Gear review | Kmise - Vintage Phase pedal



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Posted September 6, 2020 and last updated September 6, 2020 by Chuck Miller 


Vintage Phase is a fitting name for this somewhat generic looking device. My first impression is that it sounds quite similar to the MXR Phase 90, which is the old-style gold standard for guitar phase pedals. Fittingly, this Kmise pedal housing has a gold flake paint job, perhaps paying tribute to the reference pedal that sports a similar orange color. The Vintage Phase also has only one knob labeled "Speed" and a red LED like the MXR. The effect housing measures 1 5/8" across by 3 5/8" long and 2" tall including the height of the power button. The aluminum case is very sturdy, but its small size doesn't allow for an onboard battery. So, you will need a separate 9v power supply to use it. It's nice and quiet, and I don't detect any boosting or cutting of the guitar signal through the pedal. The tone of my Stratocaster remains intact when the pedal is engaged. To finish up on the features, the pedal also offers true bypass and a silent on/off foot switch.


I can tell you that Kmise customer service is very good as I had the opportunity to contact them. When I started testing the unit, I heard radio interference coming through my amplifier when the pedal was switched on. I checked and tested everything thoroughly. Still, the problem persisted. I contacted Kmise and told them about the issue, and they sent me another pedal in less than one week.


When the second pedal exhibited the same problem, I did some research and read that the interference might be dirty AC power going to my older solid-state amp. So I bought an RF protected surge suppressor, and that did the trick. No more AM country radio coming through my old amp. The Vintage Phase pedal sounded crystal clear with the amp plugged into the new RF suppressor power strip. That made me happy because I genuinely like and have come to trust the Kmise pedals I've tried, and I found it hard to believe that they would send me two bad pedals. Also, now I could do a fair evaluation of this new, gold flake painted box.


I started by just strumming open position cords and found there is plenty of variety in sounds  achieved by just adjusting that one knob. I would describe the sound as very clean and the depth of the phase cancellation as in the medium range -- think David Gilmour's sound on the Pink Floyd album Animals. For a deeper phase effect like The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir's tone in the late 1980's, you'll need a phase shifter with more control than this simple one knob pedal. At no setting does it distort or suck tone. It's pleasingly musical throughout the full range of the "Speed" knob. Just for comparison's sake, my guitar amp models the MXR Phase 90 in the effects section. The Vintage Phase and my amplifier's phase pedal patch sound very close, but not exactly the same. The feedback and mix are adjustable on the effect built into the amp, so it's not a fair comparison.


I'm selective about how I think a phase shifter should sound, and the Kmise Vintage Phase sits in that sweet spot for me. That's especially true when paired with my guitar and amp. I found it also sounds great when played before or after a distortion effect. If I were a touring musician, I'd probably want more control, but for playing cover songs in the basement and jamming with friends, this is all I need in a phaser.


This is the third Kmise pedal I've reviewed, and it ranks second in usability and sound for me behind the US Dream Distortion pedal I bought before I joined the Kmise Testing Club. I also need to disclose that I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review. If I didn't like it or if I found something wrong with it, I'd write that in the review. I can also say I'd buy this pedal in a minute for the current price of $21.99 on Amazon after hearing for myself what it sounds like. It sells for much less than one third the price of the reference pedal and offers sound close enough to it for many guitar player's needs. This one is a keeper for me on my growing pedal board.


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Follow this link to get more information or to purchase the Kmise Vintage Phase pedal on Amazon