EHX Small Stone VS MXR Phase 90 (comparison)
Our Verdict and Opinion
It's fair to say that it's hard to get more similar than the MXR Phase 90 and the EHX Small Stone. If you really want to split hairs, we like the tone of the Phase 90 better and would choose it over the slightly cheaper Small Stone. Yet, the Small Stone offers a little more control and flexibility. So if you're torn between the two, know that it's hard to go wrong with either analog phaser.
Both of these phaser pedals use an analog circuit, which gives off an extremely warm, almost wah-like layer of phaser swirling. It has a sweet, vocal quality to it that is effectively captured in both boxes. If we had to choose between the two, we like the Phase 90's tone a little better, but the Small Stone adds a color switch give you a little more flexibility. Note that the Small Stone is also a bit cheaper.
EHX Small Stone VS MXR Phase 90 (comparison table)
While we have a more detailed comparison chart below, pedals this simple don't require much in the way of technical specs. Our comparison tool lets you look at pricing and a basic list of features. You can also add other phaser pedals from our database if you want to compare more options.
MXR Phase 90 Phaser
EHX Small Stone Phaser
Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
Walrus Audio Lillian Phaser
Strymon Zelzah Phaser
MXR M107 (Phase 100)
Demo Comparison of Both Phaser Pedals
If you listen to the two demos, you'll note that one - the Reverb demo - is conducted with a Les Paul while the EHX demo is recorded with a Fender Stratocaster. The Strat naturally produces some brighter tone with a little more bite in it, but even with that distinction these two pedals sound very similar.
Detailed Comparison Table
Aside from price and color (even the color schemes are somewhat comparable), there's very little to distinguish these two pedals. Rate and speed knob are both for adjusting the pace of modulation (the speed of the swirl sound), while both pedals omit a depth control.
Otherwise, you have small differences in size and weight. We've also known EHX pedals to "click" a little harder when using the bypass switch.
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Which one would we buy?
It should be clear by now that there isn't a de facto winner in this comparison. An argument could be made for the Phase 90 as the more popular and perhaps the better-sounding of the two pedals. Yet, the Small Stone is cheaper and gives you the added flexibility of the color switch.
We'll give our official endorsement to the Phase 90, but that's definitely not a hill we're willing to die on.
If you have questions about our Phase 90 VS Small Stone comparison, feel free to jump into the comments section below.
We'll see you there.