Adding a good chorus pedal to your list of effects is an excellent way to give your guitar tone a little thickness, warm up the tone a bit and bring just a bit more life to whatever guitar piece you are playing. Paired up with a good delay and you can make some spacey sounds. Add it to distortion to create a thicker tone. Whatever you want to use chorus form you want to make sure to get the top chorus pedal for the money. This is where we come in.
For some, this may be your first electric or acoustic chorus pedal and maybe even your first pedal so we wanted to make sure to steer you in the right direction. We did a number of comparisons and a shootout between a bunch of popular pedals to come to this conclusion. It was a long process but fun just the same!
Best Chorus Pedal Comparison Chart
Quick note – since all the other pedals don’t have Toneprint abilities, I didn’t take this into account in the comparisons.
Doing all these comparisons was quite a fun time but since all these chorus pedals are awesome in their own way, it made it hard to choose a winner. In the end, since they all sound great, it actually came down to more trivial differences that we found during testing each pedal. Sometimes, it’s the littlest things that put things over the top.
We Asked The Question
We wanted to publish this because we see problems with other “best pedal” type pages online. Many just list out a bunch of different pedals and give reviews of each. Some may give you a top choice but not any real reason why. It still leaves you with a decision to make and sometimes you are still not sure which is the best. We wanted to take it a step further and actually find the very best one out there for the money so you know exactly what you should buy.
Considerations We Looked At
There were quite a few different things that we looked at at a number of different angles to finally reach our decision. We looked the following:
- Price – originally wanted to pick something under $100 so it was accessible to a lot of people. We we’re successful here but we were only $10 from this target.
- Something that was versatile and would work with a number of different genres and situation. Whether you are playing rock, metal, 80’s music, jazz, country, electric, acoustic, bass, etc. We wanted something that you just needed one of and could work for a bunch of different musical situations you might get yourself into.
- Durability – you are literally stepping on this thing so you want it to be build solid.
- Something used by some of the great guitarists that we know and love. More on this later in this article.
- Small and compact. Personally, we don’t like when pedals take up a huge amount of pedalboard space.
- Easy to use – not only to dial in a tone but also easy to change batteries and other “maintenance” type tasks.
- Sounds great!
Our Choice – The TC Electronic Corona Chorus
We love the TC Electronic Corona Chorus and here’s why:
Let’s start by looking at all the features that this pedal has:
- Toneprint – probably the coolest feature in this pedal. Basically Toneprint allows you to download custom tone settings that were created by some of the most well known guitarists in the world. After downloading you can load them onto your pedal with either a USB cable or even wirelessly using the Beam mobile app.
- True bypass and analog dry-through.
- Super simple battery access using only one screw to get to the battery compartment.
- Built tough and durable.
- Three different chorus types.
- Stereo input and outputs.
- A compact design that doesn’t take up much space. We were very surprised about how it can do everything it can do in such a small pedal.
- Super reasonable price! Like we mentioned before, we wanted to choose something under $100 and were hoping for an under $100 to win. As it turned out, this one did and it is only a few bucks more than $100.
What can you control in this pedal:
Besides the Toneprint capabilities, there are a number of controls onboard to help you dial in your desired tone:
- Toggle Switch – this allows you to set it to either the SCF chorus sound or Tri-Chorus.
- Depth – handles the modulation range allowing you to set it to barely there to very wobbly.
- Tone – go from bright and sparkly to dark and warm just by turning this knob.
- FX Level – how intense do you want this effect to be in the mix of your guitar tone? The more your turn it up, the richer chorus tone gets.
- Speed – controls how fast the effect rotates.
We also found this great little bundle available that comes with a power adapter, patch cables, guitar picks and more. Very cool, however, it is the mini version of the pedal and not the full one.
Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty and see why we chose this pedal over all the others that we looked at.
Limited Edition Version – TC Electronic Corona SCF
We also just wanted to just quickly mention that there is also a limited edition available right now. The TC Electronic Corona SCF was made to celebrate TC Electronics’ 40th anniversary. This pedal has a limited run of 2000 units and has three new Toneprint settings that give respects to the original SCF chorus. These are very limited so if you want one of these, you better get it fast because once they are gone, they are probably gone for good.
Vs MXR M134 Stereo Chorus
Now we have to start off by saying that MXR makes some of my favorite pedals, but when I compared the MXR M134 to the Corona, it was a no brainer. While it does sound good and holds up as far as tone, we had to look at other aspects. The fact that it is huge and takes up a ton of space in a pedalboard knocked it down a notch in our eyes. It is also quite a bit more expensive than the Corona Chorus. It also takes double the power and needs two 9v batteries. So, while it is still a great sounding pedal, the Corona won this little comparison.
Vs MXR M234 Analog Chorus
This was a bit harder to not choose as the winner because we love the MXR M234. It’s small, has amazing tone and built like a tank. Really, the only thing that the Corona has above it is probably the versatility because you can select different chorus types on the Corona (not including the Toneprint options). All in all, a great pedal and still a great choice.
Vs MXR M148 Micro Chorus
While the MXR M148 is nice and small, sounds great and easy to use, when compared to the Corona, it is a bit lacking in features. This is not to say that it isn’t a good pedal because you will be quite surprised how much tone you can get out of this little thing. If you are looking for something that you don’t want to mess around with much, this is actually the pedal for you.
Vs Neo Clone
The Neo Clone is another great pedal that is super simple with just a single knob for rate control and a toggle switch that controls the effect’s depth. It sounds great but the only thing that the Corona has over this is the fact that it isn’t as versatile as our winner. Damn good price though!
Vs Small Clone
The Small Clone is basically the daddy of the Neo Clone. I actually love this pedal but for the purpose of our comparison here, it gets some points removed due to it’s larger size. It sounds awesome but you sure need a lot of room in your pedal board to accommodate it. Like many other pedals that we looked at though, it just didn’t have the huge number of capabilities that the Corona does.
Vs Boss CH-1
I think every guitarist that I know has owned or owns multiple Boss pedals. They are awesome (definitely the best Boss chorus!) and the Boss CH-1 is no exception. It has plenty of options for shaping your sound and it sounds fantastic in a number of different situations. To be quite honest, we actually almost picked this one as the winner. It was a bit of a toss up but the Corona just had a few other things going for it that brought it over the edge.
Vs Boss CE-5
The Boss CE-5 was another close winner – awesome chorus. Boss pedals are built like tanks and can really take a beating if need be. It has plenty of options and can go from a very subtle effect to all out crazy. However, just one little thing made us choose the Corona over it – no stereo inputs. However, if you don’t need stereo input and don’t expect to ever use them, this is an excellent choice.
Vs Truetone V3H2O Liquid Chorus and Echo
I love the Truetone V3H2O Liquid Chorus and Echo. It just lost a couple points for the same reason as the MXR M134 – large size and price. I also am not a huge fan of combining effects in one pedal. I don’t mind it in a multi-effects unit but when you have a pedal with just two effects, I would rather just buy two separate pedals. I feel like I have more control this way.
Vs Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy Analog Echo Chorus Vibrato
Finally we have theElectro-Harmonix Memory Boy Analog Echo Chorus Vibrato. Another awesome pedal but it has kind of the same issues that the previous pedal has – it takes up a lot of pedal board space. It also puts a few different effects in one pedal which I am not a fan of.
Some Other Considerations
When we finally settled on the Corona, we also put together some other helpful items and other information:
Who Else The TC Electronic Corona?
Here is a list of some of the well known guitarists that currently use this rock chorus:
- John Petrucci from Dream Theatre
- Paul Gilbert
- Andy Summers from The Police
- Brad Whitford from Aerosmith
- Scott Ian from Anthrax
- Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In
- Joe Perry from Aerosmith
- Orianthi from Alice Cooper
- Steve Lukather from Toto
- Eric Johnson
Using It For Bass
This pedal sounds great for bass especially if you are a slapper. For a great slap tone, put the toggle on tri-chorus. Then Speed and FX Level at around the 12 o’clock mark. Set the Tone to around the 1:00 mark and then play with the Depth knob for desired tone. you can also adjust the Speed control if you want to change that up a little bit. It’s very punchy and great for slap.
If you are looking for a smoother tone you can bring the speed up a hair (maybe to the 1:00 position), Depth to 2:00, Tone at 12:00 and FX Level all the way up to 4:00. It really smooths out your tone and is almost a haunting sound.
And if you want to go extremely crazy, you can just put everything at full blast and you get a weird alien bass tone.
Creating A Leslie Sound With The Corona Chorus
You can actually get a pretty decent Leslie like tone with this pedal as well. Set your Speed to 4:00, FX Level to 2:00, Depth to 12:00 and Tone to 12:00. There you have it – kind of a cool rotary sound. A fun tone to play around with sometimes.
Using It For Acoustic Guitar
When using this with an acoustic, setting up a tone and then leaving it on constantly is what we like to do. It is really going to depend on your acoustic but one setting that I found to sound nice is the Speed at 11:00, Depth at around 12:00 (maybe just a nudge past 12), FX Level at the same as Depth and Tone right at 12:00. I found that this really fills the tone up and gives a nice 3D quality.
Using It With A Distortion Pedal
This pedal works great with distortion. The only thing that I find that I have to do is back the tone setting down a bit because it can get a little too bright when combined with distortion. It sounds great with all kinds of distortion – from a slight overdrive to high gain assaults.
Where Should This Pedal Go In The Chain?
This is really more of a personal preference and we always recommend to try a bunch of different combinations to get to the one you like best for your set up. Personally, I like the chorus and other modulation related effect near the end of the chain out to the amp.
Here are some links if you are looking to get this pedal for yourself. We also included links to other variations of the same pedal:
- TC Electronic Corona Chorus Pedal on Amazon
- TC Electronic Corona Mini Chorus Pedal Bundle
- TC Electronic Corona SCF – Chorus and Tri-Chorus Pedal
Here are some great links for this pedal: