I've heard numerous people online, and in the "real" world, bitch about how "digital distortion" sucks, and the overdrives of the RP-1 are too "harsh"...blah, blah, blah. Well, let me tell you people: if you believe this, go to manufacturer preset no. 77 (patch #77), entitled "Rippin' Solo"...and God damn! Jackpot! All you have to do is set the compression level and compression amount to their peaks, (31 and 7, I believe) and shred like hell! Yes, it is that good. Cheesy 80's reference: Corey Hart, "Sunglasses At Night", 1984. You know that wailing, mid-rangey lead tone throughout the song? This patch is as close to the epitome of 80's shred/pop/speed metal you'll ever get. Plus, if you're one those "dropped-D" grunge (still doin' grunge, 'eh?) players, there are plenty of versatile sounds and overdrives to be had on this unit. Althought, the best is "Heavy Sustain", without question. That's the least "harsh" of all of the overdrives. Sometimes this unit can add quite a bit of noise to your signal, although the handy noise gate, when set on at least "4", can take care of that when you're not playing. I've used this processor with tons of different guitar/amp combinations, and it shines every time. It works best in conjunction with solid state amps, you almost want to use P.A. or mixing console speakers, due to the built-in cabinet emulator on the RP-1. Tube amps work okay, but solid state/neutral amps allow more of the RP-1's tonal character to come shining through. The effects are very professional sounding, which is a bargain, considering the RP-1 sold for about $400.00 when it first came out. Shimmering delays, fantastic reverbs, cool echos, wicked detune effects, etc.
Very dependable unit. Always had a problem with the heat sink on this model, but it never overheated. My friend's RP-1 has been dropped, kicked, thrown, used in a domestic situation, anything you can imagine. Still survived. It's now missing part of the side panel, exposing the internal circuit boards a little, but it still works almost like new! Yes, after almost nine years of use, the battery (lithium maybe?) that stores the user-defined presets is acting a little questionable at times, but the life expectantcy of those type of batteries, is what, maybe 5 years at most? All in all, a very reliable unit.
The RP-1 was the first (and the best) of Digitech's entire RP line, despite what anybody says to the contrary. It may have some slightly "outdated" sounds in it, but anybody who can spend a little of their precious time programming it, will find great results! I mean, no bullshit here, I've been in numerous professional studios, and this thing can sound better than multi-thousand dollar Eventide Harmonizer's at times. Just a rare, beautiful item. Rare in the sense that, Digitech did make improvements on future models, obviously...but the sounds, man the sounds|! I've never heard anything quite like it, and I don't think that I ever will. I guess they can be had for 100-150 dollars on Ebay nowadays, so get one if you can! I've got to get another, as I sold mine for a woman! Doh! Got to get me another.