The Digitech RP80 is a very versatile guitar modeling pedal that you can get for a fraction of it’s original cost. I’ve owned this pedal for a couple years now and I bought it at the local music store for $89 – which I normally don’t do, but I had to have something the same day for a gig. I found out it was the same price online, so I saved shipping.
The “RP80” is what they call a “modeling” pedal, and it was the first one I ever owned. In the past I owned only traditional stomp boxes, like a flanger, a chorus, a distortion pedal, etc. I have to say when I first tried it out I was very disappointed. It took me hours and hours to find some settings that wouldn’t squeal in my amp and I never did quite get the crunch I wanted out of it. Eventually I settled for a blend of the “hot rod” amp model with my marshall overdrive for a signature tone that I used on stage for the last 2 years.
Little did I know at the time that the way I hooked up this pedal (the traditional “effects loop”) was completely wrong. I had no idea (because I never owned one), but modeling pedals aren’t designed to be combined with your overdrive signal in an amp. First of all, the effects loop takes the signal (in a marshall) and adds it to the preamp signal and overdrives it. What you usually put out of a modeling pedal is a pretty jacked up signal already overdrive and it takes the preamp so high it makes the amp squeal. Even if you take the signal down (the volume of the modeling pedal itself) it still can burn your preamp out over time. I burned my Marshall VS 265 Valvestate combo’s preamp by doing this over a year.
I just got my amp back from the repair shop and the tech there explained to me how I burned out the preamp after I told him how my rig was setup. So, when I got home instead of using the effects loop I plugged my guitar into the pedal, and the pedal directly into my clean channel. The sounds I got with just the pedal seemed so weak, I went online to see if anyone had figure out how to get the RP80 to product some top quality crunch. I love the crunch of the Marshall when I play (with the pedal off) the overdrive channels alone – but I wanted to see what this pedal could do.
After a little searching, lo and behold Digitech has an RP80 online community where people submit “patches”. Really it’s just the settings for the pedal to sound like certain guitar players. I tried a few settings that I wasn’t so impressed with, and then I ended up programming in 15 different patches to see which ones were best. I ended up with a killer blues hot rod deville sound, a great metal crunch, a nice dripping clean delay chorus, but the one that floored me was the one labeled Eddie Van Halen’s “brown sound”. I thought “there’s no way it will come close to EVH on Van Halen 1”, but I dialed it in anyway. I was so impressed that I played with that sound forever. I was like a kid in a candy store playing Panama, Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, You Really Got Me, Unchained, Dance the Night Away, and on and on and on. I had never – ever, heard something so close to someone’s signature sound before.
Now that the RP80’s a couple years old you can get it for way less than half it’s original price on eBay, although there’s usually only a couple on at any given time. Here’s the eBay auctions listed right now for the Digitech RP80 modeling pedal:
USD / 11.61 (2 Bids) | Buy It Now
USD / 20.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 199.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 8.54 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 11.97 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 2480.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 5.65 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 80.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 31.65 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 49.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
They don’t sell the RP80 anymore, but they do sell the “RP90”. It’s funny because in the first generation of these kind of pedals the names of the amp models obviously avoiding brand names just calling them “blackface”, “tweed”, “british stack”, etc. But now with the Digitech RP90 the come right out and say “Fender Tweed”, “Marshall Super Lead”, “Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier”, etc. I think they actually licensed the sounds. It’s probably part of the “AudioDNA2” processor in the new version.
You can see it in the stomp boxes included in the RP90, they list “Dunlop Cry Baby Way”, “Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer”, “Boss DS-1 Distortion”, etc. The second version has definitely come a long way – but the RP80 can get you some real good bang for your buck if you find a used one!
USD / 15.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 10.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 10.31 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 75.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 8.17 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 8.97 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 295.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 39.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 69.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 199.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now