I’m doing a gig in Milan, Italy at Spazio Teatro 89 on April 5 with Ed Abbiatti and his band Lowlands. It’s an all-acoustic show in (I’m told) a big…

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I’m doing a gig in Milan, Italy at Spazio Teatro 89 on April 5 with Ed Abbiatti and his band Lowlands. It’s an all-acoustic show in (I’m told) a big theatre, and it’s going to be recorded and video’d, so there should be some cool stuff to see and hear afterwards (like an “Unplugged” DVD). I’m spending a few more days in Milan after that to record a few more songs with Ed and Lowlands for the next record. I’ve been on just about every record Ed’s made with this group, and it’s cool to be part of that history.

I’m bringing the Digitech RP360XP with me on this trip, not the RP500. I ran the two boxes side by side tonight, comparing identical patch setups, and the RP360XP sounded better overall–the same vivid tones as the 500, which after all is based on the same chip, but bigger and more detailed somehow. Like Bill Clayton at Digitech tech support told me: subtly better.

That wouldn’t be enough to get me off the 500, which has very, very superior performance features compared to the 360XP, except for two things:
1) The 360XP runs on Euro standard wall power as well as US standard, and the 500 doesn’t. So I’d have to drag a transformer to the gig with the 500. Much simpler with the 360XP. Also…
2) With this band, I won’t be doing the rapid tone changes I use on my own stuff–for the most part I’ll stick to one basic sound per song, and use the expression pedal to modulate the sound. So the performance features of the RP500 aren’t so important this time.

And oh, yeah: if you’re flying a long way, every extra pound and cubic inch in your luggage matters. The 360XP is a lot smaller and lighter than the 500, and that makes a difference here. (However, I have to carry a direct box with the 360XP, because there are no XLR outs.)

The other big difference for me is that the RP500 is programmed with all the tailored sounds I use for my own repertoire, as well as the v17 patch set I offer in my store. The RP360XP only has the v17 patch set in it, and even a few of those patches need some tweaking. (Did you wonder why I haven’t released a set for the RP360 yet? That’s why.) However, I don’t think I’ll miss the customized tones on this gig. Most of them are variations on the v17 sounds anyway, with EQ adjustments for the layered arrangements I do in my solo work. So I don’t expect to miss the repertoire-specific sounds, which is a good thing given that I don’t have time to program them into the RP360XP before I get to Milan, either.

The biggest problem I may have is convincing Ed to let me use the RP–it’s an Unplugged gig, after all. But I’ll work on it. Stay tuned for more details on the gig. See you in Milan.

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  1. I’ve been wanting to pick up the rp360xp, but the elimination of the XLR has me wondering whether I should go RP355 or RP500. I want to run to an amp, and the mixer. Can this be done buy using a direct box on one of the stereo outputs? I imagine it would have be a direct box with some sort of cabinet modelling, since i’m still running the other side to an amp.


  2. Hi Jason,

    You need a direct box with two outs. You’d take a mono feed from the RP to the direct box, then run one output from the DI to the board, and the other to the amp. You would NOT need cab modeling on the DI, since the RP has its own cab modeling.

    I would NOT, repeat NOT, use “one of the stereo outputs” with the DI, unless by that you mean using the mono (left) 1/4″ output. Neither of the XLR outs provides a mono feed. I wouldn’t split one to a mixer and one to an amp, either, because you’ll get very different sounds on both.

    If your only reason for going with the RP355 or 500 is to use the XLR outs in this way, I wouldn’t. You may want to go with the 355 or 500 for other reasons; see my post https://www.hunterharp.com/digitech-rp360xp-or-rp500-heres-how-i-make-up-my-mind/.

    Regards, RH

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