A Guide to the Best Chorus Pedals Organized By Type
Updated on 07.15.2020. See also our article on the Best Multi Modulation Pedals.
Originally created as an attempt to simulate a sonic effect audible when similar sounds with almost identical pitches are played at once (like voices in a choir), the chorus has slowly taken a little bit of a life of its own, morphing into a “character” effect that adds a liquid quality to any sound, and that’s particularly effective in “opening up” mono sounds in stereo. Because of this, chorus has become ubiquitous in synths, and very popular among electric bass and guitar players.
The difference between Chorus and Vibrato
Many chorus pedals also offer a “Vibrato” mode. That is not really the focus of this article, but it is useful to highlight the differences between the two effects: in the Chorus effect, a slight variation of pitch happens together with a slight variation of time (a minimal, varying delay plied to two or more version of the original tone), while in Vibrato there is only a variation of pitch, exactly like int the vocal vibrato technique.
Finding the Best Chorus Pedals for Your Needs
Chorus is one of the most popular pedals for guitar and bass, and because of this, there is a variety of options to choose from. The goal of this article is to help each one of our readers find the category of reverb pedal that’s best for him or her.
So, what kind of chorus pedal do you need within your budget and board requirement? Click on the category in the list below that answers this question and you’ll jump to our recommended pedals. But remember: no matter the features, a good chorus pedal is the one that sounds pleasing to your ears, so make sure to check out the videos of the ones you like, before you pull the shopping trigger.
• Compact Stereo Chorus Pedals
• Larger Footprint Stereo Chorus Pedals
• Affordable Mono Chorus Pedals Under $150
• Boutique Mono Chorus Pedals (above $150)
• Basic Mini Chorus Pedals
• Multi-Mode Modulation Pedals
The lists in this article are based on the ratings of each pedal from various online music stores
Best Stereo Chorus Pedals with Compact Case
True, most guitarists play with just one amp, but a stereo chorus pedal opens up sonic and also routing options that might be useful in a studio environment or to get your creative juice flowing. The pedals in this list give you a stereo output within the classic compact footprint.
Best Stereo Chorus Pedals with Larger Footprint
A larger footprint, in most cases, means more room for knobs and switches, and in other, more space for quality components. The pedals in this list will cost you a little more, but, in all likelihood, open up more creative options keeping you entertained and inspired for longer.
Best Boutique Mono Chorus Pedals (Above $150)
Mostly hand-built and featuring quality components, these are solid, boutique mono choruses that marry great tone with the out-of-the-box angle typical of boutique pedal builders.
Best Mono Chorus Pedals Under $150
In this list, you’ll find your bread and butter compact mono chorus pedals: affordable yet sturdy devices that give you the classic chorus sound and, in some cases, some coloring knobs or switches.
Best Chorus Pedals in Mini Format
For the players that are happy with a basic chorus and don’t have much space on their boards, the mini pedal format is the way to go. Most pedals in this list aren’t exactly built with top-notch components, but there are exceptions (just look at the price) that normally deliver a lusher sound.
Chorus Pedal Shootout Videos
• Chase Bliss Warped Vinyl mkii, Boss CE-2, Mr. Black Mini Chorus, Boss CE-5, Boss DC-2w, TC 3rd Dimension, Caroline Somersault, EQD Sea Machine v3, EHX Small Clone, TC June 60, and the Zvex Instant Lo-Fi Junky