MGR/Anonymous 05/16/2004

DigiTech RP200 : MGR/Anonymous's user review

« Digitech RP200 Multi-Effects Processor »
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I decided to get back into music after a long lay-off. Got my new guitar and amp(Peavey)but didn't have any effects. Thought a multi-effect might be my best bet. After researching the various units, I decided on the Digitech RP-200. Paid $143.00 at my local music shop(Mom and Pop, not super store). I'm amazed at what technology has brought. No more amp/Cry-Baby/MXR-90 Phase and that's it, like the old days! As far as spectrum of different effects offered, if this doesn't have it, you don't need it. As to sound quality, read on.

Reasonable price. Preset patches for generic types of music styles. Matchless amp sim is GREAT! Chorus and flanger are clean and quiet. Echoes are good, but don't have the controlability I'd like for regen and rate. Distortions/cab/amp sims are pretty good. The Marshall is excellent. I still think the best distortion is a good amp set to 11, but these are useable, if a little cold. Expression pedal takes some practice, but works good for volume/effect control. Inputs for CD player let you play along with CDs to learn new stuff. Drum machine is OK for beginners to practice their timing, but that's about it. Headphone out lets you practice without generating divorce proceedings. Noise gate works really well, as does compression.

Setting custom patches is a long, time consuming process. The versatility actually works against you, as there are so many ways to change the sound. Patches can only be accessed by scrolling up/down with the foot switches. Creates time lag that drives me crazy. Very bad for changing sounds in the middle of a solo, etc. Tuner is virtually useless. Tracks all over the place. The wah-wah pedal effect blows. I'm gonna have to get a Cry-Baby re-issue, or something. The auto-ya/talk-ya are gimmicks. No use. Octave is a little muddy. Harmonizer in 5ths is OK but 3rds is atonal and unpleasent.

Construction is good, but I don't think it's road quality. Using this on stage would be about impossible, anyway. Electronics have gone into rectal arrest on me twice. This makes you do a reboot procedure that I find mega annoying. NOTE: If the unit gags, you lose about half of your presets and ALL of your custom patches. Digitech, if you're listening...what the f&*k??!! Again, the thought of using this on stage is enough to give me nightmares.

Well...I'm still fooling with it after 6 months and finding new things to play with. Setting your own patches is the way to most effectively use this. It's time consuming, but really the only way to get EXACTLY what you're after. Good sound CAN be had. The Digitech website is excellent and has forums where other people with more free time than I have share their patches. Kudos to those thoughtful players. For the price, the capabilities are hard to beat. The same versatility in stomp boxes would cost thousands. If you're a live player, though...don't throw away those stomp boxes quite yet!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com