The Best Chorus Pedal That Your Pedalboard Deserves

By Monica | Product Reviews

Jun 15
best chorus pedal

The best chorus pedal is a necessity for all serious guitarists. This stompbox can certainly widen the sonic capacity of your rig. If you are trying to replicate genres like psychedelic rock, then you will really need this tool!

A chorus pedal can enhance the "color" spectrum of your guitar's tone. Specifically, it can provide enriching and bright accompaniments to your sound. Moreover, it can also layer some subtle interferences in your audio as well. If you have heard the hit track "Come As You Are" of Nirvana, then you probably have an idea of how this pedal works.

The era of chorus pedal flourished during the 80s. You may not be aware of it, but most of the rock ballads that date during the said period are using the chorus effect. Of course, the resulting sound can awe and mesmerize your ears. This is the reason why many guitar enthusiasts always have this pedal on their pedalboard.

In this article, we have listed some of the best options for this pedal. Also, we enumerated some useful pieces of information that could help you in your shopping. So what are you waiting for? Read on!

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Chorus Pedal

As we mentioned earlier, a chorus pedal is an essential tool for any guitarist. It can enhance the sonic capabilities of your rig, without even pouring too much effort. It is a great accessory, especially if you want to provide marbling effects to your music.

In the market today, you can see a lot of chorus pedal. Each of them varies in size, price, and capabilities. That's a great thing if you want to have a vast selection to choose from. However, if you don't know the qualities of a good chorus pedal, then you are going to have a bad time.

What can a Chorus Pedal Do?

If we think about it, the job of the chorus pedal is to recreate those sounds that you can usually hear on string sections and choirs. Somehow, it allows your guitar to play with accompaniments. Well, it is not really the exact mechanism of a chorus pedal. But you can also think that's the core idea that drives this stompbox.

On a technical manner, the operation of a chorus pedal is surprisingly simple. Specifically, it breaks the signal of your guitar into two. The first one is preserved. But the second voice receives modulation and pitch delay treatments. Of course, you can expect that the resulting sound is complex and ethereal. But we can guarantee that there are a lot of uses for this for this kind of effect.

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You can use the chorus effect to beef up the tone of your guitar. If have an excellent chorus pedal, it can do it in an immaculate and distinct manner. Moreover, this effect can also overhaul the guitar's voice. Once again, we have to cite the "Come As You Are" track of Nirvana. Just listen to the riff of the opening part of the song. Kurt Cobain just nailed it right there.

What to Look for a Chorus Pedal

Price

Price

We have to emphasize that a high-quality chorus pedal is not cheap. If you really want to replicate those reverberating and lush sounds, then you need to invest in a well-made unit. We already explained to you how a chorus pedal works. The mechanism of this tool is not simple at all. High-quality pedals don't sound cheap because they have excellent design. On the other hand, inexpensive models tend to sound flimsy.


Flexibility

Flexibility

The chorus pedal should be flexible as well. The effects should not be flashy all the time. In some applications and genres, there is a need for the chorus to be subtle. As you progress in your skills, you will just encounter these varied uses of a chorus pedal.


Voice Appropriateness

Voice Appropriateness

It is also crucial to have a chorus pedal that can evenly match the sound of your rig. For example, a "dark" chorus pedal (those that have a huge emphasis on mid-low frequencies and bass) can ruin "bright" setups. On the other hand, you can also apply the same concept vice versa.

At this point, you will realize that there is no such thing as a chorus pedal that can fit on any types of the rig. Each of them has intended use and applications. Therefore, we highly recommend that you research your choices before you even buy them.


Digital vs. Analog Chorus Pedal

The battle between digital and analog pedals is a controversial one. Of course, a lot of seasoned guitarists would prefer analog circuits because they have better sounds than their counterparts. Meanwhile, youngbloods easily opt digital pedals.

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There is only a slight difference between an analog pedal and a chorus pedal. Specifically, analog units have warm sounds while the digital ones tend to sound bright. Therefore, it is just a matter of preference in which of these two should you choose! As a suggestion, better test the pedal first on your rig before you buy it. See how it interacts with your setup. Is it good? Is it bad? Only you can answer that.

Best Chorus Pedals: Features, Performance, and More!

We already covered the essential aspects of chorus pedal. Now, let us proceed to our review part. Each of these pedals that we featured has been tested in multiple applications. Among the dozens of units that we ground, only these five survived. Check them out now!

The MXR M234 is among the most versatile pedals that we ever encountered. It is an excellent choice if you are looking for an analog device that comes with multiple tweaking options.you will be surprised how good this product is. The sound it produces is warm, authentic, and very distinct. Moreover, there aren't too much flavoring that you can hear. It is a great choice, regardless of how you want to use it.

The MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal houses various tone knobs that you can use anytime. For example, you can combine its Mix and High/Low filters so that you can create new sounds. Moreover, it can produce slow oscillations, speedy shimmers, and incredulous warbles. Once you pair it with an overdrive or distortion pedal, the sound that you can get is out of this world!

The build of the MXR M234 is pretty solid. None of the parts feels cheap, thanks to its all-metal construction. It is pretty durable as well. We can guarantee that this pedal will survive even in constant usage!


Pros:

  • Highly durable pedal
  • All analog circuitry
  • Very tweakable
  • There is a separate control for the bass and treble
  • Comes with a LED indicator

Cons:

  • The LED shines too much

Let's take a look at this product...


The Joyo JF-37 Analog is another option that you can have a chorus pedal. As its name suggests, this one has an analog circuitry. Therefore, you can guarantee that it can produce warm and thoroughly distinct sounds. It doesn't come with too much control knobs as the MXR M234. However, it doesn't mean that its performance is weak. Just by its Depth and Rate knobs, you can already have a good run with this device.

Since it doesn't offer many controls, the Joyo JF-37 is noticeably compact. It can fit on any pedalboards, too. It is an ideal pedal for travel purposes. You also don't need to worry about the structural integrity of this device. After all, it has a rugged housing, which includes a set of sturdy footswitch and jacks.

The simple interface of the Joyo JF-37 makes it easy to use as well. It is a friendly option for beginners who are still a bit clueless about this particular pedal. From arpeggios to sparkling riff, this chorus can do them all. Therefore, it is a brilliant tool for creating jazz and country music!


Pros:

  • Simple but intuitive layout
  • Rugged construction (aluminum case)
  • Compact and portableIt can go intense or subtle
  • Comes with a 9V battery

Cons:

  • Not as versatile as other chorus pedals
  • Cable pathing is not flexible because the signal input is just beside the power input

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There are lots of good things that you can get this chorus pedal. Specifically, this chorus pedal comes with multiple parameters that you can't find on any devices. Moreover, it efficiently combines both analog and digital circuitry. Therefore, you can say that it can produce bright and warm sound at the same time!

However, the best feature of the EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2 is its high-quality delays, which you can control via the Depth, Animate, and Dimension parameters. The Animate is the one that sets the delay time while the Dimension configures the sound regeneration. On the other hand, the Depth adjusts the modulation of wet and dry analog signals. Through these controls alone, you can already creature a vast sound spectrum!

This pedal also houses basic chorus pedal controls, such as the Rate and Shape. Through the combination of these new and standard parameters, this device can easily create those classic and subtle Leslie warbles. Moreover, it can also generate awe-inspiring arpeggiations and sick pitch bending by just a single flip on the knob.


Pros:

  • :Combines analog and digital circuitry
  • Works well with overdrive and distortion pedals
  • True bypass pedal (hand-made)
  • High-quality construction
  • Comes with a LED indicator

Cons:

  • It doesn't come with a power supply

Let's take a look at this product...


The Boss is among the most reputable brands when it comes to effects pedals. There is no doubt about it. From overdrive pedals down to phasers, this brand has them all. Therefore, it is no surprise that their CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus is a popular choice, especially for guitar geeks. After all, its classic design and excellent performance will take you back to the roots of chorus effects.

The CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus can offer your clean and distinct chorus effects. It is notable that its high frequencies are very clear as well. It can also generate a stereo effect. There are also Stereo outputs and Mono inputs on this pedal so that you can connect it to two amplifiers. Meanwhile, its four controls (EQ, Effect Level, Depth, and Rate) works harmoniously every time you want to shape the sound.

When it comes to durability, there's no doubt that the CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus is second to none. It has a metal housing the houses the connectors and power supply. This chorus pedal is indeed great for various applications and settings!


Pros:

  • Works with AC Adapter or a 9V battery
  • Compact and durable construction
  • It can shape the sound efficiently
  • True bypass
  • Can produce the vintage chorus effects

Cons:

  • You can notice some noise if you crank it on high volumes
  • The chorus is not really that strong (but it just depends on the intended application)

Let's take a look at this product...


This is not your typical chorus pedal. The MXR M83 Bass Chorus Deluxe can provide a variety of shape controls for your disposal. Moreover, it also has a unique mixture of flanger and crossover modes. Specifically, the flanger can turn your sounds into a creamy tone, with subtle hints of '60s overtones. Meanwhile, the crossover mode allows you to modulate the effects at 100 Hz. The resulting sound is so bright that you will stand out in the mix.

Because of these features, the MXR M83 Bass Chorus Deluxe is considered as a versatile choice. It also uses an authentic bucket-brigade technology. The latter is a form of delay system that is more reliable than and compact than tape. Also, the MXR M83 Bass Chorus Deluxe has separate controls for treble and bass. Therefore, you can modify any of these parameters without destroying the overall tone of the instrument.


Pros:

  • Comes with LED indicators
  • It has a Flanger and Crossover Mode
  • Compact and very rugged
  • Versatile (fits well for various applications)
  • Authentic bucket-brigade technology

Cons:

  • The flanger is seemingly weak for other people

Let's take a look at this product...

Final Verdict

Overall, having a high-quality chorus pedal can really make the difference. With this effects pedal, you can guarantee that your instrument will fully shine throughout the mix. Moreover, it gives your sound the presence that it needs to stand out. As long as you got this device, your capacity to create new tones will never be limited!

Among the products that we featured, the EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2 is certainly the most impressive. It has the most versatile and varied controls among all the pedals we tested. It has a good build, and its sound production doesn't hurt the ears. It is definitely the pedal you want to get, especially if you are doing live or recording stints. After all, we can say that this one is the best chorus pedal here!

However, we still encourage you to test all these chorus pedals. You will never know what would really fit your needs unless you tried all your possible options!

Did you like this article? Which of these chorus pedals do you like the most? Tell us your answers in the comment section below. Also, don't forget to subscribe to this site to learn more useful music tutorials and other resources!

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About the Author

Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don't want to drop my zeal--especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!