Sound — 7
I was given this just as I was beginning to take interest in guitar effects. It was my first pedal, so I used it on it's own for several months. I've recently begun building my pedal collection and have tried the RP-300A with other pedals. It interacts well with other pedals, though one thing to note is that it doesn't react the same way to every amplifier. It sounded alright clear through my old MEGA Bass amp, but sounded muddy on a borrowed Fender JAM. The same change in sound occured with a number of different amps. One thing that strikes me about this unit is how noisy it is. If the guitar I plug into it has single coils, the buzz is unbelievable. Onto the effects. Some sound amazing, some sound terrible, and some are in between. Out of a dozen amp models, only a handful are really useable. The fuzz and acoustic simulator really impressed me though, and I use both on a regular basis. The clean tube amp model is also very pleasant. Most of the modulation effects are decent, but the phaser and flanger are particulary bad. The pitch-shifter sounds tinny, but the Whammy is very precise and much more versatile than a real DigiTech Whammy (go figure). So far, this sounds like a pretty terrible pedal, but there are good points: the delays & reverbs. The sounds that can be coaxed out of these are absolutely stunning. The reverbs are warmer and lusher than those of several Delay boxes I've heard. There are up to two seconds of delay available. Unlike the sterile, tinny delay often associated with multi-effects processors, the RP-300A's is very smooth and ambient. The expression pedal is alright, but it's sensitivity means that the settings will have to be adjusted and limited manually. The wah has an exceptionally nice sweep that sounds infinitely better than my GCB-95 Cry Baby whendrenched in delay & reverb.
Overall Impression — 7
I play ambient dream-pop/space-rock sort of music, and this pedal has served me well in helping me to shape the sounds that I wish to use. As reverbs, delays, fuzz, and Whammy are the effects I use the most commonly, the RP-300A really suited my needs. I currently own a DigiTech Digiverb, a Dunlop Crybaby, and an EHX Big Muff. I'm presently using this exclusively for delay and Whammy and will probably sell it once I acquire a Space Echo and a DigiTech Whammy. It should be stressed that while the RP-300A is not of much use to pofessionals, it is a great beginner's pedal that can initiate players to the world of guitar effects. It is of real use in helping to dicover and shape your sound. it's beiggest flaw is that presets do not trail; when you Switch from one preset to the next, there is a gap in sound that renders it impossible to Switch in the middle of a song. All in all, a good product, but one that will eventually be grown out of.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The unit doesn't look or feel particularly durable, but I've kicked, stepped on, dropped, and fell on mine, and it still works as it did the day that I recieved it. A lot of it is plastic, which scares me a little, and the expression pedal feels less than secure, but I've had no trouble so far.
Ease of Use — 7
I recieved the DigiTech RP-300 as a gift and therefore do not know it's exact price; however, I have a fairly good idea of the price range it falls into. For the price, this pedal does deliver. The presets, as expected, are terrible. Don't even waste your time with them. Read the manual and begin making your own patches. Unlike many other multi-effects processors, this one does not necessaily aim to provide standard effects; it is capable of achieving some very strange, extreme, and out-of-this-world sounds. The sheer array of sounds available can make it difficult to build presets. The editing process itself is simple. If you know exactly what you're looking for (some crunch, a touch of analogue delay), then dialing in the right tone takes seconds. If you want to play around and experiment, you could be at it for hours. The manual lists the effects available, but does not wxplain what exactly each effect is, nor does it explain each effect's range. It's one of the better unit's in this price range, if only for the sheer versatility of it.