Forget the intro, let’s head right into the chorus.

Whether you’re playing solo or with your band, a chorus pedal can beef up your sound by adding a full ensemble of different “voices” to your sound. Instead of it sounding like a single guitar playing, a chorus pedal makes your one guitar sound like several guitars at once.

The chorus effect has been around for a long time, but it didn’t find its start in guitars. Originally, organ players in the 1930s started using the chorus effect, it didn’t begin to become popular until the 1960s and 70s. Many artists have theorized that the Beatles used a chorus pedal on the iconic track, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”.

Other famous songs like Nirvana’s, “Come As You Are,” numerous Queen hits, and Van Halen’s “Unchained” have taken full advantage of the chorus effect.

Nowadays, many guitarists—whether they’re complete beginners or masters—find that the chorus pedal is an essential part of creating a personal sound.

What is the Best Chorus Pedal?

What exactly is a chorus pedal and what does it do?

Of the different guitar effects out there, the chorus pedal must be one of the most unique. It’s a modulation effect that works by taking your signal and splitting it into two separate parts: one ‘dry’, and one ‘wet’. When it plays your audio back to you, the pedal delays one part—making it sound almost as if multiple people playing the same instrument.

How much of the chorus effect you mix in with your regular sound is up to you, and you can control this by adjusting the settings on your chorus pedal.

While every pedal might work a little differently, almost all chorus pedals have the same basic controls: there’s a rate knob to control your delay time (measured in milliseconds), depth control to adjust the intensity of the effect and usually multiple EQ knobs that change how much bass and treble you’re using.

Keep in mind that there are two main types of chorus pedals on the market: analog and digital. Analog chorus pedals are the original, and they were popular for decades before digital technology came about.

There aren’t many differences between digital and analog choruses, but the two biggest distinctions are simplicity and sample rates. Not only are they generally simpler to deal with, but analog chorus pedals typically use a variable sample rate and a fixed delay line. Digital devices, on the other hands, operate with a fixed sample rate and variable delay line.

This alteration can make digital chorus pedals slightly more difficult to operate: if you aren’t careful, the variable delay line can cause distortion. It’s impossible to say which of these types is better—it all boils down to which sounds you prefer.

Analog chorus effects are prized for their warm, vintage tone, whereas digital versions tend to offer more control and a broader range of sounds.

What makes a great chorus pedal?

Whenever you buy an effect pedal of any kind, there’s always a few things you should pay attention to—and the chorus pedal is no exception. Here’s what you should be looking out for when you purchase a chorus effect:

  • True bypass
  • Durability
  • Battery and AC power options
  • A wider rate and depth control

True Bypass

One of the downsides to using guitar pedals, especially more than one, is interference. It can become frustrating and time-consuming to have to unhook all your pedals every time you don’t want to use them—simply because they interfere with your signal.

Fortunately, with a pedal that’s true bypass, you don’t need to. When you switch off a true bypass pedal, it enters bypass mode, meaning that your signal will directly route itself to the amp and not the pedal. As a result, you won’t experience that muddled sound that interference causes.

True bypass is an important trait in any guitar pedal you own—including a chorus pedal. If you aren’t sure whether your pedals contain true bypass, try turning them off and seeing if your sound passes through the pedal first. If it does, you’re not dealing with a true bypass pedal.

Durability

Whether you’re talking about a chorus pedal, or any other guitar effect, durability is a key concern.

Typically, cheaper models are made with a plastic housing. While this enables the manufacturer to make the pedal available at lower costs, they aren’t going to be able to stand up to the demands of playing out like a pedal with a metal housing will.

Of course, if you play primarily at home and don’t have plans to gig out or tour, durability is less of a concern. Even if you’re only playing at home, you’re going to want a pedal that’s built to last.

Beyond the housing of the pedal, there are other factors that determine how durable a pedal is going to be. You’ll want to look towards pedals with quality potentiometers and heavy-duty switches to ensure that they’re built to last.

Battery and AC Power

Some chorus pedals use batteries, but others strictly run off a power supply. Having the option to run your pedal off batteries, or with an AC power supply is a key feature that is often overlooked.

If you have a pedal that only runs off batteries, after you run through your first $20 pack of 9Vs, you’ll wish you had the option to use a power supply.

If you use an array of different pedals, AC power is a practical necessity. Considering that pedals demand a fair amount of electricity, running a bunch of pedals off batteries can become cost prohibitive. Plus, nothing is worse than getting halfway through your set only to realize that your chorus pedal didn’t have as much battery power left as you thought it did.

Meanwhile, there are sure to be other times when being able to run the pedal off batteries is ideal. Powering your pedals with a battery ensures that you have one less wire to worry about, and one less outlet to find on a crowded stage with just a few minutes to spare before it’s time for your set.

Plus, having the option to use a 9V or AC power provides you with a backup plan should something go wrong. If the plug for your power supply fails, you’ll always be able to run the pedal off batteries instead. If your battery dies, you can always plug the pedal in and run it off AC power.

Wider Rate and Depth Control

All chorus pedals, regardless of whether they’re digital or analog, will have a rate knob or button. While it won’t matter with every song you play, having a wider rate knob can give you more control. Keep in mind that “wider” refers to a wider range of delay times to choose from, not the physical width of the knob.

Since chorus pedals work by splitting your signal and delaying half of it, a rate knob can let you adjust how long that part of the signal is delayed. Depending on what song you’re trying to play, you may want your signal delayed for a long period of time—or almost no time at all.

Your depth control works similarly by controlling the intensity of your modulation. You can choose to make your chorus effect subtle or obvious. A wider depth control simply gives you more variation in how intense you want your effect.

A variable rate and depth control might not make or break your pedal, but they’re often good indicators of a great chorus pedal. The more wiggle room you have with these controls, the more you can experiment with your sound.

Chorus Pedal Reviews – Our Top 5 Recommendations

TC Electronic Corona Chorus Pedal

Best Overall

What Makes It Special?

The TC Electronic Corona Chorus pedal is one of the most well-known chorus pedals on the market—and there’s a reason for that. What separates this pedal from similar choices is that, beyond producing a clean sound without any interference, this is also a tone-print device too.

Tone-print pedals allow you to upload a custom effect onto your pedal so that you can experiment with your sound even more; this is in addition to the 3 chorus effects you already get with the pedal.

  • True Bypass
  • Tone-print
  • 3 different chorus types
  • Battery-powered

The TC Electronics Corona Chorus pedal gives you the best of both worlds: while you still feel as if you’re getting the simplicity of an analog pedal, you get the bells and whistles of a digital pedal too. Not only can you experiment with the 3 different chorus sounds, but you can also use the tone-print capabilities to add your own spin onto things.

Another great feature of this pedal is that it’s true bypass. This attribute comes in handy when you don’t want to use your chorus effect, but don’t feel like unhooking it from your signal chain to avoid interference. In bypass mode, you’ll still get a clean, un-muddled sound.

It’s worth noting that this pedal is not only battery-powered but designed to be durable and portable. The pedal only weighs around a pound and uses a hard metal shell that’ll last you a long time.

What Customers Like

  • Tone-print capabilities
  • 3 chorus sounds to choose from
  • True bypass

What Customers Dislike

  • After extensive use, the pedal can sometimes cause a buzzing sound
  • The battery may not last very long

Donner Tutti Love Chorus Guitar Effect Pedal Pure Analog True Bypass

Best For the Price

What Makes It Special?

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is go back to the basics—and that’s exactly what the Donner Tutti Love Chorus Guitar Effect Pedal with True Bypass does. At only half a pound, this mini-sized pedal is still able to provide you with all the tools you need to find your own unique sound.

Even if the appearance might not be important to how it functions, the classic design of this sky-blue pedal can make you feel as if you’ve been transported back to the 1970s.

  • True bypass
  • Portable and durable
  • Pure analog chorus effect
  • Treble and normal modals

With true bypass, you don’t need to worry about any interference this pedal might cause when it’s off. When you are using it, however, you might be surprised just how clean the sound is. For guitarists that appreciate a vintage sound, this might be an ideal choice.

While it’s far from complex, the Donner Tutti Love Chorus Guitar Effect pedal still gives you plenty of control: there’s a level knob to control your volume, a comp knob to adjust the compression of the effect, and a tone knob to control the tone of the signal.

If you already know that portability and durability are going to be important to you, this pedal might be worth considering. It weighs less than a pound, but that doesn’t make it any less durable. It also uses a full metal shell made of stable aluminum alloy and can withstand a little bit of rough handling.

What Customers Like

  • Uses true bypass
  • Very portable and long-lasting
  • Simple controls

What Customers Dislike

  • May emit a clicking sound when the footswitch isn’t engaged
  • The power supply is not included with the purchase

MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal

What Makes It Special?

The MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal is a popular choice for guitarists of all skill levels. This classic pedal separates itself from the pack by using old-school bucket brigade technology that provides a pure analog sound.

Unlike similar analog pedals, this one contains a rare combination: it’s easy to use, but still gives you full control over the tone of your sound.

  • Full tonal control
  • Uses bucket-brigade circuitry
  • Uses a 9 single-volt battery or an AC adapter
  • Made from durable materials

Not all chorus pedals are able to give you as much tonal control as this one does. You can adjust your sound in several ways: there are depth, rate, and level controls as well as knobs to alter high and low frequencies.

Although many guitarists are divided on whether bucket-brigade technology still holds up, this classic technology can provide a pure vintage sound you won’t hear on other analog or digital pedals. Many have described this sound as “lush” or “liquid”.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the MXR M234 Analog pedal focuses on durability and portability. The pedal uses a metal shell, but also contains long-lasting switches and jacks for extra durability.

It also only weighs around a pound, so you can transport this pedal anywhere you need to—whether it be to a jam session in a friend’s garage or a cross-country tour.

What Customers Like

  • Lush, liquid sound
  • Full tonal control
  • Durable and portable

What Customers Dislike

  • The LED light can be a little bright
  • Not true bypass

Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Chorus Pedal

Best For Beginners & Students

What Makes It Special?

For beginners and students that need a chorus pedal that allows them to experiment but won’t completely confuse them, the Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Chorus pedal might be the ideal choice.

This chorus pedal stands out by giving you more tonal control and providing that rich analog sound that many guitarists strive for in their pedals. This device gives you all the perks of a professional chorus pedal without all the unnecessary fluff.

  • True bypass
  • Battery-powered
  • More tonal control
  • Made for long-lasting use

Sometimes, the greatest measure of a pedal’s worth is by who used it. This pedal, for instance, was a favorite of Kurt Cobain from Nirvana—and it’s not difficult to see why. Not only does this chorus pedal use true bypass, but it allows guitarists the ability to alter their sound with a few little tweaks.

With the turn of the knob, you can create doubling effects or Leslie-like warbles that take your sound to a whole new level.

While you can power this pedal with a 9V battery, you don’t have to. Guitarists who know they’re going to be playing for hours at a time might prefer using a 9DC-100 power supply (keep in mind, the power supply must be purchased separately).

As far as durability goes, this pedal lasted for Kurt Cobain, and it’ll likely last you a long time too. Not only are the switches and jacks designed for durable, long-lasting use, but the entire pedal only weighs around one pound.

What Customers Like

  • Battery-powered
  • Allows guitarists to make small tweaks to adjust their sound
  • True bypass

What Customers Dislike

  • Doesn’t have a super wide rate control
  • Might be slightly more difficult than some other choices to add your pedalboard

Danelectro D-5 Fab Chorus Effects Pedal

Best on a Budget

What Makes It Special?

If you’re looking for a chorus pedal that won’t break the bank but still provide you with rich, high-quality tones, the Danelectro D-5 Fab Chorus Effects pedal is right up your alley. Beyond the affordable price, this old-school, rugged pedal is known for its versatility and simplicity. Even brand-new beginners can operate this pedal without much confusion.

With a little tweaking, you can completely transform your sound from shimmery to slow, deep warbles.

  • Uses 3 knobs: mix, speed, and depth
  • Rugged design
  • Big, springy button
  • Battery-powered

The Danelectro D-5 Fab Chorus Effects Pedal is a favorite among guitarists. Besides being one of the most affordable chorus pedals on the market, it’s still able to give you the smooth sound and control of more expensive options.

The mix, speed, and depth controls allow you to tweak your sound and create a variety of different chorus sounds. Another positive is that this pedal gives you the option of battery power or using a power adapter (keep in mind that neither of these are included and must be purchased separately).

While the Danelectro D-5 Fab Chorus Effects pedal might not put as much emphasis on durability as some other pedals, it does offer something that many don’t: a 1-year warranty. If the pedal breaks or malfunctions during its first year of use, you’ll be able to get a replacement.

What Customers Like

  • Simple and easy-to-use
  • Highly-affordable
  • Versatile sound

What Customers Dislike

  • May give off a slight amount of feedback
  • Not true bypass

6 More Really Good Chorus Pedals

Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus Pedal

The Boss brand is known for making high-quality guitar pedals, and their CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus Pedal is not an exception to that rule. With this device, you have full control over your sound: there’s a rate knob to control the delay time, a depth control for your modulation intensity, and EQ and effect knobs.

Many guitarists find that this pedal can give them a wider rate control and a clear, distinct sound. One thing the Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus Pedal centers around is durability. At a little over a pound in weight, this pedal is still portable, but heavy-duty enough that it’s not going to break from a little wear and tear.

It’s worth noting this product is battery-powered (and requires 2 AA batteries) that should be purchased separately.

Behringer UC200 Ultimate Stereo Chorus Instrument Effects Pedal

For guitarists that want a thick, distinct chorus sound, the Behringer UC200 Ultimate Stereo Chorus Instrument Effects Pedal might just be the way to go. There are several ways to control your sound: a level knob to adjust your volume as well as depth, rate and tone controls.

Many guitarists find the stereo effect to be particularly useful in creating a deep, rich sound that resonates for miles. Keep in mind that you can operate this pedal two different ways: either with a 9V battery or a Behringer PSU-SB DC power supply (neither of which are included with the purchase of this product).

If you enjoy playing for long periods of time without stopping, it might be worth it to invest in the power supply rather than the battery.

One benefit of this pedal is that it does provide bypass mode—when you aren’t using the pedal, you shouldn’t expect any stray interference with your signal.

Fender Bubbler Chorus Pedal

Fender doesn’t just excel at making guitars—they also manufacture top-of-the-line guitar pedals too. The Fender Bubbler Chorus Pedal is all about control. This pedal gives you everything you need to produce a sound that’s uniquely yours: there’s two different depth controls, two rate knobs, and even a sensitivity knob for your modulation rate.

While it might take a little getting used to for beginners, this device can help guitarists of all skill levels master their sound. If you’re worried about interference, you can also switch the pedal into bypass mode to avoid unwanted buzzing or muffling.

Durability isn’t an issue for this pedal, either. It’s made with stable anodized aluminum that gives it a tough, outer coating but still keeps it lightweight and portable.

While appearance might not be a factor in how your pedal functions, it’s worth noting that the Fender Bubbler Chorus Pedal has a sleek, metallic look that’s unusual in chorus pedals.

Tom’sline Engineering Analogue Chorus Pedal

If you’re a fan of guitarist Michael Angelo Batio, you might be particularly interested in the Tom’sline Engineering Analogue Chorus Pedal. Not only has this pedal been popularized by MAB, but it also includes a copy of his signature on the side of it.

However, the Tom’sline Chorus pedal still holds up without its famous origins: it’s true bypass and contains depth and speed controls to alter your sound.

With some pedals, it’s easy to accidentally move the wrong knob while playing and completely screw up your sound. This chorus pedal avoids that by using a stop bar to prevent accidental movement.

Generally, this pedal is pretty lightweight and durable. Not only does it weigh less than a pound, but it contains a hard metal shell that’s meant to last you. Keep in mind that it’s best to use a power adapter with this product, but you will need to buy the adapter separately.

Mooer Ensemble King Analog Chorus Micro-Pedal

For a simpler, no-hassle choice that can fit beginner to master guitarists, the Mooer Ensemble King Analog Chorus Micro-Pedal is ideal. This tiny, bright-blue device weighs less than half a pound and is highly portable. If you already own a pedalboard that’s filled to capacity, you might appreciate the compact, space-conscious qualities of this micro-pedal.

Sound-wise, the Mooer Chorus pedal provides two important components: a pure analog sound, and true bypass. You can control the nuances of your sound with the level, depth and rate knobs.

While it might not have all the fancier effects of a digital chorus pedal, this device can help you get used to altering your effect manually. Once you’re comfortable with this simple device, you’ll find that adjusting the controls on a more complicated chorus is much easier.

Boss CE-5 Stereo Chorus Ensemble

If you truly want to feel as if you’ve got an entire band backing you up, you might want to consider the Boss CE-5 Stereo Chorus Ensemble. One of this pedal’s greatest advantages is the large number of chorus effects at your disposal.

With the turn of a knob and a few simple tweaks, your sound can go from sweet and subtle to fast-paced, punchy notes. For using in combination with dual amps, this chorus pedal has both a mono input and stereo output.

This device is battery-powered and takes 9V batteries—which are included in the purchase of the item. Keep in mind that, while Boss pedals are typically reliable, you do have a little extra security here. This chorus pedal comes with a 5-year warranty so that, if something does break or malfunction, you can always get a replacement.

5 FAQ’s About Chorus Pedals

How do you use a Chorus Pedal?

While you might understand how to control a chorus pedal, figuring out how to use it when you’re playing can be a little trickier. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can utilize a chorus pedal to enhance your sound.

One place that a chorus pedal always stands out in is a guitar solo. During your moment to shine, the chorus pedal can add depth and layers to your sound so that it leaves a memorable impression on your audience. You might be the only one playing, but it’ll sound like you’ve got an entire band of guitar players backing you up.

Another way to utilize this effect is by adding a little more “meat” to your rhythm section. If you feel as if your rhythm section is lacking a little power, the illusion of multiple instruments can give it the extra oomph it needs to get to the next level.

Some musicians find that, besides adding some bulk to the rhythm, a chorus pedal can also be useful in backing up the leading parts of that rhythm section too.

For beginners, a chorus pedal is one of the easiest pedals to use, and the most fun to experiment with. If you’re relatively unfamiliar with guitar effects, you might just find that a chorus pedal can add more depth and layering to your sound than other effects.

Most chorus pedals include a section in the manual that features recommended presets. These presets are the perfect jumping off point for you to start with. From there, you can manipulate the pedal’s different controls to find a signature sound that’s all your own.

Even if you don’t use it all the time, knowing how your sound works in combination with a chorus pedal can help you immensely in the future when you’re jamming out with friends or playing in front of a live audience.

Where do you place a Chorus Pedal (in the chain)?

Keep in mind that the chorus pedal is a modulation effect, which can play a huge role in where you place this pedal in your signal chain. There are two areas you can place this device: typically, if you aren’t using an amp with effect loops, modulation effects like the chorus pedal should be placed near the back—usually before your delay or reverb pedals.

However, in the modern era, many guitarists typically use amps that have effect loops and an entirely separate set of jacks for your modulation effects. Hooking your chorus pedal directly into the amp’s circuit might sound better and prevent distortion, but the decision ultimately boils down to what sort of amp you have.

Either way, placing a chorus pedal near the back of the chain or hooking it up to the amp should cause you minimal issues with distortion and feedback.

What are the top Chorus Pedal brands?

Like any product, there are always a few reputable brands out there that are known for providing high-quality chorus pedals. These include:

  • Boss
  • Donner
  • TC Electronics
  • MXR
  • Behringer
  • Fender
  • Electro-Harmonix

Not only have many of these brands been making chorus pedals for decades, but they’re committed to providing musicians with high-quality, easy-to-use pedals. Many guitarists and keyboardists favor the Boss brand since it provides a wider variety of different chorus pedals to choose from.

Electro-Harmonix often gets praise for their digital chorus pedals, while Donner has a well-known history for their quality guitar effects.

This isn’t to say that you can’t find a great chorus pedal outside of these brands, but there’s a reason these brands tend to dominate the market. By sticking to the list, you’re more likely to end up with a chorus pedal that suits your needs and lasts you a lifetime.

How much does a good Chorus Pedal typically cost?

When shopping for a chorus pedal, you might find that price varies across the board. While some chorus pedals might only cost $25, others run in the range of $100.

Keep in mind that price does not necessarily affect the quality of your pedal. In some cases, that $25 chorus pedal might sound a lot better than the $100 one. Most of the time, price coincides with complexity: the more complex your pedal is, the more you’re generally going to pay for it.

Both digital and analog pedals are known to run the full gamut when it comes to price. Most digital chorus pedals fall in the $50-150 range, whereas analog versions can be had for $30-200 and up.

You’ll find that you can purchase a bare bones analog chorus pedal cheaply, but there are also many manufacturers that offer boutique style pedals that are often hand wired, and made using top of the line components.

Don’t forget that pedals from highly-reliable brands might also have a steeper price tag: this is because you already know you’ll be getting a higher-quality pedal.

Where can I learn more about Chorus Pedals?

If you’re still confused about chorus pedals, there’s no reason to worry—there are plenty of online resources that can help you learn more about this modulation effect. If you’re interested in hearing more about which famous songs used the chorus effect as well as what specific pedals, you might want to check out this article from Guitar Gear Finder.

Sometimes the best way to learn about chorus pedals is simply by listening to them. If you’re looking for a more visual lesson, this video gives you an idea of what the chorus effect sounds like and how you can use it in the studio and in live performances.

Conclusion

Of all the different effect pedals out there, the chorus pedal is one of the most unique. Not only can it provide extra depth and power to your song, but it can go a long way in helping you experiment and find a unique sound. With a large selection of choices, picking the right chorus pedal might feel overwhelming, but the good news is that we’ve done the legwork for you.

It’s worth noting that, along with chorus pedals, musicians also typically purchase these pedals as well:

  • Delay
  • Overdrive
  • Phaser
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