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Archive for June, 2016

boss_ce2w

Several years ago, I lamented getting rid of my original BOSS CE-2 Chorus pedal, having traded it for a DigiTech multi-function pedal that I thought was cool. Hey! I only paid $79 for the CE-2, and at the time, I wasn’t very sensitive to my tone. After all, that was almost 40 years ago, and I was pretty much a rank beginner at guitar. But years later, I was missing that chimey chorus tone and just had to get another. Oh, I found one, but ended up paying almost $300 for it. But I was glad to get it, because it has taken an active role on my board since then.

But I’ve been very judicious in its use because – after all – it is a vintage pedal, and with the number of gigs I play every year, I’ve been careful about not using it full-time. So I switch off between the excellent TC Electronics Corona Chorus, Homebrew THC and the CE-2.

But today in an ad I saw on Facebook, I saw that BOSS is about to release the new Waza Craft CE-2W, which supposedly perfectly reproduces the CE-2 sound. On top of that, it includes circuitry for the original CE-1! Then to top it off, it has stereo output!

Talk about instant GAS attack! When it hits the shelves, its price point is going to be about $149 street (if what I’ve read is true). OMG! That is SO affordable! I’m going to get one when it’s available. Period. That way, I can retire my original CE-2 and put it back in its box for safe-keeping.

Why am I crazy about this? Well, one of the first amps I ever played through was a Roland JC120. Yes, the same amp that Albert King played, and the same amp that Joe Satriani used on his breakthrough “Surfin’ with the Alien.” I LOVED that amp and the chorus effect it housed. I never got the CE-1 but got the CE-2 after seeing the venerable Michael Hedges sport one in a concert. He was my idle at the time, and I loved that sound.

To me, while there are TONS of chorus pedals out there, the BOSS chorus tone is the definitive chorus tone for me. They were the first to come up with it, and frankly, they’ve got it down. So for BOSS to release a faithful reproduction with modern circuitry and the higher reliability of new components, well, it’s a no-brainer.

So what about the “Waza Craft” stuff? This was BOSS’ response to the modders and boutique pedal builders. Rather than make updates to their foundation, they took those pedals and “tweaked” them, much like modders would do, but do it on a larger scale. For other pedals like the CE-2, they kind of “reissued” them but with a twist. Very cool concept! Furthermore, from what I can gather, all Waza Craft pedals are made in Japan, though I’m not sure if that just means assembled, or completely constructed. In any case, they’re likely to be pretty high quality.

The interesting thing about the Waza Craft pedals is that they’re not expensive. What you’re getting is “boutique” upgrades or repros, but not at the boutique price.

Yeah, yeah, I know that there are some boutique purists out there, but in the end, it’s how it sounds. Even for the Waza Craft stuff. But if it sounds great and I can get it for a reasonable price, well, I’ll for that. Can you say “Bad Monkey” overdrive? (look it up if you’re not familiar).

In any case, this pedal was announced just a couple of days before Summer NAMM, so it’s not on shelves, and no, I don’t have an ETA. But I am for sure going to check it out as soon as I can!

All that said, here are a couple of GREAT videos!

Intro Video 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjbLzteYKMg][/youtube]

Sound Samples

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onJasW8E5eg][/youtube]

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ampendage1Normally when I get gear, I put to the test in a gig, then report on it. And while this Gig Report is no different, it’s coming three years late. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. It wasn’t as useful to me with my 1 x 12 cab and an amp head, so I only used it for my small combos at first.
  2. I lent it to a friend soon after I got it, and he had for over three years before I finally asked for it back so I could use it at my gig this past Saturday.

My friend’s feedback was simply that he loved it. He put his Fender SuperSonic on it for several of his gigs, and it elevated his amp just nicely; not only that, he loved the way it looked! As I said in my original article, it looked like a piece of furniture. Even now after my gig, I have it my living room with an amp on it, and it looks great!

In any case, for my gig last Saturday, I brought my big Avatar 2 X 12 cabinet, and wanted to eliminate ground effect, so I needed to get my Ampendage back so I could elevate the cabinet. To make a long story short, I got the stand back from my buddy, and I was all set to go!

The first thing I noticed when I set up my rig was that the tilt-back angle was perfect! I mean perfect. Not sure what the actual angle is, but it was back just enough to elevate the projection angle, but not so steep that I couldn’t set my head on top of it. Like I said, just perfect.

And as far as getting my sound out there, the elevation combined with the tilt angle definitely got my sound out… well… so much so that I was stepping on the rest of the band. The sound guy told me I was WAY too loud, and I even turned my amp down, but I still cut through almost too much according to him. I said I that I think it has to do with my amp cab being up off the floor and tilted slightly up. It made for much better projection than my bandmates’ amps whose amps were pointed straight ahead, and on the floor. Ground effect is real folks…

Also, having the cab tilted up, even ever so slightly, made it very easy for me to hear myself, even when the drums were pounding.

But still, while this stand is incredibly useful, it still looks KILLER!

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