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Sound Quality

The CE-1 is probably the best sounding chorus unit when played in mono that I've come across. The Boss DC-2 is still tops in stereo - the more units I try the more I come to realise that pedal is unique - but I don't have a permanent stereo rig. I've been through a ton of chorus units and they all sound great in stereo, but have all come up lacking in mono - until it got my hands on a CE-1 that is. Compared to the DC-2 in mono, the CE-1 has a much fuller sound, and it handles gain much better. Compared to the Boss CE-2, which seems to have really risen in popularity in recent years, the CE-1 doesn't have that boosted mid-range that makes your tone a little honky, and whilst having a classic sound, I don't feel it has as much of an 80s vibe as the CE-2. I think it has a low-mid or high-bass boost though, because it sounds a little thicker when the effect is engaged, though this may just be a natural result of the doubling effect. The chorus side of the CE-1 is similar to the CE-2, but gets significantly deeper. On the vibrato side you can get a much faster LFO than the CE-2 offers, and the depth control has much more of an impact on the effect. That said, I was a little disappointed by the vibrato - it's not a true magnatone pitch shift vibrato like the Boss VB-2 or EHX Clone Theory, but simply picks up where the chorus finishes in terms of rate (i.e the slowest vibrato setting is about the equal to the chorus maxed), and doesn't sound too dissimilar in tone (the wet/dry mix is probably more weighted to the wet than in chorus mode, but there's no fully wet warped record tones to be had). It's nice to have two settings to toggle between, but claiming they're two different effects seems to be a bit of a farce - I've played many conventional chorus pedals that get into the CE-1's so-called "vibrato" territory.

Reliability/Durability

Well, it's 30 years old and still going strong. The power switch died at some point so the unit is wired to switch on the moment you turn it on at the wall.

General Comments

This pedal has a rep for being something of the holy grail of chorus pedals, and is usually priced accordingly. When you consider you're getting two chorus pedals (or at least two switchable settings) in one the price doesn't seem as bad. I paid about the cost of two CE-2s, and you can do more with one CE-1 than you can with two CE-2s. The CE-2 is close to the chorus on the CE-1, close but no cigar. A CE-2 can get anywhere near as fast as the CE-1 vibrato. If you're only interested in a very light, slow chorus you may be better off settling for a CE-2, which can be found much easier and cheaper, and is much smaller and can't be overloaded as easy. That said, if lost or stolen I'd definitely track down another CE-1.




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