How it Works and Final Score: 8.5
The Boss CH-1 Super Chorus is one of the most popular and reliable guitar pedals on the market. Built incredibly tough and resilient, like many Boss foot pedals, the CH-1 features 4 controllable parameters. Effect level controls the volume of the chorus effect while the EQ controls the high/low frequency contrast in your signal. Rate predictably controls the speed of the modulation, going from subtle to swirling chorus in no time. Lastly, the depth control allows you to shape the intensity of the chorus effect. Even better, the pedal has both mono and stereo outputs for shaping your tone through your live or studio rig.
The Boss CH-1 certainly didn’t disappoint once I plugged it in. However, it certainly feels like a “safe” pedal, in the sense that it provides so many classic chorus tones, without the ability to descend into true modulation mayhem the way some newer, more pricey chorus pedals would. Everything from The Police to The Cult and even jazz and funk tones pour out of this pedal with a few turns of the dial. While I didn’t feel the EQ knob does much to drastically vary the tones, the depth, rate, and effect level controls give you a wide range of sounds.
Most importantly, the CH-1 is incredibly clear. The pedal adds all that muscle and harmony to your guitar tone without losing notes in chords or the full bodied tone of each note in a guitar solo. The CH-1’s ability to go from warm to cold at a moment’s notice is inspiring, even if it is limited in scope. For rock, jazz, or country players, the CH-1 is a perfect pedalboard partner, for more experimental players in the indie or shoegaze arena, perhaps looks elsewhere.
Just like any Boss pedal, this one deserves an almost perfect score. This pedals are simply built to last, which makes them that much more attractive to me. I love knowing that having this and DS-1 on my pedalboard means they will work today, tomorrow, and probably twenty years from now. The CH-1 feels exactly like every other Boss pedal I’ve played and I shouldn’t even have to say much more on this.
Value was a bit harder to judge for the CH-1 than the durability was. The $119.99 price of a new pedal seems a bit heavy for such a mass produced, simple chorus pedal, especially when many great Boss pedals like the DS-1 or Blues Driver are under $100. However, they can be found much cheaper used, in the $50-60 range. For the reliability and quality, “safe” tones, the CH-1 is hard to beat at that price point. For someone like me who uses chorus just to add a little thickness or dimension to their tone, there probably isn’t a better option at this price, as it beats out the vastly smaller and cheaper Ammoon pedal. Overall, it generally lives up to all the hype and popularity, though I wish it had just a bit more madness to it.
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