Boss CH-1 Super Chorus

Boss-CH1

What is it?
Boss CH-1 Super Chorus. Made in taiwan, november 2001.

At one point i woke up to a feeling. I had tons of effect pedals, but zero Boss brand choruses. That felt extremely weird, as these effects in Boss catalog are usually praised pedals. So what was i to do, bet to get me some. First i scored a CE-3 stereo chorus through auction site listing (i’ve talked about that unit earlier on..) and second, i grabbed this one as used from around here. As usual, i checked the serial number against the Bossarea decoder and checked some facts about the design as well. What do you know. Just my luck. This unit is one of the very first CH-1s to exit the factory with newly revamped SMD board inside. Just a month older, and it would have been the one with a pink label and a MN3007 as a powering BBD.

Boss-CH1-guts1

The original CH-1 was apparently a derivative of CE-2/CE-3, with added blend/mix control and a tone control, which allowed the user to set the audio frequencies processed by the chorus. But since the changes between the old design and this one is pretty huge, i honestly wonder why this wasn’t marketed as CH-2? The changes would have definitely warranted that. But then again. We have DD-2 and DD-3 delays which have the exact same circuit inside, but for some reason the model number was changed. Peculiarities are sometimes fun, but… Everything about the design look even newer than the actual manufacturing date, but i guess that’s to be expected.

Boss-CH1-guts2

At the first look the board looks a bit like just SMD version of the original. We do know that DDBs come in surface mount packaging too. And the long chip could be a CMOS chip to handle the electronic switching. But no. Closer look revels that there aren’t any BBDs present. Just a digital 20K Itri Erso ES56028 echo processor chip.

I haven’t had a pleasure of comparing this against the ¬†previous version. I highly doubt these two sound anything alike. At least the delay line is different enough to warrant this assumption.

How does it sound?
Decent chorus, nevertheless. Mix control is nice addition when we want to dial in smooth and ambient chorus tones. Tone affects the frequencies chorused, rather than the overall tone. Another feature that gives more to the sound than one would think.While all Boss choruses have a great reputation, i tend to see one fault in all of them. The range of LFO speed feels to be always from too slow to slow. Same thing here. If we disregard that, we have good controls and nice chorus sounds. Not ¬†perfect, and i’d still choose my CE-3 over this in a heartbeat every time. If you get one for ridiculously cheap, then get one. I may keep my eyes out if i happen to run into the pink labeled version at some point. Comparison test would definitely be worth a post…

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3 Responses to “Boss CH-1 Super Chorus”

  1. Will Says:

    Is there any chance of seeing the way everything is mounted? There is not a single picture of the reverse side and I’m reassembling one for scratch.

  2. Dave Says:

    I just acquired both the CH-1 (analog version) and CE-3, mainly for the purpose of seeing what kind of vibrato sounds I could get from them, seeing that they both had separate wet/dry out options.

    So, to your wondering as to how the analog CH-1 sounds, I think it is pretty good, but I have several choruses I would choose before it, one of them being the CE-3.

    I agree on the ‘too slow to slow’ speed range on both, especially if you are looking for faster vibrato. The chorus level control is a great idea on the CH-1, if you don’t consider chorus to be a simple on or off effect. The CE-3 sounds so good, it doesn’t seem to need a level control.

    As for the vibrato sounds, the CE-3 sounds very much like the VB-2, the sweep sounds more symmetrical than the CH-1. For all the hype the CE-3 never gets (thanks to the CE-1 and CE-2), I am extremely pleased and surprised, the CE-3 is a great pedal.

  3. Philip Says:

    I’m looking to do a mod by switching out the capacitor of c10. This board is a lot different than the older ones. Is the small item in c10 next to the larger echo chip still the stock.47pf capacitor? I want to solder it out and replace it with different capacitors. will it modify like the previous versions or do you foresee problems? or is the capacitor to replace elsewhere?

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