Boss CE-2w Review
Verdict and Review Summary
As we've come to expect from the Waza Craft series, the CE-2w does a fantastic job of capturing analog chorus tones, even at higher rate and depth settings. It's a lot more "water" and layering than pitch or de-tuning. It faithfully matches the musicality of the early CE-1 and CE-2.
You can still get the original Boss CE-1 chorus pedals on Reverb.
That is, if you're willing to pay $800.
For the original CE-2 you'll pay around $300.
They don't make 'em like they used to.
Released in 1976, the CE-1 was one of the earliest chorus pedals to ever exist and the first chorus pedal ever developed by Boss. The follow up of the CE-2 wasn't far behind. The CE-2w is the reincarnation of that pedal and uses an analog circuit to recreate those original Boss tones.
I got a chance to test the CE-2w chorus with my rig for this review.
My biggest takeaway was how musical this pedal is, even with higher rate and depth settings. I've always preferred a chorus with more subtlety for simple layering.
I want water and not pitch shifting.
If you agree, the CE-2w is all about water.
I'll cover my experience and the details in my full Boss CE-2w review below.
To write this review, we tested the CE-2w first-hand. While we write research-based reviews in some cases, we make every effect to focus on guitars and gear that we've actually played. As Guitar Chalk has grown, that list of gear has expanded, so in most cases you're getting a first-hand experience and not secondary information. Keep in mind, we use partner links with Sweetwater and other trusted vendors to support our site. If you click through and make a purchase, we might earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
Compare to Other Boss Chorus Pedals
This table lets you compare the Boss CE-2w to a few other Boss chorus pedals. You can also add more Boss pedals to the table via the gear search option below this table.
CE-2w Waza Craft
CE-5 Chorus Ensemble
CH-1 Super Chorus
DC-2w Dimension C
Boss CE-2w Price Guide
Prices updated Mon, October 02nd, 2023.
Pricing from Sweetwater
Price Alert Tool
Price History for Boss CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus Pedal
|Current Price||$219.99||September 29, 2023|
|Highest Price||$229.99||December 9, 2022|
|Lowest Price||$219.99||July 7, 2023|
Last price changes
|$219.99||July 7, 2023|
|$229.99||December 9, 2022|
IDEAL FOR: Clean tone, layering, subtle styles, tube amps, and analog fans.
Tone Quality and Characteristics
As I've mentioned, you get a really nice modulation layer and not a ton of fluttering or pitch shifting. You can get some of that sound, but the dominant feature of this pedal's tone is a soft, watery layer of chorus which is exactly the type of modulation I like to use.
It's what you'd expect from an analog circuit.
I'd say all three modes are similar in this regard.
Here are the modes included:
- Standard (CE-2 model)
- CE-1 Chorus
- CE-1 Vibrato
Even at higher rate and depth settings, you don't feel overwhelmed by the pulse or the fluttering. I noticed that the rate on the CE-2 setting seemed a little faster and more intense, but it was still mild compared to the norm we see in most chorus pedals, particularly the digital variety.
The intensity is there, but it still produces a lot of musicality and subtlety.
This might sound like blowing smoke, but there was nothing I tried on this pedal that sounded bad. Here's quick list of how I would characterize the CE-2w's tone profile:
The "analog-ness" of this pedal really shows through. For example, I can tell a big difference between this pedal and the CE-5 Chorus Ensemble, which I also really like.
But the difference with a pedal like the Chorus Ensemble is that I felt like it was usable on just a few settings. When I used the CE-5, I actually taped all the knobs off at 12 o'clock.
With the CE-2w, everything sounds good and musical.
This gives the CE-2w some more flexibility, even with limited control.
The CE-2w's control scheme is very simple with a selector switch for the modes and the standard depth/rate modulation control knobs.
- Mode selector switch
- Rate knob
- Depth knob
Again, simplicity with tone quality is the name of the game. Even with limited control, the movement of each knob gives you so many great sounds that you don't miss the more nuanced parameters of other chorus pedals.
Given the audio quality and three modes to choose from, rate and depth controls are all you really need.
Turning up depth added some thickness and more noticeable cut into the wave.
It's not harsh and not pulsating.
The same is true of the rate knob, which controls the speed of the wave. I rarely keep chorus rates high, but with the CE-2w, the higher rate sounds still sound great.
Price and Value
Analog circuits run up the price of a guitar pedal, which is what accounts for the CE-2w being nearly twice as expensive as the CH-1 Super Chorus.
Moreover, I do not buy the idea that cheaper pedals are somehow just as good as pedals that are far more expensive. Because there are economic reasons for the expense. And with the CE-2w, the analog circuit is simply better and more expensive to produce.
It's true that you get what you pay for.
So the retail of the CE-2w is higher, but if you value/like the tone lean of this pedal, particularly the subtle layering and less intense style, it'll be worth the expense.
Here's what you're paying for in the CE-2w:
- Analog circuits
- Musical modulation
- Vintage style chorus
- Multiple modes in one pedal
Ideal Fit and Context
I like the CE-2w for simple setups, Fender tube amps, anyone who plays a lot of clean tones, and rhythm effects layering. Christian music/worship teams, blues, rock, subtle styles, and most any skill level are all good fits.
General fans of vintage pedals and analog tones are also going to get good value for their money.
Boss is doing great work with the Waza Craft series and really revitalizing their brand. Getting a chance to review the CE-2w was a lot of fun, and I found little to complain about along the way. I'm getting the impression that the entire Waza Craft series would make it into my editor's choice category.
Maybe we'll get there.
In the mean time, if you have questions about our Boss CE-2w review or our review process, drop them in the comments section below.
We'll talk then.