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Compare Boss Choruses?

4/27/2005 2:19 PM
Rich Stevens
Compare Boss Choruses?
'Way back in the early 80's, I went through a couple of Boss CE-2's; those were pretty much the standard for chorus back then, and I liked 'em. In the late 80's I bought a DC-2 Dimension C, the purple 4-button jobbie,that I still have today. It has an awsome chorus sound, but I'm not sure it's my sound. So, I'm thinking about trading down to a Boss Chorus with knobs.  
There are plenty of all the CE- models on eBay, but I've only ever played the CE-2. Of course, those have the most vintage cache, which may or may not make them sound good, but it certainly makes them more expensive. Especially those black-label ones; black must sound a whole bunch better than green.  
Anywho, there are also plenty of CE-3's and CE-5's around. They aren't as collectible, and are therefore cheaper. Since I haven't played either of them, I'm turning to youze guys.  
How do the CE-3 and CE-5 compare to the CE-2? Same sound with additional features, or different sounds altogether? Do those extra knobs give me anything worthwhile, or will I end up setting them to get outta the way, and let the box sound like a CE-2?
4/27/2005 2:53 PM
Mark Hammer
It would seem that the differences between the CE-2 and CE-3/5 are a question of some mods. Granted, the mods required to transofrm a CE-2 to a CE-5 probably wouldn't fit in a CE-2 chassis, but the basic idea is that a CE-5 is just more bells and whistles that make the basic unita little more flexible and suited to a greater variety of applications.  
The DC-2, on the other hand, has few comparables other than the Dimension D, and some multi-phase choruses found on string synths of the mid-70's. Those Rogue and Rocktek choruses you can find at bargain basement prices (usually under $50 and often under $30) on Musician's Friend and elsewhere are actually not that different from a CE-2 and can be easily modded to CE-3 and 5 specs. A DC-2 on the other hand packs an enormous quantity of stuff into a ridiculously small package for what it contains (two compander chips, two delay chips and two clock chips, and at least a half dozen dual op-amps). These ought to command $200+ on the open market.  
Although it may not be YOUR sound, it is quite possible that it would not take much to change it to your tastes (although resale value goes tits up, obviously). Scott Stites, who posts frequently over at the diystompboxforum, has a site dedicated to his work on the Dim C, and especially the adaptation of one to through-zero flanging. You owe it to yourself to visit his page - - before doing anything rash. The accompanying forum thread is here:  
Incidentally, while the 4-button thing may seem limiting, in many respects the presence of buttons, rather than multiple knobs, is a reflection of the fact that he DC-2 doesn't have to compensate for wobbliness as much as other single-BBD choruses. Of course, if you WANT the wobbliness, to use it as an effect, then you likely WILL have to turn elsewhere.
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4/27/2005 3:32 PM
Rich Stevens

Sorry, I used too many words and obscured my meaning. I'm not asking if CE-2's can be modded to -3's and '5's, I'm asking if -3's and -5's can be set to sound like a CE-2.  
I have an aversion to paying vintage prices for something (CE-2) when something else can do the job. Seems like the CE-2's have been labelled "vintage" by the market, and command prices in excess of their intrinsic value. If a -3 or a -5 can sound the same, I'll save some money and buy one of those.  
So, are they all basically the same inside?
4/27/2005 7:15 PM

If you can get your hands on a Boss Bass Chorus (the one with the ugly brownish color and three knobs), you get basically the same circuit as the CE-2, you only need to change a capacitor to bring it to -2 specs. And it has a Mix knob that the -2 never had, even more flexibility!
4/28/2005 6:06 AM
Rich Stevens

Yeah, this is the kind of info I need. Does anyone know about the similarities/differences between the CE-2 and the CE-3? WHat about the CE-5?
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