RP500 review by DigiTech

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 9 (50 votes)
DigiTech: RP500

Price paid: $ 380

Purchased from: Braganza & Co

Sound — 7
I'm using a stock ESP/LTD MH-100 QM through a Marshall MG15CD(shut up). The Marshall was......a regrettable purchase, to say the least. The first thing that hit me about this pedal is the fact that the amp models sound very very VERY good. No, the Triple Recto model wont turn your AC4TV into a 4W Triple Recto. But it comes close. And it sounds br00t4l. The number of amp models are bewildering at first glance- theres something for everyone, whether you play pop-punk or the most extreme black metal. The stomp box models are generally good. The delays, though nice, don't quite sound as lush as the Boss GT-10. Otherwise, I daresay this pedal sounds far better. The noise gate is pretty good, though it DOES suck your sustain a bit at times. But anyway, if that happens, its because you are using more gain than any sane person would use. It can get quite heavy, espc when you try to boost one of the high gain amp models with an OD model. The choruses sound lovely, nice flange effects if slightly too aggressive. Lush, smooth phasing. The Pitch Shifter is plain awesome, the Detune feature makes it sound like two guitars are playing- it's the sex. The Ya Ya is honestly speaking useless. THe Harmonizer is great, so are the LFO's. The Wah's are particularly sweet-far superior to the GT-10's slightly weeedy wah. The Lexicon licensed reverbs are particularly good. My main criticisms are leveled at a lack of flexibility. You can keep an effect before or after the amp model. No other choices. You can't through them here and there, you have no effects loop, you can't use two different effects chains, you can't run more than one modulation effect at a time. This isnt too much of a problem for me, but it might be a deal breaker for others. In this respect the RP1000 is a far more complete package. These niggling flaws keep me from giving it more than a 7.5, 7 since 7.5 isnt an option :P

Overall Impression — 8
I play mostly metal with a smattering of classic rock. It does everything I play well. I intend to get a Bugera soon, and use the RP only for effects and for low gain amp models. But it will do till then. If it were lost, I would either get the 1000 or a GSP1101 with the footswitch. Its great, especially for the price. I love almost everything about it- except the small niggling flaws. I compared this to a GT-10, a PODXT and an ME-70. I liked this the best- fewer features, but easily the best overall tone.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Very dependable. The all metal casing is plain awesome. Sadly, it runs on AC power for some reason. So no batteries. Only usable with a power brick. Very reliable, has never frozen up on me.

Ease of Use — 7
Seems intimidating at first, but very easy to get used to. Seems DigiTech took a leaf out of Zoom's book and gave it a scroll-turn system. Use an arrow key to Switch the effect module being edited, use the knobs to turn it on/off, change parameters, etc. 7 knobs, one to change pedal/amp model, and the others for the various parameters of the effect ie gain, mids, high, level, depth, regen etc. Patches are easy to edit. Select any random pre set, mod it, hit a "store" button, use knobs to change the patch name and bank, hit "store" again, and you're done. Alternatively, you could hook it upto your PC and use the X Edit 2 to change patches. IMO this is easier, since bending down to tweak knobs gets annoying after a while. Plus, some things can only be changed via PC, such as the bandwidth of the Parametric EQ. Mine came with Firmware 1.2. I upgraded to to 2.0 via USB. It took 5 minutes, very simple to do. Added a 20 second looper. Manual is precise, gives a description of the knobs and switches, and what each knob does for each different effect. However, there is no description of each param for the effect itself. I doubt a newbie knows what a Ducker Threshold is for instance.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    can you use more than one effect at the same time? like an envelope and a Whammy or something? and if you cant, is there a MFX that can?
    How would you compare this one to the Vox Tonelab EX? I can't decide between these two