Pedals

Digitech RP360 XP

  • By Jamie Wolfert @tonereport
  • February 18, 2014
  • 8 Comments

For many guitarists, especially those of us that have been at it for awhile, the name Digitech is still associated strongly with the company’s rack mount guitar processors from those dark early days of digital; the ones that seduced us with lots of pretty lights and the promise of infinite tonal possibilities, only to leave us feeling cold, sterile and confused, and wishing we hadn’t traded in our old Marshall. But hey, that was a long time ago, and Digitech have since redeemed themselves with some very innovative and excellent sounding products, many of which are bona fide classics. One of the newest additions to Digitech’s insanely popular line of do-it-all floor processors is the RP360 XP, a useful and easy-to-use tone tool with 198 presets (99 factory, 99 user), a ton of great amp and cabinet models, more effects than you can shake a GSP 2101 at, a built-in expression pedal, and a bunch of handy features for practicing, direct recording, or just whiling away an afternoon making weird noises in your headphones.

 

Digitech’s promo video for the RP360 XP (which is basically just hipsters riding scooters and strumming old Danelectros) indicates strongly that Digitech is making a decisive move away from the “hair metal and lasers and spaceships” aesthetic of its legacy products and embracing designs that are bit more relevant and understated. The RP360 XP certainly reflects this, with its sleek, black metal casing and minimalist layout. This straightforward layout, besides looking cooler, would also seem to suggest that the RP360 XP might be a bit easier to use than previous processors, which I found to be true. After plugging in and firing it up, I figured out most of its basic functions within a few minutes, all without consulting the owner’s manual. That’s always a good sign. As with every multi-effect unit I’ve ever used, many of the RP360’s 99 factory presets are a little over-the-top. The people who program these things tend to pile on the effects in an attempt to impress the prospective consumer, but the tones are rarely something any player with even a modicum of good judgment would ever use. The good news is that unnecessary effects (like the compression, EQ and noise gate they seem to have on EVERYTHING) can be easily bypassed. With that done, it becomes much more obvious that the RP360’s 54 amp models and 26 cabinet models are quite good. All the usual classic amps from Fender, Marshall, Vox, Orange, Mesa Boogie, and even Sunn are in there (along with some interesting mutant creations from Digitech’s engineers) and the cabinet selection is very cool as well, with the 4x12 Fane being a favorite of mine for its deep, meaty rock tones.  The 82 modeled stompboxes offer up a wealth of possibilities, with the dirt selection being particularly impressive –several Tube Screamers, a lot of classic Boss boxes, the Rat, Big Muff, Fulltone OCD, and even the DOD Grunge, Death Metal, and Gonkulator pedals! What rig is truly complete without that Triumvirate Of Tone? Compression, EQ, and noise gate options are fairly utilitarian, due to the nature of those effects, but the modulation, delay, and reverb options are many splendored and of high quality. For real-time effects control, the RP360 XP’s built-in expression pedal is assignable to any number of effect parameters, as well as the usual things like volume, wah, and whammy.  You can also calibrate it precisely and set the range it controls. The standout effects, in my opinion, are the Lexicon reverbs. Lexicon doesn’t mess around, and the reverbs included with the RP360 XP are superb; halls, springs, plates, rooms, and a great ambience effect that adds a realistic sense of space around the guitar without sounding like obvious reverb.

 

One of the best parts about the Digitech RP360 XP is the Stompbox mode, which lets you assign any one of the virtual stompboxes in a preset to one of the three footswitches. This mode, as opposed to Preset mode where the footswitches function as up and down buttons for scrolling between presets, is probably the ideal way to use the unit for most people. You can get your foundation sound dialed in with your choice of amp and cab models, and then pick which effects you want to be able to bring in and out with the stomp of a switch. If you intend to use the RP360 XP live, Stompbox mode is definitely the way to go, as it minimizes the amount of time you’ll spend scrolling through presets. It also lets you integrate the processor easily with your existing pedalboard setup.

 

For digital recording purposes, the RP 360 XP really makes things easy. It’s 2x2 USB streaming connection lets you connect directly to your computer or audio interface for direct recording with virtually any Mac or PC DAW, and Digitech’s free Nexus preset editor software is both pleasing to the eye and really easy to use. I hooked it up to a PC with Windows XP and Cubase and was fully operational within a few minutes. Poking around, auditioning new sounds, and editing presets was a breeze, and the Nexus software was very efficient even on my elderly PC. The RP360 XP’s ease of setup, portability, and quality tones makes it an excellent choice for making high quality demos in a small home studio, or recording on the road in a hotel room where mic’ing up a cranked amp is impossible or impractical.

 

I could go on all day about the rest of the Digitech RP360 XP’s impressive feature set, but among the other highlights are a 40-second looper, 60 drum/metronome patterns, 1/8” headphone output, stereo ¼” outputs with switchable amp or mixer modes, built-in tuner, aux input, and an external control input for a 3-button footswitch. It’s a seriously powerful processor with a ton of functionality and some great tones. Obviously, if you already own a spectacular tube amp and a board full of boutique stompboxes the Digitech RP360 XP won’t replace those things (modeling technology isn’t quite there yet, in my opinion), but if your rig is a bit more average it could be a great way to expand your tonal palette, and at $199.00 it is a very affordable practice and recording tool that just about any guitarist would find useful. 

 

What We Like: Greatly improved cosmetics, very good amp and cab models, lots of virtual stompboxes, superb 'verbs, and a wealth of functions that make practice and recording easy. At $199 street price, it's a bargain.

 

Concerns: Silly factory presets, as usual. While the tones are very good, modeling is still no competition for a great tube amp and some good pedals. That day will come, of course, but it's not here yet.

 

Tone: 3.5

Build Quality: 4

Value: 5

Total Rating: 4

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8 Comments

  1. scott

    Very nice review.
    Thank you.

  2. Fabio

    Just bought one! I am very surprised of this piece of gear! Usually I do not appreciate Digitech multieffects, but this one is quite cheap and has good effects in it. I do not like the carvin and mesa/boogie emulation (but in the high gain zone there is a very good Peavey emulation and also the jcm800 isn’t that bad) and the cabinets are a bit weak but I must admit that this toy is a great value for the price!
    Absolutely recommended!!

  3. Chris Pete

    I agree to most parts of this review, I have this device (RP360 without expression pedal) and like it. I own a TC Helicon Voicelive GTX, have owned a Zoom G1N (the gold one) and G1on (the black and blue one), so I have a bit of experience of built in features and flexibility. Im happy to say quality of effect in this device is much better than any of the Zooms and better than the TC one too.

    The access to a really wide chorus, quality distortion and reverb justified the price for me. The delays, compressors, boosts and whatnot was the icing on the cake. 

    However, once you start using the box (as-is, no external pedals or footswitches) and read the manual, there are some shortcomings to pay attention to:

    You can menu-select between different configurations for the three buttons:
    a) preset mode: preset up + preset down + looper start/stop/reset.
    works well, straight forward. Note, that it is not possible to use drum machine and looper at the same time. no access to taptempo in this mode.

    b) bank selection mode: buttons assigned for settings 1+2+3, or 4+5+6, or 7+8+9 and so forth.
    no drum and loop simultaneously, no tap tempo. No reassignment of bank order, only triplets in above order.

    c) stompbox mode: buttons assigned for 3 pedals in your current preset. Supports Taptempo. Great to have pedal on/off individually but you are stuck to one preset.

    If you want more flexibility than a) b) c), you need to add the FS3X external footswitch box.

    Assigning ‘pedals’ to a preset is a breeze in the windows software. I read other reviews stating 8 pedals were available in each preset, but note the harsh limitation to this:
    Pedal are grouped in 9 categories: Wah | Compressor | Distortion | Chorus/Mod | Delay | Reverb | EQ | Other. Once you have chosen a pedal from one category, you cannot choose more pedals from that category in the same preset. Not so much an issue when choosing for example a compressor or distortion pedal, you would only need one. But chorus, flanger, phaser, vibrator, rotater, tremolo, detune and octaver ALL belong to the category Chorus/Mod, so creativity quickly has an upper limit as you cant combine any of these functions. Chorus and Phaser in the same preset? No. (However, you can assign a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) as a sweeping control on SOME of the pedals).

    Opinions and demands varies, obviously, and this still is a good box with high quality sounds (unlike the Zoom) and creative combinations (unlike the TC Helicon). No regrets at all.

     

  4. VUBIN

    Hi All

    I used to use digitech RP 350, 355 and now. Rp 360xp have just come to me few weeks ago. I impress its amp tones and new features. The metal sound is great for me. Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CgauJL51ps&list=UUtWXeO-W2Uj-E1zg8eWdK2Q

  5. klimperei

    thanks a lot…

  6. f. flores

    I’ve been using Digitech since the GSP-21 days.
    Bought the RP 500 and used the DIGIMETAL sound as my primary recording sound.
    Earth- shattering guitar tone!

    Also bought the XP 360 gave me nothing but problems- constantly asking to CALIBRATE! So Frustrating!. Sent it back and got the 360 without Expression pedal.

    It sounds great, but not as versatile as the RP family! Nothing compares to DIGITAL METAL preset which is not featured in the 360.

  7. arrerwor

    <a >Kosmetyki homeopatyczne</a> - profesjonalne kosmetyki.

  8. engladHow

    а где вы взяли эту инфу<a >.</a>