What is Chorus?
Few modulation effects share have become as popular for the guitar as the chorus effect. Whilst used at the wrong time the effect can be messy, warble or quite frankly a little too ‘cheesy’. The chorus simple chorus effect can be found in almost every musical genre.
I feel Electro Harmonix have done a great job explaining how a chorus effect is created “The Small Clone bends the frequency slightly from the input source and mixes this altered signal with some direct unaffected signal. The combination produces a doubling effect.
The chorus pedal we are going to look at is one of the oldest designs available, the EHX Small Clone. The pedal has two controls (excluding the true-bypass foot switch) a depth switch and a rate knob. It is an older large box pedal that runs of either a 9v battery or a positive tip power supply.
The depth switch in the lower position produces a shallower chorus tone which when set rate low (7-9 o’clock) gives a shimmering chorus tone that fattens up a clean signal. This is my default setting setting for 80’s pop (especially with some compression and delay) and thickening up distorted chords.
The depth switch in the upper position is deeper warbling effect which with the rate set to around (10-11 o’clock) gives you that Nirvana tone it’s famous for. Place it before a heavy distortion and it gives at it adds interesting harmonic notes that pop through the gain.
On both depth settings with the rate set above (12 o’clock) the pedal becomes a violent warble machine. I’m sure that tones have the occasional use but I cant imagine many users venturing into this (unless you into wilder experimental rock). Sadly unlike many chorus pedals it doesn’t really do a leslie speaker type tone, so look elsewhere for that one.
Conclusion – 8/10
My personal Small Clone is a mainstay on my pedal-board and I use it most as I outlined in the review. I feel for the money it represents a fantastic analogue chorus pedal with all the typical chorus sounds most players will need. This is also a must for anyone looking that Nirvana ‘Come As You Are’ tone.
Pros – Warm analogue chorus tones suitable for most musical styles, idiot proof controls, easily worth the money.
Cons – Not a lot of control of the sound, positive tip 9v power supply (non-boss style so adapter needed), large pedal board foot-print.