You’ll often hear the words typical and standard used in a negative way. For some reason, these adjectives have turned everybody against certain effects pedals, which is unfair to say the least. They shouldn’t imply that a unit is bad merely because of the fact that it doesn’t offer up and coming features or bells and whistles. Not every brand aims to achieve that. Some of them want to create a stompbox that will deliver quality sound and that’s their only objective. Combining catchy properties with the latter is possible, but that increases the price point quite a bit. If you want to remain budget-friendly, you have to make sacrifices. But on that journey, you should never lose that primary goal. More often than not, such straight-forward pedals work way better than those that claim to do everything and achieve nothing. Typical and standard pedals are wonderful, my friend, so don’t let those words scare you off from the unit you were checking out. Today we’re going to discuss a bass chorus pedal that falls into the category of ordinary devices. CEB-3 doesn’t have anything that will make your jaw-drop, except for its quality. If you don’t want to pay a lot of money, but still want something you can rely on, then this might be the one. Let’s cut to the chase and dive into the features, controls and sound of this fella!
One thing nobody argues about when talking about Boss pedals is their build quality. As we know, their units are usually criticized quite severely – they aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. But those who do enjoy them know how powerful their best models can be. Regardless of such controversy, we all agree that they are built for the road. CEB-3 isn’t an exception. No matter what you throw at it – a rock, an elephant or a tank – it will still be capable of performing. And this feature is crucially important if you travel a lot and you’re a bit careless (or if you don’t own a pedalboard). I won’t waste your time describing the design – seeing one pedal from Boss means that you’ve seen all of them (at least most of them). I’ll just tell you that this time we’re dealing with a blue body, which looks eye-pleasing, I can’t lie.
More importantly, with CEB-3, you’ll be able to create a multi-dimensional bass chorus even without making too much effort. Due to its simplicity, you can make minor adjustments and be ready to rock any stage. The selling point here for me is the stereo operation. It features two outputs that can be used to add even more depth to your chorus. In Mono mode, Output A emits both dry and wet signals. But in stereo mode, it transfers only affected one. Original sound is reproduced via Output B. Even if you aren’t into stereo devices, I still recommend experimenting with such routing – you can achieve some beautiful sounds. As you can see, simplicity works to the advantage of CEB-3. It still does its job perfectly without making you feel overwhelmed.
Once again, don’t expect anything extraordinary in the control section. We have everything we need and that’s perfectly enough. The good thing is that available knobs are complementary to the features we’ve discussed. This guarantees clockwork operation and makes sure different parts of your sound correspond to each other. I don’t know about you but for me tweaking CEB-3 is a fun and interesting process. Somehow it manages to yield something new each time I start playing around with it. And that’s why I never get bored of it. I’m sure you’ll understand what is what even without any assistance, but I don’t want to take any chances, since beginners might be interested in this device too.
- Level alters the volume of the affected sound in relation to the original one. Low Filter operates with lower frequencies. As you turn it clockwise, chorus will cover a wider spectrum in the bottom-end. If you rotate it in the opposite direction, the amount of bass will be cut and the effect will focus on higher frequencies. Rate sets the speed of modulation, while Depth alters its intensity. The bottom of the pedal features a large footswitch that activates or turns off the effect. The combination of these four controls will be perfectly enough to nail any shade of bass chorus out there.
The best thing about Boss CEB-3 is that it isn’t limited to a single style of playing. Rather, it works wonderfully with virtually any technique you could think of. It doesn’t have any problem with response no matter how sophisticated those movements are. This pedal adds a lot of dimension to your low-end. It thickens up your signal, steeps it with warmth and expressiveness. If you feel like your performance is stuck in one place, this puppy will move it around quite a bit. Its stereo functionality works wonders when you route it to two different amplifiers. This way chorus becomes even more dimensional and you can hear the mix of your dry and wet signals vividly. It can easily cut through the mix, so don’t be afraid to take it with you on stage. This puppy isn’t limited to rehearsals! Even though it isn’t the most versatile bass chorus on the market, it still has enough range to deliver diverse results each time you play with it.
All in all, Boss CEB-3 is a great option if what I’ve discussed above sounded suitable for your needs. Finding the best bass chorus can be a painful process, however, if you know what you’re looking for, you’ll achieve that goal pretty easily. Read reviews, listen to demos and let the characteristics of different pedals speak to your heart. After all, when it comes to bass chorus, our ears and soul should have a final say in the matter. You can’t really go wrong with this one considering the price point. Enjoy!
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