Would you buy / do you use the Boss SYB-5 synth pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by HalfManHalfBass, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. NO! Stay with your Digitech Bass Synth Wah-it's way better!

    33 vote(s)
  2. YES! This is a great addition to your board!

    32 vote(s)
  1. HalfManHalfBass


    Jan 21, 2003
    Hi my fellow pedal-freaks!

    In a few days I will have the chance to purchase the aforementioned pedal, but having heard so many negative remarks regarding its poor tracking I am wondering what any users (both current or previous) have to say about about it. I have searched previous threads but there has never been a concluding, in-depth discussion of just this pedal alone.

    Many years back I had a SYB-3 which I can only distantly remember as being ok, but unfortunately one day it mysteriously just stopped working....

    I do already have a Digitech Bass Synth Wah Pedal and the Electro Harmonix Micro Synth is way out of my price range at the moment. Would this pedal be a worthy, creative addition to my board for synthy/octaved new/interesting bass sounds or is it just bad tracking nightmare?

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    There's love and hate for it. I really liked it, but it does have its flaws. I found that mixing in a lot of dry signal could effectively cover up at least some of the tracking errors, so that wasn't the biggest concern for me.

    If you get an expression pedal for it, I think it'll be a worthwhile addition to your board.

    Oh, and I bought a used one in excellent condition for $105. Looking around the internets, this seems to be the consensus price.
  3. Combine the SYB-3/5 with a expression pedal. That would be an addition to your board.

    The tracking is indeen not that good, but you just have to learn how to play how the pedal "wants" it. Cool are also the sounds where you hold the pedal down.

    I regret selling mine.
  4. d180fuzz

    d180fuzz C21H30O2

    Jul 10, 2008
    West Los, CA
    i like turtles.
  5. vincenzomauer88

    vincenzomauer88 Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    i liked the 3 over the 5, and the digitech was fun. sold it because a synth player joined my band. id try/buy the 5 before selling the digitech. worst case, you sell it back on here.
  6. The tracking is really not as bad as advertised. It tracks better than the OC-2, which people never seem to complain about. It can definitely do things that the BSW can't.
  7. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    These are two different pedals. I have both on my board. The SYB-5 does have some anomalies with tracking, but you can easily adjust your playing. I've found that playing the same bassline an octave or two higher can also produce some cool results. I always have mine blended with my clean sound so the tracking anomalies never create a drop in bass.

    The Digitech Bass Synth Wah has some interesting sounds. I only have a couple of settings that I use pretty sparingly. I've found the sounds that it produces suit funk better than dub reggae, which is what I'm playing right now.
  8. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream

    Oct 5, 2009
    I owned both and still own the Digitech. I had horrible tracking issues with the BOSS and would not recommend. The Digitech also doubles as a nice octave pedal.
  9. PostBop


    Mar 19, 2011
    I voted no. Find an Akai Deep Impact.
  10. HalfManHalfBass


    Jan 21, 2003
    Many thanks for the replies and advice guys!

    An Akai deep impact would be great but, again, like the Electro Harmonix Micro Bass Synth-it would be too expensive for me right now.

    With regards to BigChiefbc's comments that this pedal tracks no worse than a OC-2 makes me very interested. I've had many analogue octavers in my time so if the Boss SYB-5 CAN track at least as good as one of those, I'm sure I can more than easily adapt my playing to not false trigger it.

    Plus I would imagine there is much more tone shaping/filtering to be had to the octave down signal when blending it back into into the direct with this pedal......
  11. AndyCotton


    Feb 4, 2008
    Guilford, VT
    one trick I found to improve tracking is to run a compressor for max sustain (and a little boost) before the syb-5.

    I'm thinking to get a loop bypass pedal so they can both be triggered together.

    I've just started playing with it, but the syb 5 can be a lot of fun with an exp pedal.
  12. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Bought one , used it for one hour.
    Atrociously bad tracking.

    I now have a VB99 and I can see what Roland was trying to do with these pedals.

    BTW : Totaly usable on the VB99
  13. HalfManHalfBass


    Jan 21, 2003
    Again, many thanks for all the replies and comments guys!

    To conclude and complete this thread: I actually went to the not-so-local music shop last Friday and finally got to try this pedal.

    I must have tried for 10 minutes to get it to track anything I played and so I gave up rather soon afterwards! My memory is hazy, but I don't even remember my old Boss SYB-3 pedal tracking THAT badly, and as there is no sensitivity knob or adjustment on the pedal I just don't get how you can dial in an acceptable triggering signal.

    For the purposes of the demo I was given the store's obligatory Squier p bass (which also had a J pickup at the bridge) and reasoning that this bass being passive and therefore probably the least likely to confuse the pedal (due to its lack of an active hot output signal, exacerbated, confusing overtones/harmonics resulting from on-board eq etc.) I was less than impressed.

    I've therefore ditched the idea completely and decided to buy a phaser (that will obviously track better) but also give a synthy, filtered edge to my tone for my sonic experiments!!

    Many thanks to all who contributed to this thread, your 50/50 reviews/opinions of this pedal actually stopped me buying this pedal online and making a costly mistake! You guys rule!

    P.S. For owners of this pedal, please don't think I'm knocking it. I'm sure in the hands of others it can be great, but for me and the way I play it would have been a serious compromise of technique and I didn't want to have to play differently just to trigger a pedal-maybe it's actually more a case of that I CAN'T change my technique after 28 years of playing! But in any case, it just wasn't for me. Peace.
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