In the crowd of prominent effects chorus is the one that stands out quite a bit. Not because everybody loves it, it is just the opposite. Rather, it has a special and distinctive complexion that lures you in and if you follow, you are stuck forever. It has the power to engulf your musical taste and performance, even the pieces you create. Be it a subtle variation or extreme swirls, it adds texture to your sound and then you do not like anything without it. Yeah, you have guessed it, I am one of those who has been trapped by chorus and has not found the way out. For this reason, I have tried out numerous units and experienced all the good, bad and mediocre. The pedal that I keep coming back to is Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble. This simple piece of equipment offers jaw-dropping performance at a rather affordable price. Its qualities and capabilities will surprise you in the best way and that’s always a good thing, right? But if I were you I would not trust a mere blubber of a stranger. If so, then stay with me as I provide you with all the details that made me fall in love with this pedal in the first place. Let’s begin!
If you went on the internet and searched for the best chorus pedals, you would have hard time finding a list without Boss name on it. There is one simple reason behind it: their chorus line is quite amazing (some more than others). This particular model has two versions: the ones produced before 2001 have analog circuitry, but newer CE-5 Chorus Ensembles are equipped with digital circuit. Some might consider this substitution a con, but in this case it is more of an improvement. This pedal has check indicator, just like its siblings. This tiny LED shows you if the pedal is on and can also display the condition of your batteries (and considering how fast they get drained, you will need it). If you do not want to change batteries so frequently, you can also power this fella with an adapter. But if you cannot find a power supply, then you can push the thumbscrew, which will expose the battery compartment for quick swapping. More importantly, CE-5 Chorus Ensemble also has additional stereo output. Output A emits only affected signal, while Output B (a.k.a. stereo) gives off original sound. This way you can split your signal or balance out the mixture of the effect and your initial tone. This bad boy works wonderfully with other pedals, which means you have the option to create layered and diverse sounds. What’s not to love?!
If you have utilized Boss pedals before, you will already know what I am about to say. The control section here is very user-friendly – to the point where even a kid could tweak a decent sound. The knobs we have here are precise and accurate and provide you with a wide range of adjustable spectrum. This way you can craft your sound to perfection and change everything that is not perfect. After all, this is the part that makes your wonderful performances happen. Though you will not need much assistance here, I will be extra and still explain everything in depth.
The first on the panel is E.Level knob. What it does is that it alters the volume of the effect and allows you to balance it out perfectly. It helps you make sure that chorus does not overpower your signal. Next we have Rate, which basically sets the speed and vibration, while Depth modifies the intensity of the effect. Lastly, we have the Filter, which is a double knob. It is one of the most useful controls here, since it changes the mixture of low and high frequencies. It can boost or cut either of these and this way provide you with more tone shaping options. The only thing left is a footswitch, that activates or disengages the pedal. Now you can see yourself what I meant when I said that CE-5 Chorus Ensemble was extremely easy to utilize.
When it comes to the sound of CE-5 Chorus Ensemble, things do really go up in high gear. Though the baby blue color of the pedal might convince you that it is not capable of creating powerful effect, that is not what happens in reality. It can emit spectacular chorus, starting with natural and organic swirls at lower settings and treble filter. As you crank everything up, you are left with more rhythmic and psychedelic sound, which suits almost any genre. The real gem of CE-5 Chorus Ensemble is its stereo output. This way the pedal can be connected to two separate amps, which adds even more dimension to an already spatial chorus. It will have different depth depending on the space between the speakers. This unit can easily shift between subtle and extreme tones, and that is why it is so versatile. The filter control opens up a whole new scope of possibilities and lets you produce everything that your heart dictates. Oh, I almost forgot, CE-5 Chorus Ensemble will give you fantastic results when paired with other effects pedals. It can have a leading role in the chain or be an addition to others. Either way, it sounds amazing!
On the whole, Boss did an amazing job once again. CE-5 Chorus Ensemble is a spectacular pedal when you consider everything it can do. And when you add affordability and durability to the mix, you are left with an ethereal device. I do not think that anyone would dislike its features and sounds, even the pickiest players out there. Just spend some time with it, explore all the settings to unleash its true capabilities and you will see that my appraisal is not superficial or fake. Good luck!
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