Anybody Have Experience with the Boss Sy Series?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Gravedigger Dav, Sep 20, 2022.

  1. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I've been looking at the Boss SY 100, 200, and 300. I think the 1000 may be overkill.
    I can't find much from people who have actually used them and I can't find a place in the DFW, Texas area that has them in stock to experiment with.

    My preference, based on what little I know, is the Sy 300.

    I would appreciate any positive feedback.
    scott sinner likes this.
  2. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Today I brought my SY-1 to the first proper gig. At home, I have liked the organ and bell sounds in it the most, especially the Hammond sounds, and the sequencer effects.
    With the band (drums, two guitars, and me on passive PJ Mustang, or passive Jazz fiver), I used the SY-1 in two songs; California dreamin' and Hallelujah. It worked great, and I had audience members coming up to ask where the organ sound came from, as we have noone on keys!
    Fellow musicians liked it too. I am very happy with it!

    Please note, for more synthy sounds, I have the C4, the Future Impact, Digitech Bass Synth Wah and some other stuff. But for organ, sequenser and some other odd stuff, the SY-1 is the best, by no small margin
    cdef and Gravedigger Dav like this.
  3. I had the SY300 from when it came out until last year. I sold it in favor of the 200, for pretty idiosyncratic reasons.

    My overall two cents on these, also noting I also play keys and have a number of classic hardware synths, and am a general synth nerd…
    • They get a good base sound, pairing them with stuff downstream gets you into synth territory that will stand up to blind synth nerd scrutiny, e.g. other filters, dirt, character compressors, delay or reverbs for pads
    • What they do BETTER than any hardware or software synth is let your playing nuances come through. To understand that, understand that these do not convert your playing to MIDI and then play notes. They are using a Fast Fourier Transform approach that, oversimplifying but basically, lays corresponding synthesized sounds on top of what you are playing, the notes, the noises, and all.
    • I am not wildly impresed by the multieffects on the 300. They are fine, usable, but rather bread and butter boring.
    • The sy300 does have some other very useful features though, like applying synth sounds just on certain frequencies, its own assignable LFOs, a basic sequencer.
    Whatever questions you have, I am happy to try to answer.
  4. aleclee


    May 23, 2014
    Denver, Colorado
    Admin on TGP
    I've owned an SY-300 and SY-1. SY-1 isn't as flexible as I'd like because of the limited parameters that you can adjust. The SY-300 is much better in that respect but I'm currently experimenting with a Poly Beebo for my synthy sounds.
    Gravedigger Dav likes this.
  5. Had an sy1 for synth sweeps and found it lacking compared to what I wanted… got a better sound with the kangra fuzz / filter and a fuzz before it… I since swapped to octave fuzz and the Dunlop mini bass wah… not as good but a tad more compact.
    Sy1 had a few ok sounds but I didn’t need organ / bells / fx sounds in my band.
    AlexanderB likes this.
  6. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    I have both the SY-1000 and the SY-300, while the SY-300 does do some good stuff, I became a bit fatigued by the inherent underlying distortion in the synth tones, not a fuzz type distortion, but more of a cross-over distortion from a bad amp.
    Something you don't immediatelly hear, but it comes after a few hours of continuous use.

    The SY-1000 matched with the Roland GK divided (analog hexaphonic FYI) pickup is an amazing machine, it is 3 x the SY-300 (withut the annoying crossover artifact), it has most of the effects from the Boss GT-1000, four amp/cab units which can all be used at the same time with the four path sources.
    It so the three separate INST units can do independent alternate tunings per string, HRM instrument modeling (realtime no latency or tracking issues like pitch to midi has), analogeque synth models lke 70's type synths, step sequencers (arpegios), and much more.
    Each of those three INST units can allocate certain strings to it, so you can have a morphing tone of different synths or instruments as you play up the scale, or on different strings.

    My setup is the SY-1000 and Roland GR-55 usig a GK pickup and a GK splitter, then the two units are mixed to a common output.
    AlexanderB likes this.