MGR/Arabella Gordon 07/19/2004

DigiTech RP50 : MGR/Arabella Gordon's user review

« Digitech RP50 Guitar Effects Amp Modeler »
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I got the RP50 at Guitar Center with credit
I had from a keyboard repair that I had paid
for but was decided to be their
responsibility. At the time of purchase, November of 2003, the RP50 ad just gone on sale from 79.99 to 69.99 and then for the holidays: 59.99. I even got a discount over that because the salesman didn't seem
to understand that I was buying it against
house credit... I think I walked away with
it being around 52.00. At this time, the
RP50 is discontinued and they have replaced
that market with an RP80 for 79.99.
Digitech makes a full line of RPs, but I chose this one because in reading the
literature (sent to me by Digitech), I didn’t see a great difference in the RP50 , RP100 and RP200. The several added features were ones that I could live without
for the savings. And this being my first guitar pedal, I wanted to get a good value that I could use to learn the world of effects.



The RP50 is a smokin deal! Why? Cause I got it free? No, because it is so versatile and inspiring!
You can get an unlimited variety of tones, sounds, effects, fake amps, etc. You can even change certain parameters and seemingly acquire more ampage from a practice amp. I played my acoustic through it, as well as my electric, AND just for kicks, I even ran a bass through it. (I was challenged to run my keyboard through it but I haven't done that yet...) All three had good response, but the tones from the acoustic and the tones from the electric were not the same at the same settings. (I wanted that said because my A-E is not a true A-E, having a Duncan soundhole pickup. This type of pickup should deliver a similar sound as electric, since the sound mechanics are the same as electrics, whereas a true acoustic electric has the sound magnified from under the bridge). I want to clarify that the RP was good with all three guitars, but the very best results came with my acoustic--a Fender Grand Concert with the Duncan sound hole pickup.
The effects were a bit muddier with my electric (WildKat Ltd by Epi) with the P-90 pickups, and really good with my Ibanez
with the HSS pickups. And as for the bass, it’s just a matter of time before we add the BP to our family...
Just some facts about it:
1) there are 12 amp models, each with gain and levels
2) EQ, Wah, Noise Gate, Delay, Reverb all come with many changeable parameters
3) 12 effects including panner, detune, pitch shift
4) 40 factory presets and 40 user
5) 13 light LED
IT’S REALLY EASY TO USE!



There are several problems with the RP50 that have to be said. I want to make it clear that I think this
unit is supercool, but I’m going to be honest about the practical issues I’ve encountered.

1) The unit has no on/ off switch. This means you have to unplug every time--a bit of a pain.
I don’t mean to be picky, but if you try it or have tried it, you probably know what I mean.
There are 2 pedals, and they’re made for girls! (I’m a girl, too!) They are simply there
to trigger functions-- not at all for stomping...

2) I’ve tried using this thing live, and if you can imagine, in between sets/ soundcheck, etc, I had to get on the floor to manually unplug the
thing so the battery wouldn’t drain and if I needed to do any parameter editing/drum machine triggering in the middle of the show,
the edit buttons are so little, I had talk to my audience while I took off my shoes and prayed I would hit the right button with my big toe at the right time, hoping no one noticed my footsies.

3) There was a little deal Digitech did, offering a $10.00 gig pack including picks and power pack. I went for that offer which
promised my pack in 4-8 weeks. It took a full six months before I received it. (Just for your info, the power pack to purchase
is $25 and the 6 batteries you can use run for about 15 hours. You have to clock your hours because it doesn’t die slowly, it just goes.)

4) The built in drum machine is not something you should plan on using for performance or recording.
It’s a glorifed metronome with hokey beats and they are all edited by the big toe button.

5) The tuner’s sensitivity could be improved. It’s dull.


As far as the construction, the thing’s pretty tough. It’s compact and durable. I had previously ordered from Digitech a
press kit on the full line of processors, (which was quite impressive) and everything I had expected the RP50 to do
from what I read, it did, and did it well. The power cord should be stronger, since it gets a lot of handling.
Other than that, the computer components on the inside and the packaging on the outside should last at least
as long as it takes for someone to be born and graduate from high school. I wouldn’t hesitate in buying one used.
Please know that from reading the literature, in my heart, I had already purchased the RP50, and planned to purchase
the RP300 for recording at a later time. The Digitech text is honest and super clear.


Just to balance any of the less than stellar comments, I want to say that a whole new world has opened up for me--
going from acoustic to the unlimited choice of tones, sounds, effects, and power with the RP, AND what a great inspiration
has come from hearing myself through this ---some of the effects make bad playing sound good!

WHO NEEDS ONE?

1) If you are new to pedals, processors, etc, definitely get this. It’s so friendly, super easy to figure out even
musicians can use it within minutes!

2) If you’re a beginner looking to buy a first amp, save money on the DSP amp--get this
with a cheaper amp without the effects. You can always upgrade your amp and take the effects with you.

4) The RP 50 is a must have for anyone who is in the intermediate stages of acoustic or electric guitar and doesn’t have one
(or needs one pedal to do alot).

This unit is the best way to experiment with the sound you want before you invest any further money.

THIS IS A NO REGRET PURCHASE. I would have
paid more.

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