Boss Ce-2 and SD-1 Still Relevant?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by pfrischmann, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

    Jan 6, 2002
    In the ATL.
    Hi Guys,
    I've been doing some research and I've noticed that the boss Ce-2 and SD-1 seem to pop up on an awful lot of pro pedal boards. I can't ever remember hearing either at any great length.

    Are these the standards all others are judged by?

    Do they still hold their own agains all of the boutique pedals today?

  2. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

    May 27, 2005
    Hey pfrischmann,

    I don't know about the Boss CE-2 chorus or the SD-1 being judged as a standard as compared to the boutique pedals being made, but they certainly work well and sound good in my setup. I own an MIJ green label CE-2 and I love the sound of it for cleans. The sound is very organic and warm sounding for a chorus. I'll be getting the Keeley Hi-Fi mod on it soon to improve the sound of the CE-2.

    The Analogman SD-1/808 overdrive pedal started it's life as a stock Taiwan SD-1 that I bought for $30.00 used since I couldn't find a used Tubescreamer at the time. The sound was not bad, limited tone control range and a little bit noisy Now having my SD-1/808 modded pedal is a very cool pedal in my guitar rig. I get a nice overdrive sound that is smooth and pleasing, the tone control is voiced properly and I have the choice of symetrical or asymetrical clipping with the push/pull clipping selector mod that Mike Piera installed. It can give the Ibanez or Boss overdrive clipping in one pedal. Very cool feature!! I use a Keeley BD-2 Blues Driver Phat mod pedal to stack on it for clean or overdriven leads.

    Those 2 pedals compared to the boutique pedals? That really depends on what really inspires your playing, your sound and your guitar rig. If you get that sound from a boutique pedal, a modified pedal or a mass produced pedal, that's the one to use.

    Guitar George
  3. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    I'm not a super big fan of the SD-1, but I consider the CE2 to be one of the seminal chorus fans. It's thick and juicy, has the controls you need and no gimmicks. It's not great for acoustic (to much mud in the mids and not enough high end) but for electric it's hard to beat, especially since you can still buy a vintage one for around $100.
  4. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    I'm a pretty big SD-1 fan. I think that for a stock pedal, the bang-for-the-buck is pretty high; modded, it's even better. I've kept one in my rig for yrs and yrs - I love the way the midrange helps a strat cut thru a live band.
  5. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    The SD-1 is a great pedal. Now stock it's OK... but it is easy to mod into many boutique sounding variants of the Tube Screamer. It is essintially a tube screamer circuit with asymetrical clipping. I personally modded mine to sound extremely similar to a Fulldrive. Pretty cool now.
  6. sl1960a

    sl1960a Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2006
    West Central Illinois
    +1 on the CE2 - I have had it forever and it is an excellent pedal without any mods (grn jpn). I used to swap between the CE2 and a DC2 (great pedal too), but the CE2 has been stuck in my pedalboard for quit awhile. It doesn't do all chorus tones (which one does?!!), but I love my CE2. I know Alex Lifeson used one forever and Jimmy Page did/does too (Firm era).

    Also I used to use a stock SD1 back in the 80's until it was stolen - Worked good with my Marshall 2204 - I think some dude named Zak copied my tone later. :)

    - Mark C
  7. TMoran

    TMoran Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    Evanston, IL
    Regarding the Boss CE -2.. my opinion, having had one for quite a while, is that it pretty much blows.... VERRRY noisy, TERRible audible " thunk" when a note is played.. there are MANy better comps out there now.
    Time was, waaay back when, there WASn't a WHOLE lot out there, beyond the Boss or MXR.. now there are DOZENS to choose from ,some waaaay too expensive( Maxon, E-H ) ...

    But NOW... there are MUCH better comps around.. I'd say the lil' green GUYATONE sustainer/comp pedal, at $69 street price, knocks it
    outa tha park...+ it takes up hardly ANy room on yer pedal board, either..
    the Barber Tone Press is a more "boutiquey" pedal, at $140, not cheap,
    but not that bad. It has a Mix function wherein you can balance the
    Dry & comped signal.. pretty cool feature, I've not seen that on any other
    Comp. I'm curious about the Electro Harmonix Black Finger, but have heard
    not such great things about the build quality or reliability.
  8. Gearhunter

    Gearhunter Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    Central Florida
    I think your talking about the CS-2 TMoran,and not the CE-2.
    I love my gr. label, MIJ CE-2. It's still with me,and I've bought and sold a CE-5,and a Fulltone Choralflange.The Choralflange was nice,but I found myself only using one sound on it,that I could pretty much get with the CE-2.Gets the:AOK in my book.
  9. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

    Jul 5, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    the bass player in my band owns an old MIT SD-1. I tried it out last night and was very impressed with the tone I got out of it. Good sound with no ice-picky highs even with the tone knob cranked.
  10. jgyn

    jgyn Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    san francisco
    Still like the Boss SD-1 for its assymetrical clipping.
  11. Mac-P

    Mac-P Member

    Mar 8, 2005
    Nassau County, NY
    Count me as one who loves the (stock) CE-2, SD-1 and CS-2 (much better than the CS-3 to these ears). I had em on my board for years. They were the best of their time and they are voiced particularly well. Certainly many a classic rock album have been recorded using all three.

    My old board was (all black label Japan)
    TW-2 > CS-2 > SD-1 > CE-2 > DM-2 > GE-7
    in the grey Boss carrying case. I still have em but only use the DM-2 (nothing has been invented that is an improvement - for my taste). There are better units these days for all the other stuff.

    The biggest problem with Boss is lack of true bypass. Six Boss pedals in a row KILLS your straight signal. Kills it. I used the GE-7 at the end to boost it back up to reality (or most times as a mid boost for solos). :rolleyes:
  12. RMosack

    RMosack Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2003
    Oceanside, CA
    Interesting thread that makes me think of a couple questions.

    1) I'm no chorus expert. Is the CE-2 basically the same effect as the old CE-1, but in the small, current Boss format? I know there's loads of talk about the original CE-1 in that giant metal case. I've always wondered if the CE-2 is the same, but smaller, or a different chorus altogether.

    2) Since the Boss pedals do that to your tone so much, wouldn't it be preferable to simply put the GE-7 (or any sort of EQ or line booster) BEFORE all of those pedals instead of AFTER?
  13. Scott Cioe

    Scott Cioe Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Another CE-2 fan.

    I own two. One is pristine and one was beat up cosmetically. I sent the beat one to Robert Keeley for his speedy mod. The thing kills now! Way better than stock and the modded one is the one I keep on the board.

    I think it is time to send the good one over to Mr. Keeley.
  14. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

    Mar 4, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Agreed, but I think what he says is very relevant to the issue at hand...

    A lot of guys had these units back in the day because that's all there were available. Shoot, I can remember not 10 years ago, most pedal boards consisted of at least one of the following: MXR, Dunlop, Boss, EH, Proco, Marshall and Ibanez. Now look at the market! I wouldn't say most boutique pedals are based off of these succesful designs, and I wouldn't say these always hold their own, but Id say some of the available tones might have reasons for sticking around, or might have some influence on the modern builds. In the case of the CE-2, it had a big brother, the CE-1. We all know the CE-1 has remainded relevant.. so much so that builders are out there trying to correct its biggest problems (noise and bypass).

    What I'd say, is that the most solid of arguments is that those two pedals are a part of an elite list of pedals that were among the most used in the 80's and 90's (others could be listed for 60's and the 70's). We're talking: Pro-Co Rat, TS-9, CE-2, Distortion +, SD-1, Micro Amp, etc...... Nowdays, many boutique manufactures are trying to make superior cousins to these units, but many people still love the tone of these vintage pieces.. They defined the tone of those years... doesn't make them better or worse. It just means their tone was used extensively for a period, and people like to recreate those sounds. With modern guys like analogman and keeley modding them with modern parts, why shouldn't they still show up on professional boards?
  15. ahltarocka

    ahltarocka Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    New Jersey
    I had my Boss CE-2 modded by Keeley. It is truly a beautiful pedal that can give you many different Chorus sounds. There is no other chorus that sounds quite the same. Definitely worth the money. I use it all the time, only wish it were Tru-Bypass.

    Rock On.

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