Purchased from: The Guitar Corner - Kitchener, ON
Ease of Use — 9
Right out of the box, I was able to get a pretty good chorus tone after a couple of minutes. Adding TonePrints with the app on my phone was quick and easy. It took me only a couple of seconds to load a new tone. The one thing I should point out is you need to follow the on-screen instructions. The first couple times I attempted to load a TonePrint, I placed my phone next to the device. You have to place your phone near one of the pickups for the TonePrint to be loaded.
The TonePrint Editor offers a surprising selection of parameters you can modify. You could spend hours tweaking and playing with the settings. All you need to use to load a TonePrint from your computer to your pedal, is a USB cable, which is not provided. The TonePrints load quickly. As mentioned earlier in my review, this feature is missing from the smartphone apps and is in my opinion the greatest weakness of this pedal. Included with the pedal is a sticker for your favorite guitar case and some marketing information. There is not manual provided but one is available on the TC Electronics website.
Sound — 9
I have always been a technology junkie and with my guitar playing, this drive for the latest and greatest technology has usually drawn me to Multi-Pedals. This is where TC Electronics comes in. They have managed to combine a rock solid traditional sounding chorus pedal with an amazing concept in modding technology.
This pedal features a pretty decent Chorus sound right out of the box. This sound is easily modified with Depth, Speed and FX Level knobs. With a little playing around you should have no problem dialing in a chorus tone that will work for whatever style of music you play.
The out of the box tone is not the reason to buy this pedal. TC Electronics provides an app for iOS and Android called TonePrint. By using the TonePrint app, you have access to well over 50 different TonePrints. By loading one of these TonePrints, you can have a very different chorus pedal. Many of these TonePrints are created by some of the best guitar players on the planet. TonePrints for this pedal have been contributed by artists such as Brian May, Victor Wooten, Phil Campbell and many others.
If by some stretch of the imagination you are unable to find the exact chorus tone you are looking for, you can use TonePrint Editor, available on the iPad, Windows and Mac PCs. This allows you to create your own TonePrints. This software allows the user to change many of the parameters that make up the chorus tone. This software is a modders dream. You can basically create your own chorus pedal! My only complaint with this software is there isn't an easy way to share the TonePrints you create with others. Currently, you can only share the values of the parameters. You can't share an actual TonePrint.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The Corona Mini Chorus is an all metal pedal with three plastic knobs. There are four screws on the bottom but as this unit doesn't allow for a 9V battery, there is no need to open it up. The construction is as solid as you would expect from its all metal housing and feels really solid in your hands. The knobs are of a very good quality and do not give off a scratchy sound when you turn them while using the pedal. The one problem I have with this unit is the switch to activate/deactivate the pedal is on the mushy side. I am not sure how this will impact the Corona Mini Chorus in the long term. I would have no problem depending on this pedal without the need of bringing a backup.
Overall Impression — 9
I usually play blues, classic rock and some jazz. This pedal works perfectly for these styles. If this pedal was lost or stolen I would rush right out and buy another one. I compared this pedal with the Corona Chorus, Boss CE-5 and the MRX Analog Chorus. All of these pedals would be excellent choices but in my case, the value of the Corona Chorus Mini was greater than the other pedals I tested. The Corona Mini Chorus is just better value for the money than the others, including its bigger brother.
The whole TonePrint concept is simply an amazing feature. You get a whole room full of pedals out of a tiny little metal box. You really can't beat this feature. I would love to see the TonePrint Editor capabilities added to the iPhone and Android phones. I am not sure why this capability has been reserved the your computer or iPad. Line 6 devices such as Amplifi and Firehawk allow editing with your smartphone. Hopefully, TC Electronics will add these features in the near future.
Many people will miss the fact that this pedal doesn't take a 9V battery. This is a very valid concern and if this describes you, I would recommend the Corona Chorus instead. For me this isn't a problem.
Another potential problem some people will have will be the Corona Mini Chorus does not include a power supply. I don't see this as that big of a problem. If TC Electronics were to include an adapter with every pedal they sold, most guitar players would have a box full of unused power adapters. I purchased a Visual Sound - 1 Spot Combo Pack to power all my pedals at once.