DigiTech RP1000

January 1, 2010

TOUTED AS AN “INTEGRATED EFFECTS SWITCHING system,” the RP1000 features a stout metal enclosure with mechanical switches and a smooth feeling rocker pedal. The unit can be operated in Preset mode or Pedalboard mode, each of which has advantages depending on what you want from an effects processor. In Preset mode, footswitches 1-10 each load a preset sound, and the Up/Down buttons select various banks of ten presets. In this mode you can’t turn individual models on or off using the footswitches. In Pedalboard mode, footswitches 1-5 are used to select presets, and switches 6-10 work like stompbox switches, allowing you to turn individual effects on and off within each preset. You can bypass all of the RP1000’s amps and effects by simply pressing the currently active preset footswitch. The cool thing here is that any external devices that are connected in the Amp Loop or Stomp Loop remain active when you put the RP1000 in bypass mode. There’s also an Amp/Cabinet Bypass button that lets you turn off the RP1000’s internal amp and cabinet models, essentially creating a pedalboard with just compression, distortion, EQ, noise gate, chorus/FX, delay, reverb, and wah.

The six knobs below the effects matrix consist of Tone Library, Effects Library, Effects Level, Amp Gain, Amp Level, and Master Volume. They do different things depending on whether you’re in performance or edit mode, but overall, the knob interface and effects matrix make it easy to select individual amps and effects, modify their sounds, and adjust their volume. The RP1000 comes with 100 factory presets and has 100 user-definable memory slots. In addition, a USB port makes it possible to stream audio to and from a computer software application as well as access DigiTech’s X-Edit editor librarian software (available at digitech.com)

The aforementioned Amp Loop makes it possible to use an external amplifier or preamp while bypassing the RP1000’s internal amp and cabinet models. Likewise, the Stomp Loop lets you toggle an external effect or effects chain in or out of the RP1000’s signal path— and you also have the option of inserting the loop before (pre) or after (post) the internal amps and external amp loop. Rear panel connections include stereo 1/4" and XLR balanced outs, a mini headphone jack, and a looper control jack.

The RP1000 comes loaded with over 160 amps and effects—many of which are based on popular units from companies such as Boss, Demeter, Electro-Harmonix, Fender, Fulltone, Marshall, Matchless, Mesa/Boogie, MXR, Orange, Peavey, Soldano, and Vox. There are also numerous cabinet models in 1x12, 2x12, and 4x12 configurations, and with a wide variety of speaker choices. While we weren’t able to sample everything the RP1000 has to offer, using this unit on several gigs proved its capability to provide a wealth of happening sounds that cover the needs of everyone from smooth jazzer players to death metalers. The effects selections are happening overall, with lots of good sounding distortions (most of the classics are on the menu), delays (including analog, digital, and tape models), modulations (many types of chorus, flange, phase, tremolo, pitch shift, and rotary effects), and reverbs— particularly the four Lexicon types, which figures, since DigiTech and Lexicon are both owned by parent company Harman International. The 50-plus amp models are generally very satisfying too, offering good touch sensitivity and dynamic response.

We’ve only scratched the surface of this very capable effects system, and did I mention the looping function, which provides 20 seconds of recording time? Bottom line: If you’re looking for a mothership of amps and effects—and one that can seamlessly interface with the gear you already have—the RP1000 is an outstanding choice.

DigiTech (801) 566-7005; digitech.com
PRICE ($699 retail/$499 street)
PRESETS 100 factory/100 user
KUDOS Amazing flexibility. Tons of sounds. Adequate parameter editing. Allows you to combine stompbox and rackstyle effects. Dedicated amp loop.
CONCERNS Limited ability to vary the effects order.

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