I’ll start this review off by saying I’ve never been a big fan of chorus pedals. After O’Ding on chorus from my Gorilla GG-20C practice amp as a kid I had no real interest in the effect. Fast-forward to 2010 and Jim Dunlop announced the re-issuing of the MXR Micro Flanger and Micro Chorus pedals. Both of these pedals intrigued me, and I bought the Micro Flanger for my own pedal board (and reviewed the Micro Flanger). I absolutely love the Micro Flanger, and it’s a staple of my pedal board. I liked the look of the Micro Chorus, with its simplicity and subtle chorus tones. I recently picked one up, and after spending some time with it I’m ready to review it.
For those that aren’t in the know, the MXR Micro Chorus is a re-issue of a classic early eighties MXR pedal. Just like the original, the re-issued Micro Chorus features analogue bucket brigade device (BBD) circuitry for organic tone, and a single rate control. The rate control is capable of dialling in everything from lush watery chorus to almost swirling leslie-like tones. The re-issue offers some additional features not present on the original like true bypass switching and indicator LED.
Hooking up the Micro Chorus to the front of my Blackstar HT-5 on a clean setting, I set the pedal on the lowest setting, and was greeted by classic eighties clean tone (think any eighties hair metal band, and more). At the lowest settings the Micro Chorus almost sounds a little like a very subtle phaser, and works beautifully for both clean and distorted settings.
Once the rate hits around 10 o’clock the Micro Chorus generates a more pronounced chorus effect, but again never over the top. It’s great for getting that doubled guitar part sound, and it also works fantastically for lead work. The Micro Chorus never sounds like it’s trying to take over your tone, it just gives you that little bit extra to take it up a notch.
Get the rate control around to 2 o’clock and beyond and the Micro Chorus starts to make some pretty convincing leslie/vibe type sounds. The Micro Chorus manual has an example setting called “Grunge as you are”, and with the right pickup and amplifier setting you really do get that classic Nirvana track tone.
The Micro Chorus, like all MXR pedals are built to last, with rock solid enclosures, switches and jacks. There’s no chance of this pedal breaking after a few stomps!
Overall the MXR Micro Chorus is a brilliant chorus pedal, that is lush and organic sounding. It adds to, rather than overpowers your tone, and never sounds over the top. There is a wide range of useful sounds available throughout the range of the rate control, and most will probably never miss the extra controls most chorus pedals typically have. If you are like me, and never really been a fan of chorus, but are curious enough, the Micro Chorus will definitely be worth a test.