Amps, Pedals & Whatnot

Well … this is all that cool extra stuff. There are a gazillion choices, or so it seems. Let's see if we can simplify it a bit for you.


My Pedal

The pedal I use as front man for my Classic Rock band is the Digitech RP7. I certainly don't use all the presets but I tend to like to keep things simple …. so for me, with a bit of tweaking, this pedal does it all. Here's a review I found for the RP7:

I was in dire need of an effects processor, and liked Digitech. I found this used unit on eBay for $70. Incredible deal. I knew that this was an extremely old processor, but also knew some pretty prominent artists had given it serious praise during the 1980's. Which meant two things, A:It was gonna give me the sound I wanted. B:It was gonna be cheap. If you're in need of a processor, these things are all over eBay.

For somebody who's into thrash and other 80's based metal, this thing is absolutely AWESOME. The pre-amps give you pretty decent selection, and with tube distortion, it'll make any guitar with humbuckers sound like an Explorer or comparable fat sounding-guitar. The grunge pre-amp is perfect for any 80's metal, unless you're trying to get the 'Kill Em' All" sound, which the Sat. setting covers perfectly. The clean settings and blues setting are bother pretty good, and the over-drive does lack gain somewhat, but works for those who don't want a buttload of gain. And all the settings have adjustable gain too, I just usually set gain to the max so it doesn't matter much to me. The compressor, flange, phaser and panner work great, as well as the panner. And it's got the Digitech Whammy effect built in, along with Digitech Harmonizer which lets you use the pedal to adjust the postion of the harmony (3rd, 4th, etc.). And probably the coolest thing is that the unit is very easy to program and capable of tons of sounds, from the obvious lead stuff, to the extreme abstract. It's also got a built in tuner, and the Learn-a-lick program, which lets you record leads and stuff off of any audio source, with the minijack input, and lets you slow it down to as slow as 1/4 the original speed without dropping the original pitch at all. It's the ONLY way to figure out the riff to 'Last Rites/Loved to Deth', unless you play by ear like a freaking Dave Mustaine or something. The unit is very advanced for how old it is, and really does raise a candle to the likes of Boss GT-3s and such, with the capability to run up to 8 effects at once on 1 pre-set.

I have only two complaints. One, this unit is very old and the ones on eBay rarely have a power supply. And Digitech doesn't make power supply's for it anymore, so ordering it from Digitech takes forever (I had to wait 3 months). It also doesn't usually have the manual for it when sold on eBay, but that's no prob. cause you can download it from Digitech in pdf format. The other complaint is this. I'm still learning how to get the best sound out of the wah, so I might just be missing something. But the problem is that while the built in wah modes a great for leads, the bass on the EQ seems to completely drop out, even though it keeps the same setting. Basically, the wah's useless for rhythm work unless you have a second guitar/guitarist to double it with a heavy rhythm sound. If you're gonna buy this unit, buying a separate Wah pedal might be a good idea. And only 32 programmable pre-sets is weak compared to newer processors. Not that I'd use 32, but most new ones have like over 100.

The unit is solid steel except for the buttons, which are very sturdy plastic, and the person who had it before me gave it quite a beating, and it still works perfectly. And I've learned through a few accidents that water and extreme temperature don't seem to phase it either. Basically it's the type of effects processor that you can totally intentionally abuse.

An incredible effects processor for the price. It's also got a digital noise gate built in to cancel hissing from distortion effects, and works really well for recording, live performances, or jamming in your bedroom with the headphone output. It's got most of the effects that people into metal would want:Delay, compressor, wah, chorus, flanger, phaser, panner, tremelo, pitch-bender, whammy, harmonizer and several speaker-cab sims. This unit is probably ten or fifteen years old at least, and it's still a pretty decent effects unit, even today.

Brett Gibbs

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Gairns April 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I have been playing guitar for a while now, but on a basic acoustic, and I want to move up to an electric guitar. I know a quality electric guitar when I see one, but not amps or pedals, So what I would like to know is what are a few good quality beginner amps/pedals on a low budget (Below, say, $500 CDN)
Thank you!


admin April 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Hi Michael .. thanks for your question. I can tell you what I like. If you look on Ebay right now there is a Digitech RP7 for sale for $70 Buy it Now item number 150591859384 … I would grab it if he’ll ship to Canada! This is a great and versatile pedal … you can set some of your own sounds in addition to the presets but essentially it’s rugged and can do it all! As for an amp … on that budget … I would look for a Peavey Classic 30 or a Carvin Nomad. Both look and sound great and take pedals very very well. Hope this helps ….. feel free to subscribe to my emails … some of then may be of help to you. Kind regards …. Jackson


gianluca October 5, 2011 at 6:01 AM

Hi Jackson, i need to buy a new amp (i have already a vox ac30 from 1969 in Italy but now i live in Berlin and i don´t want to bring it here for the moment) but i´m not sure what kind of model. I mainly play sixties music and blues (i use manily an epiphone casino and a telecaster standard made in usa) what kind of amp would be perfect both for pratice and small gig in your opinion ?
Thanks a lot in advance you´re doing a great job with the website.


admin October 5, 2011 at 7:21 AM

Hi Gianluca …. I would recommend one of three that are all single 12s …… a Peavey Classic 30, a Reverend Hellhound or a Carvin Nomad … the Peavey might be the easiest to find but all are great for sixties rock/blues …. cheers …. Jackson


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