setting it is quite strong, with depth and mix knobs really bringing out the phase sound, back off those controls if you want less, or go to the step 2 phase mode, and it's more subtle still, but excellent here with dirt. Phase 3 is yet another different sound, not quite sure how to describe it yet.

      The Auto mode is really cool, since it reacts to your phasing faster than tap tempo can in some respects. Play fast, and the phasing is quick, slow your tempo down, and phasing can creep to a crawl. Very nice. I haven't used the expression pedal input much yet, but it's great to have control using it this way. All in all, a very well thought out pedal that sounds great, and gives you so much control without it being overwhelming. There's even a drive control that adds a litttle gain to the mix, it can almost sound like you have a nice slightly dirty overdrive going into your phaser while you're playing without anything else, which is very cool.

      The Whetstone was cool, but I ulitmately found it a bit gimmicky, not sure that's the right word, but I didn't find it right for me, the Empress phase just sounds right, and it's feature set is awesome.

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      • #4
        Question here about the Empress; does it has the Phase 90 slight distorted tone? A lot of Phaser based on the MXR seems to have a very low headroom, so it
        distort quite easily. I own a Retro-Sonic Phaser and although it sounds good, the low headroom is pissing me off sometimes. So I might be looking for a good
        phaser that can deliver the Phase 90 sound, and the Empress might be the answer here...but way more expensive!
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        • #5
          I'm gonna take a good look at the new Subdecay Baby Quasar.....
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          • #6
            Question here about the Empress; does it has the Phase 90 slight distorted tone? A lot of Phaser based on the MXR seems to have a very low headroom, so it
            distort quite easily. I own a Retro-Sonic Phaser and although it sounds good, the low headroom is pissing me off sometimes. So I might be looking for a good
            phaser that can deliver the Phase 90 sound, and the Empress might be the answer here...but way more expensive!


            I've owned the RS Phaser too, pretty good. I don't recall it having low headroom. On the Empress, it can distort if you want it too, but the gain control is there to control that. I find I set it around 10-11 oclock for which doesn't distort. Around noon you might add a slight amount of breakup, which I actually like. Depends on my amp settings too, I often have my AC15c1 with the gain fairly high if I'm using my Tele (low output pickups). With humbuckers, the gain is lower.

            Also, the lower step 2 phase will likely distort even less. It's the 4 stage phaser that has more edge to it. Also, you have 3 levels of resonance on this phaser, forgot to mention that before; none, little, and lots. If you set it on none, you will get a nice clean phase tone with no distortion. Set it on lots, and the throb will be much more prevalent, like a vibe - especially with the gain up. I have this pedal first in line after wah, just for this reason, works great both as a vibe and a phaser.

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            • #7
              IRG and I are quickly becoming Empress Phaser Super fans here on HCFX!!

              I have also owned both pedals and many other phasers too. I won't get to technical here as IRG covered alot but I will say this. I have played the Small Stone (stock and Analogman versions), Whetstone, Mutron, MXR, and subdecay but the Empress is the one I step on the most. I am playing in three bands at the moment and it's the go to pedal for me right now for chords and lead tones... it's quickly becoming my "secrete weapon".
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              • #8
                IRG and I are quickly becoming Empress Phaser Super fans here on HCFX!!


                We may be the only two to have it here, lol.

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                • #9
                  We may be the only two to have it here, lol.


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                  • #10
                    I had a lovetone Doppelganger that was just AWESOME, but had to sell it long ago

                    Now I have an Option 5 Destination Phase on the way (not nearly as many features as the ones you guys are on about) that I just couldn't pass up.

                    Not to hijack, but anyone have any experience with that box at all and how it compares to other phasers?
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                    • #11
                      I don't really see tap tempo as a nessecity for a phaser, but I suppose that all depends on how you use it. I much prefer phasers for adding harmonic movement to the guitar, and would rather it be set to do it's thing randomly rather then it syncing with the music. I do see how it could be usefull.

                      I'm a OTA phaser guy thru and thru, love the Small Stone's super wet sound compared to the nasel chew of a phase 90.

                      I havn't played eather of the two you mentioned but it is very relevent to my interests.

                      I'm pretty curious about the new Quaser Dlx. more so then anything else at the moment.
                      Originally Posted by TheHarakiriEnd


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                      • #12
                        I've been thinking about getting a phaser and a vibe pedal, but am curious if the Empress can nail both sounds well enough so I can just get one pedal. I watched some demo videos on youtube for the Empress and didn't see anything on the vibe sounds. Thoughts?
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                        • #13
                          We may be the only two to have it here, lol.


                          I have one coming this week.
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                          Originally Posted by n!k


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                          • #14
                            Everyone ignored my other thread, so maybe I'll try asking here.

                            Anyone tried 100% wet/vibrato settings with the Empress yet? I'm curious how they sound.
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                            Listen to my music:
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                            Originally Posted by n!k


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                            • #15
                              Everyone ignored my other thread, so maybe I'll try asking here.

                              Anyone tried 100% wet/vibrato settings with the Empress yet? I'm curious how they sound.


                              I'm sure it does this, I'm trying to remember compared to my Diamond Vibrato that I don't have anymore (great pedal btw) and it should be able to do this, I'll have to play around more with it, or maybe Stubacca can chime in her more. It can definitely pull off the vibe type tones though, if you're after that.

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