TC Electronic Corona Chorus (The Coroner's Report)

Pro Guitar Shop was running a $20-off sale on the TC Corona chorus pedal so I thought I'd give one a spin. I was especially interested in the 'Tri-Chorus' mode that interweaves three choruses together, greatly reducing the normal pitch wobble of your run of the mill chorus effect.

PGS had the pedal to my door in two days (I always get fast service from these guys) but that's about as far as the good news extends.

I placed the Corona chorus between a G&L Legacy and a Swart Atomic Space Tone Pro running a duet of 6L6 power tubes. With the effect off the tone was warm and harmonically rich with swirling and smokey overtones. With the Corona engaged the mids were sucked out of the signal and all the warmth disappeared in a clinical and flat digital sheen. No amount of twiddling with the tone knob (on the pedal or the amp) would restore the harmonic richness of the clean signal. The Tri-Chorus mode works as advertised but the sound is uninspiring (not at all what you'd expect from TC).

I might be able to live with a tonal change coming from a modulation pedal but I cannot live with a pedal that makes a $2000 amp sound like a Line6 Spider. You'd expect a good chorus effect to enhance an already lush amp, not kill the overall vibe. Of course, if you're stuck with an uninspiring amp to begin with (McAmp) then maybe the Corona chorus can spice it up on the cheap.

As it turned out, I did not have long to reflect on the sonic qualities of the box as the on/off switch crapped out after about ten uses, i.e., in about five minutes -- I guess it couldn't handle the punishment my index finger was dishing out. This is not the only problem users are having: after poking around online I found complaints of the Corona (as well as the delay pedal in this series) picking up radio signals.

If you're looking for a great sounding and durable chorus pedal for studio or stage work I think the Corona is fairly questionable. The pedal is slapped together in a Slumsonesian factory for pennies on your dollar, it sounds mediocre, and the "Tone Print" function is not even a clever marketing gimmick. I mean, really, do you need to download a star preset for a chorus pedal?