I have a Digitech Whammy that has the Classic/Chords option switch and I love to use the Chords option. I'm looking at either the Quintessence or the Brainwaves to replace it simply for pedal board space and a little more functionality. Do either of these pedals handle chords better than the other or at all?
I think the Brainwaves pedal is the one you’d want. The Quintessence doesn’t handle chords as input (or other polyphonic input), only single notes (monophonic input); it is intended to essentially turn single notes into chords. The Brainwaves, in contrast, is polyphonic, and I believe that is similar to, or exactly the same as, the Whammy pedal’s “Chords” mode.
Quintessence is a intelligent harmony maker i.e. it detects the note played and then outputs the selected harmony. That's why it''s monophonic.
Brainwaves is a pitchshifter i.e. it shifts everything the selected amount. That's why it's polyphonic.
Chords are, by definition, polyphonic, so what you are looking for is the Brainwaves pedal