With modulation key to the effect, chorus pedals help to build a pleasant sound for your rhythm guitar with a slight delay for a heavenly sound or something with a little shimmer to it giving your guitar a unique impact without having to creep near the distorted territory. Think the near chilling guitar at the start of Nirvana’s Come As You Are or The La’s There She Goes.
There’s something dreamy and almost otherworldly about it but that is only when you buy a quality pedal. Because there are plenty of cheap knock-offs out there, it can be difficult to find the ones that deserve their reputations. This is why we have created the following list of the best chorus pedals. There is something for every player of all experience levels.
Quick Summary of Chorus Pedals
BOSS WAZA Craft Chorus Guitar Pedal (CE-2W)
This is a special edition chorus pedal so it might be a case of grab it whilst you can which is something you will be glad you did. It is a combination of their CE-1 and CE-2 pedals that offers chorus and vibrato sections for a rich sound. You can make the most of the either of these sought after sounds and adjust the rate of the chorus and the depth.
Chorus was the original Boss pedal back in the 70s and for a lush shimmer, it is near impossible to beat. The price isn’t too much of a drag considering the tone is so close to the quality of the original. It is reasonably compact and like a lot of the Boss pedals out there it offers mono and stereo outputs.
- Benefits of both CE-1 and CE-2 pedals
- Rate and Depth adjustments
- Mono and stereo outputs
- Easy to use
MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal
One of the most versatile chorus pedals and up there with the most pleasant sounding with an incredible amount of tone control at your fingertips. You can adjust the level rate and depth for thick textures of this analog chorus pedal. Cutting the high and low frequencies allows you to set the tone the way you like it.
The organic sound is synonymous with the classic chorus that modern pedals were built on. Use it for a subtle chorus sound or plugin different instruments for a haunting chorus effect. It has a small pedalboard imprint and although the LED light to indicate it is on is more than a bit strong, it is good to know it is there.
- Thick textures
- Can adjust the tone
- Organic sound
- LED light
- Can cause distrotion in a loop
Rowin Analog Chorus Guitar Effect Pedal
Although most chorus pedals are on the small side, saving room on your pedalboard for more, this is particularly mini but it still manages to offer enough of a rich sound. With a warm sound with plenty of clarity, it has a classic sound that will appeal to many people looking to recreate the famous guitar-led tracks of the ’70s and ’80s.
You can amend the level, depth, and range which allows you to tailor the sound to your needs and because it is made from zinc alloy, it is durable and able to withstand constant use. There is an LED indicated that is useful when you’re playing live and considering the price, it is an excellent chorus pedal for anyone on a budget.
- Classic chorus sound
- Sturdy build
- Good value
- Level, depth, and range adjustments
- Not as many features as other models
TC Electronic Corona Chorus Pedal
One of the most versatile chorus pedals on our list and it manages to deliver a wide range of chorus sounds with everything from those dreamy shimmers to the swirls that have an experimental feel to them. The range of tone is impressive as you can tweak the settings to find your desired sound and there is also the chance to play with the FX level, depth, and speed.
It is a favorite for many who want to let their solos stand out without taking over and it is known as the chorus pedal for those who aren’t a fan of the sound. Fort the price it is a good option for those who need a stereo chorus and the small adjustments you can make ensure it is the ideal chorus pedal for playing different genres.
With the Tune Print technology, you can import custom sounds from leading guitarists which is a fun and useful feature.
- Impressive tone range
- FX level, depth, and speed knobs
- Good price
- True bypass
- Not as much power when using batteries
EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V3 Super Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal
Best Analog/Digital Hybrid
There are so many tweaks you can make it is like having 3 different chorus pedals in one compact box. The modulation possibilities are almost never-ending but the most impressive feature is that it manages to provide a clear sound when plugged in with other pedals so even when playing with fuzz or loop pedals, there is no muddiness.
The number of settings and tweaks might be a little overwhelming for the less experienced which is understandable but it puts you inc control of everything from pitch bends to those alien-like sounds that are a bit out there. It also features enhanced circulatory to make the sound cleaner. The dimension knob allows you to create reverb like ambiance and as you might expect there are depth and shape at hand.
- Lots of different tweaks available
- Improved circulatory
- Digital-analog chorus pedal
- Can take some getting used to for some people
Nautila Chorus Flange Guitar Effect Pedal
Best 2 In 1
With both chorus and flange available this is a good option for anyone looking for something a little different. There are four chorus and eight flange voices to choose from so it can save you money on purchasing two pedals and the morph knob allows you to move between modulations to create unique sounds.
There are vibrato sounds available and although we aren’t reviewing flange right here, it does impress in this area so it is worth making use of it. With speed, emphasis, voice, depth, and the ability to increase the modulation speed by holding the switch, there is a lot to like about Nautilas’s chorus and flange pedal.
- Two pedals in one
- 4 chorus voices and 8 flange
- Easy to increase modulation
- Not for the beginner
It’s an effect that almost any guitarist can find a use for and bring a dreamy shimmer to your rhythm guitar or take things to an experimental level, few pedals are as versatile. It combines well with a variety of other effects so it is essential for any pedalboard but not everyone knows what a decent product should give you.
There is no shortage of options but it is important to find out which products have all the useful features and those that are to be avoided. With this in mind, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
What To Look For In A Chorus Pedal
The more you have the easier it is to customize your chorus. This can mean you get a more versatile chorus pedal that has a range of voices with everything to classic chorus effects to the experimental shaky kind.
Although these add a bit of fun and allow you to get creative, the most important thing is being able to create the right sound for your genre. Being able to control the depth influences the modulation and the rate is the modulation speed. These are two of the most common to look out for.
Although it is useful, a chorus pedal is often great when combined with other pedals. Because of this, you want to make room for it on your pedalboard. Most products are relatively compact although if the room is at a premium, there are some decent mini chorus pedals.
Sometimes the best value is in avoiding the features you don’t need. If you get a good sound out of a basic pedal and don’t want to stray too far from the sound you like then there is little point in buying a high-end chorus pedal with fine tweaks and additional modes to choose from.
This is where an advanced player might need something a little different from the beginner. Having the ability to tweak additional settings and effects can bring new life to a chorus sound so you don’t have to stick with a classic sound.
Some brands allow you to connect the pedal to a laptop where you can upload new sounds that have been selected by reputable guitarists. Things start to get a bit more complicated but this is fine for an accomplished guitarist.
What Is A Chorus Pedal?
Some say its heyday was in the ’80s although it was commonly available in the mid-’70s and can be found on the tracks of some of the world’s most famous soft rock bands of the era.
Boss was behind the first major release of a chorus pedal so it is no surprise to see that they are still held in such high regard today. It thickens the sound of a guitar by using mild delay and has a dreamy shimmery sound. It has the sound of multiple instruments playing in harmony bringing a richer sound to even the most basic of strums.
Do I Need A Chorus Pedal?
This depends on your musical taste. Some heavier genres should probably not invest in a chorus pedal but even grunge bands are infamous for using them.
If you want a thicker sound then it is more subtle than a delay pedal and allows you to maintain rich tones with a hint of shimmer that can be increased if desired.
Why Use A Chorus Pedal?
Because it can be used to create a subtle, warmer sound that bulks out the guitar or can be adjusted to have a lot more presence and a shaky sound if the time calls, they are one of the most versatile pedals.
It’s a time-based effect so you get the benefit of it sounding like there is more than one instrument playing at the same time.
How Much Does A Chorus Pedal Cost?
The good news is that it doesn’t cost a lot to get your hands on a reasonable chorus pedal. For around $50 you can get something from a reputable brand that might be on the basic side but allows you to experiment with the chorus effect.
However, the best chorus pedals start at around $150 and these are the ones worth considering. It will get you more adjustments and a richer sound to recreate those famous songs of the ’70s and 80’s rock or use it subtly to bolster your rhythm sections.
What Is The Best Chorus Pedal?
Although there are plenty of excellent chorus pedals available, there are a few that stand out more than others. The BOSS WAZA Craft Chorus Guitar Pedal (CE-2W) is a new classic with its blend of two brilliant chorus pedals in one.
This means you get to choose from the unique CE-1 and CE-2 sounds with one box. Although it is simple, we don’t mind one bit. Other pedals might give you more in the way of adjustments but rate and depth are all you need. It has a classic sound of course and both mono and stereo outputs, a lot in a compact size.
For what most people consider to be a reasonable price, it is one for the beginner and the aficionados alike.
Analog Vs Digital
Although it can be the center of some hot debate among guitar players, there are many. benefits to both types of chorus pedals. You shouldn’t get carried away by one or the other as they are the technology behind the sound, not the sound itself.
By this we mean you can get impressive sounds from both analog and digital chorus pedals, and some lackluster models from both as well. Analog tends to sound warmer and can be noisier but digital chorus pedals can have plenty of unique character depending on the model.
A combination of the above can land you an excellent chorus pedal that you will love for years. No one size fits all and a lot can change depending on the set up of your rig but play around and enjoy the fun that comes with the adjustments.