Rockman Stereo Chorus

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The Rockman Stereo Chorus was introduced in 1987, when the older Chorus/Delay was discontinued. Based on the same circuit, it has the same qualities, plus some improvements that make it a genuine reference.

Objective and history

The Chorus/Delay was a combined unit. Like in all the multi-effects, some features were limited: some footswiches would have been welcome, but the rear panel was simply too small for that...

The new Stereo Chorus was therefore entirely dedicated to the chorus function, and all the switches were now remote-controled. The Stereo Chorus has a total of four footswitches:

  • Bypass
  • Long-Chorus
  • Sweep Stop
  • Alt-Mix

The possibilities are of course huge, and the technical quality of the unit - already great for the Chorus/Delay - were improved again.

Inside the Module

The Stereo Chorus has the same structure and circuits as the Chorus/Delay. This includes of course the noise reduction compandor.

The key difference is the BBD's: the Chorus/Delay has one MN3005 chip (up to 200ms), while the Stereo Chorus is based on two MN3007 (up to 50ms each). The choice of two BBD's was made to allow a silent switching between the Normal (20ms) and Long-Chorus (40ms) chorus modes.

The Stereo Chorus, as said before, has two footswitches that the Chorus/Delay doesn't have.

The Sweep Stop footswitch de-connects the LFO modulation from the BBD, and the Stereo Chorus can thus act as a fixed-delay stereo doubler (20ms or 40ms). This feature can be used to enhance the sound of an instrument in a mix (if you listen to such a sound individually, it may sound weird).

The Long-Chorus already existed in the Chorus/Delay: it provides a deeper chorus effect. In the older unit, switching was made by a push-button on the front plate, and since there was only one BBD, it was done by a clock change that caused a sort of brief woosh sound, just like what you have when you turn the delay pot of a delay unit. In the Stereo Chorus, there are two BBD's, and the second one is activated with this additional footswitch, without that woosh.

Usage, samples and limitations

The Stereo Chorus is almost perfect. It is an outstanding unit, certainly the most professional chorus effect on the market. If one really wants to find a limitation, let's say that it has no depth control: the Stereo Chorus was designed to provide a chorus enhancing effect, not to dismorph the sound like any stompbox.

Here are four samples that illustrate the possibilities of the Rockman Stereo Chorus:

Rockman Stereo Chorus Normal sound

Straight Rockman Stereo Chorus sound


Deeper and stronger detune effect

Sweep stop

Stereo fixed separation with a very short delay

Saturation and chorus

The secret of the real big sound...

Collectibility and conclusion

The Rockman Stereo Chorus is not rare. Almost 7000 units were made, and its market price is really attractive for what it is.

A reference tool, with almost perfect qualities: the Rockman Stereo Chorus is something you will love and keep in your rig, simply because no other chorus can sound the same.

Copyright 2008