Like many musically reactionary youths of the ’80s and ’90s, I cast a wary eye at chorus pedals. Ibanez’s original CS-9 stereo analog chorus was one of the first chorus pedals to make me rethink the musical merits of the effect. The new $99 Ibanez Analog Chorus Mini possesses many of the same sonic attributes that changed my mind. And while it lacks the stereo functionality of its bigger, older cousin, its small footprint, robust build quality, and low price make it equally appealing to chorus fence-sitters who occasionally dabble and more discerning, regular analog chorus users who like to save space.
The magic of the Chorus Mini lies in its deep dimensionality. And at the proper rate and depth settings it comes deliciously close to the sound of a well-recorded Leslie. Needless to say, there are no digital artifacts to highlight metallic out-of-phase sounds. Instead, the Chorus Mini offers a study in how contoured and multi-hued an analog chorus can sound in the right setting. I loved the faster rates and deeper depths that highlighted the pedal’s penchant for near-rotary tones. But its subtle animation of a guitar signal is every bit as much of a strength.
Test Gear: Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Fender Stratocaster, ’68 Fender Bassman, Fender Champ