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jkessel 05/01/2012

DigiTech RP500 : jkessel's user review

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Bought new in 2008, wanted it as an effect board for my tube amp. I looked at a few other boards such as the Vox tonelab, Line6 X3, and the Boss GT10. I chose this because it had the option to run it as a standard amp/pedal modeler but also with a push of a button it became a pedal only board. So when using it with my amp I could use my amps tone with the pedals of this, without having to turn of each amp model. It has all the standard effects: compression, distortion, overdrive, chorus, flanger, phaser, delay, reverb... but along with some other cool ones. Whammy, pitch shifter, talker (talk box simulator), wah, rotary, tremolo, and many more.
Another great thing about this is some of the amp models. It has some that no other modeler I've found has, such as the Randall RG100 and the Mesa Boogie Mark IV (up until the Axe FX added it).


Like all Digitech modelers it was very easy to setup and get passable tones from. Most of the presets are ok and easy to work off of. This is pretty basic, pick the amp, the cab, the pedals, put the settings in and go. Some more advanced modelers get deep into things like tube bias, power tube sag and many other deep options that are to advanced for most players. That is where this shines, the simplicity.


The sound is the only thing that didn't do it for me. While it does have a ton of great options they just aren't the greatest sounding. I owned a few of the pedals this modeled. I ran both into my amp and A/B'ed them back and forth to compare them and they just were too different to compare. I was pretty disappointed. I was able to get some pretty cool sounds using this as an amp modeler, but it just didn't have a great feel to it. Nice amps have a indescribable feel to them when playing through them, most modelers can't even attempt to copy this. This RP500 was just very uninspiring feeling so I ended up selling it.


Even though I ended up selling it I'd recommend it to beginners to modeling. It's easy to use, has tons of options, and doesn't sound bad, just not to my standards. It's very easy to setup and most of the factory presets are pretty good sounding.