Strymon Zelzah Review
Our Verdict and Review Summary
In typical Strymon fashion, the Zelzah phaser helps you get more variety out of a single effect, while bringing the tone quality of analog into a DSP. It's expensive, but we never feel like it's not worth it. Another winner from a great pedal manufacturer.
This is a our full review of the Strymon Zelzah Multidimensional phaser pedal, which is essentially two phasers in one: A four-stage phaser and a six-stage phaser. We'll cover the pedal's features, tone quality, and the overall value of Strymon's flagship phaser.
Is it worth the high price tag? Do the features outweigh what we see in other phaser pedals?
Would I be better off with something simple like the MXR Phase 90?
We'll answer these questions for you in our Strymon Zelzah review. In simple terms, the Zelzah is what we'd consider an advanced phaser pedal, meaning it's capable of a wide range of sounds, likely more ideal for someone that specializes in this effect or uses it a lot.
If you're just dabbling in the phaser effect, or you use it sparingly, something simpler is probably in order.
Let's start with some comparing.
Read more: Best phaser pedals
To start, we've set up a comparison table with similar phaser pedals to the Zelzah.
Use this section to compare the pedals and get a feel for pricing. The tables will also show you basic specs and audio demos.
You can also use our orange Sweetwater buttons to shop and support our site, yet at no extra cost to you.
Read the full review: Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
Walrus Audio Lillian Analog Phaser
Strymon Zelzah Multidimensional Phaser
EHX Nano Small Stone Phaser
Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
IDEAL FOR: Advanced phaser use, those who use a lot of modulation, and pro-level guitar rigs
Overall Tone Quality
The Zelzah's strength is variety.
Between the three sweep modes and three resonance modes, you can get a ton of different sounds, though they all still feel connected, in a sense. It's not like a multi-effects pedal where you have different sounds and different effects that have no real relation to each other.
Instead, you have a series of phaser tones with a common thread, that all remind you of the Zelzah's meta narrative.
The phaser tone itself is incredibly rich and warm, and reminds us of analog phaser pedals like the Walrus Audio Lillian and the MXR Phase 90.
It sounds more like an analog or tube-driven phaser than a watery, modulated phaser. We liked it with warm clean tones and rhythmic playing, where the phaser could do the heavy lifting and sort of coat the clean tone.
Strymon's demo below goes through a ton of settings without any talking.
Build and Exterior Features
The pedal supports a stereo connection, MIDI control, and even has a USB port on the back panel.
Knobs are a hard plastic while the bypass switches and exterior are metal and extremely tough. Bypass clicking is easy and doesn't "click" too loudly. We also like the indicators following the beat of the phaser on both LEDs.
Metallic purple looks great and the knob location indicators are easy to see.
You'll use switches to select SWEEP and RESONANCE types while turning knobs control the rest of the pedal's functionality.
Like most Strymon pedals, the Zelzah is cost prohibitive, sitting at $350 retail. That's why we recommend it specifically for those who are more advanced or at least those who use the phaser effect a lot.
Those who only use it sparingly or in certain scenarios probably won't get their money's worth from the Zelzah.
If that's you, go with the MXR Phase 90 or a phase pedal with a cheaper price tag and simpler control scheme.
But if you value the variety offered by the Zelzah, and you would use it a lot, there's no question that the price tag is worth the investment. You'll get all the control you need, the tone quality, and plenty of room to explore. In that situation the value is still pretty good, even at $350.
Conclusion and Questions
Strymon is just hard to beat.
They somehow manage to give you a lot of phaser tones without sounding "all over the place" or unfocused.
While it's hard to say exactly what that is or to put it in concrete terms, it's an instance where you know quality when you see it. Strymon definitely makes quality guitar pedals, and the Zelzah is no exception.
We like it for advanced players, those who use a lot of modulation or phaser in the style they play, and session pedalboards that want to provide more layering and variety to their clients.
If you have questions about our Strymon Zelzah review, or perhaps one of the other pedals we mentioned, feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below.
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