A few years ago ZVEX Effects released the Candela Vibrophase, a candle-powered vibrato/phaser machined from solid brass and glass that used a mix of 1800s technology (a Sterling heat engine) and 60s/70s audio circuitry to create a lovely swirling effect. After numerous requests to put that sound into a guitar pedal and after a bunch of research Zachary Vex came up with a way of dramatically broadening the spectrum of textures available using the original circuitry from the Candela. It's presented to you here as the Vibrophase™, a five-knob four-stage phaser that creates phase and vibrato nuances never heard before. Five knobs! Count 'em! Speed sweeps from maddeningly slow to puppy dog flippy, vibrato/phase sweeps from, erm, you'll figure that out, feedback sends the output back through the phaser again to raise intensity, and there are controls for the top end and bottom end of the sweep so you can completely tailor the sound to your song. "I think you're really going to enjoy this. It's just really pretty. -ZV"
- Speed: This control feeds an input on a micro controller that’s programmed to generate a sine wave output to drive an LED over a very wide range of frequencies. It can completely crawl or zip off like a hummingbird. This is the only digital part of the effect. All of the audio path is entirely analog. All audio components are devices which existed in the 70s or earlier.
- Vibrato/Phase: This control adjusts the mix from Vibrato (counter-clockwise) to Phase (clockwise). Phasing occurs when the Vibrato signal coming from the sweeping phase shift networks is blended with some original dry guitar.
- Feedback: This control takes the output signal and leaks some of it back into the input of the four phase shifters. In a way it’s like adding more stages, but not really, because feedback of this nature also can cause some whistling, which can add a bit of drama to the sound. Always use this knob tastefully, except when the power of rock compels you. This control can make the Vibrophase™ think it’s more important than your guitar.
- High Bias: This control interacts with the Low Limit control so if you set it and then adjust the Low Limit you may have to come back and set it again. It essentially sets the highest voltage that can be sent to the LED so it determines the high point of the sweep. It’s completely analog so if you’re running off a battery and it’s going flat, your sweep may drop off.
- Low Limit: This control interacts with High Bias so if you set it and then adjust the High Bias you may have to come back and set it again. It essentially sets the lowest voltage that is sent to the LED. It can be used in conjunction with the High Bias to keep the sweep range confined to a very vocal (or wah-like) zone that can be very musical. Or you can set these two controls for the widest possible sweep, or for a sweep in the bass range, or a sweep only up in the wispy treble zone.