Looper Pedal Reviews

Independent reviews of the best looper pedals

Boss RC-1 Loop Station

For a while there, it seemed like Boss and Digitech were competing to make the most complicated looper on the planet. Stripped-down, simple-to-use looper pedals are becoming more common, however, with options like the Ditto, JamMan Express XT, Nano 360, and the Wally offering back-to-basics functionality. Boss isn’t a complete stranger to this game, having released the RC-2 and RC-3 – which were stompbox-sized, but still had plenty of features. With the RC-1, Boss has ventured further into minimalist territory. But in this crowded market of back-to-basics loopers, does the RC-1 really stand out from the competition?

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Electro-Harmonix Nano Looper 360

Tiny loopers are all the rage these days, and after Electro-Harmonix’s multi-track 2880 and 45000 offerings, they’ve decided to get a piece of the action too. The Nano Looper 360 is a tiny unit, immediately opening up comparisons with pedals like the JamMan Express and the TC Electronic Ditto (and Ditto X2). These are primarily aimed at those new to looping, wanting something to improve their jam sessions or just have a bit of fun with without paying the big bucks to get their hands on a larger, more feature-laden unit. However, does the simplicity work in its favor, or will you just be left wanting more?

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Nu-X Loop Core (Boss RC-3 Clone)

The Nu-X Loop Core is essentially a clone of the Boss RC-3 Loop Station. The question is, is it just as good as the Boss RC-3 or should you spend the extra bucks? In a nutshell, I think the Nu-X Loop Core is every bit as good as the Boss RC-3. The only reservation I might have is when it comes to quality control in manufacturing and customer support, but I’m just speculating. Honestly, the Loop Core is pretty great. You’ll notice the solid metal body construction, except for the battery compartment which is plastic. Like the Boss RC-3, it has all the essentials that I look for in a looper including a built-in selection of drum patterns, the ability to store multiple phrases, USB connectivity, stereo ins/outs, and the option to add external footswitches.

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Hotone Wally Looper

I didn’t even know there was a category of micro pedals until I discovered the Wally Looper by Hotone. It makes sense. Why are most pedals so much larger when all other technology trends towards smaller and more powerful? Laptops and cellphones have all gotten smaller, but effects pedals seem to have been the same size since the 60s. The Wally Looper has all the power of much larger loopers, but packed into a body that’s reminiscent of a matchbox car (74mm x 44mm x 44mm). It even has the quality metal construction of an old matchbox car to boot. Obviously, if you’re traveling with pedals, the small size and bulletproof construction is a huge advantage.

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TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper

If you loved the Ditto looper but wanted just a little bit more in terms of features, TC Electronic may have hit the nail on the head with the Ditto X2. It’s the same great sounding looper pedal as the original, except it has two footswitches instead of one, lets you import and export loops and jamtracks to your computer, and gives you reverse and 1/2 speed effects. Just like the original Ditto, the Ditto X2 is easy to use right out of the box, with all the features you need, and none of the fluff you don’t.

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Boss RC-505 Loop Station

Loopers are traditionally a plaything for guitarists. Boss has played their part in establishing this status quo, putting out numerous looper pedals of varying sizes from the RC-3 style stompboxes through to the behemoth options like the latest flagship, the RC-300. For beatboxers like Dub FX, this meant the only option was to use the supplied mic jacks and use the guitarist-centric pedals their own way. With the RC-505, Boss has thrown out the rule book and made something specifically for beatboxers, synth players, keyboard players and singers looking to enter the world of looping. The RC-505 is a hand-operated, tabletop looper pedal; potentially opening up a new era in the domain of the looper.

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Digitech Jamman Express XT

DigiTech’s famous JamMan series of loopers has a new addition. The Express XT is a stripped-down looper, a simplistic model more easily comparable to the TC Ditto than to any previous stompbox-size JamMan models. For devout DigiTech supporters, the ability to connect multiple Express XTs together for multi-track looping may be a big selling point. Although the feature was also included on the Solo XT, the Express is cheaper, so it has the potential to be the first real taste of this feature for many loopers. Its small size and relatively limited functionality may be a concern for dedicated loopers, though, so it’s a good idea to see what it has to offer before you part way with your cash.

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Electro-Harmonix 45000

The Electro-Harmonix 2880 was a breath of fresh air for many loopers. Its multi-track recorder like design made the entire thing very intuitive, and that same thread of user-friendly design has survived with the updated model. The new looper, the 45000, looks very similar to the older incarnation, but does it have more to offer? With multi-track looping, a stereo Mix Down track and an included 4GB memory card (good for over two hours of recording), the 45000 could be the next big thing in looping.

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Digitech Jamman Solo XT Looper

Digitech’s JamMan range is legendary in the world of loopers, with the gargantuan Delay being one of the most feature-heavy options on the market. The Solo XT builds on the ground-work laid by the Solo, offering the features and functionality you expect from the JamMan series in a small, stompbox like package.

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