Boss Chorus Ensemble CE5 review

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General Information

Original Author: Ivan Milenkovic

Weapon: Boss Chorus Ensemble CE5 effects pedal

Model: CRYBABY 535Q

Price paid: ~80$ +-10$ (eBay reference)

Make: Boss

Hi and welcome to another review from me. This time around I've recorded even an audio demo of the device to show you what it is capable of at some settings. So lets start:

Boss Chorus Ensemble CE5
Boss Chorus Ensemble CE5


- Stereo out
- Adjustable chorus frequency range
- Adjustable rate and depth
- Runs on 9V battery or AC power


(1 - I cant use this pedal at all!; 10 - too easy, push it and go!): A strong 8

It is a simple pedal, with classic chorus pots and controls but with one difference - it has lo and hi EQ pots for further adjustments of the effect. IT is very easy to get the sound out of it, just turn the pot and you're there, no dialing no anything. You really don't need the manual for this one.


(1-terrible sound!; 10-pristine sound quality) - 6

You can get some of that Eric Johnson style chorus here for example, and great for jazz\fusion too. I wouldn't use it for some heavy chorus playing, because it is not built for that, mainly it is a "background" effect for sweetening up the chords and melodies. But it is a good and quality one as long as you don't overdo with depth. Chorus itself is rather good, little shallow, not to aggressive, but if you are looking for that - than this is your thing. It is not a bad chorus, just different character thats all. I've had Rocktron Deep Blue Chorus before this one and it had stronger vibrato and little deeper than CE5, but not too big output level, little synthetic on gigs, and bad with distortion. CE5 is great at gigs, same quality as at home, and it works well on the drive channel as on clean.
It has a bigger output so you can give some kind of chorusy boost with it too. It's rate is not that strong, but you can make some interesting vibrato effects with it. BUT be carefull not to overdoit, it can detune your pitch a little when depth is set to max.
Actually this chorus is terrible at stereo out when you max the depth, because it sends different signals to channels alltogether, on one channel there is a normal chorusy sound, and on the other it is detuning very synthetically. If you overdo with depth on a stereo you will get unusable signal. This is the main reason why I've given it a 6.
It is not a noisy pedal at all, quiet in my setup. The effect always sounds great and I think this is great advantage - it represents a standard and a reference (it is boss after all). I'm using it with Marshall AVT50X through a FX loop along with DD20 pedal.


Its a Boss stompbox.


(1-Piece of s***!; 10-the best pedal I've ever used) 6
Although this pedal is not perfect and is after all a digital chorus, I must say it is a quality and a reference one. I've been using it for a year now, done maybe 25-30gigs with it and has never failed on me. I would gig without a backup whole my life with this one - no problem. If it were stolen, I would probably try other choruses to see some variety or more deep ones, but in the end this unit really gives me all the chorus that I need, and that is not much, just a subtle sugary chorus for chords and similar play. I sure helps me in my music because it adds a new dimension to playing and can mean a big difference. For me a chorus unit is a must, and this one does a great job, both in studio and on gigs. SO to sum up:

+1 for being a Boss
+1 price\performance ratio
+1 for having reference sound both in studio and on gigs
+1 for having EQ
-1 for having a bad (detuning) stereo out when depth on max
-1 for being too subtle
-1 for being digital chorus


Image:Boss CE5 settings.jpg

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