The best chorus pedal with a modulation key to the effect should help any user build pleasant sounds for their rhythm guitar, and as a guitarist, guitar effects are very common nowadays. Such effects have already been heard in popular songs like Nirvana's Come As You Are and Guns and Roses by Paradise City. A chorus pedal is the best gear if you want to put more rich tones and flavor to your solos and is in the same category as a phaser and a flanger because of all of the color your tone through signal processing and manipulation.
Getting the best chorus pedals on the market might not be an easy task, so we took the liberty of curating for you a list of the best chorus pedals on the market with their pros and cons. Also, we have a detailed buying guide to help you know what to consider and make an informed decision.
1. Boss CE-2W Waza Craft
- Special edition WAZA craft pedal delivers the ultimate BOSS tone experience
- Standard mode provides a perfect reproduction of the legendary ce-2 sound
- Ce-1 Mode features chorus and Vibrato, authentically reproducing the two stereo...
- Includes new sounds not available in the original pedals, including ce-2 stereo...
- Rate and depth knobs provide fine sound adjustment in both pedal modes
Boss CE-2W Waza Craft is the best analog chorus pedal and is a predecessor of the CE-1, and both offer a defined chorus sound during the late 70s and 80s. The Boss CE-2W chorus pedal combines two boss effects into one, the CE-2 and CE-1, and complete it using chorus and vibrato sections. Except for the mini three-way toggle switch to select vibrato modes or CE-2, CE-1 chorus, it has a second 1/4 inch output jack that delivers the stereo chorus/vibrato effects.
Boss CE-2W uses a buffered bypass and comes with three controls, including depth controls, rate, standard/CE-1 switch, and the power requirements are a 9V DC power supply or 9V battery like in other Boss pedals. Boss CE-2W chorus pedals are perfect sound-wise and deliver a thick and shimmering Boss chorus, but it might have a slight clear treble with chorus tones and textures similar to the original.
Combining the vibrato and chorus effects of Boss CE-2 and CE-1 chorus pedals, this is one of the best chorus pedals available in the market to nail both sounds and provide the perfect effects for chorus connoisseurs. Also, thanks to an all analogue circuit, the sounds are very authentic, and the use of the bucket brigade delay chips making it ideal for anyone looking to make a beeline for the 80s classic chorus tones.
2. MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal
- All-analog bucket-brigade circuitry
- Create classically lush, liquid textures
- Ultimate tone control
MXR M234 is an analogue chorus pedal with expanded controls that allow users to adjust the level, rate, depth, and low and hi-cut. These controls help a user shape the resulting tones to achieve more personalized chorus sounds with a distinctly warm tone. The MXR M234 chorus pedal features an all-analog pedal that utilizes a bucket-brigade circuit to give you more comprehensive control over your chorus. The rate and depth controls give you a wide range of familiar classy chorus sounds.
MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal comes in a durable and rugged construction with functional switches and jacks to help you while on the go. With three more knobs, the two EQ knobs putting the tome in the zone and the level knob adding as much chorus effect as you would want to range from a subtle tone shift to a full-on chorus ensemble sound. The analog pedal uses a true bypass and is powered by a 9V power supply or a 9V battery.
3. Donner Tutti Love Analog Chorus
- 【Tutti Love】Tutti Love is a compact chorus pedal perfect for guitar and...
- 【Whole aluminium-alloy】Whole aluminium-alloy classic, stable and strong.
- 【True bypass】True bypass provide transparent tone. Featuring a pure analog...
- 【Easy, flexible controls】Tutti Love offers easy in/out and an extra LEVEL...
- 【DC 9V Jack】DC 9V Adapter power supply. (plug polarity is positive on the...
Donner Tutti Love Analog Chorus is an effective mini chorus pedal meaning the Tutti Love is smaller than the normal pedal. You will not go wrong if you are looking for the effectiveness and affordability of one guitar pedal. It features both the analog and true bypass, which is not a common feature in its price range, with a level knob to control volume, a depth knob to control the time the layer will sound, and a rate knob controlling how many layers and how fast they are added to the original sound.
Thanks to the analog construction, there is a warmth that usually lacks at the price tag, and it is a noise-free pedal. It uses a true bypass making the pedal versatile, but you need to be careful with the level and depth control. Also, the footswitch is a bit stiff, and you may need to put a lot of pressure to operate it.
4. Walrus Audio Julia Analog Chorus/Vibrato
- RATE – The Rate knob allows you to set the speed at which the LFO sweeps. From...
- DEPTH – The Depth knob allows you to change the amplitude of the LFO. From no...
- LAG – The Lag knob lets you set the center delay time that the LFO modulates...
- WAVE SWITCH – The Wave switch lets you select either sine or triangle LFO...
- D-C-V BLEND – The Dry-Chorus-Vibrato Blend changes the ratio of dry to wet...
The Walrus Audio is the best chorus pedal if you are looking for an all-analog chorus/vibrato that features extended control features. It is a fully analog pedal that boasts a lag knob on top of the rate and depth switch, allowing the user to set their delay time that the LFO effect will modulate from for several amounts of swing.
Additionally, Walrus Audio features a D-C-V, the Dry, Chorus, Vibrato knob that changes the dry to wet signal ratio set to the output. It also has a waveform switch that toggles between triangular wave and sine shapes, giving users utmost control over the sweep chorus effect. For feedback, it features an LFO LED that blinks over time to give the user visual feedback, and for power, the chorus pedals use a 9V DC power supply.
5. TC Electronic Corona Chorus
TC Electronic Corona Chorus is quite similar to the TC pedals, but it is a versatile pedal covering any guitar tone you may want. It features a nifty tone print function that lets you use artist-based presets using your smartphone and has an impressive range of tones, and you can tweak the settings to achieve your desired sounding chorus. It includes a three-way toggle that lets the user choose between the three chorus types and has an optional buffered bypass mode switchable to true bypass that prevents high-frequency loss from the long cable runs.
TC Electronic Corona allows a user to play with the speed, depth, FX level, and tone, and it is suitable for anyone who wants their solo to stand out without being too overpowering. It is considered the best for users who aren't a fan of the sound. It can also be a good option for people who want a stereo chorus with small adjustments that ensure it is the perfect option for playing different genres. It uses a 9V DC power supply and can also use a 9V battery.
What to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Chorus Pedal
1. Digital Vs. Analog Chorus
The analog and digital chorus debate have been there in most guitar playing groups where some musicians feel that the digital chorus effects lack an organic tone. On the other hand, some feel that the digital chorus, through the bright voicing of digital, helps their signal effectively cut through the mix.
However, the only difference between a digital and analog chorus is technical, so you should use your ears to choose the best chorus pedal for you. Keep in mind that an analog chorus will give off more warmth and have a natural smooth sound with no breaks and discontinuities. In contrast, a digital chorus is discontinuous and will not sound as smooth and natural, giving off an artificial colored sound. This will help you decide on which one you should purchase.
2. Buffered vs. Hardwire vs. True Bypass
Most musicians are often concerned about the bypass configuration of their chorus pedals since the bypass is the path your signal follows when you disengage an effect. A True Bypass will allow your signal to pass through the chorus pedal without running through its circuit, while a buffered output usually boosts the signal as it leaves your pedal.
Some musicians usually say that true bypass effectively prevents tone loss which is somehow true. Still, your guitar signals reduce based on the traveled length, with the degrading starting at approximately 12 feet. Therefore the trust bypass helps to reduce the distance, and this reduces tone loss as a result.
On the other hand, the buffered bypass will boost the signal and reintroduce high-end frequencies that might have been lost when the signal was traveling. The hardwire bypass is the only limiting bypass configuration where it allows your signal to pass through the chorus pedal without being boosted.
3. High End vs. Budget
Effects and Instruments usually don't have much improvement in quality with a price increase. Spending more money buying a chorus pedal will get you more features and time and feedback control, and an expression pedal input. Time control is necessary for controlling the time it takes before the modulated signal is heard, and feedback will add resonance to the tone. On the other hand, an expression pedal will allow you to control the parameter with only a foot pedal.
Opting for high-end chorus pedals will get you more features, but the tone and quality will remain. However, the extra features from the high-end chorus pedals are only worth it if you use them, but if not, you get one with high reviews but has a minimalist control layout. All in all, opt for the best chorus pedals for the sound you like and one that will give you the most value for the money you will use.
4. The Chorus’s Place in Your Signal Chain
An effects chain generally accepts compression, filter, distortion/overdrive, modulation, and volume pedals. However, not all musicians stick to that order, and some change up the order based on the ton they are looking to get. Several configurations are available with so many effects available, and you know which one will look best. You will have to experiment until you get the perfect match.
5. Tonal Range
The tone range of the best chorus pedal is the amount of sound a chorus pedal can keep up with, and each chorus pedal usually has its tonal range with varying qualities. Ensure you check if the chorus pedal you are interested in can handle the tonal range you are familiar with because sometimes the effects may work on dry settings but might mess up your distorted sound.
It might be different for a beginner when it comes to versatility than it would be for an advanced player who might need something a little different than for the beginner. Tweaking additional effects and settings brings out new life to a chorus sound, and you don't have to stick with only a classic sound.
Some of the best chorus pedals in the industry will allow you to connect the pedal to your laptop to upload new sounds selected by popular guitarists. This might be a bit complicated for a beginner, but an advanced player will know how to navigate.
7. Compact Size
Although the best chorus pedal is useful, it is usually better when combined with other pedals, and therefore making room for it on your pedalboards is beneficial. Most products have a compact size even though the room is premium, and you can get a valuable mini pedal.
8. Additional Knobs
The more knobs you will have, the more it is easy to customize your chorus pedals. This also means you can achieve a more versatile chorus pedal with an arrangement of voices ranging from classic chorus effects to shaky experimental effects. The additional knobs add more fun and allow you to get more creative and create the right sound for the genre you are working on. The knobs speed depth and ability to control depth will influence the modulation and the modulation speed.
9. Bright Vs. Dark
All the best chorus pedals feature their sound, with some models focus on a lower frequency and some emphasize bright sounds. To choose which chorus sound will work best for you, you will need to test the sound against your rig or remember your rig sounds and think if it will sound well.