THE PEDAL FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE ENTERPRISE

TRACTOR BEAM

ANALOG PHASER

Click the different parts of the pedal to learn more.

We probed the world of analog phasers, and distilled everything we could fit inside the Tractor Beam. Every control has been extended to the max - even we continue to discover new dimensions with it! The Tractor Beam can replicate virtually any phaser sound: fluid phase, resonant range, subtle sweep, throaty throb, vintage vibe, watery warble, and much more.

COMING SOON

SCHEMATIC (PDF)

This pedal is discontinued. Please check our dealers or our Reverb store for any remaining stock.

Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Older

Versions

TRACTOR BEAM BLOCK DIAGRAM

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FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Low Noise Op Amps

Extended Headroom

DualMode Switching

We combine durable true bypass relay switching with an effect-side FET switch for pure and smooth switching.

Modern, high-speed op amps were chosen for their low-noise & high-fidelity properties.

A simple voltage inverter circuit was used to effectively turn 9V into 18V. More voltage means more headroom & bigger tone.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

To use, wait 5 seconds, then press the sequence tap+tap+hold until LED flashes.

USA Made PCBs

Our circuit boards are made in the USA by Advanced Circuits (large PCB runs) or OSH Park (small PCB runs).

Custom Alpha Pots

The SPEED and FEEDBACK controls are built in the USA with custom-designed tapers  made for the Tractor Beam.

All VFE Pedals are built with these quality components and features:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- TrueSoft + DualMode true bypass switching

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

- 5% WIMA film capacitors & 1% metal film resistors

- Cardas Audio ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- P3 system phantom-power compatible

- Built by hand in Puyallup, WA, USA

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

DIMENSIONS:

Enclosure dimensions: 2.37"W x 4.37"L x 1.16"H  (60 x 111 x 29mm)

With knobs & jacks: 2.6"W x 4.4"L x 2.1"H  (66 x 111 x 53mm)

 

POWER:

Standard 2.1mm, negative-tip 9V to 15V power supply or 9V battery.

 

INPUT IMPEDANCE:

375K-ohm

 

CURRENT DRAW:

~40ma continous

+30ma surge for 4ms during on/off switching

BY THE NUMBERS:

33 RESISTORS

24 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

6 TRANSISTORS

6 DIODES

2 OP AMPS

2 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
7 POTENTIOMETERS
4 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

HOW THE TRACTOR BEAM CAME TO BE

THE STORY

As I experimented with phaser circuits, I quickly realized that phasers can do much more than just the resonant sweep they are most commonly associated with (think EVH's "Eruption"). The design of the Tractor Beam was not just about the craziest, extreme phase sounds - it was much more about the far more useful subtle phase tones that can really make your riffs without dominating your tone.

 

In version 2 of the Tractor Beam, I experimented with the range and sweep of the SPEED, CENTER, and FEEDBACK controls. As crazy as it seemed at the time, I was able to add more range to the original design and still make it easier to dial in the precise setting you want.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

The Tractor Beam was formerly known as the Enterprise. Here is the list of versions of the Enterprise circuit:

 

#1 - The original was basically a clone of the MXR Phase 90, with a load of extra add-ons. The STUN/KILL switch toggled between 2/4 phase stages, and the FEEDBACK control only added negative feedback to the circuit.

 

#2 - The second revision added an improved MIX section and 3-stage, inverted phase mode.

 

#3 - The original production unit added positive/negative feedback, plus a charge pump to significantly increase headroom. However, FET distortion will always be the ultimate limit of headroom in this type of phaser circuit.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- Increased range of SPEED & DEPTH (called "CENTER") knobs

- Added 3rd mode that is a cross between phase & vibe

- Dry signal non-inverted (as of 10/15/2013) for use in parallel circuits

- Dual-Mode switching