With the new possibility that Digitech will retire the RP355, it’s important to ask again whether it’s better to get an RP355 or an RP360XP. Here’s my current thinking on the topic.
The 360XP has more of everything: more amp and FX models, more real-time control, more storage for user patches, more processing in the code that modifies the signal. It sounds bigger and bolder than the 355, and it cuts through a band better. Given that the RP355 and the RP360XP retail at the same price, all of these more factors are meaningful.
The 360XP is definitely more stage-worthy. I’ve had problems with myself and others hitting the wrong switches on the RP355 at the wrong time; once a guitarist stood on the 355 long enough to start the looper, which was a real drag, not to mention hard to identify as the source of the ensuing problem. The 360XP’s footswitches are also far more accurate and positive than the ones on the 355, which really makes a difference with quick patch changes and looping.
We can also expect further development by Digitech where the 360XP is concerned, meaning more and better software support, operating systems, etc., which we won’t with the RP355. I have to admit that I’m devoting the bulk of my sound development time to the 360XP too, because that’s the future, especially if the 355 is now a legacy device.
The only area in which RP355s beat an RP360XP is price, and that’s not an apples to apples comparison. If the 355 isn’t available at retail, which it currently appears not to be, then the only place to get it is the used market. We can’t really compare the price of a used RP355 to the price of a new RP360XP; however, it appears right now that used RP360XPs in excellent condition are selling for $149 plus shipping, while used RP355s are selling for about $100 plus shipping. It’s up to you whether saving $50 on a one-time purchase is a better deal than getting a lot more sound for the money.
Summary: I’d only buy the 355 if money is very tight and you get at least 50% off used (i.e. you buy for $100 or less) in good to great condition. If possible, I would save up for the RP360XP, used or new. Notice that I refer always to the 360XP, the one with the expression pedal. I think the expression pedal is a must-have feature.
The 355 has one, of course. And if you end up with a 355, I wouldn’t cry about it. The thing delivers a very nice collection of sounds right away when you load it with my patch set, and I’d gig with it tomorrow without a qualm. I’d just make sure to keep all the guitarists back at least a few feet.