Boss CE-3 Chorus

Boss CE-3 Chorus

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CE-3 Chorus, Chorus for Guitar from Boss.

18 user reviews
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Boss CE-3 Chorus tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Boss
  • Model:CE-3 Chorus
  • Category:Choruses for Guitar
  • Added in our database on: 04/18/2004

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Boss CE-3 Chorus user reviews


Before_'s review"Discreet and effective"

Boss CE-3 Chorus
Boss chorus pedal, mine is made in Taiwan (or Formosa, for erudites and old dogs) and it's Green Label.
It has two controls, depth and rate, and a third one to output sound to two amps: so, two outputs. You can either output the chorus on both or the processed signal on output 1 and the "dry" signal on output 2.
And it's analog (you can hear it, you can't cheat on that)
Make sure you have a daisy-chain power cord because it uses the old system (12V) and if you connect it to a PSA, the LED won't light up completely and the sound won't be "whole."


It can't get any easier, that's the Boss trademark.
I don't have the manual, but there are no mysteries behind the controls.


I already have an analog chorus (on the VS h2o; I love the chorus) and, compared to the CE5 (which I also have, since I couldn't sell it), it's warmer.
The "hazy" chorus swirling is very characteristic, but also better and bizarre (I'd say a mix of sine and square waves), and even with the depth set to max, you won't feel dizzy.
I use it with the Fender Mustang and Tele (aerodyne, to be more precise), together with the DS2 SD 1, BF2 (the other analog one) and the boss DD 20, as well as a holier grail reverb, plus an Engl screamer Combo (I don't like to talk about it like that because it sounds very pretentious...).
Do note that even if using only one output and setting it to type II, the sound will be different.
It's fantastic to play in stereo. Some people say it has a low level, but I haven't noticed it. It's a bit noisy, but, honestly speaking, whose gonna notice during a gig at high volumes???


I've been using it for... 48h, so these are my first impressions.
Yes, I've tested several models, which I own and have in stock (VS h2o, Small Clone, CE5) and I'm a chorus fan.
Its simplicity and VERY distinctive sound are the trademark of this nice pedal. I don't regret having bought it. At a time when effects can be really expensive (but also very good), it's a god alternative and a convincing buy.
It's easy to slam BOSS, but it's still excellent shit (except for some disgraceful examples, like the MT2, but that's only my personal opinion!).

hugab's review

Boss CE-3 Chorus
Made in Taiwan version. A Rate control for the effect's speed and a Depth control, plus a control to choose stereo or mono. And there's the rub: It has no volume control to adjust the influence of the effect on the sound, it would've been a much more versatile pedal thanks to that!


It's very easy to use! I have no manual, since I bought it secondhand.


A good old analog chorus sound when you set depth and rate to 11 o'clock, beyond that it's too much, in my opinion. It's perfect to play Police or kitschy things from the '80s. But the lack of a volume control limits its use in many domains, you can hardly color sound ever so slightly like David Gilmour, for example. You'll need a CE-3 for a really pronounced chorus and a CE-2 for more "discreet" one, or a CE-5 to have both at the same time, but not as good (considering it's digital).

I give it 8 because the deep chorus sounds are really good!


I've been using it for one year, I tried the CE-5 and the chorus from the Pod XT, but since I love old pedals, I bought the CE-3 for €35 on audiofanzine without having tested it. With hindsight, I think I'd take the CE-2 to have a more Gilmour-like sound!

iamqman's review"the Boss sings"

Boss CE-3 Chorus
This was the third edition to the chorus line from Boss back in the 80's. The reason primarily for this pedal to become produced was the need for two outputs. The CE-2 only has one output and there was a need to run the pedal in stereo, so this pedal was created.

The pedal looks unique in that it has the three knobs level in a row. This is the only 3-knob pedal that has three knobs in a row. This caused the LED light to be hidden and it was a design that was soon changed in favor of the V shaped 3 knob control layout.

Boss finally stopped making these pedals in 1992.



Controls: Rate, Depth, 2-way Mode Switch
Connectors: Input, Output A, Output B, AC Adaptor
Current Draw: 13 mA (DC 9V)
Weight: 400g/0.88 lbs.
Input Impedance: 1Mohm
Residual Noise Level: -90 dBm (IHF-A)
Recommended Load Impedance: 10kOhm or greater
Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA Series


The sound quality is pretty much the same as the Boss CE-2. The only real change is the output section and the added stereo output. The tone is the same and the EQing of the pedal is the same with simply the rate knob and the depth control knob.

This is the kind of pedal you use with a nice clean guitar or a distortion amp that you need to add a little bit of beef to. You get a nice shimmering watery chorus tone. The liquidity of this pedal is remarkable. It sounds very lush in nature and springs up some nice modulation tone.


These pedals have long been gone from production so the used market is the only way to to go at this point. I haven't seen them on the classifieds in quite some time and have no idea what the going rate for them are in this market.

I would recommend this pedal if you can find one at a decent price in the classifieds. They are lush sounding and will add a great amount of depth to your tone.

Hatsubai's review"Decent chorus"

Boss CE-3 Chorus
The Boss CE-3 is a fairly overlooked chorus pedal on the market. More people seem to go for the CE-1 or CE-2, and I can see why. This pedal features three knobs -- a rate knob, a depth knob and a 2 way rotary knob to select between two voicings. It also features A and B outputs for doing a stereo-esque effect.


The Boss CE-3 is an extremely reliable pedal thanks to it being housed in the famous Boss enclsoure. These things can withstand an air raid, they're that sturdy. The controls are laid out in a different manner than most other controls tend to be laid out on Boss products. Instead of the middle knob being moved downwards, it's right in the middle. Because of that, the LED is somewhat obscured by the depth knob. The manual does a pretty good job at explaining what everything does, but it's not needed on a pedal as simple as this.


The CE-3 has a fairly lush sounding chorus, and it works great for those looking for a basic sounding chorus. It doesn't have too many options, but it's meant more for delivering tone than giving you thousands of options. The stereo output is really cool as well. The rotary switch allows you to select between two voicings, so it's basically an upgraded CE-1 pedal. That said, there is some tone suckage with this pedal, and compared to today's chorus pedals out there, I find it to still be a bit limiting.


The Boss CE-3 is a decent chorus pedal that delivers a fairly nice chorus sound. It's a bit dated compared to today's chorus pedals, and it also sucks some tone, but if you find one for a decent price, I recommend checking it out. It's kinda like an upgraded CE-1, but maybe not quite as nice sounding.

Boss CE-3 Chorus images

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  • Boss CE-3 Chorus
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Other names: ce 3 chorus, ce3chorus, ce3 chorus, ce 3, ce3, ce 3chorus, chorus ce 3, chorus c e 3, chorusce3, chorus c e3, CE-3

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