Chorus pedals arrived in the ’70s and by the ’80s were an essential part of the sound of every guitarist. A chorus pedal delivers a slightly delayed signal combined with the original sound thus giving you a multi-layered effect, this makes a guitar sound warm and full.
Finding the best chorus pedal for guitar is no easy task. With so many excellent products and their inevitable cheap copies, on the market, there are many options.
We are going to give you some quality options to consider, to help you choose the right chorus pedal for your guitar.
- Top 10 Best Chorus Pedals For Guitar On The Market 2021 Reviews
- 1 MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal
- 2 MXR M83 Bass Chorus Deluxe
- 3 Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Chorus Pedal
- 4 Dunlop M148 MXR Micro Chorus
- 5 MXR M134 Stereo Chorus
- 6 Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus
- 7 EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V3 Super Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal
- 8 TC Electronic Corona Mini Chorus Pedal
- 9 Fender Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal
- 10 Julia Chorus/Vibrato
- The Decision Is Yours…
- Ease Of Use Versus Complexity
- Sound Variations
- What Do You Want From Your Chorus Pedal?
- If We Had To Choose The Best Chorus Pedal For Guitar...
Top 10 Best Chorus Pedals For Guitar On The Market 2021 Reviews
1 MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal
If you are thinking effects pedals, then MXR will be at the forefront of your thoughts. One of the biggest and best producers of quality pedals since the 1980s, they provide a quality product. The M234 Analog is precisely that, a quality chorus pedal.
This pedal is all about creating a certain feel to your sound. It is warm and fluid, and the level of control over is impressive. Five basic controls allow you to create exactly the sound you want.
Level, rate and depth – these allow you to set just how many choruses you want, the modulation speed and the depth of the overall sound. The high and low controls operate as a basic EQ controlling the overall sharpness of the tone you have created.
MXR describe the pedal as functioning with ‘bucket brigade’ technology. There is not enough space here to go into that description fully. But, suffice to say, it is the original electronic design for chorus, delay, etc. before the advent of digital systems, thus allowing it to be termed ‘analog.’ Just as some players prefer tube amplifiers, some prefer analog pedals as they create a different sound.
If you are considering buying a chorus pedal, then you are looking for a thicker, warmer sound. This pedal will give you that and much more besides.
It is powered by a 9-volt battery or adaptor and has three jack sockets, input, mono and through.
2 MXR M83 Bass Chorus Deluxe
Another pedal from the MXR catalog but this time for the bass guitar and another sporting an analog electrical design or bucket brigade.
In the ’80s the bass guitar was not an instrument you might consider would benefit from a chorus effect but the results can be quite startling. First used with fretless instruments, a chorus pedal later became a fixed alternative sound for many bassists who explored the sounds available. The trick was not to overuse its capabilities.
A range of tonal inflections is possible on the M83, using the treble and bass controls. Further variations can be made using the width, rate, and intensity to alter the sound produced. A flanger is included and what MXR refer to as the X-over control.
This option allows the modulation at the lower end to be decreased which in turn will increase the output at the high end. Control of the sound of a bass chorus pedal as we stated is essential, and the M83 has all the control you will need to ensure a quality sound is produced.
It should be noted that the flanger does not have a separate on/off switch.
It is, therefore, possible to create a completely unique bass sound from this one chorus pedal.
MXR have produced a pedal with excellent results, adding warmth to the sound and allowing the possibility of adding options to create exactly what you are looking for.
Powered by a 9-volt adaptor it has in and out jack sockets.
A typically robust pedal, it offers bass players the opportunity to be creative with the sounds they are producing.
3 Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Chorus Pedal
The Small Clone Chorus pedal – what many believe to be the standard by which all other chorus pedals are judged. Produced by Electro-Harmonix, a name well respected for the quality and innovation found in their extensive catalog of effects pedals.
It’s another analog pedal, the Small Clone Chorus is thought by some to be the finest chorus on the market. Its trademark sound is warm and vibrant with stunning clarity and width. And added to this are various unique options.
It can sound like a 12 string guitar or even half a dozen instruments playing in unison. There isn’t much it can’t do from the basic aspect of producing chorus. Interestingly, while it is produced for guitar, it can also be used as a bass chorus pedal.
The controls are simply laid out and feature depth and rate controls and jack input and output. It is therefore easy to use. There are no ’airs and graces’ in its design, but it will do its job and do it exceptionally well. It has true by-pass technology which is not to everyone’s liking as there can often be a loss of signal strength, but this, if even noticeable, is not of great importance when the need is to use or cancel the effect quickly.
It’s, however, a solid, dependable pedal that will create great sounds and that is precisely what guitarists want.
It requires a 9-volt battery but has a DC connection as an extra if needed.
4 Dunlop M148 MXR Micro Chorus
Another MXR pedal but this one with a different approach. Essentially this pedal is a re-issue from the ’80s. An analog pedal that has ease of use as its primary target. Easy to use it might be, but the range of sounds that can be achieved with this pedal quite outstanding.
It utilizes just one control dial, which is the definition of simplicity, but that simple control allows the user a wide range of tones. Having such simple controls enable it to be a ‘True bypass’ model. One click, and it’s off.
This pedal does one thing and one thing only, but it does it exceptionally well. It is not trying to be a complex effect or to stretch its sound possibilities to overlap other effects, it is a chorus pedal, and if chorus is what you are looking for, this pedal does the job.
As will all MXR pedals it is well made and sturdy and is of minimal size. There are two jack sockets, input and output and an LED on/off light. Power comes from a 9 volt DC adaptor.
Because of its simplicity, it works well with keyboards and bass guitar.
Possibly though its biggest selling point is the price. It is very competitively set to make it tremendous value. When you consider what this simple little pedal is capable of, then Dunlop MXR has produced a gem.
5 MXR M134 Stereo Chorus
Another quality pedal from MXR. This pedal is designed for those that want a little more in the way of options and variety. It has analog technology that produces a wide-ranging sound and has extra options for EQ on the chorus voice.
It certainly has a classic feel to the sound, and the extra functions allow greater control of the sound. Five function controls are the pedals major asset with bass and treble providing control over bottom and top ends. The intensity control does exactly what it says, controlling the overall level of the chorus effect and the modulation controlled by width and rate controls.
Do not expect to plug this pedal in and all will be well from moment one. It will take some time to get the feel of the many variances on offer, but this will be time well spent if you are looking to create a unique sound.
The M134 pedals are a fully analog box with a wonderful vintage feel. The top feature of it is without a doubt the level of control on offer. Five different function knobs give you massive ability to shape your tone across a huge chorus range.
So what are they?
Bass and Treble act as an EQ, allowing you to sculpt the high and low ends. The Intensity knob manipulates the overall level of the effect and the Width and Rate knobs give you the ability to adjust the parameters of the modulation.
It is powered by two 9v batteries or an 18v power supply.
The pedal has a Bass Filter switch which filters out high-end frequencies allowing the bottom end to really cut through. It has 3 jack sockets, input and stereo, and mono outputs.
It is at the top end of the scale cost wise, but then you are buying a lot of options in a classic pedal.
6 Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus
From one classic pedal manufacturer to another. Boss. The CH-1 may be the biggest selling chorus pedal ever and an effect that many guitarists have come to rely on. It creates a sound for all requirements and can be warm and infectious or can move towards the psychedelia of the age in which it was conceived.
It has effect level. EQ, Rate and depth controls and therefore puts you in charge of the sound.
Sounds can be created and varied to suit. It is a classic pedal creating classic sounds. The analog technology ensures it has that warm feel that digital effects often do not create. With this pedal, the sounds are at your fingertips.
The rate and depth controls are where the pedal creates its warm, and the use of these controls allows you to manipulate the created sound.
Although it has 4 controls, it is not complicated to use, and the effect of the controls on the sound is quite startling at times. The sounds are wide-ranging. It operates just as well with a keyboard as well as a guitar.
It has two jack outputs allowing for stereo output and is powered by a 9v battery or an AC power supply.
It’s ruggedly constructed with its ‘stamp’ control rather than an off/on button. A feature that many people prefer.
This pedal has a history and a standard that other manufacturers try to emulate. The price though is competitive for what you are getting by way of sound options, and it is safe to say that this pedal does it all.
7 EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V3 Super Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal
If you are looking for a chorus pedal that will do just about everything and then some more, then this is the pedal for you. Of course, more isn’t always better, but there are some interesting features to this pedal.
The manufacturers are relatively new to the game, founded in the US in 2004, but they have certainly put all their efforts into creating something different.
For a start, it is a hybrid crossover between analog and digital circuitry in an attempt to combine the best of both worlds. Six controls help you create the sounds and provide a wealth of options.
The controls are animate, dimension, intensity, depth, shape and rate. These controls give you the option of creating any sound from the standard warm chorus effect, to some crazy tone bending sounds.
If you are looking for a chorus pedal that you can plug in and create with ease warm sounds, then this might not be the pedal for you. It will take some getting used to and an appreciation of how the controls work and precisely what they can do.
However, if you are looking for something different that offers a wider range of potential sounds and you are willing to give the time for experimentation, then you don’t need to look too much further.
It has a true bypass and is powered by a 9v DC standard power supply.
8 TC Electronic Corona Mini Chorus Pedal
Another new innovation for users of chorus pedals. The pedal offers you the option to use its onboard TriChorus facility but goes a stage further in allowing you to download effects that are customized by well-known guitarists. This is achieved using their Toneprint technology.
It is a mono pedal and incorporates three controls for speed, depth, and level, thus allowing you to control the sound. It has true bypass and is physically smaller than most pedals allowing you to free up a little space on your pedalboard if necessary.
As stand-alone pedal, it will create an excellent chorus sound which can be tweaked to your own requirements. But, it is with the Toneprint facility that the pedal moves into another environment.
This facility gives you access to some of the great chorus sounds that have been produced by some of the world’s top guitarists.
There is an app for your iPhone or Android device that you can download. This will give you access to a catalog of sounds that you can listen to. You can choose which sound to download from your phone and through the guitar pickup straight to the pedal. You can adjust that sound if you so require. An interesting innovation to say the least.
The pedal also works well with bass guitar. It is powered by a 9v battery.
9 Fender Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal
Fender does like to be involved in as many things as possible, though if the truth is said, they are not known for the exceptional quality of their pedals. This chorus pedal is one of their new competition series of pedals aimed at making an impact.
It has basic controls of depth and speed but also comes with a mix control that adjusts the balance of the effects giving you the opportunity to blend the sound.
Fender is, of course, taking on some serious competition in the field of chorus pedals, but this makes an admirable effort. It is fundamental in its design and operation and is therefore easy to use, but it does lack some of the sophistication of other pedals.
However, it delivers a warm sound and creates a decent adjustment to your guitar. If you are looking for a simple chorus pedal, then this is worth considering. It is a mono pedal but can convert to stereo by using both outputs.
It’s priced very competitively which makes it an attractive choice for a pedal that will give you such a rich, warm sound. It will not, of course, produce the richness of tomes of some pedals or the diversity of sound options, but then this pedal doesn’t sit in their price range.
It’s a decent pedal that gives you a good basic sound. Can also be used with bass guitar and keyboard.
It is powered by a 9v battery.
10 Julia Chorus/Vibrato
If you are looking for a pedal packed full of effects and a few surprises the Julia is going to be worth a look. It is an analog pedal but is a lot more than that and is overflowing with sound options. Many of these variations are not to be found on other chorus pedals.
The five operating controls will take some understanding, but mainly they are the driving force behind the sound options. The rate and depth are standard on all chorus pedals, but we also have a d-c-v blend or ‘dry, chorus, vibrato’ which is a variance between wet and dry sounds up to full vibrato.
A wave switch which will allow you to alternate between waveforms, single or triangular and the lag control offering a reference point on the delay time. Input and output jacks are fitted on either side of the box, and there is an on/off, true bypass switch.
Aside from all the content of the effects, this is an excellent chorus pedal when used as simply as possible, will give warm tones and do what it is supposed to do. The fact that there are so many more options only goes to enhance the potential of the pedal and to make it appeal to those searching for different sounds.
This pedal does not come cheap, but is well made and constructed from quality materials and is so packed with varying effects; it seems to justify its price tag.
Powered by a 9v power supply.
The Decision Is Yours…
The purchase of any kind of effects pedal is a serious business. It is going to change your sound, and you will want it to create what you can hear in your head. We have looked at some wonderful pedals, all of whom have much to offer, but what is best for you needs to be considered carefully.
Ease Of Use Versus Complexity
Do you want it to be easy to use and set up. Plug it in, get the sound you want quickly and without fuss and away you go? Or are you willing to spend time creating something different?
The quality of the ‘true bypass’ is important because presumably there will be times when you don’t require it. If, between songs in a set, you need to change the modulation and the overall sound for something a little warmer, or maybe a little harsher, is that easy to do.
Indeed, can it be changed quickly at all. This will be different for nearly every player, be it guitar or bass. Some may be happy with just one sound, others might want to change the tones almost every song. This is a vital ingredient for consideration.
Some of the pedals offer a wide range of tone potentials but are these what you are looking for? Would you be content with a few tried and trusted sounds that you can rely on? Do you want to rely on a tried and trusted name in pedal manufacture?
If you want to create new sounds, then this is going to take time, firstly to get to know your new pedal and secondly, to begin to understand precisely what it can do and do well.
It depends whether you want to invest that time or indeed if you actually need to, given that all of the pedals reviewed produce a quality chorus sound as a fundamental element of their performance.
If time is what you are willing to give, then there are a wealth of possibilities with these pedals with some offering more options than others.
What Do You Want From Your Chorus Pedal?
This is an important decision you must decide upon. Whether you prefer battery operated or with a DC supply, how much do you want to spend?
Some pedals vary in size so you need to be sure it will fit into what already might be a packed pedalboard. The warm, lush tones of a quality chorus pedal can lift your sound to another level, and you want to make sure that you can create and continue to produce, that sound you have found, even at volume.
One other thing to think about is whether the pedal will be used on stage or in the studio. If it’s the latter then having a more complex chorus pedal may not impinge as much as it might if it is for use on stage where changing the set up might take time.
All of the pedals we reviewed are quality effects. Some with years of reputation behind them and made by pedal specialists who are highly regarded. The basic sounds they produce are very similar, and some offer extra subtle variances.
Others go ‘off the dial’ in terms of the sounds you can produce. It all comes down to a few simple answers. How often will I use it? Does it need to be easy to use? Will it give me the sound I want? Do I want to experiment?
Whatever your answers, there is an option for you in the list we have reviewed.