By Simon Edward ☛ UK Bassist ~ with a day job.

CF7 Chorus Factory by Digitech | Review

CF7 Chorus Factory | by Digitech © 2018 HARMAN

The first pedal review I wrote was about the CF7 ‘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 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 CF7 chorus factory for a heavily discounted £54 on-line, which is 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 simulates 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.

CF7 Chorus Factory | by Digitech | "You Do The Math"

Overview | CF7 Chorus Factory

The CF7 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.

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. There was no noticeable increase in noise or hiss etc.

Digitech | CF7 Chorus Factory | Review |

Features | CF7 Chorus Factory

The CF7 chorus factory 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. Voodoo Lab© Analog Chorus (1976 BOSS© CE-1 replica)
  3. TC Electronic© Stereo Chorus/Flanger
  4. Fulltone© Choralflange™
  5. BOSS© CH-1 Super Chorus™
  6. EHX© Small Clone®
  7. 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 CF7 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.

The final analysis | CF7 Chorus Factory

The CF7 chorus factory has so many modes and settings, but 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.

  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 CF7 might not be the easiest to use, but sound quality, build, pre-sets and value for money more than make up for some fairly minor irritations. | by Simon Edward | Updated: September 2018.

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