“One of the most flexible boost pedals available”: Boss’ Waza Craft BP-1W pedal puts the ‘secret weapon’ preamp sounds of the classic CE-1 and RE-201 into one compact unit

Boss has lifted the curtain on its latest Waza Craft creation – the BP-1W Booster/Preamp pedal.

As the name implies, the BP-1W is concerned with bringing both a standard clean boost and a pair of preamp tones to players’ pedalboards, but has set its sights on recreating two very specific sonic influences.

Those influences include both the Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble and RE-201 Space Echo – two cult classic, now-discontinued units that were not only heralded for their modulation, reverb and delay sounds, but also touted for the full-bodied character of their preamp circuitry.

So, rather than focusing on replicating the actual effects of these models – that’s the job of the much-newer RE-2, RE-202 and CE-5 – the BP-1W is all about channeling those sought-after preamp tones.

Famously, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante rarely plays without a CE-1, so this preamp, now replicated in the BP-1W, could be considered part of his secret tonal sauce.

As has been nicely put by Boss, “The CE-1 and RE-201 remain widely used by many players for their characterful preamps as much as their famous analog effect sounds. These 'secret weapons' make the sound richer, fuller, and more satisfying to play, even when their effect processing is bypassed. 

“The BP-1W lets every guitarist experience their magical tone-shaping properties without having to seek out rare and expensive vintage originals.”

In practice, the new Waza Craft offering has three operating modes, two of which are dedicated to delivering the specific Chorus Ensemble and Space Echo preamp sounds. The third, meanwhile, is an extra clean boost to “pump the volume without added color”.

Those voices are selected via a central slider switch, which is flanked by Level and Gain parameters. While the former adjusts the effect/bypass sound, the latter “offers a range of saturation and drive tones” unique to each side of the circuit.

A final rear-mounted bypass switch can be used to navigate between standard and vintage buffer modes, the latter of which seeks to provide a warmer tone and a smoother dynamic response.

The BP-1W is available now for $169.

Head over to Boss to find out more.

In other Boss news, the effects specialist recently released its first noise suppressor pedal since 1987.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.