Popularized by classics such as Nirvana, The Police, and Rush, the chorus pedal is a must-have for anyone with an electric.
While it’s easy to say what a chorus pedal does in technical terms (splits the input and slightly delays and modulates one track), it’s pretty hard to describe the effect itself. It “thickens” the sound, “adds weight”, or even “changes the color”.
Not to mention the quality of the sound depends on the brand, model, and settings used!
If there’s one thing to be said for certain it’s this: The chorus pedal is a versatile tool and a staple of every pedalboard.
With that in mind, we threw together a list of some of the best chorus pedals of all time! Read on to find your next pedal.
TC Electric Corona
Right off the bat we have a heavy hitter.
The TC Electric Corona is widely praised as one of the most versatile and affordable tools a beginner could ask for. The wide range of sounds you can wrangle out of the three knobs gives it the utility of several pedals simultaneously.
It’s not just for beginners, though – with the proprietary Tone Print software that is the hallmark of the brand, you can create your own preset on your computer. Better yet, download one that matches the sound of your rock star idol!
MXR M234 Analog Chorus
It’s hard to say what we like so much about the MXR M234 pedal. It’s appearance is a bit plain; you could even call it cluttered with 5 knobs.
Once you try it out, though, the confusion clears up. The range of sounds it can produce and the utter clarity of the effects is unparalleled. There is a definite dynamism, a kind of organic quality that is difficult to achieve with modulation. For the price, you probably can’t get a pedal with a better range.
MXR M134 Stereo Chorus
The brother of the above pedal, MXR 134 is the stereo version that provides many of the same benefits and premium quality to boot.
The stereo purists among us will argue that it’s not even worth using a chorus effect unless you have true stereo with a multiple-amp set up. We won’t weigh in on that debate, but we’ll definitely concede that it sure sounds pretty in stereo.
Furthermore, the M134 has a Bass Filter Switch – an ingenious feature that allows you to preserve the integrity of your lower register sound while only modulating the higher pitches.
TC Electronic SCF World Standard
It’s not exactly cheap, but the TC Electronic SCF World Standard certainly has everything you could ask for.
In addition to the enormous range of sounds you can achieve with speed, intensity, and width knobs, you’ve also got a switch to take you from chorus to flange.
Furthermore, it possesses True Bypass coupled with a stereo and mono output. It’s popular among keyboard players as well as guitar players for the sheer customization potential.
Boss CH1 Stereo
What’s there to say about Boss? It’s a classic brand with a reputation for impeccable quality, great sound, and sturdy construction. It’s affordable and always worth the investment.
The CH1 Stereo is no exception. It has a good range of settings between the four knobs for Rate, Level, EQ, and Depth – but nothing more. No frills, no problems. It’s also nigh-indestructible. It makes a great pedal for someone on the road, or just someone with a propensity for throwing stuff in a bag after a gig.
It doesn’t hurt that Boss products come with a 5 year warranty!
Walrus Audio Julia Analog Chorus Vibrato Pedal
If you had to do a double-take when you scrolled past that pedal art, I don’t blame you. I’m definitely getting swamp monster vibes from Julia here.
What’s not monstrous is the quality, in fact, this pedal can produce some of the highest quality sounds of any entry on this list!
Walrus Audio is a highly-respected, if somewhat unnoticed brand. Lots of modern favorites use their products – including Boyce Avenue and One Republic.
The signature feature for Walrus Audio is the lag dial which allows you to delay the modulation effects, allowing for some pretty unique sounds.
Electro Harmonic Small Clone Chorus Pedal
Do you dream of Kurt Cobain at night? Do you yearn to capture his stage presence? Look no further than the Small Clone Chorus Pedal.
This is the same pedal that made the iconic Nirvana sound. It’s very simple, that’s true. It does its job well, however, and that’s all we need.
Bonus Tip: This pedal synergizes great with overdrive.
EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine V2 Chorus Effects Pedal
EarthQuaker is a relative newcomer to the pedal scene, but just because you haven’t heard of them doesn’t mean you should pass them up.
The Sea Machine carries on the proud EarthQuaker tradition of illustrative names and even more illustrative art. It almost seems a shame to stomp on this stompbox.
With new manufacturers comes new technology, and the Sea Machine does not disappoint. It takes a bit of time to fully understand the multitude of options and settings, but the pedal is nothing less than state of the art.
Strymon Mobius Multidimensional Modulation Pedal
Have you ever looked at a nice, high-end keyboard and been overwhelmed by the sheer number of presets, dials, sliders, and LEDs?
If the answer is yes – this pedal is not for you.
If you encountered that scenario and thought, “Man, I wish my pedalboard looked like this!” then you have found the correct pedal. In fact, just this pedal alone will give your board that look.
It goes without saying that this pedal does a bit more than chorus effects. That’s the beauty of it, though – you can make practically any sound you can imagine. The only downside is that it’s pretty pricey.
JHS Unicorn V2 Uni-vibe Chorus/Vibrato Pedal
This is one of the pedals on we chose for its stolid reliability. A remake of one of the old classics, the V2 Uni-vibe brings some new features to the table.
In addition to having stellar chorus and vibrato effects, you can set precise tempos. That’s a really helpful tool when you can’t rely on your bassist or drummer (but you should start looking for a new one if they can’t stay on beat).
What’s more is that all these features are packed into a small frame – perfect for a crowded pedal board.
DigiTech Nautila Digital Chorus and Flanger Pedal
Sometimes it’s hard to remember whether we’re building a collection of pedals or art. The DigiTech Nautila doesn’t help clear up the confusion.
It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the entries on this list - and that’s okay.
Its standout feature is that the voice control of up to 8 chorus voices at once. That lets you literally create a chorus, which is why we are here, isn’t it?
If you’re looking for a solid, well-rounded sound you will certainly find it here.
Dunlop M148 MXR Micro
Simple, space-saving, and sturdy. That’s the name of the game for the Micro. If you’re the type that doesn’t like spending hours looking for a specific sound, you’d rather one was just handed to you, then you should consider this pedal.
Despite only having one knob, and it only adjusts level, the sound quality is impressive. The default voice is beyond reproach. Best of all, it’s very affordable. It’s an excellent acquisition for someone just diving into pedal collection.
Seppuku Mind Warp
In case the name of the pedal and its aesthetic weren’t enough of a clue, this pedal’s primary objective is to introduce a psychedelic element to your tone.
It functions as a regular chorus pedal, but the emphasis isn’t on producing a thick, warm tone. Rather, it’s geared towards stretching the limits of the technology. Or, even more specifically, stretching your perception of the limits.
It’s a great pedal in every regard, but if you’re not aiming for a psychedelic vibe, you can get the same functions elsewhere with less effort.
Here’s a curveball for you – this pedal is described as an “anti-chorus” pedal by the manufacturer.
So, what gives? Why is it included on this list of chorus pedals?
It’s because this pedal is elegant in its simplicity and fills a similar need to that of a traditional chorus pedal. It gives you that thick, syrupy sound without modulating your LFO.
This pedal is for people who just want a more full-bodied sound without any finicking with knobs, dials, and sliders. You’re able to plug it in and forget about it. Sometimes you don’t want all the customization and options, you just want a rich sound with no effort.
We’ll wrap up the list with another gorgeous, nautically-themed pedal. This is actually a chorus-vibrato pedal. It has that classic warmth of analog and a pretty decent range. It does an excellent job of implementing the “chorus” half of its title.
As for the vibrato… it’s best described as “sufficient”. It’ll get the job done, but it isn’t really outstanding. You could do much better, especially if vibrato is high on your priority list.
However, if you’re looking to save space on your pedalboard, or you have a love for 2 in 1 products, this pedal will treat you well.
If you’re ready to step up your electric game, you’ll need to step on a chorus pedal. They’re a necessity for recreating classic sounds, and an invaluable part of any pedalboard.
What’s your favorite chorus pedal? Tell us in the comments below!