RC-20XL Loop Station review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (42 votes)
Boss: RC-20XL Loop Station

Price paid: $ 180

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
I've run this pedal through a multiple amount of amps, from the crappy to the great and your sound doesn't change other than for the amp itself. This pedal is as if running clean through to an amp. The pedal sounds good at around the halfway volume for the instrument input and about a quarter of a half way for the mic input. The mix doesn't really get bad unless you put the input volumes all the way up (anyone Who knows about quality knows louder isn't better). The mix will rarely get to messy; that all the depends to the player. You can also use this more to create ambiance and weird noises like The Mars Volta by using the reverse option. Even other effects that are looped through the mix sound just as good. This pedal's sound really just depends on how well you tweak the output volumes.

Overall Impression — 10
This thing is as versatile as you need it to be. Need to practice your timing? Turn up the tempo Machine output. Want to just improve your soloing skills? Make a rhythm part and solo away for hours. Need a second guitarist but can't really trust anyone else? Make your own second guitar parts and call them out when you need them. Looking to write a more interesting piece of music? Use this thing to your advantage. Want to create your own vocal harmonies? Use the mic input. Want all sorts of psychedelic effects? Use the reverse option. The possibilities are endless and I think every guitarist should own for one reason or another. If lost I'd definitely buy another one. There are tons of other loopers out there and this one just feels like the standard. 16 minutes of loop is more than enough than you'll ever really need. I definitely recommend this to everyone.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's about as durable as every other Boss pedal out there. Anyone Who has played with Boss for a good amount of time knows they probably haven't died out on you just yet. I bought this used at Guitar Center. They said it was 2 years old and it looked in mint condition and worked just as well. I can still say the same about it about a year later. I wouldn't need a backup at gig for it. This thing can take care of itself.

Ease of Use — 8
I bought this used from Guitar Center so it came with no box or manual and I managed to figure out how to use in about 5 minutes on my own so as long as the actual functions go, it just requires common sense. Now, the actual looping is tricky when it comes to the timing but that holds true for most loop pedals. All I can say is practice, practice, practice. Some complain about the timing being too hard to master or that it takes too long to get the hang of but then again, guitar wasn't very easy to master either. For the most part it's a very easy loop pedal to use; just don't get frustrated if you can't get a loop on time your first few times using it. Deleting layers and the actual loop itself are very easy. It's as simple as holding down a pedal for about 3 seconds.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mine was about 150. But I find that if you have two guitars going into the inputs (and yes I know you aren't meant to but it works) then the pedal chooses one of them to play louder than the other. Which is annoying when you wants the two guitars to be the same volume
    I want to be able to create say..4 layers on a loop then be able to control each layer(pause, resume playing)and be switch through each layer to control it individually. is that possible with the RC20xl or can only a RC50 do that?
    i want to be able to create say 4 layers on a loop, then can edit each one individually- stopping and resuming each layers play throughout a loop. can the rc-20xl do this or can only an rc50? i'm sure i read that once a layer has been created on the rc-20xl, you can only keep adding and if you want you stop one layer, then you'd have to stop the whole loop
    TabooTapeworm wrote: they mentioned that you can slow down a CD player on this thing. Is it possible to slow down an MP3 also?
    This pedal is amazing if you use it properly. Get a BOSS FS-6 Dual Foot switch so you can switch between loops in the middle of songs. Great for playing songs with loads of guitar parts. 150 including adapter and foot switch from big deal in Leeds.
    the loopstation is a very complex pedal, and many useful options. all in all, i think it's better than it's Digitech rival. this is definitely a great buy. it may be useful to watch Johnny Dmarco's videos on Boss Loopstations.