Mr. Black Vintage Chorus or TC Electronic Corona Mini?

A reader’s question to the Dude:

I use a Mr. Black Vintage Chorus Mini and it sounds superb.
I just notice a little latency, which might be just in my mind. But I asked Mr.
Black himself and he said it’s ‘fully 24-bit DSP’. So, it has no analog dry through.
Now I wonder if for example the TC Electronic Corona Mini, which has analog dry through, would be even better.
But on the other hand, the TC Electronic Corona Mini is unable to reach the sonic quality of the Vintage Chorus.
I’m just curious about what you think about this issue.


This is a definitively interesting question, that has been discussed a thousand times and which does not provide a clear right or wrong.
It is a fact, that the A/D (analog to digital converter) causes a little latency. Some are able to hear (or feel) it, others don’t. The latency of recent effect pedals amounts to 2ms. Thereby, it can be compared to the time, the sound of a guitar needs to cover the distance of 2 meters. Thus, the sonic difference between an analog through and a digital through corresponds to the feeling you will get when your distance to the amp amounts 2 meters (without A/D) or rather 4 meters (with A/D).

Although this amount of latency seems very little, it might sum up if you also use a delay or a reverb pedal without analog dry through besides your chorus.
Furthermore, the A/D sometimes cause a phase-shifting of the dry signal. Especially regarding a wet/dry setup with two amps, this might be a decisive fact. But, the phase- shifting can also occur when the analog signal passes – this is the reason why for example the Source Audio Nemesis or the Empress Superdelay have been designed with a digital through signal.

As mentioned before, there has been and still is discussion about this topic in forums all over the world. Recently, the debate has been fueled by thatpedalshow.
To me, the feeling is what matters regarding this question: if in your very own setup you hear the difference or the feeling changes, this pedal is not what you need. It is important to feel comfortable with the pedal and it should support your creative power. And if the Mr. Black is unable to provide such support, it is at least worth it to try out other pedals.
Personally, I really like the sonic quality of the TC Electronic pedals. But I haven’t tried the chorus so far.

The Mr. Black Chorus is based on the Boss CE-1. So, if you like the sound, I would like to recommend the following pedals: The Voodoo Lab Analog Chorus is a replica of the CE-1. But for the production has been discontinued, it is only available on the second-hand market. Sonically, it will be very close to the Mr. Black Chorus.
I really like the MXR Analog Chorus for its tone can be fine-tuned quite sophistically.
The Boss CE-2w combines the CE-1 and the CE-2 in one enclosure. Both are vintage classics.

Many further analog chorus pedals are based on the Electro Harmonix Small Clone (AnalogMan Chorus, Ibanez Chorus and so on). Sonically, they are a bit different but to me, their sound is brilliant.
It might be possible that the Mr. Black Chorus sounds a bit more three-dimensional and wider than the analog originals (to create an even more spectacular sound, this applies to the majority of digital emulations).
To find out, which sound you like best, I would recommend to try the TC Electronic Chorus compared to the MXR Chorus.

Have a lot of fun in experimenting.