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Woodinblack

Boss SY-1

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So, in the general scheme of mentioning some new effect pedal which @Al Krow will eventually go out and buy, use, be impressed by, get fed up with and then sell before I get round to trying it, has anyone tried the new Boss SY-1 on the bass?

I was thinking of getting either a VB-99 or a SY-300 or even I guess a Future impact, but this is cheaper than all of those and in the (obviously officially processed) videos sounds quite interesting. Certainly a lot less space than all the other effects, and I am sure I could probably find some space to fit it on a pedal board.

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New? They're going backwards - wasn't it SY-3 and SY-5 before?

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It does indeed look good and is gonna be a million times easier to use than some of the current and prospective market leaders e.g. FI or Source Audio C4 which both require PC editing software to get the best out of them.

Some key features which jumped out at me:

  • The SY-1 boasts 121 sounds to play with across 11 types with 11 variations of each.
  • Polyphonic => you can play chords (as well as single notes) without glitching
  • Apparently minimal latency (this is fundamental to a good synth and the key area that I am nervous about with the forthcoming SA C4)

But it's going to come with a feature laden price...£175 still that's not outrageous compared to many dedicated pedals (e.g. Darkglass, Aguilar, 3Leaf etc)

I do need to see what I can do with my FI when the 3.0 editor is out and explore the synth features on my HX Stomp first, but I'm definitely tempted and promise not have sold mine before you've even bought yours Woody! 😁

Edited by Al Krow
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It looks very impressive and it's clear that this and the C4 are likely to compete. The tracking appears to be incredibly solid.  I'm going to wait for the C4 I think and do a more detailed comparison. Provided the sounds and tracking are in the same park, then the MIDI control would swing it. If the Boss had even a couple of presets, I'd be more interested but 11 position switches under stage lights seems like trouble to me.  Plus I have other source gear, meaning that the expression control wouldn't integrate well into my existing board. Probably great in the studio though. Boss do seem to be killing again these days.

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This is freakin cool! You get to audition all 121 effects on line with the ability add in delay, reverb, different the 'depth' settings and vary between bridge and nec pup.

Well done Boss!

Boss SY-1

 

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30 minutes ago, Fastra said:

Just need a version with 10 buttons that I can save 10 presets on now...! :)

Yeah - presets on any pedal that offers multiple setting options ("quasi multifx"), such as this, is a real plus.

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Where I'm landing is as follows, the SY-1:

  • is an update of their current SYB-5, but has gone from 11 to 121 available sounds, better tracking and poly capability;
  • seems closer to the SY-300 in terms of available sounds but doesn't have the tweakability or presets of the SY-300. However, importantly, it's just one third of the price and size of the SY-300, both of which are major plusses;
  • has the immediacy and easy work-flow of being able to adjust in 'real time' via six pedal knobs rather than needing to deep menu dive via a PC editor;
  • the flip side, and the only major negative for me, is a lack of presets for being able to switch quickly between your favourite 3 or 4 settings which would have been very welcome for live use;
  • sounds good and tracks well, certainly on normal guitar. 

Overall - this packs in a great deal and seems to deliver a lot of what we could be asking for when it comes to synth, other than presets.

For me, the new Source Audio C4 seems much more akin to the FI in terms of needing to deep menu dive via a PC editor and I'm not yet convinced about the C4's tracking from the short clips I've seen so far - hopefully the final version will prove me wrong and be very good at tracking as that is such a key feature for live use. Whilst the SY-1 doesn't have presets, it's accessibility via its six knobs provides a welcome break from having to menu dive on yet another of my pedals - HX Stomp, FI and two existing SA pedals are plenty on that score!

Would love to hear a few more bass focused reviews to see if it tracks equally well on bass. If it does, I'm in! 

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27 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Would love to hear a few more bass focused reviews to see if it tracks equally well on bass. If it does, I'm in! 

Haha, see. I wasn't wrong 😀

i would say though, watching the other video that popped up with the hairy guitar bloke that was really good on the sounds (couldn't watch the pedal guys video, I didn't find them anywhere near as funny as they find themselves), I would get it now if it was available, so I was wrong on that bit.

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Haha - well this one is going to be your fault Woody (together with my 3 Ibby basses - lol!)

That and the fact that Source Audio have taken forever to get their C4 pedal out the door and are going to want us to part with £75 more than this Boss pedal for the privelege, so maybe you've actually saved me some cash for once?

Well at least that's how I am going to rationalise it! 😂

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On 14/07/2019 at 11:03, Al Krow said:

Where I'm landing is as follows, the SY-1:

  • is an update of their current SYB-5, but has gone from 11 to 121 available sounds, better tracking and poly capability;
  • seems closer to the SY-300 in terms of available sounds but doesn't have the tweakability or presets of the SY-300. However, importantly, it's just one third of the price and size of the SY-300, both of which are major plusses;
  • has the immediacy and easy work-flow of being able to adjust in 'real time' via six pedal knobs rather than needing to deep menu dive via a PC editor;
  • the flip side, and the only major negative for me, is a lack of presets for being able to switch quickly between your favourite 3 or 4 settings which would have been very welcome for live use;
  • sounds good and tracks well, certainly on normal guitar. 

Overall - this packs in a great deal and seems to deliver a lot of what we could be asking for when it comes to synth, other than presets.

For me, the new Source Audio C4 seems much more akin to the FI in terms of needing to deep menu dive via a PC editor and I'm not yet convinced about the C4's tracking from the short clips I've seen so far - hopefully the final version will prove me wrong and be very good at tracking as that is such a key feature for live use. Whilst the SY-1 doesn't have presets, it's accessibility via its six knobs provides a welcome break from having to menu dive on yet another of my pedals - HX Stomp, FI and two existing SA pedals are plenty on that score!

Would love to hear a few more bass focused reviews to see if it tracks equally well on bass. If it does, I'm in! 

The C4 will be easier to edit and quicker to burn presets to than the FI judging by the just-launches Neuro iOS update. 

Edited by Quatschmacher

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7 minutes ago, Quatschmacher said:

The C4 will be easier to edit and quicker to burn presets to than the FI judging by the just-launches Neuro iOS update. 

Kinda interesting that SA are finally now rushing to get their C4 out having originally announced quite a while back. But feels like their delay in getting to market may have cost them.

It's also interesting that some gigging bassists (including me!) are thinking of opting for the SY-1 over the C4, particularly where they don't already have SA Neurohub and midi, both of which are going to be needed (together with PC editing) to get the most out of the C4. 

For me the C4 is very much an alternative to the FI which I already have. I might have got a C4 out of curiosity rather than expecting it to displace the FI; but the easy workflow and accessible real time tweakability of the SY-1 is really attractive for live use and the fact that it's 2/3 the price of the C4 is a canny pricing decision on the part of Boss.

I've not considered getting a Boss pedal in a long time, other than the LS-2, but Boss seem to have really raised their game and I'm suddenly thinking of getting both their new releases.

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42 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Kinda interesting that SA are finally now rushing to get their C4 out having originally announced quite a while back. But feels like their delay in getting to market may have cost them.

It's also interesting that some gigging bassists (including me!) are thinking of opting for the SY-1 over the C4, particularly where they don't already have SA Neurohub and midi, both of which are going to be needed (together with PC editing) to get the most out of the C4. 

For me the C4 is very much an alternative to the FI which I already have. I might have got a C4 out of curiosity rather than expecting it to displace the FI; but the easy workflow and accessible real time tweakability of the SY-1 is really attractive for live use and the fact that it's 2/3 the price of the C4 is a canny pricing decision on the part of Boss.

I've not considered getting a Boss pedal in a long time, other than the LS-2, but Boss seem to have really raised their game and I'm suddenly thinking of getting both their new releases.

I’m really surprised you’re considering getting this after your many no-presets diatribes. 

Edited by Quatschmacher

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The lack of presets is definitely the BIG shortcoming (see my earlier post which you quoted), I agree. 

But yet another pedal requiring deep menu diving / PC editing and needing to use midi is more off putting for me! 

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Agreed for that. Idealy something where you could set what you want on the front panel and then press save to put it as a preset would be the dream.

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

The lack of presets is definitely the BIG shortcoming (see my earlier post which you quoted), I agree. 

But yet another pedal requiring deep menu diving / PC editing and needing to use midi is more off putting for me! 

You only need to do the (fairly shallow) menu diving when programming sounds. On a gig you’d have the ease of just switching between the presets you’ve made. In terms of the C4, the Neuro app looks pretty easy to use. 

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23 minutes ago, Quatschmacher said:

You only need to do the (fairly shallow) menu diving when programming sounds. On a gig you’d have the ease of just switching between the presets you’ve made. In terms of the C4, the Neuro app looks pretty easy to use. 

Fair. Although I have the ability to do all that on the FI...

The SY-1 is poly, £75 cheaper than the C4 and is 'good to go' without needing midi etc. Downside is lack of presets. 

I think for me it would be FI OR C4, I can't see me needing them both on a live set. 

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Q from me. HX Stomp doesn't have poly and struggles to match something like the Digitech Mosaic for poly octave up. Wondering whether the SY-1 will be able to get there on this (and means I can finally move on that very capable but one trick pony pedal?!) 

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If I was on the fence before this seeing this, I'm absolutely not after hearing what it can do! 

This one is guitar but he's promised a bass review to follow.

 

Edited by Al Krow

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7 hours ago, Al Krow said:

If I was on the fence before this seeing this, I'm absolutely not after hearing what it can do! 

This one is guitar but he's promised a bass review to follow.

Yeh - that is the video I meant by 'the hairy guitar bloke that was really good on the sounds'! Probably would have been more helpful if I had posted it, but I was on another computer. He seemed impressed by it wasn't he!

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I'm tempted, but with that many parameters to play with I think I'd really want the pedal to be able to save presets.

i can just see myself spending ages adjusting the various controls to perfect a particular sound only to never quite be able to go back and ever find it again.

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22 minutes ago, Cato said:

I'm tempted, but with that many parameters to play with I think I'd really want the pedal to be able to save presets.

i can just see myself spending ages adjusting the various controls to perfect a particular sound only to never quite be able to go back and ever find it again.

I know where you're coming from! However I'd regard this as being 'semi-preset' rather than 'zero preset' which would indeed be a pain if it was!

You can select variation and type precisely i.e. 121 presets to pin down which of the sounds you want e.g. Variation 3 + Bass

'Effect' and 'direct' are just volume controls for your effect and clean, I believe, - that's just quite a neat feature. For me: set the balance and leave and likely to be something like 1/4 clean 3/4 effect overall.

So the only real variables are in the second knob's two controls of tone/rate and depth - and I think it won't be too bad to remember your settings for those to go with your favourite variation and type and take a pic = you're only ever likely to need a small number for a given live gig I suspect.

But yup, presets would have put this into another league up!

Boss SY-1 II.jpg

Edited by Al Krow
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1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

Yeh - that is the video I meant by 'the hairy guitar bloke that was really good on the sounds'! Probably would have been more helpful if I had posted it, but I was on another computer. He seemed impressed by it wasn't he!

Yup agreed that would have been helpful.

I ended up initially reviewing a video by another hairy guitarist (which wasn't a bad review either).

Please bear in mind, for future reference, that most guitar blokes on YouTube are hairy.

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