Digitech RP155 – Multi Effects Doesn’t Have to be a Swear Word!

It had to happen, a multi-effects unit has finally come my way! The Digitech RP155 is a smallish unit, which comes in a sheet metal steel enclosure packed with over 100 effects, including amp and cab simulators.

Digitech RP155 modeling guitar processor

Digitech RP155 modeling guitar processor

Ideally, this effects unit is great for those on a budget and have very minimal floor space and need a good variety of effects such as delay, reverb, chorus, phaser/flange, distortion, OD, and the list goes on.

So before I get too far into my review of the Digitech RP155 I would like the opportunity to state that I am a little biased when it comes to effects, and my preference definitely leans towards individual pedals, and from what I gather a lot of guitarists feel the same…

So initially I approached this unit with that type of discriminating attitude before trying it out!

Okay, since I am used to simple stomp boxes, I found the controls a little hard to use.

So after I watched some YouTube clips to figure out how to dial this thing in, I had to put in at least 30 mins before getting about good 12 sounds set up, but after that it was pretty easy.

So when I was relatively happy with my set up I thought I’d try an A/B tests against a Big Muff and a couple of other pedals, and I must say that this unit did better than I originally thought it could do.

Actually, if it were a blind test (I am running into a Valvetone handwired amp so a very good quality tube tone is helping!!) and this was set up with the right settings dialed in, you could probably be fooled on quite a few of the settings when comparing this unit to their stomp box equivalent.

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The delay settings have every type of delay you could want, with dotted eighths, 16th, and all the standard analog & digital styles. It didn’t have a modulated delay that I could see, but that’s no problem.

The Reverbs similarly were awesome, and not too metallic or digital sounding either.

Now, obviously I am not going to review every knob or parameter, this pedal has so many functions that it would take a whole series of posts to cover them all, but even if you bought this unit for its delays or reverbs, then I reckon it would be money well spent.

Now, about overdrive and distortion; well again, pretty good for the price. I will say that the higher gain OD and distortion were better than the low gain stuff, where you probably hear more subtle nuances than say a cranked Big Muff tone.

But, I thought it did the Big Muff (Fuzz) and general distortion really well. Add to this a choice of amp simulations, such as Fender, Marshall etc… and you can get some pretty decent variety.

The general Marshall simulation ‘base tone‘ was great for my rock tones (surprise surprise) and the Fender cleans (I added in some compression) were great for clean stuff.

You can choose from… (Okay, here is the cut n paste summary of the overall features from the Digitech website, otherwise it is just going to take too long!! It features…)

  • 20 Second looper
  • 83 Amps, cabinets, stompboxes and effects
  • 23 Amp/Acoustic Types
  • 12 Cabinet Types
  • Lexicon Reverbs
  • 30 Tone and 30 Effects Libraries
  • 100 presets (50 factory, 50 user)
  • Up to 5 seconds of delay time
  • 24-bit 44.1kHz sample rate
  • 60 High quality drum patterns
  • 2 x 2 USB audio streaming
  • USB editing via DigiTech X-Edit
  • Independent 1/4″ Left and Right Outputs
  • Amp / Mixer Switch optimizes 1/4″ outputs for amps and mixers
  • Stereo 1/8″ headphone output
  • Stereo 1/8″ Aux Input
  • Built-in Chromatic Tuner
  • Durable die-cast chassis
  • Power supply included (it uses 12 volts)

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So as you can see, there is an absolute tonne of effects and features packed into this unit…. here is a 10min video Darren did just demoing the first 50 pre-set effects…

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So in summary what did I think?

Honestly it had me surprised and in some cases a bit dissapointed, not in a bad sense but that it can sound really good and be totally digital. I was kinda wanting this unit to fail in some weird kinda way, maybe so I can justify having my individual pedals…?

I guess that as guitarists, we really push the all analog and tube stuff that we tend to forget that digital technology has come a long since the 1980s.

So only after a short time with this unit, I had 12 settings I really liked and simply pressed my foot a few times and got totally different sounds, features that were more than good enough and would have cost me hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get from individual stomp boxes.

Now I am not saying to go and sell all your handwired and vintage pedals and swap em all for this unit because it is as good as quality as your analog or stand alone pedals, but for the price, if you are strapped, I can safely say that this will definitely work well in the bedroom or garage band situation.

Also, I should mention that their is a downloadable software for this pedal that you can download from the Digitech web page that I linked to earlier, I am pretty sure it’s a recording software so make sure you check it out, I haven’t downloaded it to try it out so I can’t really comment on it at this point.

So, not to rant on and on about this unit, I suggest you try out a few good YouTube clips such as…

and…

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About strataminor

Born in Brisbane I am a bedroom guitar player, although having played in front of churches (tough crowd!!) for quite a few years so some understanding of band dynamics, timing, gear (private use compared to public use) and melodic structure, instrumental breaks (okay leather pants solos....) and of course amps! Besides from my love of guitar and the G.A.S that goes with it (hey email me I am always offloading gear!! lol) I love languages, and can converse in basic Japanese, and study biblical Greek. I live in Logan with my young family (so not heaps of time at the moment) and will be contributing gear reviews based on a lot of gear I have or still currently have.

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