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DigiTech RP500 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 23 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Jon Appleton

    When I first picked up the DigiTech RP500, I was skeptical. I had recorded through many different effects processors in my home studio through the years, and hadn't heard much from the DigiTech line. I was pleasantly surprised. The amp models that come stock with this processor blew me away! I was able to dial in a nice tone in just a few minutes. On top of that, this pedal is built like a tank. It can withstand the occasional "spirited" hit on any of the effects buttons and still comes back for more. I'm definitely happy to have this as part of my pedal arsenal.

  • from North Carolina March 21, 2016Music Background:
    20+ years of experience

    RP 500

    Digitech makes some of the best and affordable effects pedals. I've been a long time user and never have been dissatisfied. The RP 500 is built like a tank! It contains everything needed and more to achieve any tone/effect you want. It's a one stop shop, you need nothing else.

  • from Earth September 8, 2015Music Background:
    OMG so much background...

    True stereo, massive headroom and processing power

    Why is this one of the best multi-FX ever devised?

    True stereo operation with BALANCED line outs.
    That's pro-level noise-free quality at garage band prices!

    Separate dedicated foot-switches for each of the most important effects, comp, dist, chorus, delay & verb. No guessing, easy to see, plenty of space for your big dumb boots.

    Simple operation, all from the front panel with no hidden menus to scroll. I have three digitech multi-fx, and except for the GP1000, I have never opened the manual, because it's not needed.


    Included volume / wah pedal, reasonable size and weight, extremely low cost for this quality.

    What could be improved? Well, in my fantasy world, if they had a dedicated internal power supply instead of a 9v wall wart, and if they reduced the weight and size a little bit.

    ...But then the cost would go up, since UL charges for certification. Using cheap generic wall wart power supplies means lower development cost and the same unit can be sold internationally with a different power supply.

    If they brought dow the weight by using plastic instead of metal casing, then it wouldn't be as durable.
    Honestly, for pro quality and features, I can see how they could improve it much. Maybe if I could change the order of effects more easily... even that is not crucial... just and added tweaker toy.

    Yep... this thing as well designed, practically engineered and has all the pro-quality and convenience without excess weight or cost.

  • from Michel village sask June 10, 2015Music Background:
    Guitarist for a long time


    This is a awesome unit, lot of effects, nice clean sound. Recommend this pedal.

  • from Prescott, WI USA September 24, 2014Music Background:
    Guitarist, Songwriter, Basement Studio Engineer/Producer

    One of the Best Guitar Processors ever

    I originally bought the RP500 for the FX, but I was just trying some stuff out and found that the amp modeling was great, very natural unlike all the other processors I've owned or heard (including the Pod and Pod Pro). I love having all my amp models and FX in simple patch. I run the RP500 into the FX return of my Peavey XXX head and it sounds amazing. Its the heart of my sound (my main amp model is based on the 5150-II), with the just the XXX as the tube power. The software is a great interface for deeper editing and backing up your patches. The unit itself is all metal and after using it at many gigs, it still looks pretty clean. Very Durable. I've been using this same set up for 4+ years and have changed very little in that time. I haven't needed to.

  • from Bailtmore MD September 17, 2012Music Background:

    DigiTech RP500

    Does everything it say it does and does it extremely well.

  • from NOLA January 8, 2010Music Background:

    It Has a Looper...

    One of the earlier reviews dings the RP500 because it doesn't have a looper. The lastest software from Digitech, available from their website, includes a 20 second looper.

    Otherwise, I second all the great features and sounds.

  • from SLC UT December 30, 2009Music Background:

    Worth every penny

    I have had this for about a week and like I said in the title it is WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!! I have had a few other Digitech products and have no problems with any of them. A few of the main resons I bought this was because it has Metal footswitchs and some amps I have been waiting for like the Mesa/Boogie Mark IV and the Randol JC 120.

  • from salisbury,nc March 13, 2009Music Background:

    Excellent Product

    First of all... kudos to Sweetwater for thier service.

    Without going into all the technical aspects of the RP500, let me just say this... it sounds good and is easy to use. It's a processor that acts like a true pedal board and then some. I used it the first night I received it on an acoustic gig - performed great with no problems. I love the fact that it has balanced xlr outs. The amp simulations sound like real amps as well as the stomp box models. No more lugging around amps for me... this box does it all.

  • from Carson City, Nv. May 27, 2008Music Background:
    semi pro, rock, metal



  • from March 15, 2016Music Background:
    Amateur, love the sound of guitar and love the music that I can make with my LP


    Great effects box. Pretty much everything I wanted. Have yet to take full advantage of all possibilities. Really like the amp selections and the ability to completely bypass them and still have the effects. USB interface for controlling effects, etc. is great butad problem with noise being picked up from my computer over the usb which could be heard on my amp and in recording system. Bought a Audioquest Jitterbug USB noise filter that reduced the noise to a negligible level. Tried using the Cubase software which has really cool capabilities but could not get PR500 USB audio interface to work with Cubase, got annoyed and gave up for now. Currently using line audio to computer to Audacity. With USB noise filter in place, works fine. Will get back to Cubase when my annoyance has waned.

  • from luverne, mn October 5, 2015Music Background:
    playing since the 60's.

    I like it very much

    Ok, it was a little less intuitive than I expected. Took a while for me to get to know the thing. I've only half used it, by the way. Pedalboard mode only, so far. (my main requirement right now)
    I got it to match my guitar to amp tones so close I'll call them identical. That was important to me, I don't slather effects on for 90% of what I play, so keeping my tone was important.
    Once you get onto the setting up bits, it's still kind of a drag, as you really need to make sure you're not over coating the basic tones, and that means going through each setting pretty carefully.
    When done, however, you got it ! I'm setting mine up for four main guitars.. plenty of presets for that. So I can have four different pedal board set ups, each with stomp options, for each guitar, and tons of room leftover.
    I give it 4.5 stars because I haven't used anything else. I'm sure it's all just as good though, Can't wait to start recording with it.

  • from western new york September 10, 2015

    Digitech RP500

    Purchased this unit a couple of weeks ago. Owned an RP2000 for years. The RP500 is an awesome machine. I'd like to thank Aaron Regenold for all his help. Aaron's been my sales engineer for years and I appreciate all the help he's given me.

  • from May 31, 2015

    Couldn't have asked for more

    I got the rp500 as a graduation gift and I can't say I have any complaints about it. All I have to say is that it's the perfect unit for me. It has all the effects I need for way cheaper than individual pedals and it comes with more features than you'll imagine. In addition sweetwater was incredible with their customer service. They shipped it for free, delivered it 3 days early, and they even sent candy with it! This is definitely one of the best sites I've ever ordered from. I highly recommend them and the rp500.

  • from LEESBURG, FL October 13, 2014Music Background:

    Digitech RP500


  • from Hagerstown, MD November 23, 2012

    Very well done!!!

    I think this is a fantastic product. I'm often looking for excuses to buy new pedals but almost always find it impossible to justify since this product already does so many things so well. I love to use the amp models as different crazy flavours of distortion before my real tube amps. I find that it can sound a little harsh when I'm listening through headphone monitors (practicing) but much more dynamic when direct into PA/speakers and fantastic before a tube amp! I'm not 100% sure about the wah BUT it is pretty amazing when you think of the fact that you can pair that pedal to almost any parameter, setting or adjustment on the thing! There may be units that are better out there, but you can't go wrong for this kind of money.

  • from Tampa, Florida. February 27, 2012

    Digitech RP500

    Love my RP500. I highly suggest installing the lastest software from Digitech, available from their website, includes a 20 second looper. Current software version is 2.0. My RP shipped with version 1.4. I wish the unit had a Tuner button. When holding down the bypass switch to get into tuner mode, my EVH 5150 III flips out into a loud feedback scream on channel 3 on the amp. Work around is to punch in to channel 1 on the amp, then turn down the volume knob on my guitar then hit the bypass switch for tuner mode. I would highly recommend this product.

  • from Massachusetts January 21, 2009Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician

    Almost the Best

    I believe this is almost the best multi-effects unit out there if you want amp/cab modeling (DigiTech has one-upped itself with the RP1000, which I do believe is the best multi-effects unit on the planet that includes amp/cab modeling).

    The amp models are great, the stomp box models are spot-on, and the ability to turn on/off individual effects within a patch is a must-have feature.

    My only gripe is that the unit does not have an external effects loop (ie: being able to add your own stomp boxes after the built-in stomp box model and before the amp models)...for me this comes in to play because I like to use a looper pedal and because of this if I want to use an amp model, I run the following setup: guitar -> RP500 (for stomp box modeling) -> DL-8 Delay/Looper -> RP250 (for amp modeling). If I'm running in front of an amp, the RP250 is not used. The RP1000 has an external effects loop (so that you can put individual stomps in front of the amp models), and the RP1000 also has a built-in looper.

    So, I would say if you do not need the ability to use an effects loop, the RP500 is the way to go. However, if you do want an effects loop look at the RP1000.

  • from Chicago Il USA October 15, 2008Music Background:
    Musician and eye surgeon

    299 for the best stage multi effect pedal..come on!

    Most stomp boxes that are your favorites are analog circuits that are adding or subtracting to the signal coming from the guitar to the amp. Digital units are doing the same but the big difference is that as the signal diminishes the break up is often abrupt with digital and "organic" with a stomp. So I have never really been too happy with digital... Until now!
    This actually has led me to not take my pedal board with me to some gigs! I have found so many great tones in this unit and you can use it just like you would a pedal board, tweaking up the delay or adding some chorus, or what (from Clyde to cry baby). You then save it to the parallel save side, rename it.."Roadhouse" and you have got your not just doors but Roadhouse Robby sound ready to go. This gives you technically 100 presets that you can save up to your computer. What if you stomp it in and you feel like dropping the reverb or adding some delay? Stomp the Chorus off, stomp the delay on then dial the one you want, even tap the time you want..sweet(water).
    Too much info here but on some effects you can get a nasty fade out especially when you are modeling. The cure is to find the effect that is doing it by turning them on an off. For instance in one setting (my Randy Rh Crazy) I found that the compression was causing this and just went without it.
    The speaker emulation is really good. I have been using a Randall MTS with their Vox preamp so at times I want some SRV twin tone and here it is all clean yet throat like with some sweet fender reverb. Want to crank this to SRV on Hendrix, stomp in the fuzz face or some rotary..you get it. So you have your excellent presets but you have all this pedal power that you can spice in for lead or groove sections.
    Did I mention $300!! I have had $300+ pedals stolen off my board!
    Metal construction, USB, Cubase, good tuner, stereo mike jacks for DI into the PA, I/O for for playing with your Ipod in your left ear and the RP500 tones in the other for dialing in and practice.
    Ok it doesn't have a drum machine or music presets. Also I use the Digitech Jam man looper that I put in overdubs. I just did a gig without a organ and I played the Light my fire middle jam rhythm part that I kick on while I played a kind of synth sound organ Manzurick lead then kicked off to the next channel for the Kruger lead with the organ synth in the back ground..you get it. Not that hard and 100 channels with basically unlimited length. So if you want a drum jam track get the Jam Man and the RP and you are basically ready to get out there.
    It is really fun to have this technology but in the end it is just bringing to life tone and groove so you audience can hook in.
    So nothing is perfect but for the moment this is really the answer for a gigging musician or even just a weekend garage jam god.
    Have fun!

  • from Mechanicsburg PA September 5, 2008Music Background:
    musician and home recording studio

    digitech rp 500

    i traded in my boss me 50 for this and was not disappointed. One thing that frequently doesn't get mentioned (over all the other neat features) is the actual sound quality of these all in 1 units. I have many of them including a lot of line 6. The superior advantage to this unit is the ditortion sounds especially when played through an actual amp.My line6 pod xt with the online tone library is perhaps more "Teakable" but this unit just has smmother tone. Specifically the mesa and lead and crunchy orange crush models sound professional as if they came of a pro cd recording. No unprofessional broken speaker junky ditortion here-unless you like that. The clear sounds are comparable to the line 6 stuff-whuch are really good. The other great thing is that there are 100 patches right out of the box that are instantly accesed without any eperience which cover EVERY type of music to prog, blues, modern, and yes even country picken. For an all in one unit this is a must and digitech and technology just keep gettin better with every new unit

  • from Phoenix December 1, 2015

    Great Unit - With Caveats

    My previous experience with MFX boxes was limited to the Boss ME-70 so that is my frame of reference...

    First I want to point out the caveats.

    1) Don't expect it to rock out of the box. It takes some tweaking and familiarization with setting levels
    2) Depending on your amp, it may or may not sound good going into the front of your amp. I have a THD Flexi 50 and I cannot run this into the front. It's just too harsh and ice-pick-ish. No amount of tweaking would fix it. Instead, I plug into my FX return, bypassing my preamp and using the RP500 as my preamp.
    3) It's somewhat more complex to tweak than the ME-70 but easier than others, like some Line 6 products.
    4) Ideally, to really work with the sounds, you should use the X-Edit software. It makes life so much easier!

    That being said, some great tones can come out of this unit. You will have to figure out how it sounds best with your rig, in the front or in the FX return. Once I realized that I had to plug into the FX return, I hunted down a few JCM800 variations online and I have to say, they rocked! I now use them as my base sound and build from there if I want a classic rock tone.

    The unit has stereo out in both 1/4" as well as balanced XLR. If you are playing in mono, you use the left 1/4" by itself. Also on the back is an Amp/PA switch which you set according to what you are plugging into. It has the ability to bypass the amp/cabinet modelling as well as a full bypass, directing your signal directly into your amp.

    The tuner leaves a little to be desired and does a poor job of showing you exactly how far off you are but once you are on pitch, it is quite accurate, to my ear. I haven't compared it to my StroboStomp 2.

    The unit has a couple different ways you can dial-up built-in tones. The first way is through the factory patches. There are 100 of them and like most MFX units, they're ok at best and horrible at worst. These are selected using the Up/Down foot switches and the 5 foot switches along the bottom. The other way you can quickly dial up tones is by twisting the first knob, labeled "Tone Library". It goes through a range of preset tones, much like the built in patches, except without any effects, other than overdrive/distortion. Think of it as a way to select different amp/cabinet combinations, including distortion/overdrive and wah. The second knob, labeled "Effects Library" dials up various combinations of effects, including choruses, phasers, reverb, delay, etc. Some of the settings only contain one effect while others contain a chain of effects. Finally, twist the third knob to adjust the effects level. If you find something you like, you can save it to one of the user memory slots and then tweak it from there.

    In the same way, you can save one of the factory patches in a user memory slot and tweak it and then save it with your own unique name.

    If you wish to use the unit as a regular pedal board, you can enable the Pedal board mode. In this mode, you have five virtual stomp boxes at your disposal. You can still have presets and select them by using the Up/Down buttons but the five buttons along the bottom will turn effects on/off rather than selecting a different patch. For instance, if you select a user patch that you like then go to pedal board mode, you can turn various effects off and on using the row of five foot switches.

    The expression pedal is cool in that it can control almost any parameter you wish! For instance, it can control the drive or level of a distortion pedal or the level of your chorus. Of course, it's also a wah and volume pedal.

    If you're new to multi-FX units, it can be overwhelming. Don't try to dig into too many things at a time. Compared to the Boss ME-70/80, this unit is far more complex. Get familiar with the basics of the unit, such as navigating the effects matrix then focus on creating/editing patches/tones. Just because you have a million options doesn't mean you should use them!

  • from baltimore maryland January 22, 2015Music Background:
    hobbiest for 35 years

    digitech alright by me

    everything you need in one package .user friendly and paired with my bulgera v22 any tone seems within a click of a switch . only one down side the expression pedal stopped working .so now I have a really great pedal but am unable to use the one of the best features ,because the wha pedal was bad *** and I don't know what killed it and it seems to be sealed so I cant fix it .wha wha wha!

  • from Anaheim, CA August 16, 2016

    Digitech RP500

    Guess I can't say it's a "5", since I'm on my third one in 5 years. But I have to have it, I need the "backwards-whammy " (slide-up octave) for many tunes I play w/my band. Also, if I were to buy all the pedals separately, I would easily spend over $600.! Tuner, Delay, wah wah, whammy, distortion,etc. My first-one just went wacky, my last one - the pedal broke, & would have taken at least half the $ to fix, & the down-time, I couldn't work w/out it. Also, it has SO many patches I haven't ever even tried. STILL say it's a good deal!

  • from w va June 20, 2009Music Background:
    been playing since i was 8


    love this thing when it worked /brought one new and didnt last me a year blew up had it repaired and lasted 2 days and blew up again ill never buy another one was very dissapointed and got no response from digitech other then the repair man he was great/ and its still in de shop ( sighs)

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