DEMO Cepheid Chorus with Comparison video to Aion FX Azure, Caesar Chorus and vintage Boss CE-2

This post contains an audio or video demo

Route14

Well-known member
Cepheid Chorus/CE-2 clone I built a few weeks back for a friend. Uses the Cool Audio v3207 chip. Everything went smoothly except for the daughter board. I recommend not using a daughter board on this build because of the 47n cap in the lower left of the board. I was able to get around it by angling the footswitch but probably not ideal.

My only other word of caution is to decide which chips you are going to use and solder the pads before populating the board. I was sitting on a MN3007/MN3101 and I thought I might use them on this build but once the Cool Audio chips came back available I grabbed a few and used those. By then I had already started to populate the board and my brain didn't think that decision all the way through. Thankfully everything was fine and I was able to get in there and jumper the pads. In theory I like the little pads but in practice I might feel better about the jumper technique other boards use.

To calibrate the pedal I recommend using a very clean amp setting. I was using a tube amp and I was having trouble determining if the break up was the pedal or the amp. I ended up going into a JC120 amp sim on my computer to adjust the trimpot to where I was getting good modulation with no noise or crackle.

I also made a REALLY quick comparison video using a very traditional chorus setting. I'm lucky to have a vintage CE-2 (although probably not for long!) so I threw that in as a bench mark. I also used an Aion FX Azure I built last summer and a Caesar Chorus I built last year. I think they all sound pretty much the same with the exception of the Julia which has some very useful tweaks to get some great sounds.

On the Azure I socketed a few of the caps to do the modulation and bass mods in the future although I don't find myself wanting to. I like having the mix knob but with guitar I almost always go full mix. I'm okay with the rate LED on the Cepheid but it's not a deal breaker for me. If it were up to me I would just leave it out. The rate knob is perfectly fine for indicating what speed my modulation is at. If I had to pick one I would take the Julia. It sounds a touch cleaner to me and the other features give it more sounds you can't get in the other pedals.


IMG_1607.jpg IMG_1608.jpg
 

Route14

Well-known member
Cool, sounds great and I really liked the comparison video.
Thanks! It's the first time I ever made a proper video. I hope to do more in the future and get a little more elaborate with them.

Are you in the Philly area?
 

steviejr92

Well-known member
It's pretty much the quintessential chorus. If you don't have one then I would go for it. As much as I have pure nostalgia for the Boss CE-2, I think the Julia is a worthy of consideration too.
I recently built the Julia i love it! Which means im going to love the Boss. I already have it on my wishlist cause of this report haha
 

andare

Well-known member
Thank you, it was the perfect demo. I think the Caesar (Julia) was more subtle. Perhaps a bit more depth would help. The other 3 sounded pretty much the same.
Can't wait to box my Caesar up. Theoretically I'd like to order a printed enclosure from Tayda but I could just go with a blank enclosure like you, drill it and bam!
 

Route14

Well-known member
Thank you, it was the perfect demo. I think the Caesar (Julia) was more subtle. Perhaps a bit more depth would help. The other 3 sounded pretty much the same.
Can't wait to box my Caesar up. Theoretically I'd like to order a printed enclosure from Tayda but I could just go with a blank enclosure like you, drill it and bam!
Thanks! I hope to do more similar videos comparing clones to the originals. I threw the Julia in at the last minute and didn't spend too much time dialing it in. I might have been able to get it closer with a little more effort. Maybe there is a different video to be done comparing the CE-2 to the Julia. The Cepheid and Azure are fantastic but they probably won't knock the Julia/Caesar off the pedalboard. There are sounds I can get out of the Caesar that I can't get with the CE-2 clones.

I wish I had more ability, creativity and time to do printed enclosures. At least for the pedals I really like.
 

owlexifry

Well-known member
hot damn, these all sound fantastic.
those first couple clones sound just about identical to the original CE-2 o_O

really impressive demo video for a first go. crisp sound, smooth editing.
im curious, how do you record/edit this?
 

Route14

Well-known member
hot damn, these all sound fantastic.
those first couple clones sound just about identical to the original CE-2 o_O

really impressive demo video for a first go. crisp sound, smooth editing.
im curious, how do you record/edit this?
Thanks! The clones really are identical if not a little better than the original. In sound and practical use. The old Boss pedals used ACA adapters which required 12v for use. Kind of a pain for regular use. Also this one I believe has the MN3007 chip in it, so it goes to show that the chips don't make much of a difference either.

The video is just an iPhone and a shakey hand. The audio is recorded through my '69 Bassman (that I completely rebuilt about 20 years ago) and a UA OX box. I used a loop pedal to capture the riff and recorded each take into Reaper where I edited all the takes into a single wav file. Then I used iMovie to edit it all together. It was the first time I ever used iMovie to make a clip. It really wasn't that hard to edit the individual video clips together, add a few effects and replace the audio with what I captured in my DAW. I watched a few You Tube videos on how to use iMovie and I was off and running. To be fair I have a lot of experience with recording in DAWs so recording the audio portion was not new for me.
 

andare

Well-known member
Thanks! The clones really are identical if not a little better than the original. In sound and practical use. The old Boss pedals used ACA adapters which required 12v for use. Kind of a pain for regular use. Also this one I believe has the MN3007 chip in it, so it goes to show that the chips don't make much of a difference either.

The video is just an iPhone and a shakey hand. The audio is recorded through my '69 Bassman (that I completely rebuilt about 20 years ago) and a UA OX box. I used a loop pedal to capture the riff and recorded each take into Reaper where I edited all the takes into a single wav file. Then I used iMovie to edit it all together. It was the first time I ever used iMovie to make a clip. It really wasn't that hard to edit the individual video clips together, add a few effects and replace the audio with what I captured in my DAW. I watched a few You Tube videos on how to use iMovie and I was off and running. To be fair I have a lot of experience with recording in DAWs so recording the audio portion was not new for me.
That's a lot of work. Appreciate it!
 

Feral Feline

Well-known member
Thanks! The clones really are identical if not a little better than the original. In sound and practical use. The old Boss pedals used ACA adapters which required 12v for use. Kind of a pain for regular use. Also this one I believe has the MN3007 chip in it, so it goes to show that the chips don't make much of a difference either.

The video is just an iPhone and a shakey hand. The audio is recorded through my '69 Bassman (that I completely rebuilt about 20 years ago) and a UA OX box. I used a loop pedal to capture the riff and recorded each take into Reaper where I edited all the takes into a single wav file. Then I used iMovie to edit it all together. It was the first time I ever used iMovie to make a clip. It really wasn't that hard to edit the individual video clips together, add a few effects and replace the audio with what I captured in my DAW. I watched a few You Tube videos on how to use iMovie and I was off and running. To be fair I have a lot of experience with recording in DAWs so recording the audio portion was not new for me.
You did a fantastic job on the video and your builds.

Many thanks for your efforts, too, as I've been curious (*& many others) about the differences between the Caesar, Cepheid, and Azure
— comparing with an original Boss was icing on the Chorus-cake!​
 

Route14

Well-known member
You did a fantastic job on the video and your builds.

Many thanks for your efforts, too, as I've been curious (*& many others) about the differences between the Caesar, Cepheid, and Azure
— comparing with an original Boss was icing on the Chorus-cake!​
Thanks! You can’t go wrong with any of them. They all get you that classic chorus sound. As I’ve noted, I like the Caesar the best. I would probably pick the Azure second because I think the mix knob is useful.
 

robotecho

Member
Thank you, it was the perfect demo. I think the Caesar (Julia) was more subtle. Perhaps a bit more depth would help. The other 3 sounded pretty much the same.
Can't wait to box my Caesar up. Theoretically I'd like to order a printed enclosure from Tayda but I could just go with a blank enclosure like you, drill it and bam!
Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but I think it is worth pointing out that the Ceasar had the blend knob at 12 o'clock so it was a 50/50 mix with the dry signal, where all the other pedals were fully effected signal.
 

Route14

Well-known member
Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but I think it is worth pointing out that the Ceasar had the blend knob at 12 o'clock so it was a 50/50 mix with the dry signal, where all the other pedals were fully effected signal.
No worries. We love dredging up old threads in this forum!

On the Julia the Mode knob goes from Dry to Vibrato. Around noon is where the blend of the dry and affected sound are at a mix that would be consistent with a Chorus sound. Full clockwise will completely remove the dry signal and you would have more of a vibrato effect. It's one of the reasons I like this pedal so much. You can get way more sounds from it than your average chorus pedal.
 

robotecho

Member
No worries. We love dredging up old threads in this forum!

On the Julia the Mode knob goes from Dry to Vibrato. Around noon is where the blend of the dry and affected sound are at a mix that would be consistent with a Chorus sound. Full clockwise will completely remove the dry signal and you would have more of a vibrato effect. It's one of the reasons I like this pedal so much. You can get way more sounds from it than your average chorus pedal.
Thanks, that's interesting! I definitely think in the demo the dry signal was very noticeable on the Julia. I'm building a Ceasar tomorrow, so I guess I'll have plenty of time to experiment. I want to pair it with a Dimension C for stereo effect, so being able to blend the wet signal was important to me.
 
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