Laney/Black Country Customs Spiral Array Chorus | REVIEW

Published 3 months ago on September 10, 2021

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Laney/Black Country Customs Spiral Array Chorus

MSRP: (UK) £159 / (US) $199

The Spiral Array is a chorus pedal with a difference—it's actually three distinctly different chorus pedals in one box, painstakingly recreated from the classic chorus era of the mid-70s to the mid-80s. Featuring chorus sounds based on a thick, lush 1976 Boss CE1, the spatial digital chorus of the 1979 Roland Dimension D, and the renowned uber-rich-sounding 1985 Dytronics Tri Stereo Chorus; the Black Country Customs Spiral Array could be all the chorus you'll ever need at your feet. Tom Quayle tells us more.

Black Country Customs has been in the pedal business for a few years now as the custom/boutique wing of Laney Amplification. These great-sounding, feature-rich and affordable pedals are all made here in the UK and sport the same form factor and basic control layout for a unified design approach that has consistently impressed us here at Gi.

The latest addition to the BCC pedal range is the Spiral Array - the company's take on the classic chorus sounds of the '70s and '80s in a compact pedal format. As with the Secret Path Reverb, Monolith Distortion and Steel Park Boost pedals, there are three distinct modes on offer here through the central 3-position toggle switch. The upper position provides an analogue, Boss CE-1 style chorus, while the middle and lower positions offer Roland Dimension D and Dytronics Tri Stereo Chorus style tones. These are, of course, ballpark starting points for the chorus sounds in the Spiral Array, but you can get a whole swathe of other sounds using the Depth, Rate, Mix and Tone controls in each mode.

As with the rest of the BCC range, the Spiral Array is a fully buffered design to prevent high-end signal loss but is very transparent in use and can act as a high-quality buffer in an otherwise all true bypass pedal chain to preserve your tone for long cable runs. True stereo operation is provided for wide, lush chorusing thanks to independent left and right outputs. An expression pedal input allows you to control the chorus mix level from an external controller. A tri-colour LED allows you to easily see which mode you're using in dark environments, and all the controls are easy to read and dial in.

Quality components are used throughout, as evidenced by the silent switching and noiseless controls, excellent build quality and good looks. Even the packaging is of a quality that feels well thought out and premium, especially at the generous asking price.

Tonally, the Spiral Array is every bit as good as its build quality and looks, with the three modes offering up a great selection of classic chorus tones from analogue lushness to super thick 80's Landau-Esque studio tones. The controls interact in very cool and interesting ways, so experimentation can yield some nice and unexpected results, but it's really easy to dial in some classic sounds, and each mode is distinct enough to warrant its inclusion in the package.

If you have the luxury to run this pedal in stereo, it's highly recommended as you can achieve some wonderful width and depth to your tones, especially in the Tri-Chorus mode, but the Spiral Array is very comfortable running in Mono using the left output only and still sounds thick and warm. Pseudo rotary speaker effects are easily achieved, too, and you can even get doubling and mild flanging effects with the mix at lower levels if required.

The Spiral Array is a worthy addition to the Black Country Customs pedal range and represents the same great value for money that the rest of the range offers. These are extremly well built and designed pedals that provide a ton of tone for not a great deal of financial outlay—highly recommended if you're after a versatile but easy to use chorus pedal.

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