Caroline Arigato Phaser Vibrato Effect Pedal at Russo Music

“A phaser even for people who don’t normally like phasers, Arigato delivers incredible modulation, rage, and warmth” 

Well, we don’t think we could say it any better than the team at Caroline Guitar Co. themselves. But hey, we’re here, you’re here, and we’re ready to break down one of the most exciting new pedal releases this year - the Arigato Phaser Vibrato,

(Domo) Arigato, Mr. Roboto

We’ll start from the very beginning. Philipe Herndon took all his lawn-mowing money into Frets & Strings Guitars in Dallas, TX to purchase his first guitar pedal. That day, he walked out with a Ross Phaser. Now fast forward decades worth of pedal nerd innovation and find Philipe at the helm of CGC. “This was the phaser I was promised as a kid,” are the words he says in Caroline’s introduction to the Arigato video (see below) before the crew bursts out into full band performance featuring their newest creation. There’s been plenty of industry chatter regarding this pedal being in development in recent years, and all of that hype has been well worth the wait.

I’m Not a Robot Without Emotions

Pedals have feelings, too. So much so that the Arigato can cover quite the array of sonic expressions. Let’s talk about its controls, features, and where they can take you. On the top left of the pedal is the mix knob. Start at 0 for dry, increase for an assortment of phasing, and all the way up you’ll find luscious vibratos. Beneath that is the feedback control. The more clockwise you turn, the more later-stage signal is sent back into the original signal. Moving to the top right control, you have “aim;” your intensity regulator and frequency friend. Subtlety and sharpness can both be achieved with just one knob adjustment. Beneath that on your bottom right you’ll find the speed control. Let’s just say 0-60 is easily obtainable. Then, on your left you have your “mod” switch for symmetrical/asymmetrical filters. An easier way of putting this; modern and full vs. vintage and low-fi.  Last but not least, your “wave” switch gives your analog LFO a square or triangular pattern.

I’ve Come to Help You with Your Problems

For whatever reasons, phasers seem to take a lot more “flak” than many other types of effects. Maybe it’s because they’ve been around for so long, seem too simplistic, sound “too much like a wah,” etc. However, the Arigato is hearing its praises sung by former phaser-haters, and we think we maybe found a couple of reasons (settings) why.

Setting 1 (phaser focused)

Mix – 2 o’clock 
Aim – 4 o’clock 
Feedback – 5 o’clock 
Speed – set as you’d like 
Mod – switch up position (symmetrical filter) 
Wave – switch down position (square LFO) 

With the feedback turned all the way up, this setting provides a choppy, driving syncopated-esque blanket of staccato repeats. It sounds great with singular articulate note melodies, and the “chops” almost provide a subtle percussive backing track to whatever you are playing. Don’t rule out incorporating chords, though. A few strums will “woosh” you into interstellar space, sweeping the sonic galaxies for proof of riffs on distant worlds.

Setting 2 (vibrato focused)

Mix – 5 o’clock 
Aim – 10 o’clock 
Feedback – 1 o’clock 
Speed – set as you’d like 
Mod – switch up position (symmetrical filter) 
Wave – switch down position (square LFO) 

Imagine your amplifier’s tremolo/vibrato just had a little extra “umph” and could highlight specific frequencies. Add some “chop” to that (yeah, we like the chop. Bump up that mod switch to triangle LFO if you’re trying to stay on the smoother side). The phaser side of the Arigato brain is nice enough to share its warmth with its brain’s vibrato side and no matter how you tweak the rest of the pedal with the mix at 100% wet, you’ll be sure to find the right “vibe” (sorry). For us, we found this familiar to our favorite phaser focused setting, but with less wavering frequencies. No matter where you set the speed, the pedal sounds like it’s almost trying to catch up to whatever you’re playing, just a half millisecond behind.

Caroline Guitar Company Arigato Phaser Vibrato Final Thoughts

Philipe and the Caroline Guitar Co. team are truly some of the nicest folks in the biz. What they’ve done with the Arigato seems to have converted many phaser nay-sayers, into (Domo) Arigato converts. It’s all in thanks to the versatility, yet still, simplicity of this phaser vibrato. This is no average, single knob, turn it on/turn it off pedal. This phaser is making its mark on the music community, and will no doubt be influential to other pedal builds to come.

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