Expand my GR-55 rig with SY-300 or go for the SY-1000?

Started by DreamTheory, January 28, 2023, 05:37:37 AM

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Love my GR-55. Always thought that the analog synth models were underappreciated but also underdeveloped. I love the way they play but I admit they are rather thin and mousey.

7ish years ago... When SY-300 came along, opposite problem: I felt that the demos sounded harsh, bombastic, and overblown, so I never tried one. Now I'm thinking I've been missing out. Why not lower the resonance and cutoff on LPF, and apply some EQ to get the more sonorous but full sounding leads I desire? I'm also ready and curious to explore 16 step sequencer. SY-300 lacks pitch to MIDI, PCM, etc., but GR-55 has the things that SY-300 lacks. SY-300 seems like a perfect compliment to GR-55. For me it seems I could be quite happy with adding an SY-300, and I get lots of fun at a very affordable level. Now that SY-1000 is out and 7 years have passed, the SY-300 used is quite a steal (I could swap some unused gear and not even pay cash).

2-3 years ago... Along comes SY-1000. I don't mind lack of PCMs- my DAW and various VST sites have plenty to offer. Price tag scared me off, and I was happy with what I have. There are some things that attract me to SY-1000. VIO mode - taking the attack off of sounds is something GR-55 cannot do with the analog synth models. A more detailed and improved GR-300. I am also curious about the improved processing and DSP- 12 years have gone by since GR-55 came out, surely things sound way better now. I'm content with my old GR-55's amps and stomps and electric guitar models. The GR-55 acoustic models just sound meh, like rather nice piezos to me, so I have a real nylon and a real 12 string and a real mandolin. I am curious if the Sy-1000 is improved enough to make me want to use the acoustics. The sitar seems much better in SY-1000 than GR-55. 

I know you guys cannot tell me which I "should" choose next - But can you tell me, is the DSP and acoustic modelling astoundingly better? Other than that and VIO mode, what else does SY-1000 have that GR-55 + SY-300 combined do not have? Both SY-300 and SY-1000 have 3 synths and 16 step sequencer- How does SY-1000 "beat" SY-300 at the SY-300 tasks? SY-1000 has feedback and supersaw OSCs, for instance.

I'm guessing the answers are not simple. Like applying hex capability to SY-300 type resources opening up separate string processing etc. I am looking at feature lists and videos, but thought I'd float the question to users who have experienced all three systems. There are probably lots of GR-55 users with similar questions. Your thoughts?
electric: Epiphone Dot semihollow body, acoustic: mahogany jumbo, recording: Cubase Artist 11 or Tascam DP008

Kevin M

I'd personally go for the sy1000 if you can swing the extra $$. The 300 is great, and I love the blender feature on it, but the true polyphony you get with the 1000 makes a big difference.


+1 for the SY-1000, the instrument modeling is good, you have 3 x inst modeling/synth blocks, + mnormal pickup input, 4 x preamps/cabs you can use at the same time.
SY-1000 3 lots of modeling gives you tone per string capability, advanced midi control, 16 Assigns.

If you are already running a GK guitar, it makes sense to use the SY-1000 GK capabilities with a GK splitter to run both the GR-55 and SY-1000 in tandem (I do).

I have both the SY-300 and SY-1000, the 300 has sat in it's box for a long time.
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from https://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/


Quote from: gumtown on January 28, 2023, 02:07:01 PM+1 for the SY-1000,... 4 x preamps/cabs you can use at the same time.

Apologies for hijacking the thread, but do you mean combining two amps together?
I know it's possible, but are there pairs of amps that work well together?
Fender GC-1 -- Boss SY-1000 -- Alto TS112A


I have never owned the SY300 but I had one of the first SY1000 units in the UK and I can say this of the beast - I'd not go back to pitch-to-midi for an analogue synth ever again, unless it were for a specific, featured sound when recording.  I'm looking at an Oberheim Matrix 6R above the computer monitor, and I have a Supernova IIR in a rack in storage - sure, they sound a bit more pure when exposed in a mix than the dynamic synth in the SY, but no recognition delay, minimal mistriggering and an immediate connection to dynamics mean I haven't turned on either for over a year.  And I haven't even used the virtual analogue synth in the SY in anger either.

I think the combo of more realistic sample-derived sounds in the GR55 make a perfect compliment for the unashamed synth that is the SY1000.  However for myself what I can't decide is if I should get a '55, or if I should just plug my MacBook Pro into the SY and use sampled sounds from MainStage.  You can route midi out of the SY and audio back to be mixed with the main and sub outs as you need - really nice way of integrating a computer into your rig. 
Barden Hexacaster and Brian Moore i2.13 controllers
Boss SY1000/Roland GR-33/Axon AX100 MkII/Line 6 Helix LT
Marshall JMP1
Marshall EL84/20-20
TC GMajor
Matrix Elements 2x12
Vox AC30S1
Laney LFR112
Apple Mainstage/Emu E5K/Novation Supernova II/Roland JV880/Oberheim Matrix 6R


Quote from: DeRigueur on January 28, 2023, 02:34:57 PMApologies for hijacking the thread, but do you mean combining two amps together?
I know it's possible, but are there pairs of amps that work well together?
The SY-1000 has a preamp in each of the 3 inst/synth tone sources, which is available under certain conditions (excluded in some synth options if I recall).
Those preamps seem to be fixed in the chain order, but there is another preamp unit which is freely moveable.

All 4 preamps can be used in parallel independently with each input tone source, and each preamp can have any selected preamp model.
The SY-1000 outputs can also be "un-paired" as 4 independent mono outs, each has its own EQ section,
 so you could have 4 monitors/powered guitar speakers each running a different instrument and amp model.

Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from https://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/


I do have all the three and enjoy using them together. I use a 13-pin splitter to use both GR55 and SY1000 simultaneously and connect the guitar out from GR55 to SY300. I connect the stereo outs from each into a mixer. The possibilities are endless. I initially had just the GR55 and bought SY300 to complement it with ambient sounds. I find the SY300 to be excellent in adding ambient sound layers to GR55 and a great guitar effects box which can be used to augment the GR55's guitar tones, wave synth (which tracks very well) and GR300 for lead sounds. Later when the SY1000 was introduced, I bought the SY1000 to replace the SY300. But I could not let go off SY300 since there are some unique ambient sounds that I could not get with SY1000. The SY1000 on the other hand has Tonnes of tonal possibilities and is indeed more powerful because of the additional GK pickup option. If budget is an issue currently, SY300 is still a great and a valuable 13-pin free option to complement the sounds of GR55.Later, you can always add a SY1000 or replace the SY300 with a SY1000 later if you can get all the sounds you like by combining the GR55 and SY1000. I have not tried using the acoustic models from the SY1000. But there are some great patches posted by members here available to download for the Nylon stringed guitar sounds.