1980 BOSS CE-2 Chorus

Model Description:

The original BOSS CE-2 Chorus pedal was the Japanese Roland company’s first compact chorus pedal, released in 1979 and replacing the earlier large box mains powered stereo CE-1 Chorus Ensemble. Early models of the CE-2 have become particularly desirable, particularly those that use the Panasonic MN3007/MN3101 ‘bucket brigade device’ (BBD) solid state integrated circuits, which many say is responsible for the pedal’s distinctive signature sound. The CE-2 remained in production for 13 years until it was replaced in 1982 by the stereo CE-3. The CE‑3 was a different proposition altogether both functionally and sonically, and which lasted until 1992 (made in Taiwan from 1988). Unlike some of its contemporaries, the CE‑2 is mono only and works entirely in the analogue domain. It wasn’t until October 2001 that BOSS made the switch to digital circuitry in the CE-5 Chorus Ensemble. Although original vintage CE-2 pedals are quite commonplace, good ones are much sought after and vintage market prices tend to be higher than for most other BOSS pedals of the same age. Recognizing the historical significance of the original effect, BOSS reissued the CE‑2 in an enhanced ‘Waza Craft’ version in an attempt to recreate the distinctive analogue sounds of both the CE-1 and CE-2.

Pedal Description:

At first sight, this vintage 1980 CE-2 Chorus in its vibrant mid‑blue hue appears unremarkable, sharing many familiar features with other BOSS pedals. There are, however, several characteristics that make this particular example particularly collectable. First, it is: the ‘long dash’ version with the ‘CE’ positioned under the ‘U’ of ‘Chorus’ followed by a long em‑dash (later ones use a shorter en‑dash). Second, the ‘silver screw’ that retains the battery compartment predates the common black thumbscrews of later models. Third, the black ‘Made in Japan’ label on the base of the unit. Fourth, the stamped batch/serial number that dates the pedal to August 1980 – later ones had a printed label. Fifth, the MN3007/3101 chips – later ones used 3207/3102 ICs. Only the latter (allegedly) affects the classic sound and, even then, the audible differences are debatably small. All these aspects in one pedal, along with its fine condition and age, make this a very desirable little blue stomp box. Sound-wise, the analogue modulation effect is every bit as good as its reputation suggests, with a flattering pronounced mid‑boost. It is certainly one of the best choruses around. Whether you crave a CE-2 depends on whether you dig the whole chorus effect. While many examples of this model tend to be in relatively battered state, this one is in remarkably good condition for its age with only some very minor marks to indicate its advancing years. The battery connector has been replaced at some point but everything else is original. So, this is one very cool effect pedal in both looks and sound. What more could you want?


  • Made in Japan by Roland Corporation in 1980
  • The ‘Rate’ knob controls the speed of modulation
  • The ‘Depth’ knob controls the sweep range of the modulation effect
  • BOSS treadle footswitch turns the effect on and off
  • Red LED ‘Check’ light to indicate when the effect is in use
  • Standard ¼” input and output mono jack sockets
  • 12V ACA DC power supply input or 9V battery
  • Black ‘Made in Japan’ label on the base of the pedal
  • Silver battery compartment thumbscrew
  • ‘Long dash’ model name
  • Dimensions: 70mm (w) x 125mm (d) x 55mm (H)
  • Weight: 400g (0.88lbs)
  • No box or instruction manual

Detail Gallery:

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