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Build Your Own Clone Analog Chorus Pedal Review

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.

The Verdict

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.

Buy if...
you’re after a warm chorus you can decorate yourself.
Skip if...
you want a pedal that works right out of the box.

Street $79 - BYOC -

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