Build Report

From the [VFE website]

We probed the world of analog phasers, and distilled everything we could fit inside the Tractor Beam. Every control has been extended to the max - even we continue to discover new dimensions with it! The Tractor Beam can replicate virtually any phaser sound: fluid phase, resonant range, subtle sweep, throaty throb, vintage vibe, watery warble, and much more.

As I experimented with phaser circuits, I quickly realized that phasers can do much more than just the resonant sweep they are most commonly associated with (think EVH’s “Eruption”). The design of the Tractor Beam was not just about the craziest, extreme phase sounds - it was much more about the far more useful subtle phase tones that can really make your riffs without dominating your tone.

In version 2 of the Tractor Beam, I experimented with the range and sweep of the SPEED, CENTER, and FEEDBACK controls. As crazy as it seemed at the time, I was able to add more range to the original design and still make it easier to dial in the precise setting you want.


SPEED: Sets the speed of the phaser. In version 2, we increased the max speed by 50% and doubled the rate of the slowest speed. In order to have a super-wide range that is still easy to dial in, we had pots custom-made specifically for the Tractor Beam.

CENTER: Sets the center of the phase sweep. Turn counterclockwise for low-end throb, turn clockwise for watery shimmer, and set at noon for a full-range sweep.

FEEDBACK: Sets the feedback, which is perfect for those slow, resonant phase sweeps. Clockwise = negative feedback, counterclockwise = positive feedback, 12:00 = zero feedback.

MIX: Blends between the dry, unaffected signal and the wet, phase-modulated signal. Because phasers get their sound by the interaction of the dry signal, the 12:00 position will yield the strongest phasing. Turn counterclockwise for a resonant tone with less pitch modulation. Turn clockwise for pitch modulation with less phase resonance.

STAGES: Selects the number of phase stages. More stages = wider phase sweep. The 3-stage position is inverted, for reverse phase sweeps.

MODE: Selects the voicing of the phaser. P = synced phase sweep, V = warbling vibe sweep, PV = half phase, half vibe voicing.

INTERNAL CONTROLS: The internal LEVEL trimpot sets the output volume. NOTE: The JFET is factory set for maximum phase sweep - DO NOT ADJUST. (obviously, we will be adjusting this)

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