The sound of a good chorus pedal has become central to most guitarist’s pedal boards. This article, with its in depth look at the top 10 best chorus pedals is designed to help you find the best chorus pedal for you.
People use chorus pedals for a number of different reasons. Sometimes it is to get that signature floating chorus sound, and other times it is simply to fill out your tone a bit. It is, however, sometimes difficult to find the right chorus pedal. There are so many out there!
But don’t worry. Hopefully this article will help you to gain some clarity in terms of what to look out for when you buy your chorus pedal.
We hope that by showing you some of the important considerations as well as some reviews of some of the most popular pedals out there, we will put you well on your way to purchasing the perfect chorus pedal for your needs.
I Know We Are All So Busy… Here Is The Top List:
- MXR M234 Analog Chorus
- Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus
- Electro Harmonix Small Clone
- Donner Tutti Love Pure Analog
- TC Electronic Corona
- Danelectro D5 Fab
- EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2
- BEHRINGER ULTRA CHORUS UC200
- Joyo JF-05 Classic Chorus Guitar Pedal
- TC Electronic SCF Pedal World Standard Stereo Chorus Flanger
**Below are things to consider before buying your own chorus pedal and our top 10 detailed chorus pedal reviews. If you are looking for a distortion effect, then read my list of top 10 best distortion pedal
Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Chorus Pedal.
Since a chorus pedal is really a tool that can be used in a number of different ways toward a number of different ends, it is important to point these and other considerations out to you.
The chorus pedal was initially designed to sound like a whole section of guitars playing at the same time. That’s where the name “chorus” comes from. It was designed to sound like a choir of guitars. The outcome wasn’t exactly that, but we like it anyway.
The exact sound of a chorus pedal is difficult to explain, but we all love it since it has become popular in the 80’s. As we’ve mentioned, sometimes guitarists want to use the pedal, not for that distinct chorus sound (as heard in the beginning of Nirvana’s Come as you are). Rather, they are interested in the subtler function of filling up their existing tone. Chorus pedals used in this way serve a function quite similar to a reverb pedal. It serves to make the sound just a little bigger and less dry.
This, along with a number of other factors should all be kept in mind when you buy your next chorus pedal. Here are some of the most important points:
Here, the “range” refers to the amount of sounds the pedal can cope with. Once you start shopping around for chorus pedals, you will see that the quality of the pedals varies quite a lot. Regardless of what you end up paying for your pedal, make sure that it is sophisticated enough to deal with the total tonal range that you tend to use in your rig. Sometimes the effect works on dry settings, but end up messing with your distorted sound. Be sure to check that your chorus works well over your entire range of sounds!
- Bright vs Dark
This is similar to our previous point. Every pedal has a characteristic sound. Some tend to emphasize the lower frequencies, while others bring up the higher (brighter) sounds. Neither is necessarily better or worse. The only thing that is really important is that it blends with the sound of your rig.
- Analog vs Digital.
This is an age old debate among all gear-heads. You will always find those people who will swear by either the one or the other. As a general rule, digital chorus pedals tend to sound a little brighter than analog ones with a warmer more mellow sound. This is, however, not the case since digital pedals get better by the day. A good piece of advice would be to look into what type of pedal your favorite guitarist is using.
Since chorus pedals are frequently used with clean guitar tones, it is very important to have a pedal that won’t bring unnecessary noise to your clean sound. This is something that a distortion pedal might be able to get away with, but not a chorus pedal. You want something that will just add the desired effect without changing the quality of your sound in any other way.
A lot of amplifiers actually have a chorus effect built into the head of the amp. If this is the case, check if your amp’s chorus effect matches up to some of the pedals on the list. Generally speaking, the chorus effects on amplifiers tend to be lacking a bit. Regardless, it is always a good idea to at least test it out before you buy a new one.
- Rate/Speed Control
This is a knob you will see on most chorus pedals. It adjusts the speed of the chorus effect. If the effect is on a loud setting, and the rate does not correspond with the tempo of the song, it would sound a bit off. Make sure you can adjust the rate to fit the tempo of your songs.
Generally, when you use a distortion effect it will go along with a change in volume. Sometimes you want the distorted sound to come with a boost in volume, while other times you might just want to blend your level with the rest of your pedal board. Either way, you need to be able to adjust the volume of the effect without losing the quality of the distortion effect in the process.
Best Chorus Pedals 2017 – Top 10
|MXR M234 Analog Chorus||Stomp box, regular.||Analog|
|Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus||Stomp box, regular||Digital|
|Electro Harmonix Small Clone||Stomp box, small||Analog|
|Donner Tutti Love Pure Analog||Stomp box, extra small||Analog|
|TC Electronic Corona||Stomp Box, regular||Analog|
|Danelectro D5 Fab||Stomp box, regular||Digital|
|EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2||Stomp box, larger.||Analog|
|BEHRINGER ULTRA CHORUS UC200||Stomp box, regular||Digital|
|Joyo JF-05 Classic Chorus Guitar Pedal||Stomp box, larger.||Digital|
|TC Electronic SCF Pedal World Standard Stereo Chorus Flanger||Large||Digital and Analog|
Our Pick For The Best Distortion Pedal 2017
For our number one pick for best chorus pedal 2017, we decided to go for the best all-rounder pedal.
That is to say, that we chose the pedal that has a little bit of all of the things that we really like or that we feel is important. Good quality, decent size, well made, and of course one that comes in at a decent price too.
What is that pedal you ask?
Well, it’s the MXR M234 Analog Chorus!
This is an excellent choice for any guitarist that is looking to buy a top quality chorus pedal that is likely to last a lifetime. More details about this pedal will follow in our review below.
Top 10 Distortion Pedals – Analysis & Depth Reviews
We rounded all of the hundreds of pedals out there down for you to a list of 10.
These 10 pedals should represent a variety of tastes and needs. Read through them carefully while keeping in mind all of the points to consider we mentioned earlier!
This should put you well on your way to finding the perfect chorus pedal.
Best Chorus Pedal #1: MXR M234 Analog Chorus (Ed’s choice)
In true MXR fashion, this is a basic but very effective pedal. It produces an amazingly clean and clear analog sound that can accommodate almost any pedalboard setup.
Apart from having that signature analog feel to it, this pedal also gives you a lot of freedom to customize and manipulate the sound of the pedal to a wide range of adaptations. It is surprisingly versatile for such a straight forward looking pedal.
The sound of the chorus effect is crisp and clear. It also manages to target the frequencies to which you set it with extreme precision. If you, for example, put the tone toward the higher frequencies, you can really hear those sounds coming out to chime.
It is an incredibly natural sounding pedal with no digital buzz being generated by the effect.
Best Chorus Pedal #2: Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus
Another classic Boss pedal. In fact, this one is one of their best.
In the typical style of Boss, with their typical stomp box enclosure this is a no frills and all delivery pedal. It is very durable and super easy to use.
It comes with all of the usual standard chorus pedal controls. What sets this apart from previous models, however, is the optional stereo output. This is obviously a great asset for those of you with more ambitious sonic ideas.
The other great thing about this Boss entry is how well, as a digital pedal, it manages to capture an analog sound. Obviously it will depend on how well it blends with the rest of your rig, but in general it has a very convincing sound overall.
Best Chorus Pedal #3: Electro Harmonix Small Clone
As I have admitted before in the past, EMX make some of my favorite pedals.
Just like with so many of their other models, the attention is in the details. This all analog chorus pedal might look very basic, but don’t let that fool you. This is a highly versatile pedal.
The Small Clone lets you manipulate the chorus effect into a wide range of interesting sounds that might make you feel like you have a larger synth at your disposal.
It even has a 12 string and a Leslie chorus sound.
Best Chorus Pedal #4: Donner Tutti Love Pure Analog
Don’t let this tiny pedal fool you. It might be small but it is capable of some big sounds.
I would recommend this chorus pedal in very specific situations. Firstly, if you have a tight budget and you need something quick and easy that will guarantee to do the job.
The pedal has limited functions, but what it does do, it does well. With all the basic rate and level switches on the pedal, you can be sure to have your basis covered.
It is also a very decent pedal to use for traveling. Its metal casing and small size, makes it ideal for this.
Best Chorus Pedal #5: TC Electronic Corona
This has to be the pedal on our list that has the widest range of applications, but that is still very easy to use. That is also what makes it one of the best chorus pedals available right now. Especially if you like the idea of a bit of sound design.
This pedal also comes with tone print technology. That means you can design a sound that you like, and save it onto the pedal and use at a later stage. It is the future of guitar pedals!
You have an incredible amount of freedom with this pedal to shape and design the type of chorus-like effect that you would like to get out of it. This level of control in sound design is virtually nonexistent in this price range, which makes this pedal extra special.
Best Chorus Pedal #6: Danelectro D5 Fab
This is one of the most popular chorus pedals that are available to buy on the market today.
The pedal stands out among its peers due to its simplicity and its price. If you are just getting started with putting your pedal board together and you want to get a chorus sound going without breaking the bank, this is definitely a good place to start.
This is a digital pedal that produces a decent chorus effect sound. It does not exactly compete with the EMX and others on this list, but it absolutely gets the job done.
The pedal comes in a plastic casing. It might look flimsy, but we can guarantee that it works well enough. The knobs are all self-explanatory and very easy to use.
Best Chorus Pedal #7: EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2
This is a bit more expensive, but very exciting entry on our top 10 list.
The EarthQuaker gives you an extreme amount of options. This is another one of those entries that should appeal especially to the more experimental sound designers out these.
This stomp box almost functions like a small synth desk, allowing for both digital and analog circuits.
The knobs: Rate, Shape, Dimension, Intensity, Animate and Depth might seem like a lot to study and understand, but as soon as you start messing around with them you will realize that it is all very intuitive and easy to use.
Best Chorus Pedal #8: BEHRINGER ULTRA CHORUS UC200
Along with the Danelectro entry, the BEHRINGER ULTRA CHORUS UC200 is a budget option on our list. So if you are buying your first chorus pedal and looking for a good place to start, it would be between those two options.
The sound of the chorus effect on this pedal is very thick, so if you are looking for that typical Nirvana grunge chorus sound at a low price, this could be the pedal for you.
The knobs include a Level, Tone, Rate and Depth controls that help you have some control over the sound. This is a digital pedal, but the sounds of the signal is pretty clear.
Has a bypass mode that claims not to interfere with the signal strength. This claim, however is disputed by some users.
Best Chorus Pedal #9: Joyo JF-05 Classic Chorus Guitar Pedal
The Joyo Classic Chorus is the type of chorus pedal where you get what you see. It is very straight forwards and super easy to use.
The sound of the chorus effect it very clear to begin with, but the knobs on the pedal enables you to change the base sound quite drastically. You can achieve anything from a light chiming chorus sound to a full on bid wobble effect.
The effect can be changed from a 12 string type ethereal sound to a more extreme sound bending effects wobble. It is a great choice of pedal for those who want to start experimenting with different kinds of chorus sounds at a reasonable price.
It comes with two very basic knobs: the rate and the width. Don’t be fooled though, because the range of manipulation you have with these two settings is surprisingly wide.
Best Chorus Pedal #10: TC Electronic SCF Pedal World Standard Stereo Chorus/Flanger
This one is for the more ambitious sound junkies out there. It is much bigger in size than our previous entries on our list. We wanted to include something to cater for those of you how want a wide range of factors to manipulate and control when sculpting a chorus sound.
This pedal works with duel analog and digital signals. You can also control the input gain, which means that you have some control over the signal before the chorus effect is applied to it. This also means you can minimize the chances of the effect being disrupted by a signal with too much gain.
You can change the pedal from Chorus to Flanger mode as well as directly change the speed, width and intensity of the chorus effect. As you can see, this pedal really lets you access its inner workings in order for you to change the sound at its most core level.
Wrapping it up
The combination on here of information and reviews should be helpful to you in your search for the perfect sound.
Finding the right pedals can often be a long a tricky process. We really hope that this article makes the whole thing much easier.
Let us know if we included your favorite chorus pedal in the comment section.
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Until next time, keep practicing and keep rocking