boss sy-200

The guitar universe gathered momentum in a big way in 2022—which is easy to see in this year’s wildly diverse parade of Premier Gear Award winners.

Here's a look at 2022’s most notable new guitars, amps, effects, and accessories, reviewed by our editors and writers:

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This compact box is a monster tone generator, with a dozen analog-synth-based core sounds and 171 variable presets, plus expansive tweakability.

A staggering amount of classic and otherworldly sounds that are easy to shape. Compact enclosure. Easy to use.

Really? There’s 171 preset voices and they’re not listed in the manual?


Boss SY-200


Roland produced the first guitar synthesizer, the GR-500, in 1977. It was cumbersome—requiring multiple rack spaces or a tabletop stand, and a special guitar outfitted with hexaphonic pickups. Problems with latency and tracking were all too real, as anyone who tried bending a note learned. But, with the right coddling, they sounded heavenly. Check out David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” to hear the GR-500 at its best.

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BOSS announces the IR-200 Amp & IR Cabinet and SY-200 Synthesizer, two powerful new models added to the popular 200 series pedal lineup. The IR-200 brings next-level performance to direct sound for guitar and bass, offering exceptional audio quality, premium amps, and over 150 hi-res speaker cabinet impulse responses from BOSS and Celestion Digital. The SY-200 delivers a massive library of expressive synthesizer sounds for guitar and bass, onboard memories for storing sounds, and numerous options for real-time control.

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Convincing 12-string tones, anyone? The compact-stomp vets retreat from less-used OC-3 features while preserving vintage octave vibes and serving up stunning new capabilities.

Recorded using a Squier Tele with Curtis Novak Tele-V and JM-V pickups into a 1976 Fender Vibrolux Reverb miked with a Royer R-121, going into an Audient iD44 then into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Both pickups in poly mode (with direct level at 11:30, +1 octave at 1:30, -1 octave at minimum, and -2 octave range at minimum).
Clip 2: Bridge pickup in vintage mode (with direct level at max, +1 octave at minimum, -1 octave at 10 o’clock, and -2 octave range at minimum), then with fuzz also engaged. SImultaneously routed through a Fender Rumble 200 miked with an Audix D6.


Capable of yesteryear’s quirkiness and myriad subtle and practical applications.

Not completely immune to digital-sounding artifacts. Careful dialing still crucial to avoiding cheesy vibes.


Boss OC-5 Octave


Ease of Use:


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