Dec 14, 2010

Tortuga Effects, a one-man guitar pedal designer operating out of Renton, Washington, has been producing some great sounding effects pedals, complete with eye-catching designs. Mai Tai, the newest addition, is a dual phaser inspired by the likes of the 1970’s “script” era classic MXR Phase 90. In the spirit of its Polynesian theme, the controls are labeled Tiki Time, Mix, and Rum: the Mix knob controls the depth of the effect, while Rum alters the rate. Pushing up the Mix while keeping the Rum around 12 o’clock will produce a rotating speaker effect, while turning both up will treat you to some lush, watery sounds.

“It has a warm and sloshy midrange sweep that encompasses everything we want in a great phaser and even travels a bit into ‘vibe’ territory,” says owner Matt Johnson, who builds every Tortuga pedal himself by hand. Featuring a solid aluminum enclosure, true bypass and 9V or DC operation, the Mai Tai sells for $299 and replaces the Standard Issue Phaser (pictured below), which will now be discontinued. To hear the Mai Tai in action, check out this video, which cycles through the different settings and let you hear how the unit sounds with some distortion in front of it. -Mike Bauer

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