While chorus is definitely a queer effect that not everyone enjoys, those, who do, can truly appreciate its characteristics. I have always been curious about the limits of its capabilities. After years of playing and experimenting, I still have not extorted all of its possibilities. Who knows, maybe chorus has interminable features that make up its essence. Or maybe I have to try harder and explore more. Either way, on the abundant market of pedals, there are some that assist you in that process and there are those that limit you in every way possible. To avoid such unfortunate turn of events, you have to do a thorough research before deciding to invest your money in something. The stompbox we are going to discuss today belongs to the diverse and versatile category that can enhance the scope of your imagination. And it does so with simplicity and user-friendliness. Yeah, you are right, we are talking about MXR M134 Stereo Chorus. If you have played with this line before, you will know what level of quality I am implying. But it is always better to make your decision based on facts, so let’s dive right in and see if and why this bad boy works.
The very first feature that catches your attention from the first glance is undoubtedly the design of the MXR M134 Stereo Chorus. This bad boy has bright yellow chassis that is extremely distinctive and is visible even more once you place it on your pedalboard. Black writings and knobs and a silver footswitch complete the look and create a well-thought-out appearance. The size of this fella is a bit big, but I am sure nobody will be too lazy to make some space for it (this thing will literally force you to do so). When it comes to more sound-related features, M134 has stereo output, that allows you to run it through two amps simultaneously and make its doubling effect even more prominent. The circuitry is analog, comprised with bucket-brigade technology. This guarantees that the natural characteristics of your sound remain intact no matter what. This stompbox has buffered bypass and a bass filter. I am sure you know what the former means, while the latter disengages the bottom-end and applies chorus to higher frequencies. This way your tone maintains its shimmer without getting artificial. It is worth noting that M134 requires two 9V batteries or a 18V adapter for operation (the latter is included in the package). Once you add a two-band EQ, all-encompassing controls and durability, you get a pedal that can basically do it all. Great stuff!
MXR M134 might not seem simple when you take the first glance, but after some time spent on configuration, you will understand that it actually is quite easy to use. Some musicians might dislike having to tweak 5 knobs, but most of us find it interesting and useful. The control section is divided into two parts: the first one features equalizer, while the second one takes care of the chorus itself. Their functionalities are further explained in the manual, so you can scrutinize that too if you need to. I will do my best to describe them in great detail as well. Let’s begin!
As I have mentioned above, the first section has equalizer, namely Bass and Treble knobs. The former tames and refines lower frequencies, while the latter does the same thing for high-end. They operate on affected signal, which means your dry sound will not be altered by these. The second section features: Intensity, which modifies the amount of chorus; Width that alters the range of the sweeps; and Rate which sets the speed of the effect. Apart from the footswitch, there is one last button, Bass Filter, that, once engaged, cuts down on chorus on lower frequencies. It takes couple of twists to create the perfect potion of wonderful sounds.
Speaking of sounds, that parameter is one of the best things about MXR M134 Stereo Chorus. This bulky unit can change the way you perceive chorus, since it does not create dull, non-expressive effect. Not everybody is into ‘80s vibes and that is why this stompbox is wonderful. If wanted, it can produce such sounds, but it is not just that. M134 has swirly, lush and saturated tone that can be altered depending on your preferences. The ability to equalize the affected signal without interfering with the original sound allows you to retain all the qualities of your original sound. It does also accentuate the nature of your instrument by responding amazingly to your playing. This way you do not have to worry about losing any notes in the process. M134 can also perform in stereo, which means you can connect it two different amplifiers simultaneously. This brings out the essence of the effect even more and leaves you with a steeped performance. With the help of the bass filter you can add the effect to higher frequencies only. This way you can have that brightness and shimmer applied to your signal without extensive spikes. M134 Stereo Chorus knows how to get classic, a bit psychedelic or completely percussive. What will be the end result largely depends on the settings of each knobs, your signal chain and the gear you utilize. But one thing is for sure: this fella works wonders no matter what challenge it faces.
When it comes to the final verdict about M134, it does not need second-guessing to grasp what I am leaning to. Yes, you are right, I absolutely adore this one. Due to its sonic features and characteristics, I do not even mind that it is big in size. Its controls are exactly what you will need as a working musician. Its user-friendly interface and switches make it a must have. Take a couple of minutes with it and it will become your favorite tool. Do not miss out and get your hands on M134 Stereo Chorus. Good luck, mate!
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