Did Edward Van Halen have his MXR phaser and flanger modded to boost or not? The initial interviews are inconclusive. Exhibit A, from this recent post:
I use a phase shifter, a Phase 90 – MXR, I think. It doesn’t really phase – it just kind of gives you treble boost, which I like. Cuts through for solos. That’s about it.
From that it appears we can conclude that the boost just happens as a result of the stock pedal itself, possibly in combo with the rest of Ed’s setup.
But we have the facts that Jose and/or Ed and/or someone(s) else modded a ton, maybe all, of Ed’s stuff: amps, pickups, guitars and at least the motor in the Univox echo unit.
When it comes to the phaser, I’ve never owned a vintage Phase 90 but Ed clearly said he liked it for the boost at least as much as the phase.
The flanger is different: I own a “vintage” grey box flanger (wall wart model), and even though some guys have said they can get the exact “Unchained” sound from it, I wasn’t able to. I mean, I could get the sweep, but I could never get the same intensity – not for “Unchained,” not for “Mean Street,” not for the “strikes” in the middle of “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.”
Then the EVH flanger comes out and, lo and behold, it’s 18v! (Don’t know what the wall wart version was – it’s at home as I type this and couldn’t find it on Google.) Does that mean it had to be stronger to achieve the desired effect? Or did Ed’s rig ive his flanger some sort of boost – remember it was first in the chain back in the day. Or…?
So now this, from a 1980 Guitar Player interview with EVH:
Is that the last word on this? Doubt it!