10 Of The Best Chorus Pedals To Try In 2020
I'll be reviewing my best chorus pedals under 100 that I've used over the years as well as in recent times. Along with a few more honorable mentions that are well worth mentioning. One thing is for sure, there are a ton of chorus pedals out. Both expensive as well as cheap. With that in mind, especially as a newcomer to effects, or perhaps chorus in general, it can be very hard to digest the sheer amount of selection when it comes to these pedals.
|TC Electronic Corona||Joyo JF-37 Analog||MXR Micro Chorus||Danelectro Fab Pedal||Biyang Aqua Chorus|
|Top Choice||Classic Sound||Easiest To Use||Cheapest Chorus||Best Newcomer|
A Brief Intro To Budget Chorus Pedals
Chorus is classified as part of the "modulation" category of guitar pedals. In this modulation category, the chorus is probably up there as being one of the most popular modulation effects. As a guitar player that is heavily influenced by bands from the 1980s. Such as The Cure, The Smiths as well as Joy Division. I love myself a bit of chorus. I've tried quite a few different chorus units over the years from vintage to modern, as well as digital and analog. I feel my experience with these pedals has equipped me with the knowledge to give you a decent review of the top chorus pedals at this price point.
The Top 10
There are quite a few options, but I'm certain of my outright winner, as well as some close contenders. Let me review them and reveal my best.
1) Corona Chorus Mini by TC Electronics
As for as affordable chorus pedals go, you don't get much better than the Corona by TC electronics. There are a few reasons why this is my best chorus pedal. The biggest reason of all is due to a feature included in this pedal called, "Toneprint". Essentially, this allows you to upload a wide array of chorus sounds to your Corona mini via USB cable. Thus, giving you an exceptionally large bank of chorus sounds to choose from. The only thing with Toneprint is that it does not allow you to store patches or sounds. However, I think this is a minor issue especially for a chorus pedal with that many sounds to choose from.
Sound: All the sounds on this pedal are of very good quality. This includes pretty much most of the patches available on Toneprint. However, they are of course all digital chorus sounds. But, this should not put you off. I know there are plenty of top guitar players that use this very Corona mini chorus pedal. such as Stephen Carpenter from the band, Deftones. As well as John Konesky from Tenacious D.
Build Quality: With all TC pedals, you're pretty much guaranteed a well-built pedal. After all, that is what they've become known for. I like that the switch is quiet yet sturdy on this unit. I generally prefer the Boss pedal switch system but that's just a preference.
Features: The biggest feature is one that I have already mentioned. And that has to do with the Toneprint feature. This feature alone made this pedal my best cheap chorus pedal. I mean, you don't get more versatile than the ability to be able to load endless chorus sounds.
Size: Ironically, the size of this chorus pedal is actually a feature in itself. It is called the Corona mini for a reason. And that reason literally is because it is a small pedal. So you actually get so much bang for your buck with such a small chorus pedal.
Controls: This TC pedal, which happens to be my best affordable chorus pedal comes with three controls. Which is generally more than most chorus pedals. One controls the speed of the chorus effect. The second controls the overall volume of the chorus effect. And lastly, the final control allows you to mess with the depth of the chorus effect. Having these three controls lets you easily and intuitively create a wide range of chorus sounds.
2) Joyo Analog Chorus
Now, in my opinion, Joyo makes some of the greatest affordable pedals of all time. In fact, if you come across my personal pedalboard, you'll notice it is littered with Joyo pedals. That is because they are clones of great pedals already out there, at insanely affordable prices. For that reason, I've had a slight obsession buying these. The Joyo analog chorus pedal is a clone of the Boss Chorus CE-2. The Boss would have taken this very spot. However, it failed to meet the criteria of this list.
Sound: The sound of this pedal is my favorite chorus sound ever. It is most likely my favorite because it has been heard in all of my favorite music and used by some of my favorite guitarists. These include the chorus sounds from the '80s by guitar players such as Johnny Marr and Robert Smith from the Cure. This pedal is a bit of a one-trick-pony in terms of the sound. But, it is my favorite one-trick-pony sound of all time!
Build Quality: For pedals that are made in China, these hold up exceptionally well. And this Joyo chorus is no exception. I can testify that I've gigged with my Joyo pedals all over the world and they've been stomped on constantly for two years and they still work (touch wood). Whilst not as rugged as the Boss pedal it is cloned after, it still offers sturdy metal housing.
Size: The Joyo chorus pedal is decent in size. Not quite as bulky as a Boss pedal, but not quite as small as a mini pedal. SO I'd say the size is very average. Nothing much to say about sizing here as it is a regular stompbox sizing.
Controls: This cheap chorus pedal by Joyo only has two controls. One which controls the speed of the effect. As well as one that controls the depth. These are the exact controls found on the Boss CE-2. Whilst you can't control the volume of the effect, it's still a legendary chorus sound in my opinion.
3) MXR Micro Chorus
I must be honest, I am quite a sucker for simple guitar gear. And what I mean by simple is, the fewer knobs the better. I like to maintain this mentality when it comes to my amplifiers. As well as my effects pedals. I feel that this mentality allows for much less "choice paralyzes". For that reason, I've added the MXR micro chorus to the list. Also, I am a very big fan of MXR pedals in general. This one is a chorus made by one of the best pedal manufacturers. That is of course once again just my opinion.
Sound: This pedal will deliver around 3 distinctly classic chorus tones (I'll explain how this works in the "controls" section below). All of the sounds delivered on this high quality, yet affordable chorus pedal as so warm and lush. Whilst I don't own this pedal anymore as I once did, I'll jump at the opportunity to buy one again.
Build Quality: The MXR pedals are renowned for their build quality and that is maintained in this chorus pedal. The pretty much indestructible metal chassis means these can last a very long time. I know some original MXR pedals from the '70s that are still in very much working order.
Size: So this affordable chorus pedal is called the "Micro chorus". However, despite its name, is not actually micro at all. It is pretty much the same size as any other regular single stompbox pedal out there. And while it doesn't beat the Corona chorus in size, it's should not be a deciding factor unless space on your pedalboard is a real necessity.
Controls: Now to my favorite part about this pedal. Its singular control knob. Despite its ridiculously simple design, this one knob lets you essentially achieve three very distinct, yet classic chorus sounds. The best part about this is you can buy an extra rubber device to put around the knob so you can control the effect with your foot on the fly.
4) Danelectro Fab Chorus
If the first three chorus pedals are still a little above what you're expecting to spend. Then, this Danelectro FAB pedal is by the cheapest chorus pedal I've ever come across. However, I've played some pretty dreadful chorus pedals that cost a lot more than this one. So when you bear that in mind, you realize that you're actually getting something great for an unreal bargain.
Sound: If you're looking for a simple chorus sound without breaking your bank, then I'm sure you won't be disappointed with this Danelectro pedal. Whilst I'd say it's not quite as lush as warm as some of the others on this list, it's still a very decent sound that can be used in most gigging scenarios.
Build Quality: The Danelectro pedals are renowned for being enclosed in a below-par housing. The whole pedal is pretty much plastic and feels like it could fail on you at the next stomp. These were my thoughts until I actually had a Danelectro FAB distortion pedal on my board for a while and it held up. The thing about the FAB series of pedals is that, whilst the build quality is pretty bad, the actual pedal inside the casing is really good. And this is true for a lot of the pedals in this range, not only the chorus pedal.
Size: As far as pedals go, the Danelectro FAB chorus is a pretty weird and odd shape. It's quite rounded in the way it was designed and the 1/4 jack inputs and outputs are on the back of the pedal. This was something that annoyed me a little bit. But, for the price of this chorus pedal, it is insanely hard to complain.
Controls: The FAB chorus pedal has three controls which are pretty cool for an affordable chorus pedal. The controls allow you to play with the level of the effect, the speed of the effect and well as the depth of the chorus effect.
5) Biyang Baby Boom Chorus
There are tons of cheap and affordable chorus pedals on the market that are clones and copies of more expensive pedals. The Biyang is a pedal that is its own thing. And, is not a clone or copy of another pedal. That is what I absolutely love about this Biyang chorus pedal. Don't get me wrong, my pedal collection is flooded with clones and copies of pedals and I have no such problem with it as a concept. I'm just trying to give context to understand that this cheap chorus pedal by Biyang is one that can stand on its own.
Sound: The Biyang sounds absolutely fantastic to my ear. It gives me a nice analog-sounding chorus that is full, thick and has warmth. It's quite crazy that this affordable pedal can achieve these tones.
Features and Controls: This Biynag chorus has two knobs as well as a switch which actually makes this a pretty versatile chorus. Essentially the two controls are comprised of a "blend" as well as "Spread". The blend knob basically controls the volume of the effect whilst the spread is a synonym for depth (I think). Furthermore, this pedal has a switch that lets you toggle between fast and slow chorus speeds. Some might see this as a downside due to the fact that some other pedals have speed knob which possibly adds more of a wider spectrum of speeds to set.
Size: the Biyang chorus is pretty much the same size as the MXR and the Joyo. It is pretty much your average stompbox size.
Build Quality: In terms of the build quality of this pedal, it comes in a metal chassis and seems to be pretty sturdy. The Biyang affordable chorus is a new addition for me so I haven't put it through the races yet. However, judging by what I've seen and used so far, it seems to be of a very decent quality.
My Top Chorus Pedals: Conclusion
The best way to sum up this cheap chorus pedal comparison is as follows:
- Corona Chorus Mini: If space on your board is a necessity. And, if access to a wide array of chorus tones is necessary for you, then this Corona chorus mini is affordable choice for you.
- Joyo Analog Chorus: If you'd like to achieve the classic tones from the Boss CE-2, then this is the pedal for you.
- MXR Micro Chorus: If you want a chorus with a little control knobs as possible. Or if you'd like barebones yet high-quality chorus capable of achieving 3 vintage tones then this is the pedal for you.
- Danelectro FAB: If you want to spend as little as possible on a chorus pedal but still want a decent sound, the Danelectro is got you.
- Biyang: If you want an affordable Chinese made chorus pedal that is not a clone or copy of another pedal, then this is for you.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or points on these affordable chorus pedals. If you enjoyed this article, you will enjoy my article, Reverb pedal under 100.
Cheaper Chorus Pedals For Slightly More
I've covered my cheap chorus pedals on a budget that all fall under the price range of 100 dollars. However, there are more chorus pedals which I'd like to feature that are slightly more than this price point. I decided to add some of these effects below as I believe a few of them might spark your interest. Especially if you are willing to fork out the extra cash to get them.
6) MXR Stereo Chorus M134
This is an analog chorus pedal designed for mono use or even stereo. It has a durable footswitch and a solid die-cast box. MXR has added features to preserve the tone and synthesize any effect you like. The MXR M134 Stereo Chorus will amaze even the most discriminating player with its toughness and high-quality sound. I stand to be corrected, but I believe this particular pedal was popularized by Eddie Van Halen as he used one of these in his rig. This is, of course, the newer version with some extra features. If I'm not mistaken, the old ones use to have a power cable built-into the unit. However, these days the pedal will work with 9v power supplies just like most modern pedals.
Features of the M134
The most epic feature that this pedal has to offer is definitely the Bass filter knob. Well, it is actually more of a button than a knob. But what this does when you engage it. Is it doesn't cut away any of your bass frequencies. Which a lot of chorus pedals have the tendency to do. SO essentially what is happening here is that the chorus effect is only being added to the treble frequencies which thus allows you to keep your low-end in-tact.
7) TC Electronic Corona Chorus (Big One)
I already featured a Corona Chorus in my number one spot. However, that is, in fact, the mini version. Whereas this is the original bigger version. Also with the tone print features. This chorus pedal will make your world go round without you having to break your fingers by endless knob fiddling. It offers an exceptional dynamic range and very low noise. It really shines right out of the box giving you truly stellar chorus effects. Obviously being the bigger version, this pedal comes packed with a lot more features when compared to its mini brother. Both produce the same high-quality sounds. But you just get more control and adjustment room with the big one.
8) EHX Neo Clone
The Electro-Harmonix Neo Clone analog design has made even better to give an accurate and superior supersonic quality. With this chorus pedal, you can go from shallow, slow chorus sweeps to thick vibes. It generates a very low noise thus giving you an even warmer and analog chorus effect. Truth be told, this pedal could have easily made the list but it costs just a little bit more than the minimum that we're looking at. So for that reason, it just missed out. Having said that, it's an incredibly easy chorus pedal to use. And besides, for that, it offers a wide array of sounds for such a simple design. Also, these will last forever as they're built like absolute tanks!
9) Boss CE-2W Waza Craft
The new CE-2W chorus pedal by Boss and their high-end range, Waza craft have released a classic. Along with some awesome features that the older versions don't have. The Boss CE-2 is a classic and very popular chorus pedal. It is the world’s first compact chorus pedal giving a great range of control. This pedal contains two knobs – the depth and rate. It is very easy to use and gives a natural and fat sound. Furthermore, the Joyo chorus featured above is actually based off of the original version of this pedal.
10) Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe
The Voodoo Lab chorus pedal provides you with a vast range of sounds from thick analog doubling effect to lush chorus. It has a very distinctive organic tone and is the only true replica of the most sought 1976 Roland CE-1 chorus pedal. I used to own one of these pedals and sold one when I was a young student. I instantly regretted the sale and I will not say no to one of these next time I see one roll around.
What Is The Chorus Effect All About?
The Chorus effect can add thickness to the sound by making a single guitar sound like several guitars playing at a time. Basically, a chorus pedal repeats the input signal from the guitar at short intervals (usually in milliseconds) to make the output sound like multiple guitars. Adjusting the rate (or delay time) makes the repeating sound occur farther apart or closer together. Artists like Chris Traynor of Bush, and Dave Amato of the rock band REO Speedwagon use these chorus pedals.
I've always been a bit on the shy side of spending my money on expensive pedals. The reason I generally have this reservation is due to the fact that I find a lot of cheaper pedals on the market provide us with very high-quality pedals in terms of sound and even build quality.
Depending on what your specific needs are, you are easily able to get away with a cheap chorus pedal under 100. Which can achieve the same high-quality tones of some of the more expensive pedals on the market?