Most people who own the Digitech RP250/255/350/355 don’t think of it as a delay and/or reverb device, but the fact is that both the delays and the reverbs in these RPs are really very good, better sounding than many dedicated devices and most amp modelers in their price range, and more versatile than practically any.
All the RPs include delay models that sound good with blues harp, such as the analog and tape delay models, and more modern delay sounds like pingpong, modulated delay, and digital delay. The 350/355 include delays modeled on specific devices like the Boss DM-2 and the Maestro Echoplex (both of which are also widely used by harp players). All the delays sound very good in their own ways, and it’s enough variety to cover a wide range of styles and material.
The main feature of a pro dedicated delay that the RPs lack is tap tempo. (The RP500 and RP1000 offer tap tempo.) However, the expression pedal on the 250/255/350/355 can be assigned to control any parameter of any effect, such as delay time (which is what tap tempo controls, useful for longer tempo-synced delays) or delay level (which is very useful for shorter slapback delays) or number of repeats. Putting the delay time under footpedal control solves the same problem as a tap tempo switch, which is how to sync the delay to the beat, in a different way. Using the footpedal in this way introduces certain artifacts into the sound (like weird, cool out-of-tune modulations) with some delay models; this is actually an example of the accuracy of the modeling, because that’s what the original devices that the models are based on do when you twist their knobs while playing.
The RPs are certainly competitive in terms of value for money as a dedicated delay box, given that an RP255 can be bought new for $125-150 (an RP355 for $175-200) and a used RP150 in good condition can be found for well under $50, and any of these will sound better in a wider range of styles than most dedicated delay pedals. They’ve all got a range of good reverbs too, and you can use reverb and the delay at the same time. You essentially get both for the price of one. The alternative–adding a separate reverb pedal to a dedicated delay pedal–would cost you from half again to twice what an RP costs.
Hearing is believing. We’ve recorded samples of the delay and reverb-only patches from our RP150/155 patch set, and you can hear them here. We think they easily sound as good as any dedicated device in their price range.
So the RPs are worth a try when you’re auditioning delay and/or reverb pedals. And if you decide to get an RP, consider adding our patch set, which includes a lot of delay- and reverb-only setups that work great in front of your amp.