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Boss SY-1000 Expression Pedal Options: Roland EV-5, Boss EV-30, Moog Ep-3, Mission Engineering SP-1

Boss SY-1000 Expression Pedal Comparison: Roland EV-5 - Boss EV-30 - Mission Engineering SP-1


Roland EV-5

  • Link: Roland EV-5
  • Price: $75
  • Cable Length: 2 m
  • Special Features: Minimum Output Trim
  • Dimensions: 3 3/8" (W) 2" (H) 7 7/8" (D)
  • Weight: 1lb 0oz

Boss EV-30

  • Link: Boss EV-30
  • Price: $110
  • Cable Length: 2 m
  • Special Features: Minimum Output Trim
  • Dimensions: 3 1/8" (W) 2 1/4" (H) 7 1/2" (D)
  • Weight: 1lb 12oz

Moog EP-3

  • Link: Moog EP-3
  • Price: $49
  • Cable Length: 2 m
  • Special Features: Minimum Output Trim, MODE switch
  • Dimensions: 3 1/2" (W) 3 1/2" (H) 9 3/4" (D)
  • Weight: 2lb 3oz

Mission Engineering SP-1

  • Link: Mission Engineering SP-1
  • Price: $149
  • Cable Length: 2 m
  • Special Features: Toe On/Off Switch
  • Dimensions: 4" (W) 3" (H) 9 3/4" (D)
  • Weight: 3lb 7oz

The Boss SY-1000 really benefits from the addition of an expression pedal. Particularly with the multilayered SY-1000 so much can be done with an expression pedal: from volume swells, wah effects, pitch bending, blending synth layers, modulating synth parameters and more.

With so many expression pedals out there, what is the best choice for the SY-1000? Here is a round up of some great choices for the SY-1000.

Best All Around Perfomance and Value: Moog EP-3

Best Build and Features: Mission Engineering SP-1

Roland EV-5

I started with the veneralble Roland EV-5. The Roland EV-5 has been around about a long as I remember, and just about every Roland or Boss product shipping since the early nineties can use the EV-5 as an expression pedal. The EV-5 is constructed of plastic and has a built in 2 meter or 6 foot TRS cable for connecting to your synthesizer or processor.

The EV-5 has a trim for adjusting the minimum value, but I have never found a need for this.

As an expression pedal for a guitar synthesizer, I think the EV-5 is a little too lightweight. The pedal make work well along side a keyboard synthesizer but in the context of the guitar environment the pedal feels too fragile, you are going to have to be sure to anchor this pedal to keep it from moving around. You definitely want something a little heavier.

The pedal sells for $75.

Boss EV-30

The Boss EV-30 feels like an upgraded Roland EV-5. The EV-30 is in a metal cabinate and is heavier and sturdier than the Roland EV-5. While the EV-30 comes with a 6 foot TRS cable, this is not permanently attached and you can use your own cable. The EV-30 also dual output, which is very unusual. The EV-30 also has output trimmers like the EV-5.

The EV-30 is a great choice if you have limited room on your pedal board and need to squeeze in an expression pedal. The metal chassis gives the EV-30 a study quality not found in the RolandEV-5.

The pedal sells for $110.

Moog EP-3

The Moog EP-3 is the real surprise here. While the Moog EP-3 has a plastic chassis it does not feel lightweight or flimsy like the Roland EV-5. The EP-3 is larger and heavier than the Boss EV-30. It feels much more like a classic foot pedal along the Dunlop product line. The pedal also has a mode switch on the bottom for 'Standard' and 'Other'. For use with just about all current products use 'Standard'.

Even more surprising is that the Moog EP-3 is the least expensive of all the pedals tested. If you are looking for a sturdy expression pedal at a great price, the Moog EP-3 cannot be beat.

The pedal sells for $49.

Mission Engineering SP-1

The Mission Engineering SP-1 is the 'Cadillac' of the expression pedals tested. The SP-1 is the largest and the heaviest of the pedals tested. Everything about the pedal is solid and sturdy. This feels like a pedal you could beat hard and still feel confident it can perform.

Unique to the SP-1 is a footswtich under the pedal, similar to the footswitch found in a classic wah pedal.

The pedal has two outputs: The continuous output from pedal plus the on/off output from the switch. With the SY-1000 you can program the pedal to work like a classic wah pedal. If you want a rugged, solid expression pedal, it is hard to image a better pedal than the SY-1000.

The pedal sells for $149.