Digitech RP1000 Review
- Pros: Great tonal quality with a wealth of amp/cabinets and effects to choose from. Rugged build and easy to use interface make it an excellent choice for live use.
- Cons: The 20 second looper should have had a longer recording capacity and certain basic features like the drum machine and auxiliary input should have been retained.
- Overall: Highly versatile and high quality pedal that, despite its few shortcomings, offers a great deal of value for money.
As far as DigiTech’s line of multi-effects pedals go, the RP1000 is arguably the DigiTech’s flagship product. The older brother of the RP500, the RP1000 is an absolute beast that is the ideal choice for the performing guitarist that’s looking for a pedal versatile enough to handle 100s of tonal options. Today we take a closer look at the pros and cons of the DigiTech RP1000.
One thing that we really dig about DigiTech’s recent pedal offerings is their rugged builds. And in the case of the RP1000, DigiTech has built this pedal like a tank. The pedal’s casing is made completely of metal and so is the front panel under the LED display. The pedal’s 10 footswitches are also metal and the great thing about these is that they connect to the pedal’s main circuit board via a secondary circuit board. This is a really smart decision on DigiTech’s part because even if you end up stomping out one of the foot switches - which is a very real possibility for a heavy gigging guitarist - you won’t have to replace the pedal’s entire circuit board.
A slight drawback as far as the pedal’s construction goes however is that the 6 control knobs underneath the pedal’s effects matrix (that’s the little table of effects under the LED display) are made out of fairly cheap looking plastic. So they are the pedal’s only vulnerable point. However, the pedal’s designers have ensured that these 6 knobs are slightly recessed in the pedal’s body so the chances of you accidentally kicking and breaking one off are low.
Measuring nearly 20 inches long and a little over 10 inches wide, the RP1000 is not a handy-sized pedal by any means. But at 11.5 pounds, it is still considerably easier to transport than an analog pedal board. So if you’re a guitarist that gigs regularly but can’t quite afford the guitar tech and crew to lug around a complicated pedal rig, the RP1000 is definitely a commendable alternative.
Don’t let the RP1000’s intimidating size fool you. This isn’t a complicated pedal to handle by any means. And to be honest, even beginner guitarists should be able to plug this pedal in and start playing without too much difficulty. And the interface, despite its myriad of footswitches and control knobs, is actually quite easy to operate, especially for players who are experienced in handling multi-effects processors.
The pedal’s design, like most recent DigiTech pedalsis sleek and stylish. The LED display is also quite large and pretty bright, making it easy to use in low-light live environments.
Another great thing about RP1000 is its “4 Cable Method” which allows you to connect the pedal to a separate pedal board as well as your amp’s FX channel. And when using the RP1000 in “pedalboard mode”, footswitches 6 through 10 function as separate stompboxes which is like adding 6 additional stompboxes to your existing pedalboard. When not used in “pedalboard mode” all 10 footswitches can be assigned various factory or user-defined presets which is great if you’re a guitarist that needs a large variety of tones within one song or set.
A great thing about the RP1000’s “4 Cable Method” is that there is little to no tone loss, which isn’t often the case with multi-effects processors.
The RP1000 delivers just what you want from a multi-effects processor in terms of sound: variety and tonal quality. The pedal comes with 100 factory presets and players also have the option of creating up to a 100 different custom presets. Although the factory presets are pretty solid in themselves, if you are a professional gigging guitarist it will make more sense for you to experiment with the presets to build up a bank of your own tones.
The RP1000 uses what is called AudioDNA2 processing technology so its amp and cabinet modeling is fairly high-quality. The pedal has an excellent selection of 55 amps, both classic and modern, from the usual suspects such as Fender, Mesa Boogie, Orange, Marshall, Gibson, Roland and Randall. However, it must be said that although the pedal’s amp models do sound quite similar to the original amps, they do tend to lack the flexibility of the originals. So it’s important that you experiment with EQ and various amp/cab combos when building your tone.
The RP1000 also gives players the option of bypassing its amp and cabinet modulation, so if you do own an amp and cabinet that gives you a tone that you love, you’re better off sticking with that. However, if you do not own a great sounding amp/cabinet or if you find it hard to lug a huge rig to every gig, the RP1000 can get your tone sounding pretty great, provided that you spend enough time experimenting.
The RP1000 is also packed with 86 high-quality effects encompassing various distortions, delays, reverbs, flangers, phasers, tremolos, choruses, pitch shifters, compressors, envelopes, vibratos, wahs and noise gates. However, the pickup effects that allow players to make a humbucker sound like a single-coil (or vice versa) have been removed from the RP1000, which was a little surprising.
The RP1000 features a USB output as well as dual XLR outputs which can be used to hookup the pedal to a PC or a mixer. Again a surprising omission is the lack of an auxiliary input to the pedal that is available in some of DigiTech’s lower-end models. Another missing features is the lack of a drum machine in this pedal. This could be because the RP1000 is meant to be more of a live-use pedal than a jamming or practicing pedal, however.
The pedal also comes with a 20-second looper, which though handy, could have had a longer recording capacity considering the fact that similar pedals from other manufacturers have significantly longer recording times.
In conclusion, the RP1000 has a few shortcomings, but overall is an excellent pedal for professional performing guitarists. It offers the tone quality and versatility that you would expect from a higher-end multi-effects processor and offers a great deal of value for the price.
Digitech RP1000 Demo