Ditto Looper review by TC Electronic

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (13 votes)
TC Electronic: Ditto Looper

Price paid: £ 105

Purchased from: Andertons

Sound — 10
I'm using this last in my MIDI-14 gigrig switcher set up. I have different amps and guitars, so it's not really dependent on those. There is no noise, hiss, degradation or volume boost/cut - the signal that goes in is what you capture. It slowly reduces the volume of the previous loop as you add overdubs so you can gradually build up a wall of sound. The undo and redo lets you kick the loop in as a backing track if you prerecord something. It retains the last loop even when switched off, so you can play something in for a live show and just activate it if needed. I tend to use it more for songwriting and practicing solos/extra layers over the top of riffs. But you get 10 minutes looping time so you can theoretically put whole songs in to practice over if you want. And you can record and then undo your scratch solos over the top - so it's great for learning and rehearsing alone. Given the pristine tone you lose nothing, no bass muffling or treble blunting, all the dynamics are there. I love it.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing a few years and have quite a lot of gear, our band has a small record label contract and my live touring rig is well cared for but does still get some abuse at shows. I've used this on my studio board and it's now on my live board too. I'm definitely going to get another so it's at home on both. I love the simplicity - yes, it will not compete with a full Boss Loop station for some of the really complex looping functions and MIDI integration etc, but this is not the same niche really. This is a simple looper that records pristine quality for up to 10 minutes of loop time, it has one switch, one volume control, the LED changes colour and flashes to indicate recording/playback/undo/redo so you can always see what you're doing. It's ingenious really. When it first arrived I was expecting it to be small but I laughed out loud when I got it in the post it was in a tiny matchbox sized packet. This means it's ideal if you have a crowded pedalboard and can't justify carrying a great big 2 foot long loop station around. It will fit just about anywhere. It's tough, simple to learn, easy to use and sounds great. My favourite feature is probably the 10 minute loop time so you can put entire songs in and rehearse or use for songwriting. Live the undo-redo feature lets you throw in chorus backing track or build up walls of sound that are cut on and off as you want. The single switch does mean some of these functions require the correct sequence of short and long taps, so that might be a problem for some people. For that reason only I'd say if you rely on mutliple backing tracks and want a MIDI-controllable looper with all the bells and whistles, you will be looking elsewhere, but for the money, the size and the ease of use - if you just want to cram a looper on to a crowded pedal board or have something at home to write songs with - this is hands down the best idea TC have had. Video from YouTube:

YouTube preview picture

Reliability & Durability — 9
This is fairly new and I was on the waiting list until they finally shipped quite late from TC. I've had a little while now so I've got used to it. The pedal is tiny (I mean tiny, about a third the size of a Boss pedal) and made entirely of metal so it's tough. The input and output jacks are all extremely slick and top of the line. The main switch is chunky and clicks easily but sturdily enough that it's not hard to do. The volume knob is the only other control and this is firm enough to stay put, but you can still operate it with your foot if you need to. As the pedal is so tiny, it can't fit a battery in, so it only works with a 9V power supply (standard Boss style) so it'll need a separate supply unless you have a pedal board multi-power set up. I can't see this thing breaking and if it does go down it's a fully relay switched true bypass pedal so the signal goes through even if it dies, so you won't cut out mid song if the worst should ever happen. If I had to try and be critical I'd say the tiny size makes it easy to hit the volume knob when trying to double tap the switch for various functions, but that's nit-picking - I'm just trying to find something bad to say so it's not too glowing a review.

Ease of Use — 10
This is about as easy to use a looper as you can get. I'd been using the looper in the Line 6 M13 as part of my setup but to be honest I didn't like having to engage the M13 in my switching system, then having to come out of the patch settings and controlling the looper, and you only get 30-60 seconds looping. Really that's great for live bits and some testing, but if you want to use it for song writing/practice/really complex layering - you need a bigger looper. Well you did until now. The Ditto does not damage tone at all, it's true bypass when off (doesn't matter to me as it's in a gigrig switching loop for me, but if you run in line, this would be great for your tone) - and the overdubs don't seem to degrade in tone at all, just volume as you add more and more. It's incredibly simple so a quick view of the manual to get the footswitch taps needed for record, play, overdub, undo, redo and that's about it. Editing is limited to undo and redo options and altering the loop volume, so it's easy to figure out. The only downside for some people might be how simple it is. This is an upside for me - but if you want a very complex looper with stereo and multiple undo-redo layers and editable backing track recording and storage - you'll probably need something else. But if you want a pristine quality tiny pedal looper that needs no patches or editing, this is awesome.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The RC3 has a lot more features but it's a lot bigger, a bit more expensive and there's no true relay bypass. Those are the main advantages of the Ditto but I agree if you have the room and need the extra features, you should look elsewhere.
    The sound/converter quality is much better, than of ANY Boss looper. True bypass sounds great, too, obviously. The built-in footswitch though is a warranty case here: It stopped working after just a month of inextensive use. Beware, forum searches i've done indicate, that "TC Electronics does not fix faulty footswitches". Those switches are PCB soldered and most hard to replace.
    That's a shame, TC seem pretty good about replacing through their dealers on their TC Helicon products (this is the first non-vocal TC pedal I ever bought). But no problems with my pedal so far. Though I guess I've had Line 6 pedals fail as they tend to have the switch on the PCB unless you get a mod done.
    been using one with an AKAI EWI wind controller layering bass,strings,horns and other various sounds,brilliant bit of kit,easy to use does what it says on the lid perfect!
    I'm still finding mines working a few months in and I use it every day. Hope this one doesn't die on me.
    Regarding the footswitch dying.. I had the exact same problem with the TC tuner after only a few months of light use, which sadly makes me skeptical of picking up one of these.
    It seems cool but really the rc3 is the ultimate for space and features and it's not that much more expensive.