I got a message from a guy who bought my patch set for the RP200 a while ago. He’s got a real problem: for some reason, the device isn’t putting out a signal.

I offered him some advice, ending with the comment that if all else fails, he’s got to do a factory reset on the device. The problem is that if he does that, and it works, he will then have to re-enter every patch by hand. Yuck.

Every RP from the 150/250/350 on has the ability to load patches via USB from your computer. That means you can save your setup (or multiple customized setups) and reload anytime you feel like it. But the 100/200/300 don’t have USB. You’ve got to enter every parameter for every patch by hand. That’s a lot of work. It takes me about an hour, and I don’t like to spend an hour of my time on donkey work. If you don’t know the RP like I do, it takes longer. (And that’s assuming that you were smart and diligent enough to write down all your settings and keep them updated. That’s hours of work by itself.)

The RP200 has been out of production now for something like seven years, but it still sounds good, and you can get them on eBay for something like $50-60. But a seven year old device is always at risk of failure, and when an RP200 fails, you’ve got a lot of work to do to recover. Too bad if you have a gig that night and you were going to rely on it, huh?

That’s why I don’t recommend RP200s anymore, even though they’re available, they’re cheap, and they sound good. The risk and effort involved are just too much.