Price paid: £ 280
Purchased from: eBay
Ease of Use: The XP 300 is one of DigiTech's discontinued Xpression series and is the most collectible now. I got mine off eBay after trying to find some really outlandish effects after getting bored with the usual filters and modulators. It's like the older Whammy 100, a metal enclosed expression pedal with a bank up and down buttons to the side of this and a display LCD. It has about 50 built in patches in 4 main banks and you can tweak them as you like, though a lot of the presets are usable straight away. The manual is adequate like most DigiTech stuff but it's not particularly thorough. I suppose this was a fairly mid-range piece of kit when it came out but now it's so collectible it feels like it should have some high-end amp type manual with it! It's easy enough to use if you've ever used any type of synth-sound pedals. // 8
Sound: I have about 8 guitars, some Fender Strats, some Les Pauls, a Peavey Wolfgang, an ESP 7 string and some semi-hollows and arch-tops. I play through a gigrig controller on a monkeydream pedalboard into an Engl E670 Special Edition (6L6) with a Marshall Mode4 cab. Some of my effects are boutique or analogue although I have some Line-6 bits like the delay and modulation modellers and a Whammy DT. The XP300 Space Station is designed to create bizarre alien, filmic strings, robotic chatters and other sci-fi type oddness. I bought it mainly for the weird reverse.chorused string effects and some of the alien laser noises which I haven't found on anything else out there. As this is a discontinued digital pedal it does have that early 90s Digital sound and it does make your guitar sound thin and electronic - which is fine when it's on, but it's nasty when off, so I use it in the gigrig to switch it out when not required. It can produce some of the most interesting and insane sounds that you'd swear were being modelled on a keyboard and couldn't be guitar based. I didn't really buy this because any particular artist used it, I just wanted a pedal that could make noises that other pedals couldn't.
It was mainly for fills, intros, odd breakdowns and 'epic soundtrack' type songs. It's actually more usable than I thought and it's helped me write some new stuff, just because it stops you thinking like a typical guitarist and let's you try out some really out-there ideas. There are some effects in the presets which are pretty unsable (I tend to find most ring modulators just get so manic that it's just noise - but if that's what you're in to, these patches will possibly suit you more than me). It's a lot of money to pay now off eBay with only a few second hand ones out there, so I wouldn't recommend it for anyone just to mess about with. But if you've been through a lot of pedals and are still looking for the ultimate in weird sounds without taking a laptop and a sequencer on stage, you might want to check out YouTube and see the XP300 and start saving up. // 9
Reliability & Durability: DigiTech stuff is usually fairly solid, though this came out back when some of the DigiTech build quality wasn't exactly tank like. The actual metal casing etc seems pretty tough, but the pedal is a bit flimsier than the current whammy's etc and I've heard of some people dropping these and just a tiny hit has knocked the PCB out and killed it. I couldn't afford a backup at the moment, it's too much to sit on eBay and pay the extortionate prices people can afford to charge now as these get rarer by the day. It seems solid but I know if it did die, a second one won't be along for a while (if ever) and DigiTech won't offer much in the way of support for discontinued stuff. // 7
Overall Impression: This is being used in an alt. rock/electronic band and it's a perfect match for some of the weirder breakdowns, intros and song ideas that are a bit more experimental. It's not something most people would use all the time. I play some odd stuff and even I don't use it constantly. But it's just ideal if you want to have access to those sci-fi sounds that oddly DigiTech refuse to re-release. If it were lost of stolen I'd be gutted as I tracked down a brand new boxed one and paid a lot for it, I wouldn't want to ever have to spend that again on a rare pedal.
It'd be nice if this was re-released with all the same features and banks and presets but with a more sturdy Whammy DT build and true bypass etc but these are pretty minor points. So yeah if you want the weirdest guitar pedal for really odd songs, this would have to be in the top 3 picks. // 9