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Boss SYB-5 alternatives?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by winterburn69, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. I bought it as an impulse last Thursday, and while I can get great sounds out of it, the tracking leaves me desiring something else, can't even play an open E. Looking for something that sounds similar, or better, as long as it's an actual synth pedal, not looking for combinations of fuzz, filters and octavers, it's not quite the same, and I'm liking (most of) the synthy tones. Digital or analog, don't care. While playing around with it I got something very close to Madness (by Muse), so that was nice.

    Deep Impact is unfortunately out of my price range.

    The sales guy said a compressor in front of it will help it track better, can anyone back this up? I also have 30 days to return it.
  2. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Supporting Member

    Lots of dudes around here prefer the Behringer synth pedal to the Boss synth.
  3. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    Iron Ether Subterranea. Be prepared to wait.
  4. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

  5. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Supporting Member

  6. I wouldn't expect anything to track an open E. Most of the synth effects I've tried can't do much below A on the E string. I had the SYB 5 and the tracking is why I no longer have it. It has some good sounds in it but like you are experiencing the tracking is terrible.
  7. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    I am always a little baffled when I hear stuff like this. My synths (Markbass Supersynth, Digitech BSW, Behringer BSY600) all seem to track fine, even on the low notes. I don't consider myself to have exceptional technique; maybe my standards for "good tracking" are lower? But I can definitely play what I consider to be useable notes down that low.
  8. jking138


    Oct 6, 2013
    I have the behringer bsy600, the only tracking problems really are when using the octave synth (will track down to open E, but not brilliantly) and playing too fast, so the filter skips notes. However it works best at the start of your chain, with good consistent playing, its not suitable for every situation and you may need to change your playing style. Very useable once you've learnt how to play with it.
  9. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Find a used Korg G5. Best tracking of any synth pedal I've ever tried.
  10. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    +1. I have a BSY-600 (rehoused) and it tracks excellently but here is what seems to do the trick

    1) NO FRET BUZZ! Your bass must be set-up very clean with action that is high enough to avoid this.

    2) Place after a buffer: This will help boost the signal going into it: I got similar results with a compressor.

    3) Play very clean: no double-stops,chords, sloppy playing or too fast.

    4) Flats seems to track considerably better possibly due to decreased harmonic content/overtones

    5) As stated before: place early in your chain (mine is third after a Boss OC-2 and Wooly Mammoth clone with excellent buffer and active friendly even though I don't dig on actives)

    I use a Fender Precision Bass with flats and have no issues but I do have to play to the pedal just as I would to an analog octaver (the BSY-600 LOVES the Boss OC-2's -1)
  11. After a quick eBay and talkbass classifieds search for a Korg G5, ($600 on the 'bay ATM) I think I'll go with the Behringer, and it's quite cheap, less than half of a new SYB-5.

    I've used flats with my octave pedals and they sound and track much better with flats. Haven't got a chance to use my bass with flats with the SYB-5 as it's not working ATM.

    Does rehousing it do anything in particular to the sound?
  12. jking138


    Oct 6, 2013
    I don't think rehousing would change the tone, it would just be for better durability. I use flats on my jazz as well as having my action quite high (I'm an aggressive finger style player), sillyfabe sums it up well though. The pedal is cheap enough so theres no real loss if you don't like it, but I have seen it on players boards, surrounded by much more expensive pedals then it. Bang for buck.
  13. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    Not at all but as stated makes it more sturdy (I owned one for over 2 years with no issues and I wear size 14 shoes). BUT I know how to not get carried away when stomping even when in a bass frenzy!

    If you decide to get one check out this thread for lots of settings that myself and others have found...

  14. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I've got an impulse purchase SYB-5 coming in the next few days. Tried one in a store years ago and found it mostly unusable in terms of good tracking for my aggressive right hand. Hoping that with reasonable expectations and a gentle technique it'll be a fun new toy.
  15. WillCO

    WillCO An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure.

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    What's all this about tracking? Are you guys saying that the effect doesn't work when you play an open E, or are you having trouble finding a synth pedal that keeps up with your lightning fast Yngwie Malmsteen bass chops?
  16. jking138


    Oct 6, 2013
    The octave doesn't always replicate the octave note exactly, but there are things you can do to improve this, like previously stated. Playing too fast (sometimes, it doesn't need to be particularly quick) can cause the envelope or filter to skips notes or falter making odd noises. Sometimes playing with the synth means you need to change your playing style.
  17. I think I've made up my mind. Although I got it to play the low E on two different settings (6 & 10) but it lost most of the synth-yness and was kinda just like a fuzz without much low end. I was trying to get a Time is Running Out sorta synth sound but I much prefer playing it with my Red Ripper. It's going back. I can put that $186 towards a new bass instead.