The name sounds humorous but the sounds are so distinctive, the best flanger pedals provide wet and dry signals and can sound close to a phaser or go the opposite way for some distinctive tones. The soaring melody of a flanger can make a solo sing and have you stand out from the rest of the band when it is your moment to shine.
This is only possible when you buy a reputable product. Even some of the world’s best brands can get their flanger pedals wrong from time to time. With this in mind, we have created a list of the best flanger pedals so you get the benefit of seeing what the better products offer.
Quick Summary of Flanger Pedals
Source Audio SA240 Mercury Flanger Effect Pedal
This regularly reaches the summit of the top flanger pedals because it is one of the most versatile. It offers three different flanger styles so you can switch between classic, thru-zero, and shadow flange, the highly resonant setting. These can be changed at the flick of the small switch and each one can be adjusted with the four control knobs for depth, speed, delay, and resonance.
You can also upload different phaser and chorus algorithms via the Neuro mobile app that can be downloaded straight onto the pedal. There are also other flanger voices available. It is MIDI compatible and because of the amount of customization you can move through a range of sounds including the twisting effect of dry modulated signals and the silkier tones. Choose from true or buffered bypass meaning you never have to compromise the signal quality.
- 3 different flanger styles
- 4 adjustable knobs
- You can upload chorus and phaser algorithms
- MIDI compatible
Donner Jet Convolution Flanger Classical Analog Rolling Guitar Effect Pedal 2 Modes
Despite its slim design, this flanger pedal manages to pack a lot into a little, delivering a classic analog flanger effect. With true bypass, it ensures the tone is always stable with added clarity and if you are playing live then the LED indicator can be handy. You can pick either filter or normal flange and the filter mode does not have any automatic frequency sweep for a unique sound.
There is also the chance to play with the color, rate, and range to tweak each sound to your taste but no matter what setting you move, the great tone is present throughout. The range knob is your way of ensuring you can move from the warmer tones to the full-on metallic frequencies that are as fun as they are dramatic.
- Silm design
- True bypass for added clarity
- Two flanger modes
- Adjustable color, rate, and range
- Does take some of the volume away
JOYO JF-07 Classic Flanger Metallic Flange Sounds Effect Pedal
This classic flanger pedal makes use of the BBD circuit to provide the warm tube amp sound that is a throwback to the 70’s rock bands. The delay width and speed are easy to adjust the regular tweaks easy but the feedback control via the regen knob you can add a little more in and let the pedal work its magic.
It gives you everything you might need from a flanger without going overboard and you do get a pleasant tone out of it. You get a good amount of control over the flange to find your ideal sound and it also has true bypass to add to the clarity and reduce any imposing on the signal. An affordable yet surprisingly versatile flanger pedal that will be easy for a beginner to get on with but also has enough to it for the more experienced player to enjoy.
- Regen knob for feedback control
- True bypass
- Affordable option
- Lots of adjustable settings
- Plastic body not as robust as other brands
MXR M152 Micro Flanger
Despite its small size, it has everything you might need and because of the LED light, it is useful to take on tour when you need to see it clearly in a dark environment. Although the Van Halen model in their range is popular, for what this lacks in name it makes up in convenience.
The rate and regen knobs give you lots of flange sounds to play with and because it is true bypass it enhances the clarity. The intensity of the flange can be changed from the subtle warmer tones to the out there swirls that give you the chance to experiment with your solos. The simplicity is not a hindrance for most people and nor should it be if you want that rockier sound of the 90’s grunge or heavy rock.
- Convenient size
- Easy to use
- Sturdy feel
- True bypass
- Can be a lot of volume boost when on
EarthQuaker Devices Pyramids Stereo Flanging Device Guitar Effects Pedal
An industry favorite, the EarthQuaker Devices flanger pedal is as customizable as they come. With five presets to play with and eight modes of flanger there are already more ways to tweak the sound than a lot of the competition. It has a tap tempo feature that allows you to get it to work to your desired rhythm, not the other way around.
There is everything from that jet engine style flange that rips into the mix and smooth sweeps with its I/O routing that makes it more flexible. You even get to control the mix as well as the rate, width, feedback and modify settings. There is a solid feel to it and although it has a larger footprint than a lot of the others, it is one for the flanger purists who know what they want.
- Tap tempo control
- Five presets
- Eight flanger modes
- Solid construction
- Can be a little complicated for beginners
Other Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal (NAUTILA)
For a space-saving effects pedal, if you. can find a product that has two effects in one pedal, and does it well, then you can end up with a new favorite on your pedalboard. This flanger pedal also offers chorus settings and it is easy to switch between the two. Once selected there are plenty of adjustable controls but with 8 chorus settings and 4 flangers, there are loads to play with before you have even started tweaking.
You can also blend chorus and flanger for a unique sound and twist the depth and speed knobs to tone things down or push it to the crazier end of the scale with dramatic waves.
- Includes chorus effect
- 4 flanger settings
- Adjustable speed and depth
- Not true bypass
Flanger Pedal Guide
The inexperienced guitarist might wonder how they can use a flanger pedal but you don’t always need to push the waveforms to the extreme end of the scale. When stripped back or put somewhere in the middle, you’ll see how versatile this fun yet practical pedal can be.
You need more from your flanger pedal than a sturdy design, although this helps. Because they can seem a little complicated, we have created the following buyer’s guide. By the end of it, you’ll know what to expect from a flanger pedal.
What To Look For In A Flanger Pedal
Multiple Flanger Modes
There are different types of flanger and some brands give you more to choose from than others. Even being able to switch between two flanger voices can open up new possibilities for your solos.
The basic flanger models will give you one which will usually be the rate of the flange. This manipulates the frequency and the speed of the wave that you hear. Another common control knob is range and this is the mix of wet or dry signals that the pedal produces.
Other options include range and res which is the feedback that can be added or reduced to nothing depending on how you want it to sound.
If you are just looking at a flanger pedal now the chances are you already have a handful of pedals and this is one you are going to have to find room for. If there is enough space for a regular-sized pedal then great but if not, pick up a mini or compact pedal.
Better still, if you are considering two pedals then there might be a good option for getting both in one pedal.
The demands of tour life mean that buying a durable flanger pedal is important for its longevity. This is why any pedal that has a plastic casing is not ideal and those robust, solid metal options are a better fit for gigging.
When the control switch is true bypass it protects the clarity of the flanger. To stop any unwanted distortion coming through when you plug it in, make sure the product you have your eye on has a true bypass feature.
It also stops the pedal from impacting the high-end when it is switched off.
What Does A Flanger Pedal Sound Like?
Let’s start by saying it is certainly a unique sound and when it is not used in the right way can sound out of place. However, for a stand out solo or unique guitar section, flanger can be a great addition.
It has a warm feel that is reminiscent of a bit of chorus mixed with those swirling phaser signals. It uses the input signal, reproduces it and adds a second version over the top with a slight delay to give your guitar a whoosh sound that feels like it is moving closer then further away.
Sometimes metallic, sometimes warm the two identical signals can be tweaked in different ways depending on the type of flanger pedal you buy but whatever you do to it, the results are going to be one of the most unique sounds a guitar can make.
How Much Does A Flanger Pedal Cost?
The good news is that you can pick up a quality flanger pedal for around $100. Anything lower than this and you had better do your research although we have identified some of the better products in this price range above.
Still, if your budget allows, $150 can go a long way towards giving you a versatile product that you can customize. With more control knobs and the potential of preset flanger sounds, this is where you can open up new possibilities if you know your way around the different settings.
Is A Flanger Pedal Worth It?
If you are playing a bit of 90’s grunge of heavy rock then there are plenty of reasons and songs that should convince you that a flanger pedal is a good idea.
When your budget is restrictive it might not be the first pedal on your list but the jet engine sound of a quality pedal can be one of the most satisfying. Even early Beatles employed a fair bit of flanger and modern heavy metal is no stranger to it.
Any pedal that you get a good amount of use out of is worth it so if you like to play the genres that require a flanger pedal then go for it.
Where To Put A Flanger Pedal In The Signal Chain?
Because it is a modulation pedal, it is best to keep it to the back of the signal chain. It can be fun to experiment by placing it in different orders but you are likely to stick to what has been tried and tested and keep it near the back.
Just be sure to keep it ahead of your ambient effects.
What Is The Difference Between A Flanger And A Chorus Pedal?
A chorus pedal is used to thicken your sound with warm tones. They have a brightness to them with a little delay added to give them a more subtle sound than a flanger.
A flanger relies on signals that are continually phased creating a swirling sound that even when dialed down has more of an intense presence compared to chorus.
What Is The Best Flanger Pedal?
For us, the best flanger pedal is a simple yet effective one. The Source Audio SA240 Mercury Flanger Effect Pedal is easy to use, yet it gives you three flanger voices to switch between.
There are also 4 control knobs to customize each voice. With a pleasant tone and great scope for swirls of different intensity, plus value for money, it is hard to find a better flanger pedal in the price range.