CF-7 Chorus Factory by Digitech | Review

CF-7 “Chorus Factory” by Digitech © 2018 HARMAN All Rights Reserved.

The first pedal review I wrote was about the CF-7 ‘Chorus Factory’ by DigiTech

“All of your favourite chorus pedals in one rugged unit”.

At this time I was also using a BOSS CEB-3 Bass Chorus, which was a little uninspiring. I wondered what else was out there?

My CF-7 review appeared on the Internet Bass players’ forum ‘Basschat’ back in 2012.

Unfortunately, I didn’t record any sound clips, and no video is available of anyone using the pedal with BASS ! which is a shame.

I had heard of the ‘Small Clone’ by Electro Harmonix (EHX) and TC Electronic had a high-end line of studio quality effects in stomp box format. Then I saw this ad:- “You do the Math”.

I acquired a new CF-7 for a heavily discounted £54 on-line, which is even less than an EHX Small Clone chorus alone.

What is ‘Chorus’?

A chorus (or ensemble) is a modulation effect used to create a richer, thicker sound and add subtle movement.

The effect attempts to simulate slight variations in pitch and timing, which occur when multiple performers sing or play the same part.

The ‘Chorus’ effect is based on a short delay, which is split and mixed with the original audio and sent to the effect’s output.

With short delay times (20 to 50 milliseconds), the delayed audio blends with the original audio, to create a distinctive echo.

Digitech | CF-7 Chorus Factory | "You Do The Math" | Original advertisement and publicity

CF-7 by Digitech | Overview

The CF-7 is a Digital compact size stomp-box format pedal with an Audio DNA2 DSP processor chip, which they say is four times more powerful than their previous Audio DNA processor.

One 1/4 inch mono input jack. Two 1/4 inch output jacks allowing either amp or CIT mixer stereo mix output using Flexible Output Mode™ which is useful when recording without an amplifier.

Excellent build quality. Cast-metal chassis, metallic finish and non-slip rubber base. The pedal weighs 2 lbs which is almost double your regular stomp box weight.

Digitech | CF-7 Chorus Factory | Review |

The CF-7 has three two-in-one concentric controls, to adjust Level, Speed, Depth and three extra controls for each of the seven different Chorus ‘models’, accessed via a seven-way rotary pot selector: –

(#1): DigiTech© Multi Chorus™
(#2): based on Voodoo Lab© Analog Chorus (1976 BOSS© CE-1 replica)
(#3): based on TC Electronic© Stereo Chorus/Flanger
(#4): based on Fulltone© Choralflange™
(#5): based on BOSS© CH-1 Super Chorus™
(#6): based on EHX© Small Clone®
(#7): based on BOSS© CE-5 Chorus Ensemble™

However, the dual concentric knobs are fiddly, and it’s not easy to dial in sounds on-the-fly.

The supplied user manual has a multi-page layout showing the different controls available for each model, but don’t expect to work out what everything does in 5 or 10 minutes.

Yes, there are three BOSS emulations, when just the CE-1 would have done, but don’t let that put you off.

I’ve owned the BOSS CE-2B Bass Chorus and CE3-B Bass Chorus pedals, and the CF-7 sounds like a step up.

“If you haven’t owned any of the pedals, how do you know if the models are any good?”

I have a good idea what ‘Chorus’ is supposed to sound like, regardless of the variation in each pedal.

CF-7 by Digitech | Power

A power source capable of supplying 9.6 volts DC / 300mA is essential, else a regular 9 volt battery (Approximately four hours life with continuous usage) will have to do.

For my review, I used a regulated nine volt 400mA supply and there was no noticeable increase in noise or hiss etc.

CF-7 by Digitech | Highlights

The CF-7 has so many modes and settings that offer so much, it’s fun getting used to how each control works in relation to the selected model.

TC SCF ~ Stereo Chorus/Flanger is my FAVOURITE model because it works with every style; regular finger playing, harmonics/solo, and percussive slap/pull.

The EHX Small Clone and CE-5 emulations sound really nice too.

CF-7 Chorus Factory | The final analysis

  1. Design and ease of use: 80/100 – the dual concentric knobs are fiddly, and it’s not easy to dial in sounds on-the-fly.
  2. Features: 85/100 – Seven Chorus ‘models’ and Flexible Output Mode™ which is useful when recording without an amplifier.
  3. Reliability: 95/100 – Excellent build quality. Cast-metal chassis, metallic finish and non-slip rubber base.
  4. Sound quality: 95/100 – Surprisingly warm and engaging for a digital pedal;
  5. Value for money: 90/100 – under £100 sterling for some legendary Chorus sounds;
  6. Overall score (non adjusted): 89/100 — An excellent pedal and recommended.

In summary. The CF-7 might not be the easiest to use, but build and sound quality, pre-sets and value for money more than make up for some fairly minor irritations. | by Simon Edward | Updated: September 2018.