PDA

View Full Version : Extensive chorus testing: a review


Liquid_Metal
09-08-2011, 11:27 AM
Hey all,

I have been somewhat unhappy with the chorus coming from my TC Electronic G-Major 2 lately; I find it a bit too transparent/brittle and hifi. So I went off to the local music store to test every chorus pedal they have in store and compare it to my GM2.
I'd like to share the results of this testing with you and subsequently ask some questions. Please be aware that this review is very subjective. I found one of the pedals to be my favourite and did a lot of comparing to that specific pedal. Therefore the information I have on some pedals is somewhat concise.
I'll list the pedals in chronological order (which is random). Prices are in euros, grades are from 1 to 10.

EHX Clone Theory
Price: 100 euro
Sound: 5
Tweaking Possibilities: 5
Comment: relative amount of noise, not a special sound.

EHX Small Clone
Price: 139 euro
Sound: 6.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 6
Comment: 1 knob, colder sounding than Red Witch; somewhat canny sound.

Red Witch Empress Chorus
Price: 219 euro
Sound: 8.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 9
Comment: Warm, some noise, very dimensional and rich sound.

HBE THC
Price: 205 euro
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 8
Comment: quite extreme settings, somewhat flatter sounding than Red Witch, less colouring of dry sound (when effect is on).

Ibanez CS9
Price: 205 euro
Sound: 6.5/7
Tweaking Possibilities: 6.5
Comment: Colder and flatter sounding than Red Witch and HBE, but less colouring.

Diamond Vibrato
Price: 299 euro
Sound: 8
Tweaking Possibilities: 9
Comment: Beautiful but perhaps too thick and wooly (compared to Red Witch).

Boss CE-5
Price: 89 euro
Sound: 6.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 7.5
Comment: Cold and weird voicing (non-neutral colouring).

Diamond Halo Chorus
Price: 329 euro
Sound: 6.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 7.5
Comment: Slightly phasing sound, some noise, uninteresting sound, few tweaking possibilities.

Visual Sound H2O
Price: 169 euro
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 8
Comment: Somewhat flatter and a lot less interesting sounding than Red Witch, quite warm although a little wooly. Comes with delay.

T-Rex Chorus Flanger
Price: 159 euro
Sound: 7
Tweaking Possibilities: 6
Comment: Flat and not very interesting; cool for midrange pedalboard.

TC Electronic G-Major 2
Price: not important
Sound: 7
Tweaking Possibilities: 9
Comment: Cold and sterile, very pristine, sparkling and hifi.

Line 6 M5
Price: 199 euro
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 8
Comment: A little warmer en richer than G-Major 2 (not much), but not as sparkling. Ripped apart by Red Witch.
The reason to include the M5 is that I am considering buying this pedal to put in my rack. Not necessarily out of need, but out of interest and GAS.

As you can see from the list I clearly prefer the Red Witch Empress Chorus. The Diamond Vibrato was a bit too dark and wooly for my taste but this can also be an amp-effect. I tested on an Orange Dark Terror amplifier, which is completely different from my own ENGL SE, with a PRS SE Custom.
The question I have is the following: as far as I tested I think I like very rich, dimensional and warm choruses, but they should not be too thick and wooly (like the Diamond Vibrato). So: are there any other choruses I must be aware of? I have not defined a budget yet, but if there are awesome choruses for half the price of the Red Witch I would like to know. If not, I momentarily think I would buy the Red Witch.

musica23
09-08-2011, 11:29 AM
Maybe try the Earthquaker Devices Sea Machine. I'm not a huge Chorus fan, but I dig that one.

Bucksears
09-08-2011, 11:41 AM
I'm really trying to find a reason (other than size) to NOT keep my Boss CE-20. I know it's digital, but I'm getting near perfect chorus sounds out of it and it melds with my distortion/OD/fuzz better than my G3, original CE-2, CE-2 clone, Small Clone clone, Line6 M9, CE-5, vintage CS9 and the Hardwire Chorus.
The CE-20's ability to go from a 'standard' chorus, to variations of the Dimension C, to an emulation of the CE-1, AND tone shaping controls is hard to give up.

bsuite
09-08-2011, 12:56 PM
Chroma chorus

rschultz13
09-08-2011, 01:01 PM
Hardwire CR-7 Stereo Chorus. I'm mixed about mine.

southpaw pete
09-08-2011, 01:03 PM
I like your simple approach to grading/reviewing the pedals.
I'd be interested on how the Hardwire Chorus compares as well.

southpaw pete
09-08-2011, 01:04 PM
ya beat me, rschultz13! :)

Liquid_Metal
09-08-2011, 01:06 PM
I like your simple approach to grading/reviewing the pedals.
I'd be interested on how the Hardwire Chorus compares as well.

Thanks Pete. Of course it's less subjective if you use a lot of terminology, but it will still be subjective. It was mainly for me to pick the best one (and testing 10 pedals like this is already quite intensive).

I will look into the Earthquaker, Chroma and Hardwire. Perhaps also the CE-20, although I can honestly not believe that would be my type of thing :P (although I'm open to all sounds).
The clips I heard of the Hardwire are not really my thing. They are phaser-sounding.
I tested the Strymon Orbit a few months ago and really like the chorus-setting. I wonder how it compares to the Red Witch.

Charles#5
09-08-2011, 01:09 PM
Keep your eyes peeled for a used EBS Red Twister for 125-150. Great chorus, great flanger and decent leslie sim in one small box. Made in Denmark too!

DanHorse
09-08-2011, 01:11 PM
Retro-sonic Chorus?

guitarslinger21
09-08-2011, 01:13 PM
I'll throw in another EQD Sea Machine Recommendation.

Charles#5
09-08-2011, 01:15 PM
Retro-sonic Chorus?
The Retro Sonic is a great one too, but the Red Twister kicked it off my board. Permanently...

mysticaxe
09-08-2011, 01:15 PM
I did a similar thing not too long ago at a shop that had a far more limited chorus selection. I had these things out in front of a Fender Hot Rod (I think), with an import humbucker strat. This a far cry from using the pedal in the loop of either a modded JCM800 or a SigX...

MXR Microchorus
Price: $80
Sound: 7
Tweaking Possibilities: 3
Comment: Sounded good, a little concerned about no level knob.

TC Electronics SCF
Price: ~$320
Sound: 6
Tweaking Possibilities: 7
Comments: Didn't seem to get as extreme as other pedals did. This may have been user error, but I didn't like it that much.

Boss CH-1
Price: $99
Sound:4
Tweaking Possibilities: 5
Comment: Seemed to really do 1-2 sounds fairly well.

EHX NeoClone
Price: $66
Sound: 7
Tweaking Possibilities: 4
Comments: I thought this was the best bang for the buck out there. Could do most of the chorus sounds I wanted, was small, and cheap.

In the end, I bought a TimeFactor (which I was getting anyway), and am figuring out if that will cover my chorus needs. If so, then I'm all done. If not, then I'll probably either get a Neo Clone, or try some other pedals out. I'm particularly interested in the Corona...

guitkrazy
09-08-2011, 01:18 PM
Great Reviews! I too would like to see the Hardwire and the new TC Electronic Corona (My current fave chorus) on there.

Liquid_Metal
09-08-2011, 01:51 PM
I tested the Corona a few months ago, together with the Strymon Orbit. I was astounded by the latter and considered buying is for use as both flanger and chorus (which is easy because of the favourite-button). The Corona has great tweakability but I found it too phasey. Unless I can test it again I will stick to that conclusion :P.

mysticaxe
09-08-2011, 01:54 PM
Actually, I did try the Hardwire - my second favorite of the bunch that I tried. Lots of sounds, many of which were niche to something I wouldn't use.

solitaire
09-08-2011, 01:56 PM
Just curious: but what the heck is a T-Rex Chorus Flanger?

guitkrazy
09-08-2011, 02:00 PM
I own a hardwire and had it on my board for a while- but it just was too bassy & lowendy for me I couldn't get the crystal sparkle. I am using the Corona now and I like it better than the Hardwire but can say it does have a flanging style effect but can find some beautiful chorus sounds on it

Bucksears
09-08-2011, 02:34 PM
I just sent back a Corona to PGS on Tuesday. Too 'flangey' for me too.

XISTH
09-08-2011, 02:52 PM
Analogman Chorus ... that's *the one*. Never tried one but other TGPers swear by it.

I'm quite happy with the Stymon Ola.

Flight1311
09-08-2011, 03:03 PM
Just curious: but what the heck is a T-Rex Chorus Flanger?

It's called the T-Rex Twister and this year they came out with the Twister 2. It's a chorus and flanger pedal in one.

Liquid_Metal
09-08-2011, 03:15 PM
Just curious: but what the heck is a T-Rex Chorus Flanger?

It's called the T-Rex Twister and this year they came out with the Twister 2. It's a chorus and flanger pedal in one.

Sorry, that was the only thing noted on the pedal. Apparently the one I tested is the Tonebug:

http://www.rockpalace.com/gfx_productcode/114371/T-Rex-Tonebug-Chorus-Flanger.jpg

OMTerria
09-08-2011, 03:18 PM
I haven't tried many of the super high end choruses, but I absolutely adore the BBE Mind Bender :hide2:. That thing is washy as hell

jul.brown90
09-08-2011, 03:42 PM
Dr Scientist Cosmichorus sounds huge !

2manytoasters
09-08-2011, 03:44 PM
Dr Scientist Cosmichorus sounds huge !
Indeed, I've been looking to try one out.

slopeshoulder
09-08-2011, 03:49 PM
I adore the corona.
I like the analogman.

Ramblin390
09-08-2011, 04:51 PM
I dig the corona, found out how and where to use it

sub rosa
09-08-2011, 05:34 PM
Diamond Halo Chorus
Price: 329 euro
Sound: 6.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 7.5
Comment: Slightly phasing sound, some noise, uninteresting sound, few tweaking possibilities.
The phasing is user controllable. The Halo is a chorus pedal primarily, with a 2-stage phaser inside as well - both controlled by the same oscillator. It helps create a good sense of movement on faster rotating speaker like settings. The phase can be dialled out completely though. Re. tweak-ability - in addition to speed, depth, and intensity dials on top, there are also internal options to manipulate the chorus even further, including changing the waveform. It seems very tweak-able to this user.

One thing I like about this pedal is the always-on LED. It is green when bypassed and orange when on. This allows me to always visually see the speed of the effect. I wish more speed dependant pedals did this. Most I see that have an LED that flashes only does so when the units are engaged.

tonejunky
09-08-2011, 05:45 PM
I definately like the Earthquaker Sea Machine as well.

The Retro-Sonic chorus sounded amazing in the demo that I saw.

A review with those 2, the Red Witch Empress, and an Analogman Chorus would be incredible.

stratguy23
09-08-2011, 05:59 PM
Analogman Bichorus is my favorite currently. I also really liked the Fulltone Choralflange when I had it, and the Boss CE-2 is cool as well. I liked the Corona that I tried. I honestly didn't like the Red Witch when I played it, I can't fully say why other than it didn't seem as lush as my CE-2 or Analogman.

JPF
09-08-2011, 06:06 PM
Jacques Meistersinger! Nice job on the reviews, btw - I'd be very interested in reading your thoughts about the Jacques.

Redlined
09-08-2011, 06:16 PM
I'm not a big chorus fan, but I'd really like to try the Fromel Seraph, which is more or less a Boss Dimension C copy. It's pretty costly, but the based on the demo's I've seen, it's like nothing else.

Cosmogang
09-08-2011, 07:10 PM
Fromel Seraph (always wanted to try)
TC Corona (very tweakable)
Dr. Scientist Cosmichorus (kinda velvety, but super awesome)
Jacques Meistersinger (RACKDOCTOR has some amazing clips if this thing)
Neunaber Stereo Chroma Chorus (this one is truly going to rock lots of faces)

popinvasion
09-08-2011, 07:15 PM
I have owned the analogman but to be honest the real deal small clone is better. It sounds the same but has more depth and can get trippy, the analogman seems tame and not as swampy. I had several versions of the analogman just none of them ever topped the real small clone.

speedyone
09-08-2011, 07:37 PM
I generally find there are two camps of choruses-- crystalline/cold/hi-fi/thinner and warm/lush/deep.

Sure, some pedals are in between these extremes, but that has been my experience.

Of the more high-end choruses, I like the Analogman with the depth switch, the Tortuga Effects Martini and TC Stereo Chorus Flanger. The Analogman sounds very warm and fairly deep, the TC has more of the crystalline/thin tone, and the Tortuga Effects Martini can get much more lush than the Analogman.

The Red Witch does sound fantastic too, I agree with you there!

forum_crawler
09-08-2011, 09:57 PM
No mention of the voodoo lab analog chorus? It is an awesome pedal :)

orogeny
09-08-2011, 10:22 PM
was the boss ce5 digital or analog? (there were two versions)

Ouchz
09-08-2011, 11:58 PM
Anyone tried the mxr Zakk Wylde chorus? I'm interested in our thoughts.

Liquid_Metal
09-09-2011, 01:24 AM
Dr Scientist Cosmichorus sounds huge !

Unfortunately, I can only find some crappy clips on it, which makes it difficult to say if I like it. According to the clips, I must say no :P.
Same goes for e.g. Earthquaker, Fromel and Jacques. I also think these will be hard to find, especially in shops where they can be compared.

The phasing is user controllable. The Halo is a chorus pedal primarily, with a 2-stage phaser inside as well - both controlled by the same oscillator. It helps create a good sense of movement on faster rotating speaker like settings. The phase can be dialled out completely though. Re. tweak-ability - in addition to speed, depth, and intensity dials on top, there are also internal options to manipulate the chorus even further, including changing the waveform. It seems very tweak-able to this user.

One thing I like about this pedal is the always-on LED. It is green when bypassed and orange when on. This allows me to always visually see the speed of the effect. I wish more speed dependant pedals did this. Most I see that have an LED that flashes only does so when the units are engaged.


It indeed sounded like a very tweakable pedal and I would probably be very happy with it (as I enjoy tweaking). But the fact that it took me more effort to get a good sound out of it compared to the Red Witch indicates to me that it's less interesting. Same goes for the other Diamond I tried, and of course the price is very important.

I generally find there are two camps of choruses-- crystalline/cold/hi-fi/thinner and warm/lush/deep.

Sure, some pedals are in between these extremes, but that has been my experience.

Of the more high-end choruses, I like the Analogman with the depth switch, the Tortuga Effects Martini and TC Stereo Chorus Flanger. The Analogman sounds very warm and fairly deep, the TC has more of the crystalline/thin tone, and the Tortuga Effects Martini can get much more lush than the Analogman.

The Red Witch does sound fantastic too, I agree with you there!

I think I'll agree with you on it and I think I would generally go for warm/lush/deep choruses. Apparently the G-Major 2 was not a very good choice of modulation for me :P (although I adore the crystalline choruses in another way too).

No mention of the voodoo lab analog chorus? It is an awesome pedal :)

They didn't have it so I could not test this pedal. Might be a nice pedal too.

was the boss ce5 digital or analog? (there were two versions)

I have honestly no idea. It was one in the shop and since the latest models are digital (right?) I suppose this was a digital one.

Liquid_Metal
09-09-2011, 01:28 AM
Btw, the Jacques and Fromel sound very nice, but I find the lack of knobs on the latter a bit disappointing.

Jules-RM
09-09-2011, 01:35 AM
The Clone Theory (original black printing one is best - with the Edge switch) is awesome on bass, didn't care for it on guitar.

I actually tried replacing my CS9 with a Strymon Lex since I only use it with the rate maxed - the Lex can go much faster, but when I matched rates with the CS9 it sounded distressingly similar.

I'm sticking with the CS9.

Frosted Glass
09-09-2011, 02:57 AM
I actually tried replacing my CS9 with a Strymon Lex since I only use it with the rate maxed - the Lex can go much faster, but when I matched rates with the CS9 it sounded distressingly similar

I'm sticking with the CS9.

Lolz. More coin doesn't always equal more tone.

I've got a ce1 and battery electric mistress. The boss does the thick soupy thing and the ehx the light and airy thing. Lots of great stuff out there but these two are my favourites.

vicenzajay
09-09-2011, 03:13 AM
To add to the Chroma - try the Jacques Meistersinger. MUCH better chorus than its price would indicate - and it's mix control is really well done.

Liquid_Metal
09-09-2011, 04:24 AM
Lolz. More coin doesn't always equal more tone.

I've got a ce1 and battery electric mistress. The boss does the thick soupy thing and the ehx the light and airy thing. Lots of great stuff out there but these two are my favourites.

I'm not sure yet, but I think I'm in the middle, skewing somewhat to the warm side.

To add to the Chroma - try the Jacques Meistersinger. MUCH better chorus than its price would indicate - and it's mix control is really well done.

It has been mentioned and I think the clips sound very nice. I wonder how easily available it is.

JPF
09-09-2011, 04:39 AM
It has been mentioned and I think the clips sound very nice. I wonder how easily available it is.
The Jacques is made in France - their website lists some U.S. and European distributors):

http://www.jacquespedals.com/index.php?page=distributors&PHPSESSID=f9c74eef6ef819491620666f55bb156d

It looks as though the closest to you is in Norway.

RMC519
09-09-2011, 04:46 AM
I have been in and out of chorus love for years (HUGE Andy Summers fan)...

Just went back to pedal set up after several Multi FX rigs (NOVA, HD500)....

My local Guitar Center has recently become a boutique pedal mecca! After going thru the TC Corona, Retro Sonic, and Red Witch, I have settled on the Melekko Omicron Chorus. Simple, great sounding, and totally tiny! lol

Liquid_Metal
09-09-2011, 04:50 AM
The Jacques is made in France - their website lists some U.S. and European distributors):

http://www.jacquespedals.com/index.php?page=distributors&PHPSESSID=f9c74eef6ef819491620666f55bb156d

It looks as though the closest to you is in Norway.

I should still update my current location as I am back in the Netherlands again :P. So I could order from Belgium or Germany :).

@RMC519: I'll check out the Malekko.

JPF
09-09-2011, 08:07 AM
I should still update my current location as I am back in the Netherlands again :P. So I could order from Belgium or Germany :).

@RMC519: I'll check out the Malekko.Cool - you have no excuse to not try one out...;)

coralreefer
09-09-2011, 08:42 AM
I've ordered a new VFE Choral Reef Chorus pedal...I like the tweaking abilities...

I5eWtyo9uRQ

Liquid_Metal
09-09-2011, 09:06 AM
I've ordered a new VFE Choral Reef Chorus pedal...I like the tweaking abilities...

I5eWtyo9uRQ

I'm watching the video now but the first thing I hear is that it's based on EHX's Small Clone. I didn't really like that pedal.

vicenzajay
09-09-2011, 12:06 PM
The fact that you really like the Red Witch leads me to really hope you try the Jacques pedal. I have both (and the Chroma). I also own the Analogman - and have owned the Small Clone, Clone Theory, THC, and about 4 others that I can't even remember right now. The Jacques actually motivated me to put the Red Witch on the selling block. The Red Witch is a fantastic pedal, and it definitely offers the vibe side of the pedal - which none of these others offer. I already have the MP TOP, which is an excellent vibe as well as phaser, so what I needed was a chorus that sounded as rich as the Red Witch, while remaining tweakable with an excellent mix control so that I could keep the level of the effect (as mixed with the dry signal) in control. Both pedals can do that extremely well. The Jacques, however, costs about $130 less (used) and takes up very little pedalboard room. No brainer decision for me.

Liquid_Metal
09-10-2011, 08:44 AM
Someone wants to trade my EHX Nano POG, which I have for sale, for his Visual Sound Liquid Chorus. I tested the Visual Sound H2O but wasn't really amazed by it (although it didn't scare me off :P):

Visual Sound H2O
Price: 169 euro
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 8
Comment: Somewhat flatter and a lot less interesting sounding than Red Witch, quite warm although a little wooly. Comes with delay.

Any thoughts on the Liquid? Should I get it?

mysticaxe
09-10-2011, 11:03 AM
If you know you like other pedals better, then the visual sound would just be wasting your time...

Liquid_Metal
09-10-2011, 11:14 AM
If you know you like other pedals better, then the visual sound would just be wasting your time...

Agreed, but I wonder how much the Liquid Chorus and H2O differ. Maybe the Liquid is richer and therefore more to my taste.

FenderBigot
09-10-2011, 11:21 AM
Anyone tried the mxr Zakk Wylde chorus? I'm interested in our thoughts.
I have the MXR ZW Black Label Chorus... It is surprisingly good for the price IMHO. I owned a Hardwire CR7 and it sounded nice clean, but put any dirt with it and it sounded, well... too digital. I was about to buy the Corona when I found a used BL chorus for $70. The chorus I use/need has to be subtle and the MXR BL has a "level" knob. I dial it back to be almost not there, but it's enough to flavor the tone and thicken the sound. FWIW, if you don't want the ZW signature pedal on your board, they make the same pedal in the M234 model. I am an analog chorus fan now, no digital here!

Gene
09-10-2011, 11:23 AM
Hey all,

I have been somewhat unhappy with the chorus coming from my TC Electronic G-Major 2 lately; I find it a bit too transparent/brittle and hifi. So I went off to the local music store to test every chorus pedal they have in store and compare it to my GM2.
I'd like to share the results of this testing with you and subsequently ask some questions. Please be aware that this review is very subjective. I found one of the pedals to be my favourite and did a lot of comparing to that specific pedal. Therefore the information I have on some pedals is somewhat concise.
I'll list the pedals in chronological order (which is random). Prices are in euros, grades are from 1 to 10.

EHX Clone Theory
Price: 100 euro
Sound: 5
Tweaking Possibilities: 5
Comment: relative amount of noise, not a special sound.

EHX Small Clone
Price: 139 euro
Sound: 6.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 6
Comment: 1 knob, colder sounding than Red Witch; somewhat canny sound.

Red Witch Empress Chorus
Price: 219 euro
Sound: 8.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 9
Comment: Warm, some noise, very dimensional and rich sound.

HBE THC
Price: 205 euro
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 8
Comment: quite extreme settings, somewhat flatter sounding than Red Witch, less colouring of dry sound (when effect is on).

Ibanez CS9
Price: 205 euro
Sound: 6.5/7
Tweaking Possibilities: 6.5
Comment: Colder and flatter sounding than Red Witch and HBE, but less colouring.

Diamond Vibrato
Price: 299 euro
Sound: 8
Tweaking Possibilities: 9
Comment: Beautiful but perhaps too thick and wooly (compared to Red Witch).

Boss CE-5
Price: 89 euro
Sound: 6.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 7.5
Comment: Cold and weird voicing (non-neutral colouring).

Diamond Halo Chorus
Price: 329 euro
Sound: 6.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 7.5
Comment: Slightly phasing sound, some noise, uninteresting sound, few tweaking possibilities.

Visual Sound H2O
Price: 169 euro
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 8
Comment: Somewhat flatter and a lot less interesting sounding than Red Witch, quite warm although a little wooly. Comes with delay.

T-Rex Chorus Flanger
Price: 159 euro
Sound: 7
Tweaking Possibilities: 6
Comment: Flat and not very interesting; cool for midrange pedalboard.

TC Electronic G-Major 2
Price: not important
Sound: 7
Tweaking Possibilities: 9
Comment: Cold and sterile, very pristine, sparkling and hifi.

Line 6 M5
Price: 199 euro
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking Possibilities: 8
Comment: A little warmer en richer than G-Major 2 (not much), but not as sparkling. Ripped apart by Red Witch.
The reason to include the M5 is that I am considering buying this pedal to put in my rack. Not necessarily out of need, but out of interest and GAS.

As you can see from the list I clearly prefer the Red Witch Empress Chorus. The Diamond Vibrato was a bit too dark and wooly for my taste but this can also be an amp-effect. I tested on an Orange Dark Terror amplifier, which is completely different from my own ENGL SE, with a PRS SE Custom.
The question I have is the following: as far as I tested I think I like very rich, dimensional and warm choruses, but they should not be too thick and wooly (like the Diamond Vibrato). So: are there any other choruses I must be aware of? I have not defined a budget yet, but if there are awesome choruses for half the price of the Red Witch I would like to know. If not, I momentarily think I would buy the Red Witch.

Have you tried TC Electronics SCF? I think it is one of the better sounding chorus pedals out there now. The only issue for me is how the power supply is inside the unit. It sends out a slight hum. No issue with performance but for recording, the hum is not acceptable.

Liquid_Metal
09-10-2011, 11:56 AM
Have you tried TC Electronics SCF? I think it is one of the better sounding chorus pedals out there now. The only issue for me is how the power supply is inside the unit. It sends out a slight hum. No issue with performance but for recording, the hum is not acceptable.

Isn't it as hifi as other TCE products like the G-Major?

Gene
09-10-2011, 12:17 PM
Isn't it as hifi as other TCE products like the G-Major?

I don't know the G-major but I have a few TCE stuff. I find the SCF to have a sweeter sound to it. Maybe because it is an analog pedal?? Just picked up a Analog Man stereo chorus unit. I am hunting for "the one" chorus pedal for my upcoming recording date...

Liquid_Metal
09-10-2011, 12:52 PM
People are also talking about Danelectro Cool Cat Chorus and comparing it to the Jacques. Any experience?

Gene
09-10-2011, 01:48 PM
People are also talking about Danelectro Cool Cat Chorus and comparing it to the Jacques. Any experience?

Nope.

Lacking Talent
09-10-2011, 04:29 PM
Analogman Chorus + me = Andy Summers - chops

(seriously, though, Liquid_Metal, you should give the pedal a try)

Gene
09-11-2011, 09:24 AM
Just re-checked out my Yamaha UD-Stomp and it does chorus quite well. A great "pedal" in my opinion. A bit bulky for NYC gigs but it works great.

NorCal_Val
09-11-2011, 10:36 AM
I've had a tc electronics scf since '97, and it still
is THE chorus sound for me. I like how subtle it can
be, and still add that shimmery sound. I'm not a fan
(for my own sound) of a watery chorus sound, which
is why the tc works for me.

Gene
09-11-2011, 10:44 AM
I've had a tc electronics scf since '97, and it still
is THE chorus sound for me. I like how subtle it can
be, and still add that shimmery sound. I'm not a fan
(for my own sound) of a watery chorus sound, which
is why the tc works for me.

Did the earlier units have a outboard power transformer? The current ones have an ac cord coming out of the SCF. Does your SCF emit a quiet hum or is it dead quiet?

NorCal_Val
09-11-2011, 12:18 PM
mine is just the ol' ac cord.
but it is dead quiet.
i've never had a noise issue with it.

Liquid_Metal
09-11-2011, 03:09 PM
I borrowed 12 chorus pedal of a friend and run through them real quick. I will test them more thoroughly during the rest of this week, but so far I have 2 favourites out of them:

- Arion SFC-1 Fat Chorus. Seems to be the one that Landau uses and is generally described as being thick.
- Ibanez CS5 Super Chorus Soundtank.

I also tested the Boss CE-1, CE-2 and CE-3 but honestly I find all of them pretty dull.

Liquid_Metal
09-12-2011, 03:47 AM
I think that the Arion is generally described as being very thick. The CS5, to my ears, is not very different in thickness.
If so, perhaps the Jacques Meistersinger is not thick enough for me?

Liquid_Metal
09-12-2011, 06:59 AM
I just bought an Ibanez CS5 for 20 euros (which is about 27 dollars). This is my favourite in a set of 12 pedals which a borrowed from someone yesterday.
I found a Jacques Meistersinger on eBay (UK) a few days ago, which will expire in an hour, but I decided not to bid on it since I will now receive this very cheap pedal.
I want to compare it to the Red Witch so I'll probably head off to the shop later this week.

alvarete
09-12-2011, 07:01 AM
I borrowed 12 chorus pedal of a friend and run through them real quick.

The real question is: why would somebody have 12 chorus pedals? :bonk

Liquid_Metal
09-12-2011, 07:15 AM
The real question is: why would somebody have 12 chorus pedals? :bonk

Oh, this guy builds his own and also repairs/modifies pedals: http://www.dirk-hendrik.com/

ChrisMo70
09-12-2011, 10:03 AM
I tried the Meistersinger. "The Mad Ape" was selling it for around $140.00 USD. I liked that it had a mix knob, but the tones were not (to my ear) a significant upgrade from the Boss CE-2 I've been running.... Still searching here.

Frosted Glass
09-13-2011, 04:12 AM
I tried the Meistersinger. "The Mad Ape" was selling it for around $140.00 USD. I liked that it had a mix knob, but the tones were not (to my ear) a significant upgrade from the Boss CE-2 I've been running.... Still searching here.

Probably because the Meistersinger is a ce-2 clone.

Liquid_Metal
09-13-2011, 06:02 AM
Probably because the Meistersinger is a ce-2 clone.

I didn't like the CE-2, found it too subtle and dull, and a bit flat.

By the way, I reviewed all pedals I borrowed and will post the results here shortly. Please keep in mind it's very subjective.

Liquid_Metal
09-13-2011, 06:15 AM
Ibanez BC-9 Bi-Mode Chorus
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking: 7.5
Comment: A little metallic sounding (not to my liking) but still warm.

Ibanez TC-10 Twin Cam
Sound: 7
Tweaking: 7.5
Comment: Even more metallic than BC-9 and gives a volumeboost.

Ibanez CS-5
Sound: 9
Tweaking: 8
Comment: Very warm and thick, hardly wooly. A small volumeboost.

Ibanez CS-10
Sound: 8.5
Tweaking: 8
Comment: A little colder than CS5, therefore less bottom boost. Less warm but more crystalline.

Ibanez BCL Bi-Mode
Sound: 7.5
Tweaking: 7.5
Comment: Annoying high metallic, though bottom end is warm. Difficult to tweak.

Ibanez RC99 Rotary Chorus
Sound: 8
Tweaking: 8.5
Comment: A little flatter, duller and more metallic than CS5, but does have a mixknob (interesting for parallel setting).

DOD FX60 Stereo Chorus
Sound: 6
Tweaking: 6
Comment: Flat and dull.

Arion SFC-1 Fat Chorus
Sound: 8.5
Tweaking: 8
Comment: Very thick and warm (a little less warm and rich/dimensional than CS5). But it does have tone control.

Arion SCH-1
Sound: 8
Tweaking: 8
Comment: Thick and warm (little less than SFC-1; flatter than CS5), a little wooly. Does have tone control.

Aria ACH-1 Chorus
Sound: 5
Tweaking: 7
Comment: Flat, cold and boring; a little compression.

Boss CE-1
Sound: 6.5
Tweaking: 4
Comment: Warm but little character; too subtle. Only intensity-knob.

Boss CE-2
Sound: 6
Tweaking: 6
Comment: Too subtle; boring and a little flat.

Boss CE-3
Sound: 5.5
Tweaking: 6
Comment: Subtle (little more extreme tweaking than CE-2), colder than CE-2.

Please keep in mind that it's my perception and opinion. I am looking for a certain chorus sound and therefore describe some choruses and boring, while others may find them perfect because they colour less.
I found a second hand Ibanez CS5 which will be sent to me today or tomorrow. I will compare this with the Red Witch Empress to be able to link both reviews to each other but for now I will not pay 230 euros for a chorus :).

ChorusCrackpot
09-13-2011, 06:22 AM
As you can see from the list I clearly prefer the Red Witch Empress Chorus. The Diamond Vibrato was a bit too dark and wooly for my taste but this can also be an amp-effect. I tested on an Orange Dark Terror amplifier, which is completely different from my own ENGL SE, with a PRS SE Custom.
The question I have is the following: as far as I tested I think I like very rich, dimensional and warm choruses, but they should not be too thick and wooly (like the Diamond Vibrato). So: are there any other choruses I must be aware of? I have not defined a budget yet, but if there are awesome choruses for half the price of the Red Witch I would like to know. If not, I momentarily think I would buy the Red Witch.

I enjoyed reading your review. I really like chorusing (as you can see) so this topic is of interest to me.

I'm finding now it's not so much the chorus device itself, but what amp & tone settings I use with it that affect the overall sound of the effect. At least for me anyway. I like using chorus with gain as well but more to add a complex texture than the wide stereo thing or 80s stuff- I have a rack Rockman Stereo Chorus/Delay for that ;) .


I have an older version of the Visual Sound H2O Liquid Chorus & Echo, and it's much nicer sounding than the later version that I guess was the one that you tried. It's almost as good as the Red Witch Empress. I'd buy the Red Witch, but I am very happy with my H2O and also really like its Echo effect.

I had a TC Electronic Stereo Chorus/Flanger and I had a similar experience as you did with the GM. It's definitely very hi-fi, which is not to my appeal.
You might want to check out their Corona Chorus pedal- as they have addressed this particular issue by including a Tone control. I think it's really good of them that they did that.


Personally I like a lot of viscosity, a "syrupy", gooey texture in a chorus effect, particularly for clean tones. In fact I find that a flanger in particular the Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress does that really well, so that's what I use.

Dipintoplayer
09-13-2011, 07:08 AM
Jacques Meistersinger! Nice job on the reviews, btw - I'd be very interested in reading your thoughts about the Jacques.


I'm very demanding when it comes to my chorus tone..But i did not have the funds available to buy my favorite chorus pedals which is the original Boss CE1 or the Retro Sonic which is a CE1 clone..So after extensive research i went with a used Jaques Meistersinger ..IMHO it is hands down the best mid priced chorus on the market....

Bob Loblaw
09-13-2011, 09:06 AM
[QUOTE=Liquid_Metal;11402468]Unfortunately, I can only find some crappy clips on it, which makes it difficult to say if I like it. According to the clips, I must say no :P.
Same goes for e.g. Earthquaker, Fromel and Jacques. I also think these will be hard to find, especially in shops where they can be compared.

Don't know if you are interested or exactly where you are located but we have 2 shops in the Netherlands: Haar guitars and Guitarplayer.

Jamie- EQD

overunderdrive
09-13-2011, 09:16 AM
The MXR Stereo Chorus--the big 18v yellow one--never makes it into these types of shootouts, but I gotta tell ya...

I've owned several of the reviewed models, as well as many other boutique chorus pedals including the AM, Choralflange and Retro, and the MXR is the last one standing.

Gene
09-13-2011, 09:22 AM
Anyone have the Lexicon LXP-5? I love the LXP-1 for the reverb. Wonder how the chorus sounds on the LXP-5.

Liquid_Metal
09-13-2011, 10:58 AM
@ChorusCrackpot: thanks. I think I like viscosity in my chorus as well.

I'm very demanding when it comes to my chorus tone..But i did not have the funds available to buy my favorite chorus pedals which is the original Boss CE1 or the Retro Sonic which is a CE1 clone..So after extensive research i went with a used Jaques Meistersinger ..IMHO it is hands down the best mid priced chorus on the market....

A major reason for me to not go for the Jacques: I did not like the CE1 :P.

Don't know if you are interested or exactly where you are located but we have 2 shops in the Netherlands: Haar guitars and Guitarplayer.

Jamie- EQD

Haar could be done, Guitarplayer is a bit far (although still reachable for the ultimate chorus :)).
I am now waiting for my CS5 and will test it against the Red Witch. If the prior is more to my liking I am done searching for the moment. If not, I will keep on searching because 230 euros is a lot of money.

Gene
09-16-2011, 08:57 AM
My Analogman Chorus w/stereo, depth toggle, mix option arrived. This is the one for me. Best pedal chorus I've heard/used!

Liquid_Metal
09-16-2011, 12:34 PM
Today I brought back all choruses I borrowed and, on the way, compared the Ibanez CS5, which cost me 20 euros, with the Red Witch Empress, which is 230 bucks, in the latter's store. Guess what: I like the CS5 better! The Empress' sound is more shrill, while the CS5 is warmer (although they are quite similar, actually).
The comparison wasn't even on my own amp, on which I did test the CS5, so at home I probably dislike the Empress a little bit more.

I think my search is over :).

pete692
10-01-2011, 03:06 PM
Keep your eyes peeled for a used EBS Red Twister for 125-150. Great chorus, great flanger and decent leslie sim in one small box. Made in Denmark too!
I had the EBS Unichorus and the Red Twister, and preferred the Unichorus by a large margin. Red Twister is good, but the Unichorus blew me away.

Richard P
10-03-2011, 10:50 PM
Gosh I've tried a lot of chorus pedals. I'll be getting the Fulltone CFV-2 when it comes out, but:

Meistersinger rocks!

I've had Analogman, CE-2, JAM Waterfall, VFE Choral Reef, Corona, ChromaChorus, and others. I keep coming back to the Jacques pedal. Beautiful tone, pretty good mix knob. I'm not trying any others 'til the Fulltone pedal comes out!