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My vote for the best chorus unit of all goes to the Eventide H8000FW. No other unit in my experience has the potential or control available to realize so many different, and euphonic, chorus colors.
As it concerns a dedicated chorus unit, I give high marks to the Roland SDX-330 Dimensional Expander. From vintage to modern, subtle to over-the-top, this box can do it all. Multi-voice, DimD, Solina ensemble, and other algos make this box a keeper.
The Roland SDD-320 Dimension D is tops if you need a spatial stereo chorus that does not swirl or introduce pitch warble. I think the Dimension sound is one of the best analog sweeteners ever realized. I can't wait for the super-clone of the DimD being created by Jurgen Haible.
The Kurzweil KSP8 can generate some great chorus colors, especially given its DSP power and available filtering, shaping, and warmth tools. Multi-channel operation allows for rich ensemble effects and thick, layered chorus tones that go way beyond usual chorus sounds.
A quick mention for two multi-effects that can do great chorus - the Sony DPS-V77, with its twin engines, EQ blocks, and multiple chorus algos, can achieve many colored, musical chorus tones. The t.c. electronic M3000, with its twin engines and six-voice detune shifter algo, can be programmed to do lush-yet-icy static chorus tones, especially when cascading serially to get 36 microshifts.
I use 3 other analog devices to get chorus tones - the ensemble section of a Roland RS-505 Paraphonic, which is a super-lush multi-line analog BBD effect - the chorus section of a Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo tape delay - and the cheap and cheerful analog swirl of a Boss CE-300 rack.
The good thing of the SDX-330 is that it models all these choruses. For my taste the CE-1 to CE-3 do color the sound pretty tough, I prefer the SDD models or the space choruses.
What is interesting about the CE-1/3 models in the SDX-330 Dimensional Expander is that a large part of the coloring is the EQ settings. Try it - zero out the EQ on the vintage chorus presets that recreate the CE-series stuff, and you get a fairly neutral chorus tone. That said, I like the color - on some synth patches from my Nord Mod they are golden.
FWIW, the SDX-330 doesn't sound like a CE-1 in use - nothing does, really. That's OK - the SDX-330 sounds great, regardless of emulation accuracy. So many colors, so tweakable, all with that Roland color of the early 90s.
Works a treat on Roland JD-990 pads and atmospheres!
Thanks Ian. It seems that SDX-330 or the CE-300 are the first ones to look for. I see the triple delay theory. The problem is that I don't feel a strong bond to effects programming as much as the synth programming. As far as the effects go, I better choose simple to program alternatives. Depth, speed and dry/wet ratio are all I am interested. Wow guys ! Lots of alternatives and suggestions there
Alesis A6 Andromeda SCI Prophet-5 Korg Trident Roland Juno 106/60 DSI PolyEvolver Rack Moog Little Phatty Vermona Synthesizer Yamaha DX-7 Casio CZ-3000 Roland D-50 Nord Lead-3 Roland XV-5080 Korg WaveStation AD Yamaha A5000 Sampler Crumar Orchestrator Roland M480 Presonus Comp16&EQ3B
I see the triple delay theory. The problem is that I don't feel a strong bond to effects programming as much as the synth programming. As far as the effects go, I better choose simple to program alternatives. Depth, speed and dry/wet ratio are all I am interested.
The Roland SDX-330 Dimensional Expander can be used in a simple manner like that, but has a bit more depth - if and when you need it - all while sounding great.
I'm also a fan of the Juno-60's chorus, but no longer have a J-60, so my current favorite chorus unit is the Behringer Chorus Space-C (CC300) pedal. I got it for $23, so we'll see how long it lasts. It reminds me a little of the Juno-60's onboard chorus. A friend compared it to a Dimension C (which I've not used). The only real drawback is that you have 4 fixed settings to choose from, but you still get a lush chorus on the cheap.
Other than that, I like the chorus + reverb effect #6 on the Special FX section of the MPX-100.