Digitech RP-1 Effects Processor Still Screamin’Greg | November 6, 2007
The Digitech RP-1 guitar preamp/effects processor was introduced in 1992 as a revolutionary new product. It was the first all-digital multi-effects processor that was not rack-based. When I saw this in the Musician’s Friend catalog at that time, I had to have it. I saw the full-page ads in Guitar magazine with the tag line, “Do it on the floor” which I still clearly remember. Well, in 1994 I finally had enough money saved from my school job where I could get one. By then, the RP-1 was being phased out and Sam Ash was selling them for $400.
After bringing it home and plugging it into my Tube Works RT-2100 amp, I knew I was going to use the RP-1 live. Two years later, I started a band with my cousin John, and that’s what started my live career. Several bands and many dozens of live performances later, I still have this unit, and it still works perfectly. It has hundreds of hours of use through weekly rehearsals and it’s been on many stages where it could be responsible for the premature hearing loss of many people. I lost count of all the shows this unit has carried me through - some very large venues, and it has the battle scars to prove it.
Digitech only produced this unit for two years, and immediately introduced updated models to replace it. The RP-series still continues today, although they are much different these days. The RP-1 was unique in that it ran on AC power - and as a result, this the floorboard would get so hot that you could barely touch it. Subsequent Digitech models ran on DC power, and in my opinion, never sounded as good.
I plugged it in last night just to see if it still works, and it does. All of my presets are still stored in its memory, and it sounds as amazing as I remembered. Hard to believe, but I would still go live with this old processor today.