Best Chorus Pedal Options (Top 3 of 2015 MXR, Boss, & Electro Harmonix)
The chorus effect is known for broadening a sound and adding a beautiful air around the signal we put through it. It does that by repeating the same sound overtop of itself multiple times, but in a very different way than the delay pedal. It is the same pitch but with slight modulation so the sound becomes fuller. It almost sounds like the tone is submersed underwater.
Chorus has been used in audio recordings and composition for many years. It was first integrated into music by grouping like sounding instruments together like the human voice or string ensembles. Today we can recreate it using technology so individual instruments and artists can use the effect with ease.
Early composers realized how outstanding the same part repeated multiple times using the same instrument can sound. Some of the best classical music uses the chorus effect just by adding in 3-4 layers of the same part. In a choir people sing the same parts and it makes the part sound amazingly full compared to having just one instrument play the part.
The unfortunate thing about creating a chorus effect naturally is that we are not all composers that have access to multiple musicians and instruments. Luckily for us we can achieve a similar result through technology.
Using technology we can duplicate an audio signal coming from one instrument and modulate it to create an awesomely full chorus effect. Most chorus effects are designed to be pedals, rack plug-ins or even tabletop units.
The basic mechanics of the chorus pedal are fairly simple. The incoming signal gets split and one of the signals pitch gets slightly modulated and the timing gets slightly changed. The two signals get paired back together and the result is a signal that sounds airy and broader.
In today’s day the chorus effect has been extremely well used in some of popular music’s greatest hits. You can hear it clearly used in Nirvana’s hit Come As You Are. Also, it was used very widely in the 80’s. So if that is a time period you love, you will most likely love the chorus pedal. However, if you don’t like the 80’s, you still might love the chorus pedal!
It is a modulation pedal at its basics. We did a review on the best phaser pedal which was also a modulation pedal, click the link to check it out! Also, the chorus pedal pairs really well with a delay pedal to give a really submersed and ambient sound.
Take a listen to “Come As You Are” below:
The Best Chorus Pedal Options For Guitar
In this review we take a look at three of our top picks for the best chorus pedal out there. These were picked due to the tones they produce, popularity, durability and price. Chorus can be a very subjective sound for what you think sounds best, so make sure to listen to the videos posted below as well!
The beautiful thing about this pedal is that is an analog pedal. Meaning it keeps true to the input signal without digitally modulating it. This gives it a really warm and natural feel.
The controls on this pedal are straightforward and awesome. There are two EQ knobs to get your high and low-end sounds mixed perfectly. There is a level knob that controls the amount of chorus mixed in with the clean tone. There is a rate knob that controls the speed at which the timing of the split signal gets altered. As well as a depth knob that controls how deep the sound feels.
The pedal comes stock with a beautiful aqua blue, specifically suiting to the underwater sound of the chorus pedal. The MXR Analog Chorus Pedal is an outstanding warm sounding chorus pedal with a great tone. It definitely deserves a spot on the list of the best chorus pedals out there!
Take a listen below:
The Super Chorus is a more modern sounding pedal then the MXR Analog Chorus Pedal as it is a digital chorus pedal. However, there maybe previously made analog super choruses out there I have not found.
It is a very simple to use pedal with 4 control knobs and a signature boss style stomp switch to toggle it from true bypass or chorus. There is a knob to control the EQ, however, I am partial to having more than one EQ knob but one is better than none! It also has a knob for effect level, a knob for depth and a knob for the rate.
It is a clean sounding chorus pedal that errs closer on the side of the highs then the low frequencies. It is used best with a brighter sounding amp. The pedal pretty much matches the volume of the guitar not adding or taking away any signal strength.
All and all this is a great sounding pedal if you are looking for a generally brighter sounding chorus pedal or looking to get the stability and durability of a boss pedal!
Take a listen below:
This pedal is on the list due to the tone it creates, as the tone is unbelievably nice. It is one of the most true chorus sounding pedals out there and has been used by some of history’s great musicians, including Kurt Cobain.
It is extremely simple to use. It has one knob on it to control the chorus. This means a lot of the guesswork can be taken out of the picture to create a great chorus tone through the EQ knobs like you do with the MXR or Boss pedals, but for some players I know this will be a huge downfall for it. It also has a switch that can toggle between deep or shallow chorus sounds.
It is an analog pedal as well so one can really hear the warmth in it. I think it sounds warmer then the MXR personally, but decide for yourself and listening below:
Best Cheap Chorus Pedal
This pedal is on this list because it is a great sounding chorus pedal for its price point. It is the cheapest pedal on the list and could be a strong contender that could classify as the best cheap chorus pedal on the market. Because of this though, it won’t sound quite as smooth and warm as the MXR or bright and full as the Super Chorus but it will do the job a chorus pedal needs to do!
For how cheap it is it really does sound full. Most cheap pedals out there sound a bit flat and empty when the effect is engaged. Pretty much because of the cheap parts used in the circuitry. However, the Joyo Classic Chorus Pedal almost sounds as warm as the MXR Analog Chorus pedal, but not quite. This would definitely be a better suggestion than a Behringer pedal in this instance because the Behringer Chorus pedal does have a bit of a metallic sound, tinny and too light.
Take a listen below: