Review: Boss Waza Craft CE-2W Chorus Pedal

(Image credit: Boss)

PLATINUM AWARDThe Boss CE-2 Chorus and its big brother predecessor the CE-1 (along with the same effect built into the Roland Jazz Chorus amp) defined the sound of chorus during the late Seventies and Eighties.

So when Boss announced that they were offering a Waza Craft version of the beloved CE-2 called the CE-2W, I was intrigued due to the stellar track record of Boss’s previous Waza Craft pedals.

This time Waza Craft may have one-upped its prior effects pedals by combining the sounds of two legendary Boss effects in one—the CE-2 and the mother of all chorus effects, the CE-1, complete with its chorus and vibrato sections—instead of the usual Waza Craft classic and custom settings.

With original Boss CE-2 pedals selling for $150 to $225 and vintage CE-1 units going for $325 to $600, the Boss Waza Craft CE-2W is a game changer for vintage chorus connoisseurs and players looking for the lushest, creamiest chorus effects known to mankind.

With the exception of the mini three-way toggle switch for selecting the CE-2, CE-1 chorus or CE-1 vibrato modes, a second 1/4-inch output jack (direct-only) that delivers stereo chorus/vibrato effects and the Waza Craft logo embedded in the rubber on/off switch pad, the CE-2W looks identical to the original CE-2.

It has the same Rate and Depth controls and a bright red LED, and the finish matches the hue of the original baby blue paint. The CE-2W is even made in Japan and has a silver battery hatch screw just like the first version of the CE-2.

I did an A/B comparison with my original CE-2 next to the CE-2W in between just a guitar and amp, and the sound was the most perfect match I’ve ever experienced between an original product and its reissue. It’s that unmistakable thick, lush, shimmering Boss chorus that we’ve all heard on a million classic recordings like Rush, the Pretenders and even Metallica.

The CE-2W might have slightly clearer treble, but the textures, tones and character were otherwise identical. Even the rate and depth settings were an identical match. Unfortunately I don’t have a CE-1 to compare, but the CE-2W’s CE-1 chorus setting produces an even deeper chorus effect with slightly more noticeable modulation and more sense of space and depth. The CE-1 vibrato setting is exceptionally cool and useful, producing a warm warble without the seasick side effects. I was about to spend $300 on another CE-1 clone just before the CE-2W arrived, but no more. Thanks Boss!


• The Rate and Depth control configuration are identical to that of the original Boss CE-2 chorus, but an extra output is provided for stereo chorus-only (output A)/direct-only (output B) effects.

• The mini toggle provides a selection of CE-2 chorus, CE-1 chorus or CE-1 vibrato effects to provide all of the same effects as the original CE-2 and CE-1 pedals.

Combining the chorus and vibrato effects of both the legendary Boss CE-2 and CE-1 pedals, the Boss Waza Craft CE-2W definitively nails the sounds of both to provide chorus connoisseurs with the effects of their dreams.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.