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?

$299

Boss SY-200
boss.info

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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.
 

Ratings

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

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

Street:
$129

Boss OC-5 Octave
boss.info


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