Chorus effects bring us into a world of shimmer, shine and everything in between. For us, it’s sometimes hard to not use chorus and we have to force ourselves to switch it up at least here and there. There’s something about that feel you’re able to attain with a chorus guitar pedal that’s irreplaceable by others. With that being said, we’ve continued our journey into creating guides in all of the best guitar pedals out there, so today we’re met with another one of our favorites. We hope this guide can help give you some choices so you can find the best chorus guitar pedal for either your current stomp box or a brand new setup.
Choosing the best chorus guitar pedal
Any time you’re searching for a guitar pedal, you’ll be finding a similar trend in regards to what you’re looking for — price, control over sound, size (for some), and most importantly, how it sounds! We have a decent price-range since most pedals don’t go over $200, and those that do are either multi-effects pedals or perhaps a digital-based pedal that brings us more controls, FX and other features than normal. Otherwise, those who want a traditional, analog-based and decent-sized pedal that will fit on your existing stomp-box will hover around the $100 range.
Control over a pedal is wanted by some, not needed by others. For example, some chorus guitar pedals merely come with a ‘level’, ‘volume’ and ‘depth’ knob to adjust your chorus FX in your tones, while others come with an entire EQ line to be able to cut your highs and lows, as well as other handy ‘tweakability’ features. Whether or not this is important to you, we’ll leave that to the reader.
Last but not least, listen to these demos! It may seem like a no brainer, but we’ve talked to some guitarists who heard of a pedal and simply bought it due to the reputation. We’ll give you some links to our favorite video demos so you can see if the sound is what your musical ear has been looking for in a chorus pedal.
The best chorus pedals for guitars
TC Electronic Corona Mini
Coming in as our first choice as the best chorus guitar pedal, TC Electronic’s model here is very affordable, sounds beautiful, and give us quite a lot of versatility while remaining a simple pedal. We’re able to download custom effects and import them to really give us unlimited possibility in regards to sound and overall feel. You can also use their TonePrint Editor to make your own.
Aside from our customization, this chorus pedal brings us controls for speed, depth and level, as well as a true bypass option for tone preservation. You also obtain three types of effects with SCF- and TriCorus-style. It’s a good size as well to cram into a packed pedal board. We love the TC Electronic Corona Mini for those wanting simplicity yet versatility at the same time.
Up next, MXR’s best chorus pedal again brings us some affordability as compared to some others in the market, but gives us some EQ control on the unit itself this time. You get a cut knob for both highs and lows, as well as controls over rate, depth, and level. You’ll really be able to tweak the sound with these and although we usually love a mids knob, the amount of customization here is great — get a sound from a slight shimmer all the way to a dizzy swirl.
The tweakability is what really stands out with this chorus pedal, but many praise the MXR M234 for its versatility, smooth sound, and a warm analog feel to it. Reviews also highlight the overall build of this one, as it comes with a sturdy metal casing and not-so-cheap knobs, ensuring we have a nice investment here for the long-term to cover our chorus needs.
Electro-Harmonix Small Clone
Advertised as Mr. Cobain’s pedal of choice, the Small Clone has been in the game for quite some time and has definitely built up a reputation among all types of guitarists that’s well deserved. Although you can hear the sound for yourself, we love the spacey, rich and analog-like feel to this one, and it really brings us back to some of the older decades of guitar tones we’ve loved our entire lives. Controls aren’t really a big thing with this one, instead it’s simply just the sound. You do have the ability to change the rate as well as use a depth switch, but no EQ or filters here. Just raw, chorus sound.
You may be able to find this chorus pedal for a bit cheaper than our previous two picks, so if budget is a concern for you that can also deter you this route. It’s still housed on that old-school chassis so that may be an issue for you, but for us it only adds to that old-school feel. We’ve seen many use the Electro-Harmonix Small Clone in gigs but also in the studio, so this thing can go with you everywhere.
Another one of our favorite picks as the best guitar pedal with chorus effects, the CE-5 brings Boss into the guide with some low and high-cut filters to create all types of chorus effects ranging from a slight, mild brightness all the way to a stereo chorus that penetrates. You can also tweak the depth, rate and level, so the versatility in terms of control will be there for you if that’s a concern.
Boss is a heavy-hitter in the guitar pedal market, there’s no denying that. We typically always include at least one of their pedals in our shopping guides since they bring a really unique sound and feel to the FX world. A lot of people praise this particular model as the best chorus guitar pedal because it isn’t complex and just gives you what you need. Many also call the Boss CE-5 a good start chorus pedal because of that.
JHS Ryan Adams VCR
As another one of the best chorus pedals for guitars, let’s get up in the budget-range for a little bit. This particular pedal is a beast and is priced in this range for many reasons. For one, it’s technically a ‘multi-effects’ pedal since we also have a reverb and boost in this one, but still think the chorus alone is worth it. There’s also decent controls (although no EQ) — a single true-bypass switch, with each effect having their own toggle and level control by themselves. The volume-boost option also allows you to fatten up that tone if you need some more mph in your chords.
Reviewers rave about the VCR’s the overall quality and sound of the effects, even the reverb and boost. More emphasis on sound here (which makes sense, as we’d always steer towards sound instead of controls for a pedal). A very clean and beautiful chorus sound here with the Ryan Adams VCR.
Seymour Duncan Catalina
The Catalina brings us a high-end pedal for your chorus needs as we hit the halfway point through our guide, and although with a slightly higher price than most in here, think it’s just the right model for many of you. For one, the chorus pedal brings us a huge amount of sounds at our fingertips, and multiple ways to control these as well — knobs for delay, mix, depth, rate, as well as switches for tone threshold and dynamic (hard or soft) allows for some great tweaking on the fly.
From clean shimmers all the way to extra swirls, the Catalina has some nice classic feel to it in our opinion. The range of sounds is what stands out here, most importantly that dynamic expression — you can actually control the threshold real-time depending on the strength of your strumming. This gives you a very natural, organic feel while you play whether it’s in the studio or gig. A lot of versatility and range with this Seymour Duncan Catalina pedal.
Walrus brings us the definition of “sound-tweaking” with the Julia. Aside from just the usual controls we’ve typically seen in the chorus pedals presented thus far, we have a unique analog LFO with waveform switch toggle her (triangle and sine wave shapes), which ultimately is for more reserved or dramatic effects. There’s also something called ‘Lag control’ which you can use to adjust the ‘swing’ these LFO waveforms have.
Overall, to really get a feel for what this pedal can bring you’ll have to check out the demo. Reviewers praise the warm and musical sound you attain, as well as the nice shimmer added to your sound. There’s also no volume cut when engaged which many guitarists will find attractive. Look into the Walrus Audio Julia for a different spin on ‘control’ as the best chorus pedal.
Dunlop’s M134 is an 18-volt stereo chorus guitar pedal with a beautiful sound, and coming with controls such as width, intensity and rate, alongside a bass filter and some EQ on top of it all (bass/treble). The unique intensity control can adjust the overall level of effect, while the rate and width can tweak the tone. That EQ is a must for some guitarists we know, while others really couldn’t care less and just prefer some raw FX and perhaps EQ it later on in post-production or allowing the sound engineer to do so.
MXR knows their pedals, and this one is no different. They don’t make cheap products at all so this one will be a long-term investment to add to your toolbox. We just have a good ol’ fashioned chorus here with feasible controls. Look into those demos to see how they work. Overall however, we feel the MXR M134 is another one of the best chorus guitar pedals in the market.
Strymon Ola dBucket
Sound Examples (Click on ‘Audio’)
Now here’s a powerful pick as the best chorus guitar pedal. Strymon has a more digital-based build, higher-end and luxurious pedals available for guitarists and this one does just that. With a few other effects included such as vibrato and multi, you can control the speed, mix (works like a wet, dry knob), tone controls and depth. You also have 3 modes (norm, envelope or ramp), as well as a favorite switch if you’d like to revisit some parameters you were previously digging. The audio resolution comes in at 24-bit/96 kHz.
Despite it’s digital-based build, we still feel a sense of warmth and analog sound when played. It has some very clean tones but you can also get a bit of overdrive and distortion out of it as well. We’ve seen this used for keyboards and even vocalists as well. Overall, this thing is simply powerful and versatile. Check out the Strymon Ola dBucket if you have the cash at hand.
Keeley Seafoam Plus
Sound Examples (Scroll down)
Coming in last as our pick to be the best chorus pedal for guitars, the Seafoam Plus ends the guide with a powerful punch. For one, we have quite a few effects here — chorus, vibrato, flanger as well as reverb. Rate, depth, space and mix control top it off, and although not as many controls here, this one will be good for those who wanted some extra pizzazz in terms of FX choice on top of their beloved chorus.
Keeley’s pedals frequently include something called ‘Automatic Double Tracking’ (ADT), which when turned on, brings in a second and third voice with a little different timing to give the tone some more depth and natural feel. You also get a very wide and lush sound. Overall, the Keeley Seafoam Plus is desired by many and despite being simpler in terms of controls, the sound may be just what you’re looking for, especially with that ADT.