Digitech has officially released the RP360/RP360XP, and it’s an interesting box. A few highlights: 1) This thing runs the AudioDNA2 chip that’s built into the RP155/255/355/500/etc., so the basic sound…

Digitech has officially released the RP360/RP360XP, and it’s an interesting box. A few highlights:

1) This thing runs the AudioDNA2 chip that’s built into the RP155/255/355/500/etc., so the basic sound engine is the same. However, Digitech’s included some of the most harp-friendly amp models from the RP500 into this device, such as the Gibson GA40 and the Digitech Blues. So in that sense, it’s got a little bit more for harp players under the hood than the RP355 (though not the RP500). it’s also got a few more modulation FX, e.g. a new chorus model or two. The reverbs and delays are the same as in the previous generation of RPs, meaning pretty damn good, and certainly as good or better than dedicated stompboxes selling for as much as this device.

Digitech RP360

2) The new operator interface, which is graphical (with icons representing amps and FX) is probably a lot easier for most people to use than the matrixed lights-and-dials interface on the older RPs. Ditto the new metal footswitches.

3) You can now use an external volume or expression pedal to control just about everything you can control with the 360XP’s built-in expression pedal. If you’ve already got a volume or expression pedal with a 1/4″ jack on it, you can use it with the RP360 to control any parameter of any effect that you like. You can also add an FS3X footswitch to control the RP360’s looper, so you can use footswitches to control patch selection, FX level, and the looper, all at once.

4) It’s got tap-tempo for the delay. (About time, I’d say, and the pun is intentional.)

5) It’s got the same dual-EQ setup that the RP500 has–an amp-modeled bass/mid/treble EQ, and a semi-parametric EQ with movable center points and slopes for the low, mid, and high ranges. That is a VERY nice EQ setup–it allows you to tune the amp model for the response you want, then use the parametric EQ to make it sit in the mix.

I haven’t put together a patch set for this box yet, but obviously it’s a priority for me. That said, the big question for a lot of RP users is going to be: should I replace my current RP with this thing? My short answer is “no” for most current owners. The sound engine is the same, so the 360 isn’t going to make you sound any different for the most part. The new amp models are useful, but not enough to justify spending $200 to replace a perfectly functional RP that ultimately sounds very much the same.

However, the new features are attractive enough in my opinion to make this box the preferred choice for new RP buyers, especially if you don’t want to go all the way to an RP500 (which is a bigger, heavier, more expensive device, admittedly with some of the series’s best performance features). Digitech’s packed some of the most useful models and performance features of the RP500 into a smaller, lighter package. It’s a good choice of features at a good price point; not a giant evolution upward from the RP355, but a well-thought-out update that addresses many of the areas for improvement in that device. However, you may want to keep your eyes open to see whether anyone starts liquidating new RP355s at half price, which is the kind of opportunity that comes with manufacturer model changes.

Stay tuned for more info as I pull the patchset for this thing together.

23 Comments

  1. Thanks for the preview, mate! I am in the market for a multiFX and try to make a sound (pun intended) decision…

  2. Thanks a lot, for your always great articles!
    I have just carried back my RP500 with the awesome hunter patches installed. And I can tell you, it’s quite heavy. And I know you hate to hear it, but I never use the pedal 🙂
    So I am looking very much forward to lighter device with same sound. One question: I am mostly using to of your presets. A Chicago style and a clean reverb. Can I assign them to the 3 buttons of the RP360? So that would be all I need.
    Thanks again for all your great efforts!

  3. Never use the pedal? NEVER? High council, I implore thee to excommunicate this disbeliever at once!

    Anyway, you really should try that pedal sometime. I think you’ll be amazed at what you can do with it.

    I’m putting the RP360 patches in place now, and all you’ll need to do is park the first sound you like and the second one in adjacent slots in the user patch section, after which you can use the up-and-down footswitches to move between them with one button push. Easy.

  4. I wanted to share that I have had the chance to A/B my older RP155 with the RP360 and I can attest that the RP360 is indeed an improvement in sound quality. The the converters and output stage stage are much clearer and more powerful than the RP155. Also, many of the models have been tweaked. For example, the ’57 Champ model is different. In the RP-155 the gain stage is much more sensitive and it is hard to make it sound completely clean. In the RP360 you can get a totally clean sound on the ’57 Champ model. In all the biggest change I noticed in sound quality with the newer RP360. Not sure what they did, but the output stage (DAC converters and amp output stage) are unquestionably different.

  5. Thanks for sharing this. Yes, the higher model RPs give you more control over the sound than the lower models; as Digitech’s techs have told me, the code base for the higher level devices is a lot bigger, so you get more detail in the sound. The amazing thing is that the lower models, like the RP155, really sound very good, their low price point notwithstanding. That said, I’d certainly prefer to perform onstage or in studio with a 355, 500, or 360.

  6. I just purchased this unit, and it´s my first multi fx. I am a guitar player, but I find your posts very interesting. Now, I realize you actually sell patches for harp players, but I thought maybe you could help. I plug the headphones out to the audio input of hi-fi speakers. I did the same with Guitar Rig and it sounded great. The factory presets sound clear this way; however, when I try to start my own patch from scratch, the amp sounds are really disappointing. Am I doing something wrong? I notice that most factory presets have some sort of compressor in front of the amp, while having the EQ and noise gate behind. What is the trick to getting a good, basic amp sound to build on? Any help is more than welcome…I really want to use and like this unit.

  7. The factory presets are in my opinion way way overloaded in the FX chains. I recommend that you start with an amp model, an EQ, and a gate, in that order. Use the Amp Gain to dial in some crunch; with most amp models you don’t need a Gain setting higher than 50 to get the necessary punch for guitar. Use the Amp Volume to make it loud, and don’t be afraid to max it out–that will just simulate an amp set to 10, which is great when you want to feel the cabinet rattling. Use the EQ to take out the mud below 100 hZ and to add midrange punch and a little twinkle around 6-7 kHz if you like. THEN start adding compressors, distortion, etc. if you want to smooth out the response (compressor) or add even more crunch (distortion). Keep in mind that lots of distortion sounds great when you solo the guitar, but in the context of a full band it can turn to mush pretty quickly.

  8. Thank you Richard, I will follow your instructions this weekend. I heard your patches and they seemed very well thought out and musical. It would be great if other musicians did what you do and sold some of their patches. Thanks again for your response.

  9. Good day Richard, I would like to ask if it’s possible to hook the RP360 with an expression pedal and FS3x footswitch at the same time? Thank you

  10. @ Britton Go: Apparently not; there’s only one control input on the back panel. So it’s an expression pedal or a loop footswitch, not both. One more reason to get the 360XP; for the few extra bucks, that expression pedal is pretty handy.

  11. Hi Richard.

    I’m a guitarist and just got the 360xp. I hooked it up to FS3X switch basically to isolate the looper away from the main unit (Because it’s pointless) and to navigate presets in stomp mode. I have it set as the book says. Control In FS3X and looper. My problem is this, both up and down switches just scroll upwards. The looper starts recording and overdubbing as it feels like it and will not switch off unless I pull the power out of the main unit. The 360X works fine on its own but is not very flexible with only one patch of 3 effects available and the risk of the pesky looper kicking in. I think it’s the FS3X that’s faulty. Would you agree, and have you come across it before? Any help appreciated.

    mark

  12. Hi

    Me again. Just for reference if anyone looks at this post. I fixed the problem if you are suffering the same. The looper/mode switch on the FS3X was shorting out on the case. Works great now.

    Mark

  13. I’m considering buying an RP360… I was wondering if an external footswitch can be used as a tap tempo for the delay… Or can you only use one of the on-board footswitches?

  14. @Paul: Can’t use an external footswitch for tap tempo so far as I know. You can set the device up so that one of the onboard switches is used for that.

  15. @Mark: Hey thanks for your post. It described in perfect detail the problem that I was having with my FS3X footswitch. When I opened it up, sure enough, I found that a wire was shorting against the case. I was able to trim the wire and bend the terminal down to give it more clearance. I also added some tape to the area to protect from any further contact. You never know who you’re going to help, so thanks for sharing your experience. Not everyone circles back and provides the solution.

  16. Hi Richard,

    thanks for the review. I am considering buying one of these units but I have a couple of specific requirements, I’m hoping you can answer these questions for me.

    1. The manual indicates that the looper begins recording as soon as you start playing, like an auto-record function. Is it possible to turn this “auto” feature off so that I can begin the recording only when I tap the record switch? (I don’t want the start of the loop determined by the unit’s sound activation, I want it determined by me).

    2. The manual indicates that, when in looper mode, the FS3X footswitch does the following: BTN 1: Record/Play/Overdub, BTN 2: Stop, BTN 3: Clear. What I want to know is, is it possible to press BTN 1 (to begin the recording) and then press BTN 2 to end (and save) the loop without immediate playback? (Basically, If I’m performing a song, I want to be able to record 4-8 bars of the verse strumming and then hit “play” later on when I’m ready to do a solo.)

  17. @andrew: I regret to advise that I have no expertise where the looper in the RP360 is concerned. I recommend that you contact Digitech tech support (digitech.com/support/) with these questions. They’re very good at responding quickly and accurately to email question. Regards, RH

  18. I’m using a Shure 57 and need a XLR plug. Recommend an adaptor that won’t mess the Digitech?
    Many thanks…great site.
    Dan

  19. @Dan: any rat-tail adaptor should do. The One I use is by audio technica. Do a search on “xlr to 1/4 transformer” on any musical instrument store site and you’ll find something.

  20. Hi guys. Need some help here.
    Got my RP360 XP. Suddenly the exp pedal stopped working. I tried to calibrate it, but, on the LCD it just keeps appearing “calibration error”
    I also tried resetting it and it doesn’t work.

  21. Go to Digitech’s website and ask tech support for help. They’ll probably have you send it to a repair center, unless it’s under warranty, in which case you could replace it, I bet.

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