Top 10 Best-Rated Chorus Pedals – Reviews And Recommendations

The-Best-Chorus-Pedals

Last Updated Mar-11-2018.
We expanded our guide and re-arranged our list accordingly.

If you’re looking for new ways to add extra color to your tone, Chorus pedals are your way to go, providing wonderful lush sound enrichment while adding barely perceptible thickness and interference in your sound. Chorus is used in some of your favorite rock ballads dating back from the 80’s, a fact which you may not even be aware of.

It’s definitely a must have effect for every avid guitarist out there, regardless if you’re thinking about expanding your collection or grabbing your first-ever pedal, you can’t go wrong here. Enjoy this carefully prepared list and take your pick from some of the best pedals ever produced.

Top 10 Best Chorus Pedals:

Image Guitar Pedal / Rating Summary Check Price
+ - MXR M234 Analog Chorus MXR M234 Analog Chorus

Total of 4.92/5  

When it comes to setting standards, M234 is pretty much up there.

+ - TC Electronic Corona TC Electronic Corona

Total of 4.78/5  

One of the rare pedals that offers at true touring worthy experience.

+ - Fender Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal Fender Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal

Total of 4.72/5  

Performance on a pretty decent level that won't break your bank account.

+ - Electro Harmonix Small Clone Electro Harmonix Small Clone

Total of 4.75/5  

One of the popular models which offers great value for the money.

+ - Dunlop M148 MXR Micro Dunlop M148 MXR Micro

Total of 4.75/5  

Compact and capable, this pedal brings lots of range for the price.

+ - TC Electronic SCF World Standard TC Electronic SCF World Standard

Total of 4.70/5  

More advanced model with lots of control and great I/O options.

+ - MXR Stereo Chorus Effects MXR Stereo Chorus Effects

Total of 4.68/5  

Innovative features and a rich control interface is what this pedal offers.

+ - Boss CH-1 Stereo Boss CH-1 Stereo

Total of 4.65/5  

One of the familiar and favorite go-to models that still performs great.

+ - Dunlop M83 MXR Bass Deluxe Dunlop M83 MXR Bass Deluxe

Total of 4.63/5  

M83 brings a somewhat advanced design that is backed with great performance.

+ - EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2 EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2

Total of 4.60/5  

A more aggressive pedal with a wide range of chorus options.

MXR M234 Analog Chorus

MXR M234 Analog Chorus

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A lot of guitar players tend to associate MXR with simple pedals and clean controls. This is true in most cases, but MXR M234 is there to break this pattern. Aside from being atypical for MXR. M234 just happens to be one of the great analog pedals you can find on the market today. It brings that trademark analog feel to your tone, and its extensive controls allow you to dial in chorus effect exactly like you want it to be. What really sets it aside is its performance

The general vibe of the effect is impressive. You get that glassy chorus effect which really saturates the section you are trying to enhance in an organic way. Nothing sounds artificial about this pedal, and that is one of the main reasons why people love it so much. On top of all that, the price is right in the sweet spot. It’s neither too expensive nor is it outside of the realm of budget users but rather on its edge.

TC Electronic Corona

TC Electronic Corona

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Chorus is the type of effect that is right up TC Electronic’s alley. Their Corona Mini stands out as one of the most versatile and most user-friendly designs on the market. The enclosure the gizmo comes in is of the slim variety, with only three control knobs available. However, adjusting the speed, depth, and FX level is definitely not the full extent of its capabilities. Just like so many other TC Electronic pedals before it, Corona Mini comes with Tone Print support. This feature allows you to design your own chorus effect using a proprietary piece of software, and upload that preset onto the pedal.

In other words, if you don’t like the factory chorus that comes with the pedal, you have free reign over what your Corona Mini is going to sound like. There aren’t many other models out there which offer that type of experience, and definitely not in this price range. If you are looking for extreme versatility, this pedal is an obvious choice.

Fender Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal

Fender Chorus Guitar Effects Pedal

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Fender is not usually the name you associate with effects pedals, but they sure have their moments. Their stompbox we are looking at here is among the easiest and most neutral affordable ones of this type which you can find at the moment. The effect this bad boy offers is full of warmth and range while it gives you that organic feeling.

When applied to a clean channel or an acoustic guitar, it does wonders. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t boost your distorted tone as well. On the contrary, if you need to give your riffs a bit of width, Fender Chorus guitar effects pedal will get the job done while preserving clarity at all times. This is something that not many choruses in this price range can say for themselves. Those who need a good, versatile solution on a budget should definitely look into this Fender box. It might be exactly what you were looking for all along, and probably even more than that.

Electro Harmonix Small Clone

Electro Harmonix Small Clone

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Small Clone is one of the most interesting pedals of its type. Electro-Harmonix did their magic once again, giving us a chance to experience a versatile chorus that is capable of delivering a wide variety of options. The enclosure is more or less standard Electro-Harmonix business, with its wide body and very meticulous graphic design. Once you plug it in and look at the available controls, you might be tricked into thinking that you are limited in terms of tone shaping. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Small Clone allows you to dial in anything from that standard lush chorus, a solid 12 string effect, to a pretty rad Leslie type chorus. That is a pretty great range of options in a pedal that is fairly reasonably priced. This thing works great with electric guitars as well as acoustics or bass guitars. Whether you’re looking for a simple solution or something a bit more flexible, Electro-Harmonix Small Clone will most likely be a perfect fit.

Dunlop M148 MXR Micro

Dunlop M148 MXR Micro

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When it comes to simple but effective pedals, MXR definitely knows how to get the job done. Their M148 Micro is a tiny box that packs a mean punch. The pedal comes in their standard slim format, while it features only one control knob that lets you adjust the depth of the effect. Some might say that’s not enough, but you have to try this thing before you start reaching conclusions.

This is an analog chorus on a very high level. Sure, you can’t really shape its tone all too much, but the one it offers right out of the box is impressive, to say the least. The effect is warm, like only an analog one can be. It delivers a very organic, natural sounding experience at a price that is more than reasonable. MXR M148 is old school, so those who are looking for a vintage type of chorus will find a quality match in this pedal. At this price, it’s a pedal worth looking into.

TC Electronic SCF World Standard

TC Electronic SCF World Standard

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SCF World Standard by TC Electronic takes the chorus game to a whole different level of versatility. First and foremost, this is a multi-purpose effects pedal. If you look at the controls, you will see a small switch that allows you to toggle between chorus and flanger effects. Aside from that, you get a number of outstanding and practical features if you decide to give SCF World Standard a shot.

The pedal comes with a true bypass, standard input, but just two outputs. One is mono and the other is stereo. There is also an input gain knob which allows controlling the gain. Standard tone shaping controls come in form of the all familiar speed, width, and intensity knobs. The type of chorus you can dial in with these controls is among the more versatile ones. This versatility explains why this pedal is popular among guitar players as well as keyboard players. While it is anything but affordable, SCF World Standard brings the performance worthy of its name.

MXR Stereo Chorus Effects

MXR Stereo Chorus Effects

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Here’s another MXR design which you simply have to include on any list worth its salt. MXR Stereo chorus delivers the type of quality you would expect from a top tier pedal like this one, but it also packs a whole lot more. The enclosure the device comes in is wide, definitely wider than most MXR designs out there. This pedal features your standard rate, intensity and width controls, but interestingly enough, it also offers a two-band EQ.

Using this EQ, you can shape the tone of the chorus and thus create more or less contrast between your raw signal and the effect itself. Another great feature is the addition of a stereo output. Combined, everything MXR Stereo brings to the table makes for a pretty versatile package. Whether you are looking for a great chorus effect to add some flavor to your tone, or a professional grade tool to use for on-stage work, MXR Stereo should be on your list.

Boss CH-1 Stereo

Boss CH-1 Stereo

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Boss has is known for one thing more than anything else, and that is designing no-nonsense effects pedals which simply work. Boss CH-1 brings those qualities into the chorus segment of the market. Featuring that same proven Boss enclosure, CH-1 is pretty much average in most of what it does. The controls are standard, with the addition of effect level, and you get a stereo output as well. The tone itself is what puts this thing on the map. Boss designed a natural sounding, lush chorus that brings a dose of clarity into the game.

This pedal can take just about any kind of signal and do its magic on it. Whether you are on a clean channel, or a distorted one, you will get the performance you need. Thanks to its versatility, Boss CH-1 can be used with acoustic guitars as well as bass guitars with a great deal of success. Compared to other stompboxes in its category, CH-1 is fairly reasonably priced, and offers more in certain aspects.

Dunlop M83 MXR Bass Deluxe

Dunlop M83 MXR Bass Deluxe

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M83 is fairly similar to the MXR Stereo chorus pedal, with a few exceptions. Unlike the Stereo Chorus, M83 MXR Bass Deluxe comes in a standard enclosure, making it easier to fit on pedalboards. In terms of controls and features, you get a lot. First thing first, there are your standard intensity, rate and width controls. Aside from those, you also get a great two-band EQ that really impacts the way your effect comes out the other end.

Next thing is the Flanger option, which makes this a 2-in-1 pedal, and something Dunlop calls X-Over mode. Once you punch that button, your bass frequencies are dialed back a little, allowing the trebles to punch through with more clarity. The amount of chorus types you can get from this pedal alone is pretty impressive. Needless to say, this puppy has a lot of range. In terms of price, it’s not something you would consider affordable. However, with M83, you definitely get what you pay for and then some.

EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2

EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2

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The Sea Machine V2 is one of the most functional and resourceful chorus pedals on the market. Providing you with an extensive multitude of options, digital and analog circuits, all fit together in an attractive and effective “stomp-box”. Rate, Shape, Dimension, Intensity, Animate and Depth is what the control knobs offer, they might seem intimidating at first, but they’re not at all hard to master with a moderate time investment in discovering what this magic box can output.

The Sea Machine V2 offers state-of-the-art sound quality and modification choices rarely found elsewhere. Ranging from lightweight chilly chorus to a wilder metal-like tone, it can fit in various pedal setups on your board, and it will adapt to your needs, thus follow your guitar every step of the way. The Sea Machine is one of those pedals that offer much more than what its price suggests, if you in need of some sweet chorus with extensive customization, this pedal should be your first choice.

Going Beyond The Definition

Compressors are a very interesting type of effect. For starters, they aren’t as overt as some other pedals. When you plug in an overdrive stomp box into your signal chain, youwill definitely know when it’s on. That isn’t necessarily the case with compressors. We say necessarily because there are several schools of thought when it comes to this and we are about to look into the most dominant ones.

Compressor As A Tool

The most common way of using a compressor is to approach it as a tool that can iron out imperfections in your tone. When applied in this context, you won’t hear a compressor in the mix. However, you will definitely notice when said compressor is taken out of the signal chain. Ironing out various spikes and dips in your tone can be extremely beneficial. Right off the bat none of this sounds like something a beginner would even want to use. While that might be true, it is worth mentioning that learning how to use compressors from the start can only bring benefits down the road.

Here are some concrete scenarios where a simple compressor can really change the game for you. If you are fingerpicking a clean guitar or an acoustic guitar, having some compression in there can even out your picks and make them sound more uniform.. Those who are into fast picking will benefit even more. On the other hand, alternate picking on an electric guitar with a heavy distortion applied can also benefit from a compressor. In some ways, a compressor can cover some technique issues such as the intensity of attack on the string and so forth. In summary, it’s not something that drastically alters the tone like a phaser pedal, but silent tool that irons out the quirks.

Compressors As Overt Effects

Now that we covered the actual purpose of compressors, lets talk a little about what compressors can do in the overt sense. When you set compression parameters so that you eliminate peaks but also boost that lacking low end, one interesting thing happens. You get boosted sustain. Since thepedal is working hard to keep those notes going, you can use a compressor as a sustain pedal without adding any other changes to your tone. This makes it a great tool to use with clean guitars and acoustic guitars.

Figuring Out Compressor Controls

Controls on an average compressor tend to be fairly simple. However, this also depends on the type of pedal you got. Compressors can be fairly complex, which has its benefits to say the least. Most basic compressors have two or three controls.

First one is Level. This is the knob you use yo set the output of the pedal. Next comes the sustainknob which can be labeled differently depending on the pedal you own. Sustain allows you to setthe amount of compression in the signal. These two represent the most basic control layout.

In addition to Level and Sustain, you might run into Attack knobs. These are determining how quickly the compression is going to kick in. Again, there are more complex pedals on the market that allow for much more overall control.

Where Do Compressors Fit Into An Average Signal Chain?

Placement of compressors is fairly important if you want to get the best performance out of them. Since compressors are used to unwanted spikes and dips in the signal, they are almost exclusively placed at the very beginning of the signal chain. The only pedal you would want to put before a compressor is a tuner if you are using one in a pedal format.

The reason for this is pretty simple. It is much easier to apply compression to a signal which is raw and pure of other effects. Once a guitar signal passes through five or six other effects, it would be much harder or even impossible for a compressor to sort it out. Even so, there are someapplications which warrant that you put a compressor at the very end of the chain after a hot distortion and other pedals, but those are very rare.

Do You Really Need A Compressor Pedal?

This is a question which many guitar players are asking lately. The answer is going to depend largely on how you treat your guitar tone. Those who aren’t that worried about imperfections in their tone may not find it useful to have a compressor as a part of their gear. On the other hand, those who are aiming for perfection will most definitely have a compressor pedal among other similar tools. When it comes to beginners who are just setting up their pedal boards, things are much simpler. Compressors are not something you need to think about in the beginning. Is it beneficial to knowhow to use one this early on in your journey? Sure, but it isn’t crucial. Truth be told, there are many other more important pedals that you should cover before reaching compressors. The thingto remember is to actually look into compressors at some point.

Cheap VS High End

Choosing between cheap and expensive compressors comes down to what you need. Most guitar players who aren’t familiar with this effect tend to start with something that is easy to work with and easy to understand. Such pedals are often fairly cheap. We can definitely recommend that you take this approach. It is much more beneficial to learn how to use a simple compressor. The last thing you want is to get one with all the bells and whistles, only to find yourself lost in all of the additional controls.

Once you have figured things out and learned what kind of compression works best for your sound, then it might be a good time to consider some better and more expensive options. If you scratch the surface, you will find an abundance of awesome compressor pedals, many of which we have included on our top list. Just remember, once you start using a compressor, you won’t beable to play without it.

Conclusion

This concludes our selection so far, offering various mixtures of options and ways of sound enhancement, however they all share one thing in common – which is immaculate quality in terms of the marvelous effect itself, meaning quality is assured no matter what your pick is here. We’ve made sure to offer the best of the best when you combine quality and affordability.


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