Price paid: $ 159.99
Sound — 6
The Boss SYB-5 is set up to produce a nearly infinite number of sounds. The effects that this pedal makes take a new, modern approach to synthesizing a bass. The effects are applied through eleven different modes of saw, square, sine and w. shape waves. These modes are then controlled through a decay rate knob, a freq/res knob, and a blend knob. While all of these controls make for an incredible range of sounds, not all of them are useful. Without careful tweaking, the effects are simply overpowering to the natural tone of the instrument, causing other-worldly tones that would even be out of place in the most psychedelic of bands. That being said; with a large chunk of time this pedal can be made to get some really incredible, smooth, rich sounds perfect for any situation.
Overall Impression — 7
While the SYB-5 has many major advantages when seeking an alien-like, tripping, psychedelic rock sound, its major downfall lies in the amount of time that it takes to get a decent sound out of it. Overall it is a rugged, Precision tuned, beastly culmination of all things modern.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This pedal is built like every other Boss pedal I have ever played; like a tank. It has a strong metal chassis, and a very rugged pedal. I thought that with all the DSP effects on the pedal that it would suffer from fast battery drain. However, this is not at all the case. The battery life is very long, despite the DSP. Everything about these pedals points to it lasting longer than anybody reading this article.
Ease of Use — 6
While the Boss SYB-5 is loaded down with four controls knobs (two with dual concentric pots) and an infinite number of sonic possibilities, it will take a hardy investment of time and work to get any of them to Shine through. The four control knobs do allow for a large range of sounds, therein lays its blessing and curse. Each of the knobs is so incredibly sensitive that turning it even the slightest touch can amount to massive sound changes, making it incredibly hard to dial in the perfect sound. This is exemplified in the effect/direct knob. While this knob is a good idea in theory, in practice it seems to blend in way too much, or not nearly enough of the sound. This makes it just another step between you and that perfect, funky synthesizer sound.