Adding the best chorus pedal for the money to your list of effects is an excellent way to give your electric 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. A chorus 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 the best chorus form you want to make sure to get the top chorus pedal for the money. This is where we come in.
- We Asked This Chorus Pedal Related Question
- Considerations We Looked At For These Good Chorus Pedals
- What is a Chorus Pedal for Guitars?
- What Is The Purpose Of Chorus Pedals?
- Placement of Chorus Pedal in the Effect Chain
- Our Top Chorus Pedal Recommendations:
- Best Guitar Chorus Pedal For The Money Ever – TC Electronic Corona Chorus
- Best Cheap Budget Chorus Pedal Under 50 – JOYO JF-37 Analog
- Best Analog Chorus Pedal – MXR M234 Analog Chorus
- Best Chorus Delay Pedal – Truetone V3H2O Liquid Chorus and Echo
- Best Chorus Vibrato Pedal – MXR M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus Vibrato
- Best Chorus Pedals For Jazz Guitar – Diamond Halo Stereo Chorus
- Best Chorus Pedals For Worship – BOSS Stereo Super Chorus (CH-1)
- For Acoustics – LR Baggs Align Acoustic Chorus
- Best Chorus Pedals For Metal – Electro-Harmonix Small Clone
- Best BOSS Chorus Pedal – BOSS CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus
- Top Chorus Pedal Ever Conclusion
For some, this may be your first electric or acoustic chorus pedal and maybe even your first effects 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 chorus pedals to come to this conclusion. It was a long process but fun just the same!
I hope this quick buyers guide helps you decide.
Quick note – since all the other guitar 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 This Chorus Pedal Related Question
We wanted to publish this because we see problems with other “best chorus pedals of all time” type pages online. Many just list out a bunch of different chorus 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 For These Good Chorus Pedals
There were quite a few different things that we looked at at a number of different angles to finally reach our decision of good chorus pedals. 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. We actually did another article on some good chorus pedal options under $100 here.
- 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 chorus pedals take up a huge amount of pedal board space.
- Easy to use – not only to dial in a tone but also easy to change batteries and other “maintenance” type tasks.
- Sounds great!
- We looked at both analog and digital.
What is a Chorus Pedal for Guitars?
Chorus pedals ‘miraculously’ convert the sound of a single guitar into a guitar chorus. They double the original notes and put the doubled notes partially out of tune and tempo with the originals. This means that, while you are playing, it sounds like there are a couple of guitarists playing slightly out of sync. Both digital and analog chorus pedals are available, and each has different benefits.
Short delay circuits are used on digital chorus pedals. These produce the chorus effect without a flange/phase sound. Digital pedals are highly versatile and precise. An analog chorus pedal acts upon the signal directly, and produces tones with a flanger/phaser element. Because it doesn’t use digital conversion, this type of pedal has a pure and direct signal.
Most chorus pedals have a minimum of two controls: Depth and Rate. Depth governs the amount of effect you receive and the quantity of extra voices generated. This is ideal for thickening notes. The Rate setting enables you to speed up or slow down the wavering sound. Some chorus pedals also allow you to change the mix (effect’s level knob) and subtle chorus’s tonal balance. This means that you can generate a more varied range of sounds.
What Is The Purpose Of Chorus Pedals?
What are chorus pedals used for? Chorus pedals are designed to divide your signal into two different parts and delay and detune one of them. They can be utilized to add understated modulations to your sound or can be used for more drastic effects in more radical ways. A chorus effect is created by way of an audio process in which a sound is re-sampled mere milliseconds following the playing of the initial note. By ever so slightly vibrating out of sync with one another, these sounds produce a textured effect and create the impression that a “chorus” of instruments is being played, instead of just a single one.
A simple chorus pedal can have just two knobs — the Depth knob and the Rate knob. The Depth knob controls the intensity of the modulation and the Rate knob is used to govern the number of milliseconds delay that is produced at any given time.
Additionally, this type of unit operates in mono, which means a signal in and a signal out. Typically, more modern units are equipped with knobs like EQ that are designed to control bass and treble. They also have an Effect Level control to decide the volume of chorusing that gets mixed with the straight sound of the guitar. In addition, there are usually stereo outputs that allow you to run into two amps simultaneously and create remarkably wide stereo chorus effects.
It should be noted that the pedal can still operate in mono if only the first output jack is used. In stereo or mono, you can set the Depth and Rate knobs low to add understated fullness to your sound or they can be cranked up to boost the warble and shine factors.
Placement of Chorus Pedal in the Effect Chain
Chorus is essentially a modulation effect and therefore, its placement should be relatively late in the pedal chain. It should be placed after a wah, compression, overdrive and distortion pedals, but before the delay, tremolo or reverb pedals. Vibrato and chorus are virtually the same effect and as such, they can be placed in either order when positioned next to each other.
A mild buffer is included in some chorus pedals as a means of boosting the level of the audio signal of the guitar. Other similar pedals are “true bypass,” which is an indication that no such buffer exist. An authentic bypass tuner could be appropriate if your signal chain have very few pedals. However, players who have lots of pedals are likely to benefit from a mild buffer; if there is no buffer, a drop in volume will be noticeable by the time the amp receives the audio signal.
These days, the majority of modern amps are outfitted with Effects Loops. These enable you to attach your Modulation Effects via another set of jacks later into the amp circuit itself. This makes these types of effects sound a lot better as opposed to front-ending them. Additionally, it makes them less likely to be modified by the amount of pick attack or gain.
Our Top Chorus Pedal Recommendations:
Best Guitar Chorus Pedal For The Money Ever – TC Electronic Corona Chorus
This choice for best guitar chorus pedal ever will inject some nice warble and shimmer into your playing. It has a couple of chorus settings, which you control with a toggle switch. This allows you to select either a TriChorus or the renown SCF pedal. The original TC Electronic SCF Chorus made an impact more than quarter of a century ago, when it was introduced, due to its’ broad dynamic range. Then again, the TriChorus option produces tones that are precise and expansive. Furthermore, you can choose the ground breaking TonePrint setting for a variety of classic effects. The hardest part is deciding which one of these amazing options to use!
This product has four user friendly control knobs (Depth, Speed, Tone and FX Level), so the sound can be tweaked to your exact specifications. Depth establishes the modulation range, while Speed just governs the effect pacing. FX Level and Depth are interlinked, allowing you to choose the effect’s intensity. Tone enables you to set the ‘atmosphere’ of an effect, from an upbeat shimmering melody to earthier, more overdriven vibes.
In addition to its’ awesome technical design, the TC Electronic Corona Chorus is robust and compact, with tough metallic housing that lasts a long time and maximizes space on the pedalboard. Most customers say that this chorus pedal sounds great and that the TonePrint setting simply adds to its’ versatility. Overall, the subtle effects that you can create with this pedal have lots of tonal potential.
We actually did a full Corona Chorus review here too.
Best Cheap Budget Chorus Pedal Under 50 – JOYO JF-37 Analog
The JOYO JF-37, our pick for best cheap budget chorus pedal under 50, is a notably warm, straightforward effects pedal. It uses the standard BBD chip to create distinctive chorus tones, which are impossible with digital chorus effects. Moreover, it generates a more brazen sound, with a little more treble and slight increase in volume.
With just a couple of controls, the chorus tone can be easily changed to your preferred level on the JF-37 – whether this is a velvet warmth or glistening sparkle. Perfect for country, jazz or R&B, the JOYO JF-37 delivers that unmistakable chorus melody from a gig ready stompbox.
There are a couple of controls on the JF-37: Depth and Rate. Depth regulates the modulation intensity and Rate governs the modulation speed. When the knobs are turned to the right, it produces a partially twisted, heavily modulated sound that can sustain held notes. Turning the knobs to the left will produce a short rate modulation that is subtle and gentle.
Inbetween these two parameters, this pedal has some more refined settings that are sophisticated, without being overwhelming. The authentic bypass switching eradicates any interference to the signal, when the pedal is switched off or on. It is suitable for use with a nine volt 9v battery or AC adapter, which is optional.
Overall, the JOYO JF-37 is a tough, affordable product that compares favorably with the tones of chorus pedals sporting much higher price tags. It is a really fantastic pedal for people who appreciate really fantastic chorus effects.
Best Analog Chorus Pedal – MXR M234 Analog Chorus
This pedal is extremely versatile and our pick for best analog chorus pedal, in that it offers a range of luscious, fluid effects that will give your live performances more texture. Complete with BBD circuitry, guitarists can attain a flawless tone without losing any frequency — in contrast to many other pedals on the market. For an analog chorus pedal, the sound is remarkably clean. You can use the equalizer and bass filter to tailor the chorus tones to your personal preference. Another helpful feature is the EQ substitute that can create sounds that are free of effects.
The MXR M234 makes it simple to achieve the ideal texture, because its’ standard interface offers control settings for Rate, Depth and Level. Low and High frequency control knobs are included too, which slice these frequencies for extensive tone sculpting. The LED indicator light helps a lot in dark venues with limited lighting, and the pedal can be powered with an ECB03 Dunlop AC Adapter (which is not included), or a nine volt alkaline battery.
With its’ blue metallic chassis casing, the MXR M234 is a robust unit that is easy to transport. Its’ compact dimensions conserve space on the pedalboard and creates a smaller footprint, which many guitarists appreciate. Suffice to say, extra pedalboard space is always welcome. A couple of outputs for a broad and expansive stereo spread are featured too, which makes for versatile playing and a lovely tone.
Best Chorus Delay Pedal – Truetone V3H2O Liquid Chorus and Echo
The Truetone V3H2O Liquid Chorus and Echo pedal has two separate pedals inside one enclosure, which occupy less space than two normal pedals. It is also our choice for best chorus delay pedal. The Vibrato/Chorus section has a wide variety of soothing, fluid tones and features sombre currents – remindful of a peaceful river that’s gradually flowing to a pristine melodic destination.
The hybrid/analog Echo provides a lot of delayed colors, such as textured glimmers, enchanting tidal waves and short slapback echoes. It can give your tone a deep, warm delay or direct you onto eternal, controlled oscillations that stimulate your emotions and flood your mind with a cascade of creative droplets.
A patch cable will allow you to use separate outputs or inputs, or reverse the order, for optimum versatility. Every channel can be programmed to True Bypass or buffered, using internal switches. The Forever Footswitch is specially designed and rated for ten million hits, which engage with relays sporting gold covered contacts. The Truetone V3H2O is shipped in a storage bag and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Whatever order of pedals you opt for, the V3H2O will deliver a great performance and force you to become more innovative.
Best Chorus Vibrato Pedal – MXR M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus Vibrato
The MXR M68 – our pick for best chorus vibrato pedal – reproduces the legendary vibrato effect, with a user friendly, compact pedal. There are several operating settings and a few straightforward, effective controls that give you the precise tone you want – whether this is the standard Uni-Vibe sound or something original. According to the manufacturer, the Uni-Vibe Vibrato/Chorus ranks among the most recognizable effects in the history of music. For over forty years, innovative guitarists have used it to explore the electric guitar’s textural and tonal capabilities. The team at MXR has reintroduced this iconic effect for contemporary guitarists. The MXR M68 has a smaller footprint, yet provides the same leathery, fibrous melodies.
The basic triple knob interface allows you to recreate this unmistakable effect in your style. Firstly, choose the pitch shifted Vibrato Mode signal, or the dry Chorus Mode signal, using the Vibe switch. Next, program the sweep rate using the Speed control, the effect volume using the Level control, and the overall intensity using the Depth control.
The MXR M68 is much smaller and lighter than the original Uni-Vibe Chorus pedal, with its’ Phase ninety sized housing. It has true bypass switching as well. The updates from the manufacturer are designed to benefit guitarists who perform live gigs regularly. You can transport this swirly, luscious pedal with no problems at all.
Best Chorus Pedals For Jazz Guitar – Diamond Halo Stereo Chorus
Armed with the Diamond Halo Stereo Chorus pedal, you will be ready to steal the show with this as our choice for best chorus pedals for jazz guitar. This pedal puts the ‘V’ into versatile. It differs considerably from other mundane chorus pedals, because it has loads of helpful features that enable you to obtain modulation, pitch shifting, delay and authentic chorus tones from its’ stereo quality, analog stompbox. This pedal is constructed with a simple four control setup, and conveniently gives you a range of tones to choose from — from swirl tones with deep modulation to understated spatialization tones. You can keep your instrument’s original tone, yet still obtain broad stereo imaging, thanks to the Diamond Halo’s stereo function feature.
As well as the controls that are mounted on top, there are a couple of internal controls that users can adjust. These are the LFO Wave Shape and Delay Time, which enable the chorus to be fine tuned. The Diamond Halo Stereo Chorus has a kill/dry switch, which keeps the signal dry within a parallel FX loop. Furthermore, the phase modulation mix and chorus level can be easily controlled, using the PM Mix and CH Mix controls of this guitar effects pedal. You can immediately know the pedal’s LFO speed, by referring to the LED indicators. Also, the pedal is regulated internally to fifteen Volts. It can be operated from the twenty-four Volt adapter included, or from eighteen Volt pedalboard power source outputs — such as the Burkey Flatliner, a Y cable powered from two nine Volt outputs on the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power two Plus, or other suitable power sources.
Best Chorus Pedals For Worship – BOSS Stereo Super Chorus (CH-1)
Looking for the top chorus pedal for worship? The BOSS CH-1 Stereo Chorus has a broad range of frequency, and it features low and high cut filters. This allows you to generate any type of chorus tone – from the penetrating, clear stereo chorus effects common in modern music, to natural, tender chorus tones.
It produces a chorus sound that is clean, with a distinctive stereo effect – switching between the right and left speakers – and highs that are clear as crystal. You can adjust the chorus tone using the EQ function, and the Stereo outputs and Mono input allow for dual amp connections. Pedals from Boss are famous for their value and quality, and the CH-1 lives up to this reputation — having been hailed by musicians for more than two decades. This pedal is an excellent way to add motion to your guitar, both in the studio and during live performances.
Pedals from Boss are also known for being sturdily constructed. Every pedal is encased in a metallic, stomp ready box, with a rubberized base and stomp area to prevent any slipping. You can have confidence that whether you kick it, drop it, jump on it or throw it, it will be fine for the next gig nonetheless. These pedals are designed to withstand the knocks and bumps of music tours, which is why they are a common sight on the stages of touring bands.
Dependability can be within everyone’s reach now. Boss are so confident that their unique pedals are built to last, they offer a warranty of five years with each purchase. This is one of the most popular chorus pedals in the world, and an excellent choice for guitarists and keyboardists alike.
For Acoustics – LR Baggs Align Acoustic Chorus
This pedal, our pick for top chorus pedal for acoustic guitar, gives your tone an understated fullness, without undermining the melody. High end analog circuitry conserves your instrument’s unchanged signal, while a set of intuitive controls make dialing the sound in a simple process. You can use the Size knob on the Align Chorus to blend between a couple of chorus voicings, whilst gaining radiance and warmth from the Tone controls. This pedal has true bypass switching included, so it keeps out of the path of your signal when not being used. Stomping on an Align Chorus pedal is a great way of giving your performance a quality sheen. It will enhance your playing, whatever your musical style.
With the Align Chorus, you can control the chorus effect to an almost infinite degree. The Chorus knob mixes the signal from the chorus with the direct signal from your guitar. The Tone knob only shapes the affected signal, which leaves you free to shape the sound however you like, without harming your instrument’s natural character.
Another original feature is Size control. This blends a couple of chorus voicings, which interact with each other while you are adjusting the knob. This is like including extra instruments, as the size increases. In addition, there is a control for the Volume. Many guitarists have praised the Align Chorus’s user friendly set of controls.
Want more advice? Check out our article on the best chorus for acoustic guitars.
Best Chorus Pedals For Metal – Electro-Harmonix Small Clone
The Electro-Harmonix pedal, our pick for best chorus pedal for metal, is an affordable way of thickening your guitar tones up with outstanding sound quality, and helping your instrument to cut through the mix during live performances. Originally, this analog chorus pedal gained notoriety because of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, with its’ twelve string tone imitation and clear, unmistakable warbling. The single knob Depth Control is easy to use and rapidly dials in the best chorus sound. This means that you can focus on playing, rather than wasting time working out how to operate the pedal.
True to their reputation, Electro Harmonix do not shirk on the build quality of the Small Clone. The true bypass and all metallic chassis will fulfill any musician’s requirements for life on the road. The pedal’s lush, trippy and distinctively analog tones have made it a sought after stompbox for over two decades now — and once you hook it up you will understand why. The Small Clone is capable of anything from gentle shimmering, to rhythmic warbling, to insane Leslie style sounds. If you are searching for a chorus that has an authentic vibe and mood, your search is over. You will be hard pressed to find a superior pedal for the same price tag, and it looks really cool as well!
Looking for more options? Check out these best chorus pedal for metal options.
Best BOSS Chorus Pedal – BOSS CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus
When it comes to chorus pedals, Boss were the original trailblazers – and this is our pick for best BOSS chorus pedal. In 1976, they released the first pedal of this kind, the CE-1. All this heritage is packed into the CE-2W, in the form of a small pedal providing both CE-2 and CE-1 sounds, with stereo outputs. The all analog premium circuitry has a BBD delay line.
There are a couple of modes on the CE-2W: ‘CE-1’ mode plays CE-1 chorus sounds and ‘Standard’ mode plays CE-2 chorus sounds. These days, the CE-1 is regarded as a legendary pedal, with original models retailing for high prices. CE-1 mode authentically recreates the iconic Vibrato/Chorus tone in stereo.
Standard mode recreates the followup sound of the CE-2 model. This pedal is simpler and more compact, but still iconic nevertheless. Each mode has applicable Depth and Rate knob controls, so the desired sound can be dialed in easily. With its’ rich, luscious chorus and subtle tone coloring, this pedal has a wide variety of sounds to choose from. Bear in mind that you are not restricted to the sounds featured on the original pedals. Instead, the CE-2W advances the original models, with stereo outputs on the CE-2 and changeable Depth controls on the CE-1.
‘Waza’ is the Japanese word for technique or art. This is why Boss allocated their top engineers and designers to create Waza Craft pedals. Their aim is to set the global standard for guitar effects. Premium pedals from Waza Craft include carefully selected capacitor and transistor parts. Circuits like these generate amazing transparent, analog effects. The CE-2W also comes with a five year warranty. As well as giving you the best chorus tones available, this pedal allows you to produce a massive sound using a couple of amps.
Top Chorus Pedal Ever Conclusion
By now, you should be aware that there are a large number of chorus pedals presently on the market. Do not let this overwhelm you though. Read through the above list several times and narrow down your selections to three favorites. These may or may not offer similar features and controls, or fall under the same price bracket. Then, you should watch videos of these pedals, if you are yet to do so, to get a feel for which tones tickle your fancy.
We have mentioned some cost effective pedals that compare favorably with higher priced units. There’s no correct or incorrect answer here. Suffice to say, musical taste is entirely subjective, so take the plunge with whatever pedal sounds good to you. Chorus pedals often divide opinion among musicians, however hopefully, you now have a good idea of what they can do – and you will find what are chorus pedals used for.