I will start out by saying as I have done previously I borrowed this pedal to review from Marc at Northern Stompboxes. That being said this review will be impartial. I don’t have any affiliation with Magnetic Effects and I haven’t been paid to write this. So rest assured the impressions here are unbiased.
What is the Midphoria? It is a fixed wah boost pedal. In other words it is like having a wah pedal set at one particular interval without the foot pedal to create the wah effect.
I didn’t know what it was when I first plugged it in, and after playing with it for a while, i’m still not convinced I know what it does. As far as I can tell it affects the mids meaning you get a thicker sound. Think the intro to Money for Nothing by Dire Straights. To me it sounds quite brittle and choppy with a distinctive roundness to the mids.
I unfortunately found that to me the Midphoria sounded quite compressed (which I guess it’s supposed to) but as I didn’t know what to expect this was quite disappointing. I did also find that the Midphoria got quite lost within the sound so I must not have had the volume turned up enough. The sweep is effectively how open or closed the foot switch is on the effect and the frequency range can be altered using the toggle switch. I found that on zero the sweep sounds like the pedal is closed and when dimed it is fully open. I didnt particularly prefer either of the frequency ranges over the other, they just sound different.
The Midphoria can work as a boost and it is fairly effective, if you turn the wah effect down and crank up the clean knob you get a nice clean unaffected boost which is how I found myself using it. I did let a little of the wah creep in, but just couldn’t see myself using it. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is I don’t like about it. Maybe it’s that if wanted a fixed wah, I would probably purchase a wah pedal and leave it fixed in position when I wanted this sound and then I could use it as a standard wah effect when I wanted.
I can understand why someone would want this pedal, it is a boost when needed and a fixed wah might only be used for one song in your set, so having one pedal that does these two things is in advantage if you’re a gigging musician. You may also really want that fixed wah sound and have no intention of using a traditional wah, therefore a standard sized stomp box will fit much better on your board than a big bulky wah. I however am not a gigging musician, so I have a nearly unlimited amount of space on my board. If I wanted a boost and a wah pedal I would probably purchase a Magnetic Effects Zola (which I have tried but not reviewed) that I found to be a lot nicer than the boost in the Midphoria. It has a better EQ and gives a ridiculous amount of clean headroom. I would then purchase a cry baby so that I can use the wah as intended. This is all hypothetical as I am not in need of either of those things.
I don’t want this review to sound negative as the Midphoria does what it’s supposed to and I’m sure it does this very well, but it just not something I would want or need.
If I were only to review the looks and build quality of the Midphoria it would get top marks all around. The enclosure is solid, the graphics are top notch and the internals are well put together and hand made. There are top mounted jacks which for most is a massive plus, as you can cram in many more pedals. On my board this is actually more difficult than side mounted jacks due to the layout. It is worth noting that the enclosures that Magnetics use are quite tall compared to other manufacturers, so it might not sit very well next to some pedals, and could potentially get in the way of other foot switches, if for example you had this next to a boss pedal you might catch the side of the midphoria before hit the footswitch of the boss pedal as it is a bit taller.
If I ever decide to start a Dire Straights cover band (which I can’t see happening as I can’t play half as well as Mark Knopfler) then I suppose the Midphoria is something I would have to look to be able to get that famous sound.
In conclusion –
- Top quality hand made pedal
- Very nice graphics
- Good clean boost, can be run at higher voltages (9-18v)
- Good fixed wah sound
- Can get lost if used with too much drive in front of it
- Could get in the way of other pedals as its a tall enclosure