Submitted September 23, 2020 by ALLAN B in Tempe, AZ
"Great "Traditional" Sounding Synth Pedal!"
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I would consider myself your garden variety guitar player. I play rhythm and lead in a rock cover band and do some ambient and prog stuff on my own and this fits right in with the rest of the gear on my pedalboard. I’ve tried a few other guitar synth pedals from Boss, Meris, and Source Audio and ended up going back to this one because it fits my style and needs the best. The tracking is very, very good. In my humble opinion it tracks better than the C4. I’m not Alex Hutchings but I can play moderately fast and it keeps up with no issues. Compared to other synth pedals this is much more straightforward but also much more limited in sounds. It’s very 80’s vs some of the more experimental sounds you can get out of the others, but that’s what I was looking for. If you are looking for bleeps and boops sounds or want deep editing, this pedal probably isn’t for you. If you are looking for a more traditional GR style sounding synth then this is definitely worth checking out.
I’m really happy with the sound pallet available on the SY-1. You can get Metheny style saw wave/string style leads, several organ sounds, Bladerunner basses etc. It’s got a lot of 80’s synth vibe to it. The sound editing is somewhat limited yes, but that’s exactly why I went back to the SY1 from the other synth pedals I tried. Sound for sound, I found the SY1 had the most usable sounds for my style. Pair it up with some chorus, delay, and long decay reverb and it is capable of sounding incredible.
By far the best feature to me is that everything you need to make/change sounds is on the top. No PC editor required. While it does limit the capabilities it’s also much easier for an old guy like me to get musical sounds out of it without breaking out a manual or re-learning everything I have forgotten about synths LFO’s and filters from the '80s.
Ease of Use
Very easy to use. Plug it in, turn some knobs until you smile. Pair it with an expression pedal for even more fun things to do.
It’s Boss. It’s built like a tank. If zombies rush the stage it could be used as a weapon. Clean it up, plug it back in, and keep playing.
When compared to similar offerings from Source Audio, Meris, EHX, I think the SY1 is a fair value. A bit less functionality but what you get instead is easy access to usable sounds for a few bucks less.
In the 40 years I’ve been using Boss I’ve only contacted them once. No issues.
The Wow Factor
Synth pedals aren’t for everyone, sure. But for that occasional something different on a lead or just for tooling around over ambient soundscapes they can be a lot of fun.
Playing over 40 years and still plunking around in bands
Rock, Prog, Jazz
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