Updated May. 2, 2022

The Spaceman Effects Explorer, whose name was inspired by the name of the first satellite put into orbit by the United States in 1958, is a compact version of the Explorer Deluxe, a hand-built six-stage phaser with twelve selectable LFO waveforms.

The central knob gives you access to six of them, but the Explorer has a trick up its sleeve to deliver an extra six:

Additional waveshapes are accessible by applying power to the Explorer with the footswitch depressed. Three arpeggiated waveshapes, a stepped shape, MW shape, and an inverted manually swept mode offer some of the most bizarre and unprecedented phase tones around.

Intriguingly, the sixth position on the default setting (M) is a manual mode that…

…disconnects the LFO and freezes the phase sweep. Using the Rate knob, you can then control the position of the sweep manually, for unique tone-shaping possibilities.

The Explorer includes a CV/EXP pedal input that controls the speed of the LFO or – in manual mode – the phaser’s sweep. In this mode, Rate sets the highest point and Range the lowest, generating an interesting “wah-like” phaser effect.

Check out the sounds created with the Spaceman Effects Explorer 6 Stage Phaser in the videos below.

Spaceman Effects Explorer, Builder’s Notes

The Explorer is an optical six stage analog phaser, lovingly handcrafted with our hyper detailed approach to usability, and tone. Named after the first satellite put into orbit by the United States in 1958, the Explorer was the first phaser launched by Spaceman. Years later, we are pleased to bring you a small form factor reissue of this classic circuit with all the deluxe features of the original. Sometimes liquidy smooth, sometimes chewy and lush, the fluid frequencies squiggle and flourish like the unrelenting ebb and flow of the sonic tide.

Beginning with the VOL control, you can always dial in the perfect volume for your phase tone. The MIX control is one of our favorites, as it gives you the ability to blend in additional dry signal for a pleasant, subtle phasing effect. This control also has a secondary function: pitch modulation when set to 100% wet. RES adds feedback, which makes for those over-the-top phase tones we all know and love. RANGE offers unique control over the low frequency extension of the phasing. At its lower settings, only the higher frequencies are phased – useful for dialing in vibrato and rotary speaker tones. Turning up the RANGE control stretches the phaser’s reach into very low frequencies which is especially great for slow, deep phasing.

The wide range RATE control allows for both extremely slow, and extremely fast modulation. Five wave shapes are available via the SHAPE control. Sine, Ramp Down, Ramp Up, Triangle, and Square. The sixth position on this control, the Manual setting, disconnects the LFO and freezes the phase sweep. Using the RATE knob, you can then control the position of the sweep manually, for unique tone-shaping possibilities. Saving the best for last, the Explorer includes an CV/EXP pedal input. When using the five LFO wave shapes, the expression input controls the speed of the LFO. In manual mode, the expression input sweeps the phaser directly. RATE sets the highest point while RANGE sets the lowest point of the sweep. This allows for very cool “wah-pedal” style phase sweeping, especially when combined with the RES control.

Continuing our tradition of extra functionality, additional waveshapes are accessible by applying power to the Explorer with the footswitch depressed. Three arpeggiated waveshapes, a stepped shape, MW shape, and an inverted manually swept mode offer some of the most bizarre and unprecedented phase tones around.

EXPLORER PHASER FEATURES

All analog signal path
6 stages of optically swept phase shifting
Wide range LFO with 5 waveshapes
Manually swept filtering abilities
Up to 24V capable for high headroom use cases
CV/EXP options for even more user control
Full featured controls in a compact form factor

TRULY HAND CRAFTED
Hand-wired and built in Portland, Oregon, the Explorer Phaser features true-bypass relay switching with a soft-touch footswitch. On top of the cast-aluminum enclosure sits a durable, engraved vinyl faceplate and jewel indicator light. This pedal is built to last a lifetime, both on Earth or in the vacuum of space.