Price paid: C$ 69
Purchased from: Steve's Music Store
Sound — 1
The RP-50 has the weakest, most synthetic tone I ever head coming out of any effects pedal. Stuck between any guitar and amp, it will suck the instrument's tone and emit only a vague, digital imitation of it. The effects are all weak and tinny, and most of them are utterly unuseable. Most multi-effect distortions are bad, but there are usually a couple of useable amp models among the bunch. Not on the RP-50. Everything sounds fake, fake, fake. The delays are too short and choppy, and the reverb simply doesn't have enough presense to be called a reverb. Not a single modulation effect comes even close to passability; the flanger is out of tune and metallic sounding, the phaser has no sweep to speak of. The chorus either does nothing to your signal or completely de-tunes it; there is no medium ground here.The compressor only causes the already-thin sound of the RP-50 to become even thinner and more synthetic. As if that wasn't enough, this thing emit's unspeakable noise when used with single-coils. The only way to achieve any good sound out of this unit is by leaving it in your closet.
Overall Impression — 1
I can't stand being completely critical of anything. I always try to mention both downfalls and redeeming features of each piece of equipment I review, recommend, or warn against. The problem with the RP-50 is that it has no redeeming features. I play ambient rock, and this pedal's tinny, artificial sound failed to produce anything near a pleasing, layered sound. It was equally unable to produce any sort of useable tones for any other genres, be it blues, metal, or even punk (which really doesn't take much). I've since owned and sold a DigiTech RP-300A and have converted to single-effect stompboxes. Prior to owning this pedal, I used a Zoom G1, which was by far a superior product. With trails between presets, better operability and less synthetic a tone (and for exactly the same price), the Zoom is a much better buy. I regretted buying the RP-50 almost immediately and sold it for next to nothing. I have No Doubt that this is the worst multi-effects pedal on the market.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I don't particularly care for the build of any DigiTech units, especially when it comes to their multi-effect processors, simply because of how much of the unit is made of plastic. I didn't have the RP-50 in my possession for very long, so I'm not the best judge of it's reliability, but the build seems no worst (nor less mediocre) than any other DigiTech multi-effects processor. I had no trouble with it during the brief period of time over which I owned this unit.
Ease of Use — 1
The RP-50 comes with 40 programmable patches and 40 factory presets. The presets, of course, are useless. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, the programmable patches are too. There can be no good sound produced by this unit. Several hours of tweaking it and playing with it has proved that time and again. As with every DigiTech Multi-effects processor, there are aggravating gaps in sound when switching between presets, which means that effects cannot be turned changed during a song. Editing patches isn't complicated but it's tedious and annoying past belief. I had owned a Zoom G-1 prior to this one and it was by far an easier product to use. Having to click through each setting takes very long and is impractical for testing all the available options. There is a manual, but it does nothing more than to state the obvious. To someone Who is inexperienced with multi-effects processors, the manual would be utterly useless.