Loopers, which one to get?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Josh Ryan, May 7, 2002.

  1. Boomerang

    4 vote(s)
  2. Line 6 DL4

    11 vote(s)
  3. Boss RC-20

    9 vote(s)
  4. other?

    13 vote(s)
  1. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Which of the following would you buy and why?

    Boss RC-20
    Line 6 DL4
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I guess I incorrectly assumed that when voting other people would specify which one they meant. Oh well. I know this has been asked individually, but I wanted a poll to sort of A/B the three of these side by side.
  3. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I've got an Akai Headrush that I'm reasonably happy with. Not sure how it actually compares to the other three, though -- I would've rather bought a Boomerang and done it up right, though (too expensive, unfortunately).
  4. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Do you know what the sampling rate for the loop is?
  5. The desciptions for that ZVex are too funny.."Smells great!" "Annoying artifacts!" "Always alters the original tone and dynamics!"
    I think I need I need one of those...too cool.

    Other: no fuss, no muss...simple interface. Best live performance sampler in a stopmbox for sure. Bells + whistles are useless when you are on stage and your loop doesn't sync. A moments hesitation will sink your whole band.

  6. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I concur with the Akai Headrush. What a diamond in the rough of so many mediocre pedals! You get the same signal out that you put in, and its so easy to use. And the price can't be beat...you just need to find a drummer that can lock in to loops!
  7. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Oh boy...a Looping thread!!!
    I do a lot of looping....and have found all the tools are useful in one way or another. It really depends on what you need.
    If you need HI-fi, stereo(yes real stereo looping!) looping capabilities (even with multi-track options) and a huge memory, or the ability to store your loops, inserts, digital I/Os, and tons more: Electrix Repeater.

    If you want very high quality audio, long loop time, multiple loop lengths, undo functions...and all sorts of crazy variations,enormous flexibilty and creative possibilities, in a performance friendly interface: Gibson/Trace Elliot EDP

    On a budget, but still require cd-quality sound: Line 6 DL4...with which you get all kinds of cool delays, and 1/2 speed loop option as well as reverse looping.

    Something "guitar-friendly" and easy to use? Boomerrang....altho the sound quality here is a bit questionable.

    Some thing very affordable, with which you can get started in the Looping Pool: Boss RC20 (which also allows for loop storage, and some rather cool features besides.)

    Or the Akai Headrush, which is also quite affordable, but IMHO found to be a bit noisy, but still a rather cool little box which is quite fun.

    How's that?
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Hey thanks all! Max! I was hoping you'd answer! We talked about this before in the chat but financial obligations came up, etc. and I couldn't remember the gist of what you were saying. thanks again!
    The main things I require are: 1) very clean sound. 2) At least 10 seconds loop time. 3)true bypass would be nice, but I can put it in the router otherwise. My band has a few ideas that require me to have free hands for different things.
  9. Questionable is right...Everytime I have played through my pals Boomerang it was like putting your ear up to a seashell...loud and hissy. You've mentioned that the Headrush was noisy more than I few times I think? My Headrush is whisper quiet? I play at a fairly high volume and have NEVER had an issue with line noise. Do you have your whizzer cranked? I don't use my horn at all so maybe you're hearing something I'm not. My 'Rush has excellent clarity and puts out exactly what I put in. 24 seconds is more than enough time to set up a groove. Simple is the very first requirement for any live sampler...'cause if you're even a NANOSECOND off, your drummer will HATE you!
  10. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I have tried a few different Headrush units...all with varying quality. The noise I spoke of was noticed during recording, and probably would not have been too much of an issue live (well, I take that back...I am VERY picky about noise), but I did notice it thru a tweeterless Bag End 2x10.

    If you have a Headrush...and it works for you and allows you to be creative..then GREAT! What I posted were my, perhaps subjective, opinions and findings on the matter of loopers, and I really didn't mean to dis something you obviously have a good "relationship" with.

    That's kinda the funny thing about these kinds of threads...and gear in general...what works great for one person, may not be the best for someone else. All the units I mentioned I have tried, or own, but, believe it not my favorite looper is still the Lexicon JamMan; it works for me and my solo bass loops. For instance, I have some issues with my DL4, some signal compromise isssues. I love the features, and the portability, but really am not using it due to some signal compromise which, although is slight, is noticeable enough to me to be really bothersome. On the other hand, my good friend Steve Lawson uses his DL4 (and mine too in conjunction) to astounding results.

    Someone looking to get a looper should obviously pay heed to advice of those who use them, but then again, it is wiser still to test drive before you buy. Seek the features and usable interface you need. Then find out if that is really the unit that "fits" you. I know quite a few folks who use EDPs and really love em...and a whole bunch who prefer the Repeater. Why? Because those are the tools which work for them and allow them to unleash their creativity. There is a guy in Northern Cal., Tom Heasley, who uses a DL4 with a TUBA! And sounds absolutely amazing. I know people who only use a RC20 (and a couple of folks who string together several RC20's). Is their work better or worse than someone with an EDP? NOpe...just different. And I still get weird looks from other loopers when they see I am still using an archaic JamMan.....
    BTW...it is really good to hear of someone using a looper (esp. a bassist) with a band....with a real drummer! How's that working out?
  11. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Thanks guys. the RC-20 seems sort of a good compromise between price and time for loop, anything really negative I need to watch out for? I do use a horn and I'm very picky about noise. thanks again.
  12. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    As the wise Mr Max says, they all have different feature-sets and therefor different applications - I've got a headrush, as well as a DL4, JamMan, Echoplex and MPX-G2 - all loopers, all different. The Headrush is the only one that's not currently in my solo live set up, but does have one very neat function - the ability to wipe all but the initial loop... a great function for looping sections of melody a few times over the main loop, and then removing it. very handy indeed, and may well earn the box a place in my main set up! :oops:) i'll have to look into what's possible with the outputs on it - if there's the possibility for using it as a signal splitter as well, then we're away! :oops:)

    I think my fave of the cheaper units is the DL4 - it's just so user friendly, and you can do some seriously messed up stuff with it... :oops:) In case you've been asleep for the last couple of weeks, I'll mention that on my newest CD , the DL4 is the ONLY PEDAL that I use - all the ambient noises, squeaks, percussion trax etc. are made using the DL4 and my 6 string bass - if it's not a piano sound on there, it's me.. :oops:)

    The Echoplex (Gibson EDP) is probably the coolest box on the market at the moment - loads of features, huge loop time, very cool indeed...

    ...though like Max, I still love my JamMan as well... :oops:)

    sod it, get them all! :oops:)


    www.steve-lawson.co.uk (new CD orderable here, and very good it is too... :oops:)
  13. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Hi Steve, is it rue that you can get almost thirty seconds out of the lined 6 if you click the half speed button before you start playing? Or is that unrealistic in a live situation? Thanks, I having a really hard time choosing, every box has at least a few cool features and every box has features I don't need. I'm lucky my drummer can hang with loops! BTW- I still can't work an ebow. :( -Josh
  14. Duke of Prunes

    Duke of Prunes Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Southborough, MA
    Using the Echoplex and/or Repeater, is it possible to sync your loops to a drum machine? Which would you guys prefer? The repeater seems like it would be more fit for playing whole songs live/solo, which is what I'd like to do. It has some incredible features.
  15. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK

    yup, the DL4 is a 28 second looper - not sure where all that 14 second crap that Line 6 come out with comes from!! I use it in long mode all the time...


    Both can sync to drum machine, and both can do whole songs like that if you want - the repeater can store loops, unlike the EDP, but the EDP interface is really intuitive... I had the choice between the two and chose the EDP, FWIW.

    check out the comparison pages at www.loopers-delight.com - the greatest site on the net for looping stuff...


  16. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    One of the guitarists in my band uses a Repeater. It does sense the beat of a percussive loop very well, and if your drum machine can send out midi, it'll sync to that too.

    I've never tried the EDP, but I find the Repeater's interface to be very intuitive.
  17. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Thanks for the insight everybody. For now, I'm going to go with the Headrush. My plan is to loop a bass part and then play around with it (via an Alesis Air FX thingy) live. To record, I'll loop with the PC anyway, so noise isn't going to be an issue. I got to hear a Headrush, and while it's not prstine, the noise levels were well within what I could tolerate, especially considering my budget.;)
  18. Works great...for me! :p I am on the road currently but when i get back home (two weks or so) I can mail you some studio Mp3's of my 'Rush in action? It has been a terrific tool for us as a live band, really has helped us expand as a trio. Used to be a fiour piece but our guitar guy sorta became the fifth wheel after the Headrush was brought in...evil, eh? Like any looper you have to be v e r y c a r e f u l when syncing up your loops, but you can get past that. I have no doubt that some Headrushes vary in quality...I think I may have lucked out!
    Let me know about those Mp3's...?
  19. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    But in a not very strange twist, I got the loop station. Well within the proper noise levels, loads of memory, easy to use. I have the router for true bypass. Thanks again all.