BOSS SY-1 Synthesizer

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by 7thString, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. rkharper

    rkharper Member

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    No
     
  2. taoski

    taoski Member

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    Synth pedals track much better earlier in the chain. Definitely ahead of that bank of dirt boxes. For me, I'd drop it next to the Drop and call it good. If you're brave enough to use it with the Drop, then you might have to explore the before/after combos.
     
  3. Zakor

    Zakor Member

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    Have any of these actually shipped yet?
     
  4. olejason

    olejason Supporting Member

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    I think so. I've seen a few videos from guys who clearly aren't at the level Boss would give them review pedals. I think someone mentioned they have been shipping in Europe.
     
  5. Kidrock1986

    Kidrock1986 Member

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    Any sweetwater rep called or emailed you that the first batch already arrived? They said they were expecting it last week for the first shipment.
     
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  6. meltedbuzzbox

    meltedbuzzbox Member

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    They are out in the wild in the UK.
     
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  7. olejason

    olejason Supporting Member

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    A few guys on Talkbass who ordered from Sweetwater had them ship today (in the USA)
     
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  8. Kidrock1986

    Kidrock1986 Member

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    Thanks! Need to email sweetwater again haha. Finger cross , I hope I'm on their first batch.
     
  9. Cornholio

    Cornholio Member

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    Sweetwaters first batch shipped at the beginning of the month. I was told next batch is Mid September. Lesson learned, never get pre-orders from Sweetwater because it's a long line. My friend already got his, ordered from a smaller dealer who got a small amount in .
     
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  10. monty

    monty Member

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    That's sucks to hear.
    Any feedback from your buddy on how he likes his unit?
     
  11. Cornholio

    Cornholio Member

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    He says it is as good as advertised ( I played one at Summer NAMM and I agree). They are made in Malaysia, he said there was a couple small cosmetic defects (bottom rubber and paint). He's really picky though.

    I am pissed because I turned him on to the pedal, and he got his 6 weeks before I will get mine. Grrrrrr :)
     
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  12. Clark GriswoId

    Clark GriswoId Supporting Member

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    SW should be shipping mine out on Monday, I hope.
     
  13. Pedalboardoftheday

    Pedalboardoftheday Member

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    Got mine last week. I really, really love it. Here's a "short" demo of it if any of you are interested:



    If you have any questions about the pedal, let me know, I'd be more than happy to share details!
     
  14. jdogric12

    jdogric12 Member

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    Got mine today. It's neat, but I didnt have much time to put it thru its paces. Tracks better than I expected, and Im a tough customer, since I regularly play my vintage GR-300, which tracks faster than anything made before OR after!
     
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  15. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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    I posted this over in the digital and modeling forum as well. Here’s my initial feedback on the SY-1. This is gonna be a random collection of bullet points. I’ve added some comparisons to other units where it popped into my head.
    • Strings are pretty big sounding and are fairly warm. They sound better to me than the EHX Synth9.
    • Bells sound interesting and are nice when blended a little back behind a regular guitar part.
    • One trick I stumbled on with the Bells on a couple of variations is that they sound cool for percussive stuff when you set the depth way down. Strumming muted chords over the fretboard is very cool. A couple of the Bass variations did this well too.
    • Pads are ok but they suffer from the limitations of this sort of technology. One glaring example is playing a slow arpeggiating chord sequence (the intro to Stairway to Heaven for example). What I’d like to happen is what happens with a keyboard or MIDI guitar - each note starts it’s own attack and release cycle and they blend - basically it is cumulative. With the SY-1, each note you pick restarts the attack and release cycle for all the notes. The EHX 9 series stuff seems to share this problem as well as the SY-300. Of course, this applies to all of the sounds - not just pads.
    • Leads - some are quite good, some not so much. No surprise there. Tracking is pretty good - if you have tracking issues it could be because of the attack for a particular variation so there’s not a lot you can do other than maybe slow down a bit or choose a variation that has a faster attack. Overall, more useful than the Synth9. The Fractal Synth block can do a lot of what this can do with considerably more control and programmability as long as you’re ok with mono.
    • Bass - lots of cool stuff here - much more fun than the Synth9. Again, the Fractal Synth block can do a lot here as well.
    • Organs. Holy crap. These suck. Some slightly better organ tones can be had from the SY-300. The EHX 9 series models with organs pretty much crush Boss SY pedals for organs. One of the biggest problems with the SY organs is they’re stupid - they don’t account for the fact that an organ can’t really bend notes. While the EHX stuff will bend an organ note, it just seems smarter about it and doesn’t bend notes when you hammer on or slide into a note. So doing a common bluesy thing like playing a minor 7 chord and hammering the major 3rd will very often bend on the SY but not on the EHX stuff. Similarly, if you slide a few frets into a chord the SY may make a bendy mess of things where the EHX stuff won’t.
    • The inability to have better control of the attack and release is a bummer. There is some limited control over the attack but not really what you’d want to do nice swells. The EHX Synth9 has similar limitations. The SY-300 can do a bit better here - you’ve got a lot more control.
    • One of my main gripes with the SY-300 is that there is a harsh white noise sound that is difficult to dial out of sounds that are more complex which is most sounds beyond a sine wave. The SY-1 suffers from the same problem, i was expecting this and could hear it some of the early SY-1 demos. I must admit that this drives me nuts. It’s tough to filter out such that tracking isn’t adversely impacted. Pick attack is harsh at times as well - I get better results using my fingers on my picking hand instead of a pick.
    • Like the SY-300, the SY-1 stumbles on complex chords. For example, an Ebmaj7 chord at the 6th fret. Sometimes they can handle it, sometimes you get the warbles. At least with the SY-300 you could divide up note ranges between the three oscillators so no single oscillator has to contend with all of the notes at once. The results with EHX 9 series pedals varies.
    • Use your neck pickup. Because harmonics. I really notice this with bass sounds. If you have an SY, try this with a gritty bass patch. Start with your bridge pickup. Play an E on the 4th string on the 2nd fret, then 5th string 7th fret, and finally 6th string 12 fret. You most likely heard a B note as well on the 4th and probably 5th string but not likely on the 6th string. Now do it with your neck pickup. The B is gone. There are two things at play here, the strings themselves and the pickup positions. The plain strings - 1st, 2nd, 3rd - don’t have anywhere near the problem here. What’s happening is the 3rd order harmonic (octave + 5th) is coming in strong enough when you're in the bridge position on the thinner wound strings to actually get the pedal to generate a strong output for that note so the B note is much more forward than it should be. If you read articles on doing pitch detection for guitar, this problem comes up pretty quickly. The Boss SY units seem more susceptible to this than the EHX 9 series. The Fractal pitch detector is smarter so the Synth block does better.
    • If you have an SY-300, the SY-1 does not offer anything at all other than being smaller.
    • If you don’t have an SY-300 and like the SY-1, get an SY-300 - it is much more useful.
    • I’ve got a Meris Enzo that I haven’t had time to mess with much - when I get a chance I’ll do some comparisons with the SY stuff.
     
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  16. Kidrock1986

    Kidrock1986 Member

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    Just read your reply. Yep just got updates last Saturday and looks like they only got a very few SY-1 , like 5units. Lesson learned.
     
  17. Cornholio

    Cornholio Member

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    What if you are a person with limited knowledge on building synth sounds, who doesn't like a whole lot of tweaking, and just wants to quickly pull something up and play. Would you recommend the SY1.

    I agree, organs are pretty awful. I honestly would have preferred to have another synth type sound. I tried the SY-1 at NAMM, but I am still waiting on the backorder. I like it better than the Synth 9, way better. But my EHX B9 is far better with the organ sounds.
     
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  18. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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    It sounds like you want presets more than anything. For that, the SY-300 is the winner. There’s a bunch of presets over on https://vguitarforums.com
     
  19. Zakor

    Zakor Member

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    Just received the SY-1 today. My 1 minute impression was 'it's okay.' But after 30 minutes of messing around it changed to 'this is super fun'. Found some sounds I really liked before I had to wrap up. It really responds to picking dynamics and the volume control on my tele. I'm going to give an expression pedal a whirl tomorrow. Oh, and, um, the paint is really reflective... :p
     
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  20. Steve Y.

    Steve Y. Member

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    I received my SY-1 yesterday and had a couple hours to mess around with it. I went quickly through all of the settings and figured out which ones I'll likely never use (e.g. the organ setting), and which ones I will likely frequent (lead, pad, and bass). My initial impression is that it is not as magical as all of the retailer reviews have made it out to be, and the tracking is not as perfect as they make it out to be, but I think for the fun factor it was worth the price of admission for me.

    I should disclaimer that I think my initial experience was hampered a little bit by the fact that I was using my '95 American Standard Strat which has relatively low-output single coil pickups and I believe that was contributing to some weird tonality and lack of sustain from the synth, so this weekend I'll put it through its paces with some different guitars with higher output pickups (Tele Deluxe and ES-339 at least) to see if the result is any different.

    With that said, and at the risk of going off-topic a bit, along with the SY-1 I also received my EHX Grand Canyon so a lot of my initial SY-1 test drive was spent sending it through the delay pedal (which was sending stereo out to a PRRI and a HRD) and I was happy with the results so far. My motivation for a synth pedal was always geared toward synth+delay+reverb, as the synth alone doesn't really "do it" for me, and to that end I think the SY-1 in conjunction with the delay and reverbs already on my pedalboard will serve me well. Here are a view quick voice memo clips from my initial noodlings. NOTE: The SY-1 is the first pedal in my signal chain (after my tuner):

    This one starts out with SY-1 engaged in one of the Pad settings. You can hear how the sound kind of waivers and dies out....that's where I think the low-output Strat could be the culprit. Then you hear a click where I turn on a Sparkle Drive OD set to really low gain, basically using it as a clean boost. The second click is turning on the Grand Canyon in DMM mode. Volume swells via VP Junior pedal. When sitting in the room with the two amps it's a very immersive sound:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ytvu37g906j3myu/New Recording 383.m4a?dl=0


    The looped part on this one has the SY-1 in one of the Bass settings with the effect backed off a bit and the guitar dry signal brought forward a bit, going into the Grand Canyon in the Shim setting. Also a very immersive sound when sitting in the room with it:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/lt03rq540342qnp/New Recording 385.m4a?dl=0


    After I put some more hours into it I'll follow up with additional thoughts and hopefully some sound clips.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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