Flower Pedals Castilleja Phaser Review​

Classic 4-stage sounds are just the tip of the iceberg for this uncommonly powerful stomp—but its looks can be deceiving, too.

Waveform knob facilitates an alluring variety of phase tones. Lots of parameter control.

Secondary functions can be difficult to keep track of. Some sounds don't feel as rich and dimensional as the classics.

$249

Flower Pedals Castilleja Phaser
flower-pedals.com

4
3.5
3
3.5

If you're looking for a middle ground between straightforward, vintage phase sounds and the parameter depth of a programmable device, Flower Pedals' Castilleja could be a godsend. Its orange exterior hints at classic 4-stage phase sounds of yore, but its multifunction controls are more powerful than they appear.


Of particular note is its ability to blend between adjacent waveforms (up-ramp, sawtooth, sine, square)—my favorite feature—to open up sounds ranging from lush and hypnotic to trippy and disorienting. There's also tap-tempo and expression control, momentary and "drift" ramping modes, and switchability between phase and vibrato/chorus modes.

Recorded using a Squier Jaguar with Curtis Novak pickups (neck clean, bridge with fuzz) into a SviSound germanium fuzz, SoundBrut DrVa MkII and Ground Control Tsukuyomi boosts, a SolidgoldFx Electroman MkII echo, an Anasounds Element reverb, and then into both a 1976 Fender Vibrolux Reverb miked with a Royer R-121 and a Fender Rumble 200 1x15 miked with an Audix D6, both feeding an Audient iD44 then into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.


Those who crave vintage phase richness and simplicity with a little more flexibility may wish Castilleja's many functions were a little easier to follow (e.g., with more labels on the unit itself) or involved fewer switch maneuvers and LED colors. And, depending on your phase tastes, the 3-position feedback/resonance control's oft-sqwonky tonality and auto-wah-like effect in drift mode may feel a little redundant with other effects on your board (or with effects you intentionally don't have).

That said, the opposite may well also be true: Castilleja's almost-dizzying tweakability may eliminate the need for other devices and facilitate a unique blend of modulation sounds you might not otherwise find—with fewer foot maneuvers and less real estate, to boot.

Test Gear: Gretsch Broadkaster, Squier Telecaster with Curtis Novak JM-V and Tele-V pickups, '76 Fender Vibrolux Reverb, Goodsell Valpreaux 21


Bogner's beastliest amp is made miniature—and still slays.

Excellent sounds in a portable and very affordably priced package.

A footswitchable clean channel and onboard reverb would make it perfect.

$329

Bogner Ecstasy Mini
bogneramplification.com

4.5
5
4.5
4.5

The original Bogner Ecstasy, released in 1992, is iconic in heavy rock circles. Though it was popularized and preferred by rock and metal artists (Steve Vai and Brad Whitford were among famous users), its ability to move from heavy Brit distortion to Fender-like near-clean tones made it appealing beyond hard-edged circles. Even notorious tone scientist Eric Johnson was enamored with its capabilities.

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Mystery Stocking is here! These will sell out fast, so don't miss it!

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