• Pros: The controls on the Boss CE-5 really let you sculpt your sound to achieve a wide variety of modulation.
• Cons: The newer versions of the pedal are digital, which some may dislike.
• Overall: The Boss CE-5 is a highly versatile chorus pedal which creates a rich and subtle sound.
The Boss CE-5 is an awesome chorus pedal that offers a wide variety of modulation. Generally there are two versions of the pedal. Both versions are visually identical except for the model number, and both are made in Taiwan. The CE-5 pedals that were made before 2001 have the old analog circuit, while the version labeled CE-5A is the newer, fully digital design.
The Boss CE-5 has controls for “Level,” “Rate,” “Depth,” and “Filter.” The Filter knob is actually a double-knob, which allows you to adjust the Filter between “High” and “Low.” At first, this feature wasn’t entirely clear to me, so I consulted the manual. After some reading and fooling around with the pedal, I figured out that the CE-5 actually has a two-band filter for separately controlling the bass and treble frequencies. This two-band filter lets you sculpt a wide variety of different chorus effects. For example, by adjusting the Low Filter control knob, one can produce a natural chorus effect. The Effect Level control knob increases or decreases the level of the effect.
By turning the Rate knob clockwise, you can increase the rate and counter, that is, adjust the speed of the chorus effect. The Depth control knob regulates the depth of chorus effect. This pedal allows you to adjust the sound from narrow frequency band chorus to sharp chorus, stretched to the upper frequency range. One of the Boss CE-5’s advantages is that it has two channel output jacks so that you can easily plug the pedal into two different amps. Because of its light blue color and warm sound, the pedal may seem gentle at first sight, but don’t be deceived; inside the solid metal housing is a powerful chorus effect.
The watery tone that Come as You Are by Nirvana begins with is achieved by using a chorus pedal. Yet another striking chorus effect can be heard while listening to Enter Sandman by Metallica. During the first part of the riff, a chorus effect gives the note a full rich sound. To be honest, a chorus effect is an essential asset on a guitarist’s pedalboard. It can be heard in pop music, metal, grunge as well as in more recent noise rock bands.
With the Boss CE-5 Stereo Chorus pedal you can achieve dramatic patterns or atmospheric sounds in a sort of gothic sense, even when you are plugged into the clean channel of your amp. By experimenting with the knobs, you can truly mold your sound from clean, sweet chorus to strongly vibrating tripped-out sound. When you max out the Rate knob, the Boss CE-5 sounds a little bit like you are plugged into a flanger pedal. If you want to get that wall of power feeling, this pedal has that tone dialed in when playing through an overdriven amp with the Depth and Rate knobs turned up. You can almost feel the energy flowing through your fingers.
Overall, the Boss CE-5 Stereo Chorus is an extremely versatile pedal that creates a very rich and subtle sound. Moreover, it keeps its characteristics when connected to other effects or distortion. It definitely stands out among other chorus effects, and I highly recommend it.