Price paid: £ 200
Purchased from: Local Music Store
Sound — 8
At home I'm playing either a Fender Telecaster or Ibanez electro-acoustic through my board into a Marshall AVT100. Live I usual end up playing through a house PA. In both scenarios the RC-20XL stands up very well. It took a little tweaking to get things to sound right and there is a subtle difference I've heard from what goes in to what comes out, but it's nothing that most audiences are going to notice. Solid performance all round and I've had many great gigs with this in my set up, used and unused.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a wide variety of music, but it mostly centres around rock and Indie styles. With this pedal I'm most playing acoustic pieces live and it words a treat. With my set up I can build up some nice warm and full sounding songs. At home I experiment a lot more with my electric set up and can build up some great Dandy Warhol style tracks with lots of layers and effects. I've had the pedal over a year and have been impressed enough that I want to step it up to the new RC-300 so I can do even more. The main thing I'd have liked it to have was a XLR mic input as I can get some trouble with the jack input as I run my vocals through the Boss VE-20. The new Boss RC-30 which supersedes this has that included. With that new pedal out if you're just looking to try out a looper and you can get this at a knock down price then definitely give it a go. Otherwise you'd be well worth going for one of the new range.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm a big Boss fan and my board is almost exclusively made up of Boss products. A huge part of this is the reliability. When I was a musical minor I used a variety of pedal brands including Danelectro, Zoom, Marshall, Ibanez and more, but Boss routinely outperformed them all. The quality of build is excellent, the pedals will take strong stomps comfortably and I never bring back ups and I've never had a Boss product fail yet.
Ease of Use — 7
You can get up and running pretty quickly, plug it in, press the pedal and you're away and looping. To get the most out of it though I think a read of the manual will be required. Boss are great at packing in lots of features and this pedal is no exception, however this can mean that getting to them isn't always as intuitive as it can be. Overall though I think the trade off of more features in return for a slightly more complex interface is well worth it. Once you're comfortable with using it it won't seem so bad.