Choosing The Best Guitar Looper Pedal For Your Needs

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Looper pedals are great tools for guitar players – both in performance and practice and there’s a huge range on the market today. It can be overwhelming choosing the best guitar looper pedal for your needs, so in this post, I’ll be rounding up 8 of the most popular pedals currently available.

Page Contents

  Boss RC-30

  TC Electronic Ditto

  TC Electronic Ditto X2

  Digitech JamMan Express XT

  Digitech JamMan Solo XT

  EHX  360 Nano Looper

Each pedal here has it’s own benefits and drawbacks and with a closer look, this post should help you reach a more informed decision as to which one you want to go for.

For this review, I’ll be focusing mainly on pedals which do just that – loop! Some delay pedals offer looping functions although these are generally quite limited.

Over the £200 / $270 mark, you’ll see loop pedals featuring multiple looping tracks allowing for greater control, built-in effects and computer integration too.

The main players in this range come from Boss, Digitech, TC Electronic and Electro Harmonix.

Lets jump in and have a look at the ‘Boss Loop Station’ first –  there are several models available and they all fall under the same product range the ‘RC’ series…

Boss RC-1 Loop Station

£74 |€85 | $99

Summary

The Boss RC-1 is a great introduction to the world of looping. The useful LED ring display is a nice addition enabling clearer loop building and its stereo in’s and out’s will appeal to guitarists and keyboard players alike  

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Useful LED loop display
  • 12 minutes of stereo record time
  • Stereo inputs and outputs
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Limited functionality
  • Not the best recording quality
  • Short battery life

"The Boss RC-1 is a sturdy, no frills introduction to the world of looping..."

A great feature of the RC-1 is the LED loop display which shows what mode is currently in use: (play = green, record = red, overdub = red & green).

This is also useful when aiming to record the perfect take and playing along to your previous recorded loop. The visual count down helps you to keep track of where the start of the loop is.

The RC-1 control panel - a simple layout with output level and loop indicator

The RC-1 features the usual ‘tank-like’ construction as with all of Boss’ single stomp boxes. There is just one knob to adjust the volume level of the loop being played back.

A common misconception online highlights issues with the unit going out of sync or not functioning properly, however there is a hidden second ‘mode’ which once understood should clear this up.

Check the link below from the RC-1 manual to clarify:

BOSS RC-1 official manual:

The unit is factory default to cycle through its different functions as follows:

  • 1st press = record
  • 2nd press = overdub
  • 3rd press = playback
 

This order be changed however, by powering up whilst holding down the pedal, then clicking through so the lower half of the LED ring lights up.

The order of functions changes to record, play, overdub, a slightly confusing way to switch modes but is documented in the manual non the less.

The RC-1 in record mode

Undo and redo functions are available and accessed while in overdub or playback mode only, by holding the pedal down for 2 seconds or more. Undo will delete the last loop you recorded – to restore it, hold down the pedal again for two or more seconds.

Unlike other simple loop pedals, the RC-1 features stereo inputs and outputs, particularly useful for keyboard players and the optional foot switch for stop/undo functions makes using it even easier, helping to avoid clearing loops by accident.

Boss FS -5u optional foot switch
Boss FS-6 optional dual foot switch

The unit can be powered by a regular 9 volt battery although due to its high power consumption an optional Boss PSA series power supply is recommended.

Best For Beginners

The Boss RC-1 is ideal for anyone after a simple but effective looper.  It's helpful loop indicator display is a great touch and will help beginner guitarists in particular  - making it easier to use as a practice buddy...

Check Latest Prices on the Boss RC-1 below:

Amazon UK Customer Rating:
4.5/5

4.5 stars ( 104 customer reviews)

Amazon US Customer Rating:
4.2/5

4.2 stars ( 144 customer reviews)

Boss RC-3 Loop Station

£113 |€125 | $179

Summary

 

The RC-3 is packed with useful features – the most useful in my opinion are the ability to save separate loop phrases in the on board storage and the option to import and save your own .wav files. This is a great advantage for anyone who wants to perform live with the RC-3.

Pros

  • 3 hours of stereo record time
  • Store up to 99 separate loops
  • Built-in drum patterns
  • Auto-record feature
  • Back up or import .wav files via USB2
  • Auxiliary input for external devices

Cons

  • Not the best recording quality
  • Greater learning curve, more fiddly than the RC-1
  • Short battery life
  • Limited selection of drum loops although you can import your own files

"The RC-3 delivers a great range of useful features for not that much more than the RC-1..."

There are 99 memory slots in total with 10 ready made rhythm phrases pre loaded in 90-99.  These can either be used as a metronome for practice as well as jamming, playing live or building ideas as soon as inspiration strikes. A  small dot at the bottom right of the display indicates that the current slot holds audio data.

The ten built in rhythm phrases include some of the most popular music styles

As with the RC-1, the order of basic loop functions can be changed. The default is:

  • 1st press = record
  • 2nd press = overdub
  • 3rd press = playback

To change this order, hold the tap tempo button down and insert a jack plug into output A. The up and down arrows below the display can then be used to change the order.  Pressing tap tempo again confirms and returns to normal function.

Along with the usual DC power supply in, the back panel features a stereo mini jack input and USB2 connection

The option to import your own .wav files and save in the built in memory slots is a great addition.

This allows you to play along in a live setting with your own pre-prepared backing tracks – a great advantage for solo players or singer songwriters.

The RC-3’s maximum record time is 3 hours of stereo audio (44.1khz 16 bit) around 1.7Gb, which should be enough for most players, considering the unit includes an Aux (auxiliary) input – giving you another way to play backing tracks via an external MP3 player/CD/phone etc…

The RC-3 features an LED screen to display the current memory slot in use plus a dual control output knob - centre for rhythm, ring for loop

The auto record feature really takes the hassle out of recording a perfect loop first time. You can set it to detect the first moment of sound coming from your instrument, helping you to stay focused on your playing. There is also an option to have a one bar count-in using the on board rhythm phrases.

The RC-3 features a ‘sleep’ mode which kicks in after 10 hours of inactivity. This can be bypassed by holding down the pedal for 5 seconds whilst inserting a jack plug into input A.

The display will flash ‘_ _’ once this happens, release the pedal and normal function will resume.

Best For...Live use / Songwriters

The RC-3 has many useful functions - a great tool for guitarists or songwriters looking to archive loops and ideas to computer storage (via the USB2 connection).

There is a greater focus on using the pedal for live performances too  – built in drum tracks, the option to import your own .wav files and the aux input could give you the edge at any gig or open mic night, just remember to take your power supply!

Check Latest Prices on the Boss RC-3 below:

Amazon UK Customer Rating:
4.7/5

4.7 stars ( 105 customer reviews)

Amazon US Customer Rating:
4.2/5

4.5 stars ( 102 customer reviews)

Boss RC-30 Loop Station

£174 |€193 | $299

Summary

A feature packed pedal, the RC-30 has been the go to live looper for countless musicians since it’s release back in 2011. Although it may seem daunting at first for beginners, learning it’s intuitive layout and features are definitely worth the extra effort initially.

Pros

  • All the great features of the RC-3 and more
  • Two independently controllable loop tracks
  • Microphone input with phantom power
  • Built in loop effects

Cons

  • Additional power supply at extra cost
  • Not the highest quality recording

"The RC-30 gives you all you need to create, control and perform loop based guitar music"

The RC-30 is the most feature packed pedal in this review – although I wanted to focus mainly on simple pedals, this one falls within the price range of this group and shares many of the features of the RC-3 with a few added bonuses.

Both the RC-30 and RC-3 include:

  • The same basic loop functions and storage capacities
  • Built in drum tracks
  • Tap tempo
  • Auxiliary input
  • Stereo inputs and outputs

The obvious thing you’ll notice with the RC-30 though, is it features two foot switches as well as two completely separate tracks you can record phrases on to.

This is a great help if you’re using the looper for live performances –  being able to stop and start loops on a dedicated foot switch really makes life easier.

The RC-30 features two independent tracks which are armed for recording using the select buttons below each volume slider.

It can aid creativity too as it allows you to create two separate loops for different parts of a song for example.

Left Pedal

When recording your first loop to a memory slot, the left foot switch functions as follows:

  • 1st press = Record
  • 2nd press = overdub
  • 3rd press = playback

If you’ve recorded a loop in a memory slot already – 1st press will play back and second press activates record for overdubbing.

Undo and redo functions are also activated with the left pedal during play back or overdubbing by pressing and holding down for more than two seconds – this will cancel the most recent recording.

The loop FX section can be turned on or off by pressing the left pedal twice.

Right Pedal

Pressing the right pedal once will stop the play back, press it twice stops all play back if both tracks are in use.

Like the RC-3, tap tempo can be set although instead of using a button, you can use the right pedal by pressing repeatedly to the desired tempo.  This will then sync the build in rhythm tracks to match your speed.

You can also switch between which track is record enabled by holding down for a minimum of two seconds.

The rear panel layout left to right: XLR mic input with phantom power switch, stereo mini jack in, stereo ins and outs, optional foot switch input, USB2 connection and the DC power supply input

The RC-30 is the only looper in this round up that features a dedicated Mic input. A welcome addition for anyone planning to use it live, adding vocals to your loops adds another dimension to performances, you could layer loops to build harmony parts and also run them through the built in effects section.

The built in effects are either on or off and feature some interesting sounds including pitch bending down, step filters and a low-fi effect too. You can’t tweak individual effects though but the tempo delay is quite handy as you can sync it to your loop tempo:

The effects section features a type button to scroll through the five on offer, and an on/off.

The RC-30 has been on the market a while now but still a very popular choice – the features on offer along with the reasonable price make it a worth while consideration in my opinion.

The unit can run on 6xAA batteries (Boss claim for around seven hours) although for best performance a power supply is recommended, so you may want to factor that in to your budget too.

Best for...Singer Songwriters/Live Performers

The RC-30 shares its features with the RC-3 and adds to them so the same uses apply. Live performers and songwriters will find this pedal of great use, especially with the mic input and easier looping control with the dual pedal set up.

Check Latest Prices on the Boss RC-30 below:

Amazon UK Customer Rating:
4.8/5

4.8 stars ( 97 customer reviews)

Amazon US Customer Rating:
3.8/5

3.8 stars ( 61 customer reviews)

TC Electronic Ditto

£83 |€95 | $99

TC Electronic

Summary

 

The Ditto keeps things simple and offers great sound quality in a compact package.

Pros

  • 24 bit sound quality helps with clarity of playback
  • True bypass
  • Intuitive to use, features essential looping functions only
  • Compact size requires little pedal board space
  • Unlimited overdub, undo and redo
  • Loops are held in internal memory even on power down

Cons

  • Mono only
  • Mains powered only - additional power supply essential
  • All functions controlled through one switch

"The Ditto delivers simple looping functions with the highest quality of sound..."

TC Electronic have gone back to basics and focused on simplicity with their Ditto looper.

They mention on their website that the Ditto was “..designed by guitarists, for guitarists...” In other words they have gone for audio quality and intuitiveness rather than storage space, effects and non-essential extras.

It’s true that most guitarists are on a quest for the perfect tone – so to have a loop pedal in their collection that features the highest quality recording and play back with zero loss of tone, is a great bonus.

Unlike the RC series from Boss, the Ditto features 24 bit record and playback of loops.

Without going in to too much depth here, this will enhance the quality of sound by converting your analog guitar signal to a digital one with greater accuracy.

The advantages of this are clearer tone with the digitally recorded loop reproduced as close as possible to the original signal.

Depending on how ‘trained’ your ears are, this may not be a huge deal to you – everyone hears things slightly differently – although for more established players, this will give the reassurance that your tone stays intact.

The Ditto also features true bypass – which ensures no loss of tone when the pedal is in the ‘off’ position.

There is one control knob, which controls the overall output of the pedal and all functions are controlled through just one foot switch button (no optional foot switch inputs available with the Ditto).

Its functions are limited and focus on essential needs of a looper:

  • First press = Record
  • Second press = Play back
  • Third press = overdub
  • double press = pauses playback
  • press and hold = deletes the loop
  • press and hold = undo/redo the last loop recorded

 

There is no facility to change the order of functions like in the RC-1 and RC-3 – its more of a one size fits all approach.

Once you have a loop recorded you can pause its play back by double pressing in quick succession. The LED indicator will flash green when paused and will play back from the start of the loop the next time you press once.

I was struck with confusion on first auditioning my Ditto in store – I pressed to record a phrase but heard back a previous customers loop!

Although the pedal has no dedicated storage for loops, I was hearing the last loop it recorded as the pedal does retain the last loop in its internal memory until you press and hold to clear it.

Its small footprint will squeeze into smaller areas – appealing to those with crowded pedal boards. Recording the perfect loop with the single foot switch will take a bit of practice, more experienced players shouldn’t struggle too much though.

Best For...Experienced Players

The main selling points for the Ditto are its high sound quality and simple intuitive function. With 24 bit uncompressed audio and true bypass you can rest easy knowing that your tone is all you will hear.

Check Latest Prices on the TC Electronic Ditto below:

Amazon UK Customer Rating:
4.5/5

4.5 stars ( 136 customer reviews)

Amazon US Customer Rating:
3.9/5

3.9 stars ( 664 customer reviews)

TC Electronic Ditto X2

£123 |€137 | $154

Summary

 

The X2 builds on what TC Electronic set out to achieve with the original Ditto. All functions It’s clearly laid out for ease of use, plus there’s some built-in effects this time and the ability for a dedicated stop switch.

Pros

  • All the features of the original Ditto and more
  • Dedicated stop/clear foot switch
  • Import and export audio files form computer via USB2
  • 8 free backing tracks available to download from Jam Track Central
  • Built-in loop effects - reverse and half-speed
  • Loops are held in internal memory even on power down
  • Space saving placement of input and output jacks
  • Batteries can be used

Cons

  • 5 minute loop limit

"The X2 looper improves on the original Ditto in all the right areas. With it's ease of use and quality sound it's one to consider for the shortlist..."

One of the biggest advantages of having two foot switches on any loop pedal is the dedicated stop switch.

Stopping the recording/playing of a loop has to be as accurate as possible to ensure you play in time – having to double press like with the original Ditto is harder to execute so this is a great addition here with the X2.

The rear panel of the X2, featuring stereo in's and out's, DC power supply in and mini USB2 port for import and export of loops

On the original Ditto, the mini USB2 input on the right hand side enabled software updates only – with the X2, its used to import or export audio files from your computer.

You could for example, make the perfect loop with the X2, save then back up via the USB, tweak in your favourite audio software, then import it back into the X2 as a backing to solo over.

The pedal uses two small toggle switches one each side of the main volume knob.

The left switch selects between storage (holding in the up position clears the storage) and volume of imported loop, whereas the right selects between using the right foot pedal as as a dedicated stop or one of the two effect.

There is also the option to use batteries this time with space for two 9 volt batteries in a compartment underneath. This compartment also features dip switches to change the order of functions:

i) Loop —> play —> record

ii) Loop —> overdub —> play

left side toggle switch for selecting imported loop level, store and delete

The inclusion of half speed and reverse effects gives you another option for creating interesting loops and the unit can be used to store and back up your creations to computer via USB2.

The position of the right hand toggle selects weather you use the right pedal as a dedicated stop or as an on/off switch for the two effects available

Best For...Any level of player

Despite the larger size of the X2, you still only 5 minutes of loop time, although you do get the higher 24 bit audio quality.

The X2 can be seen as the next logical upgrade from the original Ditto and adds useful features including the secondary foot switch which can be selected to act as a dedicated stop switch.

If you value quality of sound over storage space then the X2 could be the one for you.

Check latest prices here:

Amazon UK Customer Rating:
4.2/5

4.2 stars ( 46 customer reviews)

Amazon US Customer Rating:
3.9/5

3.9 stars ( 664 customer reviews)

Digitech JamMan Express XT

£89 |€98 | $111

Summary

 

The JamMan Express XT is Digitech’s entry level looper, similar to Boss’ RC-1. Both are based on a simple, intuitive design although the Express XT uses a higher audio quality of 24 bit.

Pros

  • High 24 bit sound quality
  • Sync multiple JamMan pedals together
  • True bypass
  • Stereo in's and out's
  • 'Silent Clear' function prevents playback when clearing loops

Cons

  • 10 minutes maximum recording time
  • Short battery life - additional power supply recommended

" The Jamsync feature adds a unique ability to create loops together with other musicians..."

The layout of the pedal is clean and easy to use with individual LED lights to indicate what function is currently in operation – although there’s no visual cue with an LED light as to when the start of a loop is (like on the RC-1).

Basis loop functions are as follows:

  • First press = Record
  • Second press = Play back
  • Third press = overdub
  • Double press = stop playback
  • press when playing back = activates record for overdub
The XT has a clear and simple layout - LED's for each function and output level

All loop functions are controlled through one foot switch – so no dedicated stop pedal, however you do have the option to use the ‘Jamsync’ function. This enables you to connect two or more additional JamMan series pedals using a stereo mini jack cable.

Use the last pedal in the chain as the ‘master’ adding additional XT’s before it to function as ‘slave’. The master and can control stop/playback functions for all additional pedals in the chain.

Each musician then has the option to record their parts with their own dedicated unit to add their own loops to the mix.

Undo/Redo Functions…

The Express XT includes undo/redo features, a basic feature with most loop pedals (including the 8 in this review!).

Once you’ve recorded you first loop, you can add another part (overdub) by pressing the switch once while in playback mode.

The JamMan Express XT has a simple design in a small footprint, useful if space is limited on your pedal board

If you decide you don’t like your over dub you can clear it by pressing and holding for around two seconds.

This will revert back to just the original loop (1st pass). You may then decide you want to restore it – this is done by pressing and holding once more (still in playback mode).

Be cautious though when creating many overdubs, you can only undo the last recording as the one before it becomes merged with the original loop.

The JamMan also features the ‘Silent Clear’ function – this gives you the ability to clear a loop without having to play it. To do this, whilst in stop mode, press and hold the foot switch for two seconds. Once the loop has been cleared this way it can not be undone, so be sure that you want to delete it first!

Best for...Creative live looping with other musicians...

The ‘Jamsync’ option gives the XT a unique edge, giving you the option to build your own modular multi-loop rig or jam and perform creative loop music with other musicians.

Perhaps not as user friendly for beginners as Boss’ RC-1 – as there’s no dedicated stop (unless you have more than one unit of course).

You do get the higher bit rate though plus true bypass so could be an option if you need a simple great sounding looper.

Check latest prices here:

Amazon UK Customer Rating:
4.2/5

3.4 stars ( 20 customer reviews)

Amazon US Customer Rating:
3.9/5

3.5 stars ( 107 customer reviews)

Digitech JamMan Solo XT 

£85 |€98 | $129

Summary

Pros

  • Feature packed pedal in a small format
  • Stereo in’s and out’s
  • 35 minutes of built in storage
  • Expandable storage with micro SDHC card slot
  • 200 built in memory slots plus additional 200 slots to SD card
  • Optional foot switch for hands free control
  • Auto quantize feature
  • Auto record feature
  • Auxillary input
  • Slow down loops without changing pitch
  • Power supply included

Cons

  • Built in rhythm sounds not the greatest
  • Steep learning curve for beginners

“The Solo XT is a highly versatile looper with up to 16 hours storage with micro SDHC card slot…”

The JamMan solo XT crams a ton of features in to a single size foot pedal. It’s closest rival here is the RC-3 from Boss which it shares similar functions with.

There are a few more useful features added with the Solo XT though, including the addition of a micro SDHC card which gives you further storage (up to 32 Gb) accessed via an additional back of 200 memory slots.

The left side connections feature the micro SDHC slot for external memory storage, mini USB for back up to PC or Mac and stereo outputs.

The internal storage can hold up to 35 minutes of audio in total using the 200 built in memory slots – 9 slots come pre-programmed with rhythm guide patterns.

These are pretty basic and you’ll want to use your own backing tracks for performance but are helpful to keep time when jamming in practice sessions.

The Solo XT can record and play back single loops up to 10 minutes long which should be long enough for most players.

Although the Solo XT is a single pedal looper, there is the option to add the Digitech FS3X external foot switch, which gives you greater control over loop functions.

This includes having a dedicated stop switch and scrolling through the memory banks plus setting tap tempo for your loops.

The FS3X can be used with a number of pedals, including the solo XT to facilitate hands free loop control

Recorded loops and phrases can be backed up to computer via the mini USB connection.

Digitech’s free loop manager software ‘Jam Manager’ enables you to organise and store loop lists creating your own loop library then import/export them as and when needed.

As with the JamMan Express, the Solo XT features the ‘Jamsync’ in’s and out’s on the rear panel to link multiple JamMan pedals together.

There’s quite a lot packed in to the control panel compared to the Express, although everything is clearly labelled. Some may find the buttons a little fiddly but this is a small price to pay for its great functionality.

There are two dedicated output levels, one for loop the other for rhythm track, and a stack of 3 status LED’s indicate loop mode, single loop mode and the SD card memory being accessed:

The control panel of the Solo XT is clearly labelled and features a bright status LED to show the current function in operation

The Solo XT gives you a choice of recording a loop in the following ways:

Free time – the end of the loop is determined by the user pressing the foot switch. The length of the loop is then set which determines it’s tempo.

Auto Quantize – tap the tempo to set (using either tempo button, foot switch or external foot switch) before you record a loop.

Press the pedal to record your loop – when done press the pedal again to stop.

Depending on weather you pressed stop slightly early or late, the auto quantize will adjust your recording to fit the tempo.

This will be useful for players with little looping experience as it corrects the loop to be a perfect fit for you, enabling you to carry on recording your next idea on top.

Best for…Composers, performers and effective practice…

Out of all the loop pedals in this review, the Solo XT wins in terms of storage (due to the micro SDHC card slot) and I can see it appealing most to seasoned players, especially song writers and composers.

The Jam Manager software complements this feature, allowing you to organise and archive your creations creating your own loop library in the process.

Although some beginners may feel put off by its complexity, the pedal does feature some great additions to help make looping easier, such as auto record and auto quantize features.

It would be worth while in my opinion to learn the functions of this pedal fully, as effective practice with it will definitely help to improve your playing.

Check latest prices here:



Electro Harmonix  360 Nano Looper

£92 |€105 | $84

Summary

Pros

  • High quality 24 bit converters
  • Simple to use
  • Silent momentary foot switch
  • Power supply included

Cons

  • Limited functionality
  • No battery option

“The Nano looper 360 focuses on essential looping functions only, for fast on the fly looping…”

The Nano is comparable to the TC Electronic Ditto, offering simple but intuitive looping functions in a small footprint.

Although not as small as the Ditto, the Nano does have some advantages with the ability to store 11 independent loops accessed by the memory slot control knob on the right.

There’s 6 minutes of total loop recording time available so slightly more than the Ditto’s 5 mins.

Once the first loop is recorded, it’s length is subtracted from the total loop recording time. The Nano will stop recording automatically once 6 minutes of recording is up.

The red record LED light will turn off and the green play light will turn on, initiating playback straightaway.

The Nano 360 takes looping back to basics with it’s simple but intuitive design

The Nano keeps things simple and features just mono in and out. There are no connection options for computer back up although recorded loops are saved in the 11 memory slots even when the unit is turned off.

The user must delete manually by pressing and holding down the foot switch while in stop mode for two or more seconds, ensuring the correct memory slot for deletion is selected.

A factory re-set can be achieved and clears all 11 memory slots at once.

This is done by selecting memory slot 11, inserting a jack in to the pedals input whilst holding the pedal switch down.

The three LED indicators will start to flash, at this point you can release the pedal, the lights will continue to flash for around 4 seconds until the reset is complete.

Basic looping functions are as follows:

  • First press = Record
  • Second press = Play back
  • Third press = overdub
  • Double press = stop playback

Overdub by pressing the foot switch when in playback. Pressing and holding the pedal for 1 or more seconds activates undo/redo functions.

As all looping functions are accessed through the one foot switch, anyone new to looping may find recording in time difficult to begin with.

It takes some practice to be able to double press to stop exactly to create a perfect loop and there is no option for an additional foot switch to facilitate this.

The foot switch itself though is a silent momentary switch, so no big clunking noises when you press it which does make it slightly more user friendly.

Best for…Simple looping on the fly…

The compact 360 Nano is a great option if you just need a simple looping function on your pedal board and will appeal to beginners and pros alike.

There is no battery option but you do get a power supply thrown in so you can start looping straight out of the box.

Check latest prices here:



Comparison Chart and Conclusion

Choosing the perfect loop pedal for your needs can be a tough task – there is no real ‘winner’ here as they all have something to offer, some will appeal more than others depending on what your intended use is.

My aim here is to give you an outline of some of the most useful features for each unit and how they compare to each other, in the hope that it may help you come to a clearer decision.

The table below shows an summary of features from all 8 pedals in this roundup. Swipe right to view more >>:

BrandBossBossBossTC
Electronic
TC
Electronic
DigitechDigitechElectro
Harmonix
ModelRC-1
Loop Station
RC-3
Loop Station
RC-30
Loop Station
DittoDitto X2JamMan
Express XT
JamMan
Solo XT
Nano 360
Stereo in’s and out’s

Total built-in recording time12 mins3 hours3 hours5 mins5 mins10 mins35 mins (up to 16 hrs via SD card)6 mins
Recording quality16 bit 44.1kHz16 bit 44.1kHz16 bit 44.1kHz24 bit 44.1kHz24 bit 44.1kHz24 bit 44.1kHz24 bit 44.1kHz24 bit 44.1kHz
Dedicated stop switchExternal foot switch neededExternal foot switch neededExternal foot switch neededExternal foot switch neededExternal foot switch needed
Import/export of phrases




Number of built-in memory slotsn/a9999n/an/an/a20011
Built in effects

External foot switch option
Battery option

Power supply included

My own choice of loop pedal from this selection was the TC Electronic Ditto. I wanted a great sounding simple looper for practice ideas on the fly.  I didn’t need huge storage options or performance features and in my opinion I made the right choice for what I wanted to do with it.

My only issue with it is having just the one foot switch and although it’s intuitive to use it is harder to record a perfect loop. At the time of purchase, the Ditto X2 had yet to be released and if I could go back, I’d definitely be considering it.

Ultimately your choice will be swayed by what you want to achieve with your new looper pedal. If you’re a beginner guitarist wanting to use a pedal as a practice buddy, you’ll find it easier if it has a dedicated stop foot switch.


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and found it useful – what features are important to you in a loop pedal? Perhaps you already have a looper but are looking to upgrade? Share your views below!

4 Responses

  1. I really appreciate all the information about loop stations for when I learn to play the guitar. I have been debating about trying to learn the guitar for a while now but it seems complicated. Do you like playing the guitar and if so does a looper system help your guitar playing skills? Which guitar looper do you recommend for a beginner?

    1. Hi Jon, thanks for the comment. Loop pedals can help in many ways when practicing, for beginners they can give you a chance to record a few simple chords which can then be looped for you to try scales and ideas over the top. You could play a click track or drum loop and play that back to work on your timing too. My best recommendation for a beginner would be the boss RC-1 as it features a large LED display which clearly shows the loop recorded as it counts down. You can also get an additional function pedal for it to act as the stop switch – very important as creating perfect loops with just one switch can be tricky to begin with.

  2. Hello Rob, what an excellent review of the most popular looper pedals currently being sold to guitarists online!

    The reason why I say this is because I can tell that you know your stuff because your passion shows in the way you share your knowledge of all the products mentioned above.

    I am not a guitarist, and my respect to those who can master and have a talent and ear to play them.

    I do however have one question when it comes to choosing the best guitar loopers for your needs:

    The wailing sounds that guitarists make with their guitar- is this caused from a feature found in a pedal looper that includes sound effects or something like that?

    I mean, who hasn’t wondered what would it be like if they were like street performers, and how great it would feel to be appreciated if your talents?

    Thank you for your time, Rob.

    Jose

    1. Hi Jose, i’m glad you enjoyed learning about loop pedals from this post. I think the wailing sounds you are referring too could be a way you play guitar when playing guitar solos – bending the string just after you play it raises its pitch and in a playing technique/effect that has been heard since early rock and roll, heightened by overdriven guitar amps!

      Loop pedals can be used as ‘effects’ too – the most effective way is to create a whole one-man-band by layering different sounds recorded into the pedal. Ed Sheeran has made a whole career out of his use of loop pedals at live shows. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay in Touch!

No spam, just quality content and news updates…

© 2019 Tunelectric Guitar Education | All rights Reserved.