The Best Chorus Pedals - All Price Ranges

The Highest Rated Chorus Pedals

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Ever since its conception, the chorus effect has been used in a wide variety of musical styles and genres. And up to now, it is still very much relevant, as evidenced by its presence in pedalboards world over.

Featured in this guide are the best rated analog and digital chorus pedals, grouped into three popular price ranges. Hopefully, this will help you find the one chorus pedal that fits your budget and style, worthy of a spot on your board.

The Best Chorus Pedals

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

He's written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at his local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

Best Chorus Pedals Under $50

While not necessarily rated as highly rated as their more expensive counterparts, the two pedals below let you add a surprisingly good chorus effect to your tone while keeping the cost really low.

Azor Chorus - Digital

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 325+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$25
AZOR Chorus Guitar Effect Pedal

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Chorus Pedal Under $50.

The Azor Chorus is a compact mini chorus pedal that doesn't limit your control options, and it does so while keeping the price budget-friendly.

For its size, it comes with essential controls that include Depth, Rate and Level. The biggest knob lets you adjust Rate, which is the speed of the chorus wobbles. Two smaller knobs let you adjust Depth and Level, depth being how deep your chorus wobbles, while level lets you adjust the prominence of the effected signal. As such the level knob behaves more like a mix or blend control than an actual volume control knob.

Features

  • Control: Level, Rate, Depth
  • Circuit: Digital
  • Bypass: True Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Battery (Via External Whip Cable) and Power Adapter (not included)
  • Dimensions: 3.7" x 1.7" x 1.3"
  • Weight: 0.53 lbs.

Pros

Value for money is the main reason why the Azor Chorus is rated highly. Many also appreciate its compact size, making it ideal for those who want an affordable chorus that is easy to integrate into pedalboards. It also gets a lot of thumbs up for its analog like tone, which some find surprising given its size and cheap price tag.

Cons

Some are find the resulting sound to be too thin for their tastes.

Overall

Get the Azor Chorus if you're looking for an affordable size-saving chorus pedal.

Danelectro D5 FAB - Analog

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 1050+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$25
Danelectro D5 FAB Chorus Pedal

The Danelectro FAB Chorus is a cost-effective unit, and as such is many musician’s first chorus pedal.

At under $30 it is really attractive for beginning musicians who can’t afford to drop a ton of money on a single effect.

And even with many smaller mini chorus pedals available in the same price range, it is still doing quite well.

Features

  • Control: Mix, Speed, Depth
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Hardwire Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Battery and Power Adapter (not included)
  • Dimensions: 4.6" x 4" x 2.2"
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs.

Pros

Surprisingly, the casing, jacks, and footswitch are all reportedly pretty solid. Of course the D5 FAB Chorus won’t hold up as well as a Boss pedal, but at the same time the unit is easily gig-worthy. While it's not ground breaking or exemplary in terms of tone, it sounds good enough for many to appreciate, especially when considering its price.

Cons

There are some owners who report that the effect’s parameters have an uneven curve. At low to mid levels the effect is very subtle, with a dramatic increase in the last 10th of the controls’ motion. The unit also has its controls on the top of the pedal rather than on the surface, which can make adjusting the pedal on stage difficult because they are not easily visible.

Overall

Even with its flaws, it's hard to find a chorus pedal that gives you as much value for your money.

Best Chorus Pedals Under $100

In the $50 to $100 price tier you see pedals that are of a gigging and recording quality, with the main difference between them and more expensive pedals being their respective amount of features as opposed to their tone.

Mooer Ensemble King - Analog

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 350+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$68
Mooer Ensemble King Analog Chorus Pedal

With its compact "mini" pedal form factor, the Mooer Ensemble King Analog Chorus is meant to help you free up some pedalboard space, or to fit into ones that are already packed.

As expected, controls are kept to minimum, with the main knob adjusting the rate, and two smaller knobs for tweaking depth and level.

It comes with a conventional footswitch and is housed in a metal chassis, both of which allow it to handle the rigors of regular gigging.

Features

  • Control: Level, Rate, Depth
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: True Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter
  • Dimensions: 1.65" x 2.1" x 3.7"
  • Weight: 0.36 lbs.

Pros

Simple yet effective, are adjectives that sum up how guitarists feels about this pedal. Most report that it gets the job done nicely for its size, and they feel that they got more than what they paid for. The tone is described as warm and ideal for adding subtle chorus, which covers how most guitarists use the chorus effect.

Cons>
Those who are looking for a bright sounding chorus may find this lacking, and it also is not meant for those who want more parameters to tweak.

Overall

With its compact size and affordable price tag, the Mooer Ensemble King will make a great addition for any pedalboard.

JHS 3 Series Chorus - Digital

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$99
JHS Pedals 3 Series Chorus Pedal (3SCHORUS)

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Chorus Pedal from $50 to $100.

Most affordable pedals just copy popular circuits, essentially turning into budget alternatives. JHS strayed from this path with their affordable "3 Series" line of pedals, each one offering something distinct relative to what others offer in the same price range.

At first glance, the 3 Series Chorus seems like a straightforward chorus pedal, but flipping the "Vibe" turns it into a vintage style vibrato effect. The Vibe switch achieves this by simply removing the dry signal and just leaving out the warbly chorused sound.

The volume, rate and depth controls provide familiar controls that let you dial in your preferred modulation settings.

Features

  • Control: Volume, Rate, Depth, Vibe
  • Circuit: Digital
  • Bypass: True Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter (Sold Separately)
  • Dimensions: 1.22" x 2.38" x 4.42"
  • Weight: 0.36 lbs.

Pros

Many are surprised at the flexibility they can get out of its simple 3-knob profile. From modern subtle to 80's style chorus with distortion, users are happy with how this pedal delivers. The Vibe switch, which is its main distinct feature, also gets a lot of thumbs up, but not more than its chorus sound. Many are also pleased with its clean look, while others love its reliability.

Cons>
There are a few who complain about the need to buy a power supply separately.

Overall

You will be pleasantly surprised at how versatile this seemingly simple chorus pedal is.

MXR M234 - Analog

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 1050+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal

The MXR M234 is an analog chorus pedal, with expanded controls that let you adjust level, rate and depth, along with a low and hi-cut.

These controls allow you to shape the resulting tone for a more personalized chorus sound, with its distinctly warm tonality.

Features

  • Control: Level, Rate, Depth, Low-Cut, High-Cut
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Hardwire Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter or Battery
  • Dimensions: 5.5" x 2.5" x 4.5"
  • Weight: 0.9 lb.

Pros

According to reviews, the MXR M234 provides exactly what you’d expect from an analog modulation pedal. Many consider the chorus effect to be warm and lush, and while the pedal is obviously going to impact your tone it is still relatively transparent. The MXR234 really is also reported to be durable, the benefits of which should not be understated.

Cons

Something to know about this pedal before you buy it is that it does use hardwire bypass, which can be a deal breaker for some.

Overall

Here is an analog chorus pedal for those who want to more control over the chorus effect.

Best Chorus Pedals - $100 & Above

The pedals below are all phenomenal with premium features and build quality.

Walrus Audio Julia V2 - Analog

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 300+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$199
Walrus Audio Julia V2 Analog Chorus/Vibrato Pedal

The Walrus Audio Julia V2 is a pedal that houses both chorus and vibrato with expanded controls and tweakability.

While there are other pedals that provide both chorus and vibrato, this one stands out with its LFO sine and triangle wave form switch. A triangle wave is said to be ideal for chorus, while a sine wave is meant for Vibrato. While this is the ideal setup, you can always play around with the setting, together with Rate, Depth and Blend knobs.

Another distinct feature of this pedal is its lag knob, which lets set the "lag" or delay time of the modulation, it can go from tight modulation to detuned sound. Rounding out its unique features is the use of artwork by Adam Forster.

Features

  • Control: Rate, Depth, D.C.V Blend, Lag, Wave Switch
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: True Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter and Battery
  • Dimensions: 4.77" x 2.3" x 2.9"
  • Weight: 0.59 lbs.

Pros

Versatility is the main strength of this pedal, it is able to appease the tweaking itch of guitarists who want to play around with different effect parameters. And it's not just guitarists who are pleased with this unit, even those electric cellists and other musicians love it. Users also love its aesthetics, which make it easily stand out in pedalboards.

Cons

Even with its expanded controls, there are still some who wish for more controls. Those who are into plug and play chorus may want to look elsewhere.

Overall

The Walrus Audio Julia V2 is meant to scratch the tweaking itch of adventurous musicians.

Boss CE-2W Waza Craft - Analog

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 500+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$206
Boss CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus Pedal

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Chorus Pedal.

The Boss CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus pedal is a combination of the famous CE-2 and the CE-1 (both the vibrato and chorus effects).

Right off the bat, the first thing to know about this pedal is that it does a pretty solid job of approximating the tone of these vintage effects.

But the question is: Does this pedal stack up against its modern competition?

Features

  • Control: Rate, Depth, Chorus/Vibrato Mode
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Buffered Bypass
  • Power: 9-Volt Adapter and Battery
  • Dimensions: 5.12" x 2.87" x 2.37"
  • Weight: 1 lbs.

Pros

Demos and reviews of the Boss CE-2W Waza gave this pedal the great light! There are many who report that the tone is rich and vibrant, and can work well with various musical styles.

Cons

A possible flaw is that there are only two controls: rate and depth. Though to be fair, dozens of albums have been made with pedals that only have these two controls. So it is limiting when compared to pedals that do have these features, but at the same time it won’t prevent you from dialing in a great tone.

Overall

If you want to reproduce the familiar 80s chorus sound, this would be a good pedal to start your search.

JHS Emperor V2 - Analog

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$219
JHS Emperor V2 Analog Chorus Pedal

The JHS Emperor V2's most distinct feature is its tap tempo footswitch that lets you set the modulation speed to match the beat of the music you're playing.

This version 2 comes with the same features as the original, but packed inside a more compact form factor. At its core is a real 3207 bucket brigade chipset, which gives it vintage tones that are closer to old school favorites.

Controls include knobs for volume, speed, EQ and depth, along with a switch that lets you choose between 3 different waveform shapes that varies the overall sound. All these controls can be used to allow for a wide variety of chorus tones.

In addition, this pedal also lets you switch between chorus and vibrato, which expands what the pedal can do even further.

Contrasting it's vintage style tone are modern features that include switchable true or buffered bypass, and stereo output.

Features

  • Control: Volume, Speed, EQ, Depth, Waveform Switch, Chorus/Vibrato Switch
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Switchable (True/Buffered)
  • Power: 9-Volt Battery and Power Adapter (not included)
  • Dimensions: 5" x 2.1" x 2.5"
  • Weight: 0.63 lbs.

Pros

Users describe the sound of this pedal as clean and vintage sounding, ideal for adding light chorus effect to your tone. It is also often commended for being versatile, able to go from subtle to over the top while retaining good sound quality. Many are also pleased with the addition of the tap tempo switch, switchable bypass and the option for stereo output.

Cons

There are some who wish for a mix knob, but they are easily outnumbered by those who are pleased with the addition of a volume knob.

Overall

Hard to go wrong with the JHS Emperor V2, it gives you vintage style chorus and vibrato effect with modern bypass and output options.

Boss DC-2W Dimension C Waza Craft - Analog

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$257
Boss DC-2W Waza Craft Dimension C Chorus Pedal

The Boss DC-2W is a premium Waza Craft re-issue of their classic Dimension C chorus pedal. And just like the original, it sports a 4-button preset interface instead of the usual knob based control.

New in this version is the ability to activate two preset buttons at the same time, essentially combining two presets. There is also a Mode Selector switch that lets you switch between the original DC-2 sound, and a sound based on the Roland SDD-320 rack chorus. The SDD-320 mode provides a bit more sparkle compared to the DC-2 mode.

All-in-all, this pedal gives you 20 chorus settings to play with.

Having been made by Boss, reliability is a given, while being part of their Waza Craft line ensures it premium build and sound quality.

Features

  • Control: 4 Preset Buttons, Mode Selector Switch
  • Circuit: Analog
  • Bypass: Buffered
  • Power: 9-Volt Battery and Power Adapter (Sold Separately)
  • Dimensions: 5.12" x 2.37" x 2.87"
  • Weight: 1 lbs.

Pros

Sound quality is highly commended by users, often described as lush and beautiful sounding. Even those who own vintage Boss DC-2 and Roland SDD-320 units are impressed at how close it sounds to the original. Users are impressed at how easy it is to reproduce 70s and 80s style chorus sounds with this pedal. It is also gets commended for working well with other pedals.

Cons

Since this pedal utilizes presets, this will not appeal to those who want to tweak and fine tune chorus parameters.

Overall

The Boss DC-2W gives you easy access to various classic chorus sounds, and it will reliably do so for a long time.

Things to Consider When Buying a Chorus Pedal

Here we take a more in-depth look at important factors to consider when buying a chorus pedal, along with a bit more information about the chorus effect in general.

Budget vs. High End Chorus Pedals

Unlike a lot of other hobbies, instruments and effects don’t have a linear improvement in quality as price increases. Effects pedals in particular are subject to a high rate of diminishing returns, so once you get past a certain price point ($100 generally) you’re not always going to be experiencing large jumps in quality.

In the case of chorus pedals, as you spend more money you generally get a couple more features; most notably a time and feedback controls as well as an expression pedal input. Time controls the time it takes for the modulated signal to be heard, and feedback adds in resonance to the tone. An expression pedal allows you to control a parameter with a foot pedal.

Note that you get an increase in features, not necessarily increase in tone quality. If you’re going to use the extra features provided by more expensive units the increase in cost may be worth it, but if you’re not, you will generally be better off getting a highly reviewed pedal with a more minimalist control layout.

Digital vs. Analog Chorus

The debate between analog and digital has always been a point of contention in guitar playing circles. Some musicians feel that digital effects don’t have an “organic” tone, while others feel that the relatively bright voicing of digital helps their signal cut through the mix.

There is a technical difference between an analog and digital chorus, but it’s incredibly technical. In summation, use your ears to make your decision. Just use the knowledge that an analog chorus will be a bit warmer than a digital chorus to help you narrow down your search.

Buffered vs. Hardwire vs. True Bypass

Something that many musicians are concerned about is the bypass configuration of their pedals. Bypass is the path that your signal follows when an effect is disengaged. A buffered output boosts the signal as it leaves the pedal, and true bypass allows your signal to pass through the pedal without running through its circuitry.

A lot of musicians feel that true bypass prevents tone loss, which is true to some extent. Your guitar signal gradually degrades based on the length it travels, with notable degradation starting around 12 feet of length. So true bypass helps to reduce the distance, which in turn reduces tone loss. Buffered bypass boosts the signal, reintroducing the high-end frequencies that are lost as the signal travels.

The only bypass configuration that’s really limiting is hardwire bypass, where your signal passes through the pedal without being boosted.

Chorus’s Place in Your Signal Chain

The generally accepted order of an effects chain is: compression, filter (wah), distortion/overdrive, modulation (chorus, flanger, vibrato), delay/reverb, and volume pedals. However, many musicians change up the order of effects based on the tone they want.

Think of it this way: you have a continuous signal that it modulated based on the pedal the signal passes through. The modulation used carries through the chain. For example, if you have a distortion before a chorus (and both are engaged) your distorted signal will then be modulated. With so many effects available there are a ton of different configurations available, so in order to really know which order of effects works best for you you’re going to have to experiment.

Chorus in Multi-Effects Pedals

There are plenty of multi-effects pedals and guitar processors that come with different types of chorus effects, along with various other effects types. Generally speaking, stand-alone chorus pedals are expected to sound better, and this is the reason why we decided to focus on them for this guide. But don't count out multi-effects yet because many of them can get the job done, and do so for a lot less - thanks to improvements in Digital Sound Processing (DSP) technology. They can also be a good affordable entry way into chorus effect usage, and effects in general.

Best Chorus Pedal Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2017 and the latest edition was published on January 5, 2022.

First, we considered all the standalone chorus pedals that are rating well in the market, and available from major online US music gear stores. Then, for this update, we ended up with a short-list of 28, which you can view in the Music Gear Database. We then collected ratings and reviews from online stores, forums, videos and major music gear publications including the most recent ones up to late December of 2021. All these data were then processed with the Gearank Algorithm to produce Gearank scores out of 100 for each of them. Over 14,200 sources were used during this process. Finally we broke the list down into price brackets and selected the highest rated ones to recommend above. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

He's written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at his local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

Drawing from his experience in performing and recording, he teaches guitar and bass and mentors young artists to be better musicians. And when he is not busy playing or tinkering with musical gear, he puts on his entrepreneurial hat, which helps fund his passion for collecting guitars, mecha figures and Gunpla kits.

Contributors

Alden Acosta: Product research.
Mason Hoberg: Supplemental writing.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: Produced by Gearank.com using photographs of the Walrus Audio Julia V2, Boss CE-2W Waza Craft and JHS 3 Series Chorus.

The videos above have been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

Comments

According to the "MXR Bypass

According to the "MXR Bypass List", both the Stereo Chorus and the Analogue Chorus are buffered.