The Electric Mistress flanger has always been one of my favourite pedals. It’s unique tone and character is easily recognisable and it has defined many guitarist’s tones. Retro Sonic just recently released the Flanger. Here’s my review.
I got a late 90s Deluxe Electric Mistress just about when it was released and it’s been on my stage and recording board ever since. It’s featured on my albums and it’s the one pedal I simply can’t live without.
Obviously, the inspiration was David Gilmour and his late 70s and early 80s tones but for me, the Electric Mistress has become my tone and a pedal that define my sounds.
The Electric Mistress hit the market in 1976. It never got as iconic as the MXR flanger or some of the others and part of the reason might have been the fact that it had a noticeable volume drop and a lot of noise. There has been some clone during the last decade or so. Some better than others.
Retro Sonic’s Flanger is a take on the very early 18V powered Electric Mistress. This is the same model that David Gilmour used on the Animals tour, his 78 solo album, The Wall, Final Cut and last at the recent Rattle That Lock tour, where the Mistress made a triumphant return on Comfortably Numb.
The Flanger has the familiar controls for range, rate and colour as well as the filter matrix switch, allowing the flange or sweep to be freezed. The unique feature is a volume control that tackles the volume drop issue and even allowing a bit of boost.
The Flanger can be powered on 12V or 18V. The difference is minimal although the 18V has a tad more headroom.
Another unique feature is the fact that the Flanger is very quiet.
The mid 70s 18V Mistress and the Deluxe (the Mooer E-Lady is a clone of the Deluxe) are really two different pedals. They have some similarities but they each have some unique qualities. The mid 70s 18V has much more of that characteristic liquidy swirl and a lot more top end sparkle. This is what made David Gilmour’s Big Muff tones really cut through like a razor sharp knife.
The 18V Mistress is far less dominating than the Deluxe although it can be set up to quite a bit of modulation too. David Gilmour would use fairly moderate setting, allowing the pedal to add just a hint of flanging and that top end sparkle.
The Flanger is slightly darker than my original 18V and I’ve seen others comment on this too. It’s not a bad thing and you can’t really compare two original pedals either, as EHX was well known for using different parts in their 70s pedals.
The Flanger is a truly faithful take on the original Electric Mistress, with all the mojo and some much needed upgrades. Definitely worth a try if you’re into David Gilmour’s Animals/Wall tones, Andy Summers or just awesome 70s swirl!