I have a simple setup: guitar into RP-1 into the power amp
half of my Fender Deluxe 85 (one 12" speaker).
The RP-1 is generally not noisy unless you're using compression,
but that's normal. The noise gate helps this a lot.
I don't find the unit excessively noisy compared to similar units.
I can get a huge variety of sounds, including a bluesy Epiphone Casino
sound like 1968 John Lennon, or a newer, crisp chorus/flange sound.
Most of the effects are very good. Most of the presets are gaudy and
horrible, so you must edit to taste. But the flexibility is there to
get what you want.
I think the RP-1 is a very underrated unit. I've tried newer units
like the Korg AX1000G (a mid- to low- priced new generation multi-effect unit), and ended up going back to the RP-1. The Korg
has a couple more effects and integrated control pedal, but the RP-1
does a much better job preserving the tone of my guitars when I want
it to be, and the effects are much more controllable. Perhaps a Boss
GT-3 would beat the RP-1, but I haven't tried one yet. The RP-1
still works for me, and I already have a separate volume and Cry Baby Wah pedal, so it's hard for me to justify buying a new box. The RP-1's are tough to sell on the used market.
From a sound point of view, it's been a very reliable unit.
I purchased it used several years ago.
From the time I bought it, it has had one LED
that didn't work. When the temperature fluxuates a lot (I bring it
in from the cold and use it and it heats up) sometimes the display
would freak out or go blank. Recently, I operated no the unit and just resoldered several of the joints around the display and LEDs. This
seems to have fixed the problem, at least for now. The unit gets very hot near the power plug (a bum design on DigiTech's part... should have separated the power transistors some how). I'm suspecting this adds some heat stress. I added a couple of external heat sinks to alleviate that issue.
I play lots of musical styles including folk, light jazz, classical, fusion, hip pop, whatever. I like this unit and I think it would be difficult to replace for a reasonable price. If it were lost or stolen, I'd consider buying another used one, or perhaps a later RP model with a volume/wah pedal integrated to get rid of my separate pedals.