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Boss CE-2W Waza chorus pedal – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Let’s start with two facts most vividly describing the pedal effect from Boss – CE-2W. Fact number one: Boss CE-2W is considered to be “Mercedes” of the guitar pedal world. Fact number two: it’s chorus pedal effect. Another pinch of information for buyers. It’s the world’s first chorus pedal and the first guitar pedal from BOSS. Basically, these facts are enough to go to the store right now to buy the Boss CE-2W. For curious musicians, we will tell more about this pedal.

What does chorus do?

Before proceeding  to describe all advantages and disadvantages of the Boss CE-2W guitar pedal, let’s understand what the chorus effect do. Because the pedal was created exactly for chorus effect .

The chorus effect its foundation is proposed to make the sound of one instrument sound like several instruments at once. The main idea of chorus is the “instrument propagation” effect, giving the impression of ensemble sound, and in the case of singing – choral singing. It is implemented by copying the signal with a slight time shift, possibly into different stereo channels to add volume to the sound. The principle of this effect is a small signal delay – usually 10-30 milliseconds (ms).

When the delayed signal is then mixed with the main signal, the effect is similar to the several simultaneous sounding instruments or voices. Some devices also slightly shift the pitch for a more dramatic effect. Chorus is ubiquitous in guitar and rock music. It can be heard in thousands of songs. In particular, in “Roxanne” track from “Police” band the excellent sounding was achieved with the help of the chorus pedal. Chorus allows guitarist to make the sound more powerful and denser in real time, without involving other gadgets or using a phonogram. It adds richness and deepness to the sound of the пгшефк, and is often used to complement other sound effects. Due to its specific properties, guitarists fell in love with it.

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Boss CE-1. Creating a Legend

The first production of chorus pedals at the Boss factories began in 1976 in the wake of interest in hard rock and the growing demand for guitars. The first model produced at the factory was the CE-1 Chorus. The pedal was massive. Despite the fact that there were no analogs on the market, the pedal was well equipped. CE-1 сhorus effect pedal had three separate controllers: an intensity control and vibrato control, which gives depth and rate control. So it’s kind of having two awesome pedals in one.

BOSS CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus Pedal Specifications

Inputs: 1 x 1/4"
Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (mono/stereo)
Bypass Switching: Buffered
Batteries: 1 x 9V
Height: 2.37"
Width: 2.87"
Depth: 5.12"
Weight: 1 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number: CE-2W

As well, Boss CE-1 had inbuilt stereo preamp with the controller. With the help of the stereo preamp, it was possible to adjust the ratio of dry and wet sound of the guitar. Two built-in high quality metal pedals let you switch between vibrato and chorus effects. Each pedal was equipped with an LED indicator that blinked red when the effect was running. Also, the panel had a power button and a knob for switching between high and low frequencies. The vibrato effect sounded good for that time. But the chorus effect sounded amazing. The guitar created a volumetric sound wall and created lush sound.

Boss CE-2. New design and sound

Just several years after in 1979, CE-1 model underwent a redesign. Shortly after it’s release, the Boss CE-2 Chorus quickly became the most desired guitar gadget, the so-called standard of chorus pedal effects sound for many years. Four decades later, musicians still trust this Boss sound. The manufacturers managed to keep the same sound inside the box three times less than the original. The number of pedals and the number of controllers has been halved. There were only “rate” and “depth” controllers and only one LED indicator left. The pedal was produced in a recognizable blue color. The pedal press mechanism has become more massive and got a rubber pad with the “BOSS” logo.

Boss CE-2W. Samurai among the chorus
For forty years well developed first pedal model CE-1 was so good that “Boss” hesitated to make any changes. But in 2016 new pedal model appeared on the market. The release of the new model was timed to coincide with the fortieth anniversary. In connection with the celebration “BOSS” made a redesign and a number of improvements. The original analogue chorus sound just got better. This is how the Waza Craft CE-2W pedal was born. Boss CE-2W Chorus Waza Craft (which is the original name of the pedal) is a reissue of the original and popular CE-2 analog chorus with BBD chips and a new, modern sounding. The Boss CE-2W scrupulously repeats the fabled CE-2 chorus sounding and adds unreachable depth.

Control elements

The Boss CE-2W looks a lot like the CE-2. There are also two “rate” and “depth” controllers:

  • “Rate” – sets the modulation rate;
  • “Depth” – sets the modulation depth.

Unlike the CE-2, the Boss CE-2W is equipped with an effect sound mode switch. The switch is located at the center between the “rate” control and the “depth” control. It has three positions. The S position reproduces the sound of the classic CE-2 сhorus pedal . The second position (middle) turns on the stereophonic chorus effect from the Boss CE-1. The far right position includes the vibrato effect from the Boss CE-1. In addition, the CE-2W has a stereo jack output, while the Boss CE-2 did not have one. In total, the Boss CE-2W pedal has one input and two outputs. Weighing in at 4.4 pounds, the Boss CE-2W is very compact, seventy-three inches wide and one hundred twenty-nine inches long. The front of the pedal features the “Boss” logo and “Waza Craft” branding. All Waza Craft pedals are final tested in Japan. The Boss CE-2W requires a power supply or a nine volt battery for work.

Who is the Boss CE-2W for?

The meaning of the Japanese term “Waza” is rather difficult to translate. In simple terms, “Waza” means how great it is to find a balance between skill and art. The Japanese use this word when they want to emphasize the high level of excellence in any endeavor that has been achieved by someone through long training. Long workouts, long trainings and brilliant performances are those things for what the Boss CE-2W pedal was made for.


People really like to compare this pedal with the original MIJ CE-2 and the Walrus Julia. I’ll say this—the CE2W is it’s own thing, and it’s an exceptional pedal, especially if you’re going for more of the original chorus experience à la Robert Smith (although flanger was equally important in that “sound.”) and if you are jonesing to try a CE-1. I had an MIJ CE-2, sold it because it didn’t do the rotary thing very well, bought a Julia for its dual chorus and vibrato, sold it for a VB-2W after feeling like Julia was just overused in modern music these days, but then I missed it, rebought it, but then missed the subtle charm of CE-2, so I purchased a CE-2W. DOES THE CE-2W SOUND LIKE THE ORIGINAL CE-2?!?! Yes, it sounds nearly identical the MIJ CE-2 I used to have, but even within the original CE-2s there are minor variances. I would say the CE-2W is slightly more subtle in standard mode than my MIJ CE-2, so if subtle chorus is your bag, the CE-2W in standard mode should delight. The CE-1 mode such a welcome feature, and is my favorite. It is not nearly as subtle, and I feel like I am in gooey, warbly analog heaven. IS THE JULIA BETTER? Well, that’s a totally subjective thing. The Julia is very tweakable and sounds beautiful on all settings. It just sounds much different than the CE-2W, and I don’t think you can compare them 1:1. It has a “modern” chorus voicing that sounds more like recordings of chorus than actually playing a vintage chorus in the 1980s. It has that new YouTube demo/IG millennial warble/shimmer character (which, while overused at this point, is still fun to play sparingly!). The Julia’s vibrato is much more usable in my opinion than the CE-2W (the CE-1 mode vibrato is not like the VB-2W, which is my favorite vibrato and I would say is better than the Julia’s—but I digress), and the ability to blend chorus and vibrato is something the CE-2W can’t achieve like the Julia, which I would say is definitely a +1 for the Julia (around 2 o’clock on the Julia blend is my favorite, and it’s something that I don’t really feel like I can accomplish with other modulation pedals as easily). SO. Should you get a CE-2W or a CE-2? I’d get a CE-2W. It sounds very much like original units, has 9v power (the originals are 12v or battery), can be in stereo, and is likely to function more reliably than any old mojo the CE-2 can stir up. Should you get the CE-2W or the Julia? If you are curious about trying chorus for the first time, I might recommend the Julia. It’s a great introduction, and it’s very versatile. If you are looking for authentic Cocteau Twins or the Cure vibes and have also been wanting to try a CE-1, definitely go with the CE-2W! You can find deals on both of them if you’re looking at Reverb at the right times, so if possible, snag them both and shoot them out (and keep them both like I did haha).

5 Total Score

Boss CE-2W Chorus Waza Craft sounds and looks great. But the most important feature of this guitar pedal is its ease of use combined with a wide range of possibilities. The CE-2W allows the guitarist not to think about the good sound of the сhorus. It is enough to move all controllers to the middle position (at 12 o'clock) and enjoy the deep, balanced сhorus. If you want to experiment - just start rotate the controllers and you'll can get the sound you want. Boss CE-2W Chorus Waza Craft will work for a long time. It will allow you to create a good, dense sound. It will be a great friend for advanced or aspiring guitarists. It will help you find your own sound and is unlikely to lose its relevance in the next 10 years.

  • It's the world's first chorus pedal - worth to have one; brilliant sound;
  • small and comfortable; simple to use.
  • It's not very cheap;
  • plastic case seems to be not safe for life performance.
User Rating: 5 (1 vote)

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