I noticed something interesting in the last few days. First, the price of new Digitech RP255s has dropped to about $100. That’s a pretty good deal on a pretty capable device. Second, RP355s are listed as discontinued at Sweetwater, Musicians Friend, etc. etc. Put it together, and you’ve got to ask: is Digitech quietly phasing out the RP355?
It may just be that Digitech has figured out that there’s not much reason for anyone to buy an RP355 when the RP360XP is priced the same and is in general a better device. On the other hand, I don’t see remaindered RP355s going anywhere for 50% off, which is what usually happens when Digitech replaces a device or a line of devices with something new. Maybe Digitech figured out how to avoid building up excess inventory to dump, which is a good thing for them.
As per the recordings using the RP355 that I’ve posted in the last few days, the RP355 is still a very nice device that makes lots of great sounds. (Something that sounds good doesn’t sound less good a few years later just because time has passed. Human ears know what they like, and they tend to keep liking it.) I wouldn’t hesitate to take an RP355 to a stage or studio anywhere; Digitech’s latest or not, nobody is ever going to tell you that the sounds that come out of an RP355 aren’t good enough. However, a world in which Digitech offers RP255s for $100 and RP360XPs for twice that amount, and no RP355 in the middle, is a pretty good world for harp players. Used RP355s in good to great condition are easily found on guitarcenter.com for $100 and down, so anyone who wants an RP355 can still get one for at least a few years to come. But if it was me–and following the logic that I suppose Digitech is following–I’d buy the RP360XP, which sounds a little bit better than the RP355, has a nice set of additional features and amp/FX models, is a better device for onstage performance, and costs just a little bit more.
And of course, whichever of these RPs you eventually decide to use, we’ve got your sounds for you, right here.