The first Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble ever made has been listed on Reverb for a million dollars

Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble S000001
(Image credit: Reverb)

A Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble has been listed on Reverb at the cool asking price of $1 million. Now, even for fans of the classic chorus – of which there are many – that’s an eye-watering amount, but this is not just any other vintage listing. 

This Chorus Ensemble bears the serial number S000001, indicating that it is the very first ever made – which makes it the first ever Boss pedal, and indeed the first ever chorus pedal made for mass production.

Still, a million bucks? Who might buy such a pedal? Well, the lister, Pedal Palace, suggests a member of the Beatles, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk or a John Mayer after one too many drinks. 

Perhaps anyone who momentarily saw Josh Scott of JHS Pedals listed the #2 Klon Centaur overdrive pedal on Reverb for $500,000 and thought about adding it to their cart might consider taking this one on. We'll sit this one out, thanks.

Roland CE-1 Chorus Ensemble

(Image credit: Reverb)

Even in this era of guitar effects pedal scalping, when limited edition stompboxes such as the Boss x Sola Sound collaboration on the Waza Craft TB-2W Tone Bender fuzz pedal get snapped up by prospectors and sold at a premium hours later, such a price is an outlier.

Made in Japan, the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble made its debut in 1976, when the bods at Roland/Boss rehoused the same chorus circuit from the JC-120 Jazz Chorus guitar amp, which was released a year earlier and set the table for high-class modulation.

Roland CE-1 Chorus Ensemble

(Image credit: Reverb)

Chorusing effects long pre-dated the launch of the Chorus Ensemble but hitherto they were the realm of studio trickery. The CE-1 democratised modulation, offering chorus and vibrato, and mono and full stereo operation. 

It has two footswitches. One activates or bypasses the effect. The other toggles between its chorus and vibrato modes. There is a single Intensity dial for chorus, while the Vibrato has dials for Depth and Rate. 

Designed to work with electronic keyboards and bass guitars as well as electric guitars, the CE-1 has an input level control with High/Low inputs and an LED to let you know if the unit is clipping.

It is a classic sound, lush, and three-dimensional and the seller might be relishing the prospect of a million dollars in their account but is not overjoyed at letting it go.

“This thing oozes mojo,” Pedal Palace writes. “The tone is legendary. Truly magical. Unfortunately, the mortal fingers on my left hand are not dexterous enough to be worthy of such an item. If the chords of Wonderwall flow through its sacred circuits one more time, it may very well just explode and respawn in someone else’s attic. 

“But until that day comes, it remains under my careful, loving stewardship.  I once promised myself to never sell this grail. It’s too special.  But times are tight and medical tragedies have afflicted my family, so here I am.”

The seller ships globally and will even deliver it personally if you are located somewhere cool – Australia or Tokyo. You can check out the listing over at Reverb

If the asking price is a little steep, and it is, you can still get some of that CE-1 magic – and at approximately 0.0229 per cent of the price – by shelling out for a Boss CE-2W Chorus, which has a switchable CE-1 mode on it, and assumes the more pedalboard-friendly form of Boss’s Compact Series. 

Whether you're Jeff Bezos or Joe Bloggs, it remains one of the finest chorus pedals on the market. 

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.