Few guitar pedals are as iconic as the MXR Phase 90. This four-stage phaser was MXR’s first effects pedal, and it defined the guitar phaser sound. The MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 Phaser guitar effects pedal reproduces this classic and more in a neat, compact format.

As it grew popular among psychedelic and hard rock guitarists, other phasers hit the market. The MXR Phase 45 is one example. Using two stages, it created a gentler phasing effect that some found more tasteful and versatile.

Both have gone through changes over the decades, and some guitarists hunt specific editions for the right sound.

Instead of forking out hundreds for a couple of clunky, unpredictable used vintage pedals, there’s now the option to get the classic sounds combined into one convenient mini pedal.

How good is it? That’s what this MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 review will reveal.

MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 Phaser Guitar Effects Pedal Sound

You may have seen people discussing or even arguing over which is better out of the old “script” MXR phasers or the modern “block” ones. Well, the MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 can switch between the two with the push of a button.

In other words, you get FOUR accurate classic phaser replications in one mini pedal. What is this sorcery?

The standard Phase 45 setting gives you sweet and subtle phasing with mellow harmonics. Activating Script mode adds warmth and produces chorus-like swirls if you crank the speed.

Switch the MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 into Phase 90 mode to get that lush, intense phaser effect you’ll probably recognize from Van Halen’s iconic Eruption solo and other classics of the era.

If you disengage the Script in Phase 90 mode, you get a more modern four-stage tone with feedback. The tighter peaks create a resonating wind effect.

This sound is ideal for pushing into distortion pedals. The Phase 45 mode is better if you distort before the phaser.

You can feed it a sharp single-coil signal or a fat humbucking one; they sound equally good.

Where You May Have Heard It

Eddie Van Halen may be the face of the MXR Phase 90, but he’s not the only one. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour were also big phase 90 pioneers.

‘80s shredders like Steve Vai, Slash, and Paul Gilbert carried the baton further. More contemporary users include Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.

Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy and Motörhead rocks a Phase 45, and so does Chino Moreno of Deftones. Electric blues icon Kirk Fletcher is another proponent, as is the multi-faceted Nels Cline.

MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 Phaser Guitar Effects Pedal Features

It’s fascinating how they can fit four phaser effects into a pedal that’s smaller than each of them. The circuitry certainly makes the most of the allotted space.

In Phase 90 mode, the MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 pedal engages four phase-changing stages. Phase 45 only uses two, which means it has fewer frequency notches and a smoother sound. There’s also a feedback loop, which is active when the Script toggle is off.

The enclosure is tough as rocks and only about half as big as a typical MXR guitar pedal. This makes it ideal for the road.

As for controls, there’s only one knob for modulation speed and two buttons for switching between 45/90 and toggling Script mode.

Please note that the MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 Phaser guitar effects pedal doesn’t run on batteries.

Technical Specs

  • Size: 1.5 x 3.63 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 4.58 ounces
  • Input impedance: 800 kilohm
  • Output impedance: < 6 kilohm
  • Noise floor: -95 dBV
  • Speed dial range: 0.125 Hz to 10 Hz
  • Bypass: True bypass
  • Power requirement: Dunlop ECB003 9-volt adapter (included)

Read the user manual for more information.

MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 Phaser Review Conclusion

Despite its pocket-friendly design, it offers heaps of sound enhancement. Whether you want wild psychedelic soundscapes or just want to breathe more life into your riffs, the MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 guitar pedal has what you seek.

And get this! All that legendary phasing goodness can be yours for under a hundred bucks.

That’s it for my MXR 290 Mini Phase 95 Phaser guitar effects pedal review. I hope it helped with your decision.

Looking for more guitar pedals? Browse my reviews here.