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Voodoo Lab Analog Chorus
The BOSS CE-1 Reincarnate?
Review by: Scott Kahn
   
             
  Features  Usability  Sound  Documentation & Product Support  Price  Other Comments
Contact Info  Overall Rating—Product Summary
 
             
   

   
   

Let’s get right to it, shall we? You want to know if this is the best sounding chorus pedal of all time. You also want to know if it’s an exact replica of the legendary BOSS CE-1. Maybe you’d also like to know how it fairs in general as chorus pedals go.

We don’t think any single chorus pedal should ever be crowned the best – one player’s favorite chorus tone may be considerably different than the tone sought by another player. But a few pedals may come to share the badge one of the best, and one sheriff in town is most certainly the Voodoo Lab Analog Chorus.

The folks at Voodoo Lab call their Analog Chorus pedal a sonic replica of the BOSS CE-1, and in this statement they are partially right. With a more limited set of controls than found on the classic, you can’t duplicate all of the sounds from the CE-1. But for general use as a chorus or tremolo pedal, the tone and the envelope sound like the chorus section of the CE-1… only better! The Analog Chorus really surpassed the classic by delivering CE-1 tone without the noise commonly heard in a vintage pedal.

Features

3 Stars

The Analog Chorus isn’t a physical replica of the CE-1 – it’s a heck of a lot better looking! The classic CE-1 predates the familiar BOSS brick shape and was a Pod-sized device with multiple footswitches and controls for both chorus and vibrato.

By contrast, the mono-only Analog Chorus features only an Intensity and Speed control, and a true bypass On/Off switch. For chorus purposes, this is all it really needs to capture the basic chorus tone of a CE-1.

Voodoo Lab builds rugged pedals, and the Analog Chorus is no exception to the rule. A sturdy aluminum box houses the chorus, and the On/Off switch is a metal, Carling-style switch.


Usability

3.5 Stars

If you can’t figure out use of this pedal, you’re probably not the typical MusicPlayers.com visitor. Two controls for adjusting the chorus are all you’ll find here, and this pedal deserves some kind of accolade for being the most adjustable pedal by way of socks! From the comfort of our chair, our foot easily rotated the knobs when we were feeling a bit too lazy to bend over and adjust the oversized knobs by hand.

Engaging the chorus resulted in a noticeable boost in volume. We would have preferred less of a boost or a control to let us adjust the signal level for ourselves.

Depending on how we adjusted the knobs, the Analog Chorus generated both chorus sounds as well as tremolo effects.

Sound

3.5 Stars

Fans of the classic CE-1 chorus sound should be extremely happy with the sound of the Analog Chorus. If you want the classic Andy Summers/Police sound, you’ll have a beautiful (and clean) version of it.

We used this pedal with a Fender Super Sonic tube amp combo both in the effects loop as well as in front of the amp. For clean tones, we were very happy with the pedal in either amp position. It delivered lush classic chorus tones, but when the Intensity was raised, we found there was an air of “flanger-ness” to the sound that not all players will appreciate in their chorus. Without control over the size or depth of the envelope on its own, this is just part of the classic CE-1 sound that you’ll either love or dislike.

Turning up the Speed most of the way and setting the Intensity between 12:00 and 3:00 transformed the Analog Chorus pedal into a monster tremolo. Although Voodoo Lab described this sound as more of a rotating speaker or Leslie effect, we found it to be more of a tremolo tone… and a beautiful, quiet one at that. Settings at the top end of the dials generated a range of tones that had us playing everything from Golden Earring tunes to Nirvana classics. Even if we never used this pedal as a traditional chorus, we’d be perfectly giddy using it pushed to the extreme settings.

We didn’t care for the tone of the Analog Chorus when combined with high-gain distortion. Though the CE-1 chorus sound is highly desirable for use with clean tones, we just didn’t find it to have the right chorus tone (to our ears) when mixed with high gain modern rock distortion. When played behind a high-gain tone, the flanger character of this chorus came through too dominantly. Of course, if you want to capture some of Eddie’s classic tone without a dedicated flanger pedal, you can get a touch of that sound in the Analog Chorus. Overall, it’s quite versatile.


Documentation and Product Support

3 Stars

A tip sheet was included with the Analog Chorus that provided some suggestions for basic settings as well as details for power connections. We can’t imagine Voodoo Lab needs to tell you any more about this.


Price

3 Stars

The Voodoo Lab Analog Chorus ($239) sells for approximately $170, placing it somewhere in the middle of the range of chorus pedals available.


Contact Information

Voodoo Lab
www.voodoolab.com

Overall Rating - Product Summary

   
   
Category Value Rating
Features 20% 3 stars
Usability 25% 3.5 stars
Sound 25% 3.5 stars
Documentation & Support 10% 3 stars
Price 20% 3 stars

OVERALL RATING = 3.3

3.6 stars or better: Outstanding, WIHO Award
3 stars or better: Worth considering
2 stars or better: Suited to specific needs
1 star or less: Not recommended
 
  Evaluation Short-List
 
  • Electro-Harmonix Stereo PolyChorus
  • BOSS CE-20 Chorus Ensemble Twin
  • Line 6 MM4 Modulation Modeler
  • TC Electronic Stereo Chorus Flanger

 

   
         
             
             
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