Chorus is one of the most popular effects for guitarists who are looking to add a new dimension and coloration to their tone. These pedals provide a broad and lush sound that is spread across the stereo field.
Since the early 1980s, chorus has been a prominent effect on pedalboards. It’s used so often that you may not even notice it at times. No matter what kind of guitarist you are, it’s not an option that should be overlooked.
That’s why we wanted to take you through some of the best chorus pedals on the market!
- 1 10 Top Rated Chorus Pedals
- 2 Some Key Points on Choosing a Great Chorus Pedal
- 3 Bring in the Chorus!
10 Top Rated Chorus Pedals
The Seymour Duncan Catalina Chorus gives you more control than just about any chorus we’ve ever seen. This allows users to find almost any chorus sound that they can think of.
As a “dynamic chorus” pedal, it relies on the guitarist’s picking dynamics to provide different tones. At its core, the chorus on this pedal is a brilliant and pure sound that is reminiscent of high-quality vintage chorus pedals.
There is a delay control on the interface that gives you more of a vibrato-style sound, perfect for when you want to add a subtle bit of chorus to your dry sound. Of course, when you twist the dials all the way, you get that warbly, deep chorus sound that fills the speakers.
The pedal comes complete with stereo output. Its controls include Delay, Mix, Depth, Rate, Tone, and Threshold, as well as a smaller hard-soft flip switch.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a high-quality chorus pedal with tons of control and dynamics, the Seymour Duncan could be your new best friend. It may be pricey for some—though in this instance, you truly get what you pay for.
Best Budget Option
Danelectro pedals are pretty funny because they are so cheap and seemingly gimmicky, yet they strangely provide some of the coolest tones that you can’t find anywhere else.
This little chorus pedal is unique in design, and it features three controls: mix, speed, and depth. It utilizes a stompbox-style design with the knobs on the back and a springy footpad on the face. Of course, it is made of plastic, which is one of the reasons they are able to sell it for so cheap.
You can get both thick and warbly tones from the Fab-5 pedal, as well as more subtle doubling tones. Throw it in low-depth and high-speed to get that rotovibe, Leslie-style sound. There is a pretty significant volume boost when you crank it up as well.
Bottom Line: For this low of a price, you probably won’t find any chorus pedal beside the Danelectro Fab-5. With that said, it might surprise you how well this budget pedal functions compared to pro pedals on the market.
Walrus Audio is probably one of the top boutique pedal manufacturers in the gear industry. Their pedals not only look incredible but perform better than most too.
They contain analog electronics that provide a warm chorus effect. There’s also a few controls on the interface that give you brilliant functionality, including rate, depth, and lag.
Lag is a parameter that gives you the ability to alter the delay time to fine-tune your modulation. The D-C-V knob, which stands for Dry-Chorus-Vibrato, blends the effect with your dry tone. Of course, you can dial-in that cheesy 80s chorus sound or dial it back to get a shimmering, modern sound.
The Julia chorus comes in either red or blue with a rugged and durable design that is perfect for touring. With its unparalleled sound, the Julia Analog is one of our top choices for boutique chorus pedals out there.
Bottom Line: Though it may be pricey, the Julia Analog is an outstanding chorus pedal with tons of clarity and control. In terms of boutique choruses, we can’t think of any better choice.
In 2018, Fender began rolling out high-quality effects pedals, such as distortion, overdrive, reverb, and delay pedals. Yet none of them seem to compete with the top-notch Bubbler Chorus circuit.
This analog chorus pedal features both fast and slow speeds that give you total control over rate and depth. The additional wave toggle gives you the ability to choose between sine and triangle waveforms as well.
There is a sensitivity control that works as an expression function. This gives you the ability to adjust the rate of modulation depending on how hard or soft you are playing. Just like the Seymour Duncan pedal we talked about earlier, it is a bit of “dynamic chorus.”
Beyond all that, the pedal comes complete with stereo outputs, true bypass switching, and backlit LEDs that give you a slick, professional look. All of this is boxed up in a smooth, aluminum-brushed blue pedal that feels similar in quality to a brand-new Fender amplifier.
Bottom Line: With tons of controls on the interface and reliability that can only come from a company like Fender, the Bubbler Chorus is quite a phenomenon in the line of Fender circuits.
There is beauty in simplicity, and the Blue Hippo Analog Chorus lives by that sentiment. This old-school pedal may look simple from the outside, but it really hits the entire checklist of what a serious guitarist would want in a chorus effect.
The speed and depth knobs allow you to dial in extreme rotary-style tones or subtle low-speed tones that give you a lush chorus with clarity and detail.
If you max out both of the controls, you can get chaotic results that are perfect for experimental sounds.
On the interface, you’ll only find a large speed knob, a large depth knob, and a small switch that allows you to flip between chorus and vibe. For lovers of the 1970s, the curvy Blue Hippo font takes you back at first glance.
Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a no-nonsense chorus unit that gives you a range of pure analog tones, the Blue Hippo Analog Chorus is one of the best around!
Why settle for a pedal that only gives you chorus tones when you can have both chorus and flanger tones in one? The Nautila from Digitech is truly the king when it comes to bubbly chorus pedals.
With a wide variety of controls on the interface, you can choose between eight different chorus sounds and four different flanger voices. There is a small drift knob that gives you the ability to transition between different waveforms as well.
At first glance, it may seem like an overly complicated pedal. But once you get into it, you’ll realize that it has some of the richest sounding tones on the market. The chorus is incredibly flexible, and the flanger sounds are rich and warm. You can even choose to accentuate the lows or highs with the onboard controls by toggling between vintage and modern tones.
From slow flange sweeps to subtle vibrato and univibe sounds, the Digitech Nautila truly has it all wrapped up in a portable, tour-ready pedal.
Bottom Line: There is no reason to limit yourself to the chorus effect if you have access to both chorus and flanger in one pedal. If any pedal is able to mix those two effects with beauty and finesse, it is definitely the Digitech Nautila.
We all want to get our hands on a versatile chorus unit without having to sacrifice a compact size. That is where a pedal like the TC Electronic Corona comes in handy.
As a compact pedal, it is one of the most versatile on the market. Inspired by the vintage chorus unit known as the TC Stereo, the Corona holds a variety of vintage tones. It also offers a tri-chorus effect that blends three separate stereo chorus effects with different speed, phase, and depth offsets.
The Corona produces one of the lushest chorus effects around. It also makes use of the TC Electronic tone print technology that allows you to upload new sounds and effects that you can find online. These effects are stored in an onboard memory chip so that you can recall your desired effect with ease. This feature makes it an excellent pedal for those who play live.
Bottom Line: For a compact pedal that is versatile and lush throughout, the TC Electronic Corona Chorus is an excellent choice. It provides you with just about everything you need to get a true, modern chorus sound.
The Electro-Harmonix Small Clone was one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite pedals. But you can’t buy them new anymore, so you need to get lucky and find one on the used market if you want that specific sound.
Luckily, Electro-Harmonix noted the legendary status of that tone and created the Neo Clone for a new generation of guitarists. The best part about this pedal is that all of the weird bugs and downsides of its inspiration have been tweaked for a modern user.
While you can achieve the over-the-top chorus sounds that the Small Clone was known for, you can now also produce more subtle tones that can add a bit of width to your sound.
With heavy depth and rate settings, you can dial in that bright Andy Summers-style chorus tone with a vintage tinge. Ironically enough, the Neo Clone is also a bit smaller than the Small Clone, so it will fit nicely on your pedalboard.
Bottom Line: The Neo Clone has an authentic sound that replicates the beauty of the Small Clone better than any other pedal out there. If you’re in the market for a vintage tone, it’s one of the best chorus pedals around.
When it comes to classic chorus pedals of the 1980s, no company did it as well as MXR. At one point, almost every pro player of the era had an MXR chorus on their board.
Luckily, MXR continues to manufacture the M234 pedals for a new generation of players who want to have that vintage tone at their disposal. It utilizes bucket brigade electronics that help give it an old-school, liquid-like tone.
There are also tons of controls on the interface, including rate, depth, level, and low-high function knobs.
The low-high function knobs are pretty awesome as they allow you to essentially EQ your overall tone. The pedal comes in a bright indigo blue with a shimmering body that complements the shimmering sound.
From deep, ‘80s-style modulation to more subtle modern tones, the MXR M234 can truly do it all. Blend it with some old-school distortion pedals and you’ll be sounding like an arena rocker in no time.
Bottom Line: The MXR M234 is one of the most outstanding vintage chorus re-releases out there. It gives you all kinds of different tones in a portable pedal that is reasonably priced.
So now that you know a bit about MXR and their legendary status in the world of ‘80s guitar pedals, we want to introduce you to the MXR Micro Chorus. This is a simpler and more portable chorus pedals for those who are on a budget or want a more user-friendly pedal.
The pedal comes with a single rate function knob that gives you complete control over a wide range of different chorus sounds.
From your 80s-style shimmer to experimental-style deep modulation, it’s actually quite incredible how far one knob can take you. When you look at the high-end of this pedal compared to the M234, it gives you a biting resonance that adds a wonderful modern layer to your dry tone.
For those who have small boards with minimal space, the M148 is a solid choice. Plus, it is built like a little tank, which is great for taking it on the road.
Bottom Line: For a portable and easy-to-use chorus, the MXR M148 is an ideal option. This unique chorus pedal somehow crams all of the special chorus sounds from today and yesterday into a tiny interface.
Some Key Points on Choosing a Great Chorus Pedal
Number of Controls
One of the biggest things to consider when looking at chorus pedals is what level of control you want. Some chorus pedals come with eight different parameters to toggle between, while some only come with one.
How important is chorus to your tone?
If you use the chorus effect often, you may want to consider getting a pedal with rate, depth, EQ, and other controls. This will allow you to dial-in specific tones for whatever kind of chorus sound you want. On the other hand, if you just need it for a single song in your set, a one-knob-does-all chorus pedal might be better suited for you.
Stereo vs. Mono
Chorus is a widening effect, so it only makes sense that your chorus pedal would utilize a stereo output, right?
Well, it truly depends. Stereo outputs can be excellent for guitarists who are looking to run their guitar rigs into two separate amps or stereo speaker systems. It can help to create a wider effect when played live or recorded. Stereo chorus pedals are also great for those who might want to use the effect for a stereo instrument, such as a keyboard or synthesizer.
Other than that, you’ll be perfectly fine playing with a mono chorus pedal that uses a single input and output.
Analog vs. Digital Chorus
While this is a pretty standard discussion when considering any kind of effect pedal, it is especially important when considering a chorus pedal. Analog pedals can deliver a warm and lush sound that digital has yet to match. However, they do come at a much higher price and tend to operate at noisier levels.
Digital choruses are much more fine-tuned and are typically packed with a wide variety of different chorus tones and manipulation capabilities. They usually have an overall brighter sound to them with a more prominent resonance in the high-end. Both kinds are great, though it is important to understand the tonal differences between the two in order to make the right decision.
Bring in the Chorus!
Chorus pedals provide guitarists with a number of ways to enhance their tone. From subtle widening techniques to over-the-top warbling effects, the pairing of guitars and chorus effect pedals has never gone out of style, even after almost four decades of use.
While all of the pedals on our list are wonderful in their own right, we’d have to pick the Seymour Duncan Catalina Chorus if we were asked to pick our favorite. It’s not often that we classify Seymour Duncan pedals as being top-of-the-line, but its versatility and quality of tone make the Catalina Chorus stand out.
No matter what you ultimately decide, just know that all of the pedals on our list were chosen for their quality. We’ve gathered all the information you need in this list to make an informed decision on which chorus pedal will work best for you.