Build Your Own Clone Analog Chorus Pedal Review
An interpretation of the Boss CE-2 that you build yourself
For many players, chorus can be a tricky effect. The right amount can
lend welcome space and dimension, but add too much chorus and
your tone can sound cheesy and cold. One pedal that did a great job
of striking this balance is the legendary Boss CE-2 Chorus Ensemble,
which has been long coveted for its warm and watery voice. Build
Your Own Clone Effects, makers of DIY kits that closely model famous
effects, recently released the Analog Chorus, an interpretation of the
discontinued Boss CE-2 complete with high-quality components to
enhance sonic performance.
Sizing up the Situation
As the company name suggests, you actually build BYOC pedals
yourself (though you can also order a pre-built unit at additional cost
from BYOC’s Canadian distributor, Axe … And You Shall Receive). So
after getting the kit, I fired up a soldering station and delved into the
manual and parts checklist. To save paper, BYOC requires kit builders
to download the manual and instructions from their website. All of
the parts listed in the checklist were included in the bag, as well as an
extra capacitor or two, just in case one found its way underneath my
desk or in the carpet—a thoughtful touch on BYOC’s part.
BYOC does a fantastic job with making the building process as easy
as it could be, without using terminology that would confuse a novice
builder. Each step—whether it’s soldering resistors, capacitors, or IC
sockets—commands its own page of instruction, complete with a large
blowup of the circuit board with easy-to-read labels.
After about two hours of laboring over the soldering gun, I completed
the pedal and was ready to test it. I wanted a great name for
a watery chorus, so I christened it “The Slobber Box” and PG Web
Content Editor Rebecca Dirks revealed her artistic skills by painting
the enclosure for me.
The Birth of the Slobber Box
With the moment to test my new creation finally at hand, I borrowed
an original CE-2 from a friend to A/B it with the BYOC pedal. The
Analog Chorus did a fantastic job recreating the original CE-2’s subtle,
three-dimensional tone. But my “Slobber Box” bested the CE-2
when it came to background noise and bypass tone. Simply put, the
Analog Chorus was dead silent when active, unlike the CE-2, which
had a slightly audible whooshing-noise in the background. And the
Analog Chorus’ true bypass circuitry (the original CE-2 used a buffered
bypass) left my guitar’s high-end tones intact. The BYOC Analog
Chorus is a breeze to work with and its sparse control layout (one
knob for Depth, another for Rate) makes it easy to dial in a variety of
usable tones without fuss.
It was easy—and a blast—to build BYOC’s Analog Chorus pedal kit,
and the end result exceeded my expectations. Assembling the kit
with my own two hands gave me a real sense of satisfaction that no
off-the-shelf purchase can match. It’s worth keeping in mind that
attempting a pedal kit can present some challenges—even if you’re
experienced with a soldering gun and circuit boards. But if you’re up
for the challenge, the BYOC Analog Chorus delivers classic, tasteful,
and subtle chorus tones along with the gratification of having built a
part of your own rig.
you’re after a warm chorus you can decorate yourself.
you want a pedal that works right out of the box.
Street $79 - BYOC - buildyourownclone.com
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