Digitech Jamman Solo XT Looper Review

Editor’s Rating

Digitech Jamman Solo XT - Check Prices

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Pros: The Jamman Solo XT offers 35 minutes of stereo looping time, 200 user memories and plenty of cool additional features like reverse play and quantization. Link two Solo XT’s together to loop in sync!
Cons: Little improvement over the previous Jamman Solo, and the sole pedal means there’s plenty of room for mistakes if you’re playing live.
Overall: The Digitech Jamman Solo XT is a fantastic option for the bedroom-looper or anyone looking to loop in sync with a band-mate, but quite similar previous incarnation.

Full Review

Digitech’s JamMan range is legendary in the world of loopers, with the gargantuan Jamman Delay Looper being one of the most feature-heavy options on the market. The Jamman Solo XT builds on the ground-work laid by the Jamman Solo, offering the features and functionality you expect from the JamMan series in a small, stompbox like package. However, any update like this automatically raises suspicion with many guitarists, because dedicated Digitech fans will often pay to get the “upgraded” pedal without really considering how much has actually changed. Is this just a money-making update, or is there something cool in there for us loopers?

Jammed with Features

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Jamman Solo XT looks virtually like a carbon copy of the Solo on first glance. It’s laid out extremely similarly, with the addition of a single “Setup” button and a few ports around the side of the unit being the only obvious changes. The main difference between the two pedals is that the Jamman Solo XT can be connected to another XT to allow you to loop with another player in-sync – which is pretty much impossible otherwise. In addition to the possibilities opened up by this new feature, the Jamman Solo XT also contains 200 memory locations (more than double that of the old unit), adds reverse playback and has dedicated stereo ins and outs, neither of which were available on the original Jamman Solo.

The basic functionality of the JamMan Solo XT is as you’d expect, though. The main pedal handles recording, playing back the loop and overdubbing, and using different combinations of pedal presses and holds call up other functions like stopping and undoing. You can play in two modes, either the classic “Free Form” looping style, where the loop is set according to the timing of your pedal-presses, and “Auto-Quantized” looping, where you receive some assistance from the pedal to keep everything in time. In “Free Form” style, you’ll need no instruction, simply choose a location for the loop and tap the pedal to start looping! There’s a color-coded LED light to tell you whether you’re recording, playing or overdubbing.

To activate the quantization feature, you simply have to dial in a tempo before you start playing. You can either do this by going into the menus and manually dialing in a BPM (pressing the “Setup” button twice and then using the “Up” and “Down” buttons), or by simply pressing the “Tempo” button and then tapping the pedal in your desired beat. The rhythm guide will start playing, which you can turn up or down using the “Rhythm Level” knob. If you hold the footswitch down you can remove the backing, or you can leave it playing if you want a guide (there are nine different options if you want to change the sound). The process is pretty much the same as recording free-form, except that you get a one-bar count in before you record. If your timing is a little off on your pedal presses, the pedal will stretch or shorten it to keep everything in sync.

The “Time-Stretching” feature (you may recall from the other JamMan pedals) comes alongside the quantization. If you’ve recorded a loop that you want to play at hyper-speed or super-slow, you can do it using either the tap-tempo feature or the “Setup” menus. This can be used to make something completely unusual or to gradually increase the pace throughout a song. Plus, since the auxiliary input allows you to record music from your MP3 player, you can slow a particularly difficult lick or solo down to help you learn to play it. Stretching or shrinking doesn’t affect the pitch of the notes, so everything will still be in-key.

The undo and redo feature is also included, which is a must for any serious looper. Unless you can play endless loops without making a single mistake (ever), this is invaluable for making sure your mistakes don’t repeat throughout your composition. You can also use it to bring elements of your mix in and out at will, because it only clears the last overdub you recorded. So if you want to bring back the melody line from the intro after the verse, you can simply hold the pedal down to remove it and then hold it again to bring it back. If playback is stopped, holding the pedal clears the entire loop.

You also get the ability to reverse your loops with the JamMan Solo XT. This doesn’t sound massively useful (since the results usually sound like your guitar signal has dropped acid in Hendrix-like quantities), but it’s a useful feature if you’re running out of ideas or if you’re looking for an ethereal, ambient effect.

There are also plenty of options for playback and stopping. You can essentially use the Solo XT as a sampler, by setting each phrase to only play once through. This removes the ability to overdub, but if you use the “Up” and “Down” buttons to navigate to a different memory slot while one is playing, playback begins at the end of the current phrase. This works when you’re looping too, so you can change loops seamlessly. For ending, you get options for fading out, stopping instantly (when you double-tap the pedal) or stopping playback at the end of the current loop.

Is it Worth it?

One thing you may have noticed through the review is that the changes to the JamMan Solo on the XT version aren’t mind-blowing, though some musicians might be able to use the extended memory, reverse playback, stereo ins and outs, and the option to use several XTs in sequence. Otherwise, you’re pretty much getting the same pedal in terms of looping functionality. The onboard memory is good for 35 minutes of stereo looping, whereas the original’s memory could only handle the same amount of mono (plus you get another 200 slots and up to 16 hours of recording time with a micro SD card). The upgrades are useful, of course, but do they really warrant an entirely new pedal if you already have the original Jamman Solo?

Not really. If it’s considered separately from the older version, however, there is very little to complain about. Operating the Jamman Solo XT is intuitive, you get more than enough looping time (and with the JamManager software you can save additional loops on your computer) and all the features you’d expect from a high-end looper. Things would be simpler in terms of operation with an additional pedal, of course, but when you’re buying a stompbox sized looper some tap combinations are to be expected. It’s not ideal for live use for that reason, so one of the larger models would be much better if that’s your intention.

Overall the JamMan Solo XT is excellent, but we’d expect nothing less given the quality of Digitech’s previous products. If you’re an avid looper who’s already considered the JamMan Solo, unless you’re looking to sync up with a band-mate or have multiple amps set up for stereo effects, there isn’t too much to recommend you updgrade from the original Solo quite yet. If this is your first foray into the world of looping and you want something to rock out in your room with, however, this is one of the best options around.

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Digitech Jamman Solo XT Demo

Digitech Jamman Solo XT Looper Review4.5Peter2017-04-28 23:45:55Digitech’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. Check Amazon Price…

38 thoughts on “Digitech Jamman Solo XT Looper Review

  1. You left out one major difference between the JamMan Solo XT and it’s predecessor. The new model has dedicated stereo ins and outs which the other model didn’t have. This is a very big difference IMO that should have been stressed in your review.

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    Feedback: 42 positive, 6 negative
    • Thanks for your comment and you bring up a good point. I’ll update the review to include the bit about stereo ins and outs. I’d be curious to see how you’re using them if you’ve got any recordings to share.

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      Feedback: 8 positive, 3 negative
  2. I know this is the updated version of the solo pedal but does this have any features over the older Jamman stereo JML2? Such as better sound or anything? Aside from being more compact it seems to have the same features, a few less in fact, as the JML2. Just curious, those are the two that I’m currently eyeing and thought maybe this new pedal had updated software or processing, something like that.

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    Feedback: 4 positive, 2 negative
    • You’re right, the Jamman Solo XT doesn’t add a whole lot to the JML2 (Jamman Stereo) unless your band is interested in the ability to connect multiple looper pedals together to sync with other players, which is pretty cool, or if you simply want a more compact pedal.

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      Feedback: 2 positive, 1 negative
  3. Just to remind us all. There is a footswitch jack on it to actuate some parameter[s]. I’m just not sure what. I did though just order it @ 20% off, so I’ll see ’bout that. I currently use the Pigtronix Infinity: it’s sound quality is fantastic and I must still get to know it better. Jack Be Nimble, B!

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    Feedback: 2 negative
    • footswitch is used for one button stopping and for scrolling through stored loops (one scrolls up, the other down). Just ordered my second solo xt and am excited to see how the jamsync works and if the footswitch has any sync functionality.

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      Feedback: 1 positive
        • Hey Pictfunk:

          1) No, each unit is controlled separately via the FS3X – with one exception, the Stop on the Master unit will stop all sync’d units.

          2) Yes, if each unit has it’s own FS3X, stopping on the Master will stop all but stopping on a slave will only stop the slave. But you cannot keep slaves playing if the Master is stopped, To work around this, I use an A/B pedal as a mute pedal on the Master (from XT out to A/B pedal in, and from A/B in > Mixer channel input) – with this method, I can mute the Master while the slaves continue playing.

          Hope this helps – I now have 7 XT’s in my rig, each with their own FS3X – to see it Google ‘rejyna jamman’ and then browse the the image results – my rig will be in there. Also look closely and you’ll see the simple modification I made to do the ‘saving’ with my foot. Also find me on YouTube, my vids there have how-to captions. You’re on your way \,,/

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  4. Hello everyone, I just wanna ask uou if you would recommend to spend a little bit more on this unit, I was going to get the JM Express XT or the Ditto, I couldn’t decide, then i stumbled across this page and see this pedal. I’ll be my first loop pedal, I want it for practicing, not really for gigging or stuff like that. So better this one, express xt or the ditto? Also the durability factor is crucial for me. Thanks!

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    Feedback: 2 positive
  5. I stumbled across this video with this looper in use, its an EXCELLENT demo – take a look…

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    Feedback: 38 positive, 1 negative
  6. Hi, I like to practise with headphones… Any looper or solution for such ?
    Thank you _

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  7. I have one of the original Jamman loopers. I love the auto rec feature. does the solo version have that function? I don’t see a button for it…maybe in the set up menu?

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    Feedback: 1 positive
  8. Can you adjust the tempo of a loop by tapping while the loop is playing?

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    Feedback: 1 positive, 1 negative
  9. Can anyone tell me if this pedal works like the DL-4 where each time you add an overdub, the previously recorded loop reduces volume slightly? I’d like to use this pedal for some experimental looping, but it’s important that what I recorded 5 minutes ago has faded out quite a bit so it doesn’t get too distorted. I like the D:-4 but it only loops in mono.

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    Feedback: 1 positive
  10. I am a solo artist and was gonna use it to make a backing for my gig sets. I was gonna just gonna play along with my loops and do some leads. Is this the best pedal or is there a better pedal for live performance?

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    • It’s hard to say whether the Jamman Solo XT is the “best” pedal. It’s a very good one, but every looper pedal on this site will allow you to record a loop to solo over. The Jamman Solo XT has a ton of nice features like built in drum patterns, the ability to set the tempo digitally, and quantization. If you don’t really need those things, you could save a little money, get slightly better sound quality, and have a dedicated “stop” button with a pedal like the Ditto X2. There are pros and cons to all these pedals, so it really depends on your needs. Good luck!

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      Feedback: 6 positive
  11. I purchased jam man solo xt, and I cannot record on it anymore. Have had it only a few weeks. Can anyone advise what I am doing wrong please?

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    Feedback: 1 positive
  12. This is a fun pedal! Two switches would be nice instead of one, but that makes it very compact so you’re more likely to bring it with you. Auto quantization is great so beginners can really jump in and sound perfect without being perfectly timed like the Ditto X2 expects. Yes, it can do arm/auto-record. Yes, it can auto fade out or full stop. Yes, you can enable pedal tempo tap. I easily figured it out within a minute of opening the box yesterday and played for hours. I opened the manual today to figure out the advanced options. You really can’t go wrong for $150 on Amazon. Add an SDHD card for a few bucks if you want to save your loops for later recall.

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    Feedback: 15 positive
  13. I ended up buying this pedal in hopes it would do what I wanted, and unfortunately my hopes were too high. For one thing, this pedal does not decrease the volume of previous overdubs as you dub more on (something most people probably don’t want, but something I really love about the DL4). Additionally, there’s quite a bit of a gap where the loop ends and restarts, even when recording something like a synth note, it’s not very smooth. Lastly, and this was the dealbreaker, there doesn’t seem to be a way to clear the current loop without playing it, since you can only clear while it’s stopped, and pressing and holding the pedal to clear will start playback before clearing it after 2 seconds of holding.

    Maybe someone else will find these things acceptable, but I had to return it.

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    Feedback: 9 positive
  14. As I understand it, this is probably the only looper pedal of this price range, that allows you to play two different loops one after the other (eg use the FS3x footswitch and just select next loop and it will start after current one ends)?

    So that would make it the only looper in this price range that can support verse – chorus looping.

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    Feedback: 3 positive
  15. It’s a good looper, the quantize tempo function is a bit sucky though. The loops do drift if played against another source set to the same tempo like a drum machine. I set it up in pro tools with my Kong R3s arpeggiator and my MPC set to 120bpm (no midi sync) the R3 and MPC stayed perfectly consistent but the solo xt ended up early after looping for a while as if if not exactly set to 120bpm.
    Kinda makes it a useless feature for me.

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  16. Here’s my video using 5 XT’s sync’d together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h00aATQAULc

    I’ve been playing guitar for 3+ decades and have been ‘live looping’ for the last 4 years. I build `songs’ using loopers to create the sound of a full band using vocals, guitar, drums and synths. I use DigiTech JamMan Solo XT loopers.

    I spent my first 3 years looping with one JamMan Solo. I then did a lot of research before building my new looping rig which has FIVE sync’d JamMan Solo XT’s. Now I have a foot-controlled multi-track recorder on the floor. It may sound daunting but it is quite intuitive once you work with it for a little bit.

    There are fancier loopers out there, but I chose the JamMan Solo XT loopers for these unique and empowering options:

    1) layering/stacking with NO playback lag when switching between adjacent loops
    2) saving a loop WHILE the looper is playing back
    3) 200 on-board memory ‘slots’ to save loops, up to 10 minutes in length in each slot
    4) SD card adds another 200 memory slots for a total of 400
    5) saving to up/down slots for overdubs and subsequent `chained playback’
    6) patch up/patch down and stop control with the 3-button FS3X external footswitch
    7) chain syncing with 1/8 inch TRS cables
    8) master with unlimited slaves
    9) multiple musicians and/or instruments each can have their own dedicated looper and 3-button FS3X
    10) indiscernible changes in tone even after layering
    11) loops are save as uncompressed .wav files
    12) stereo I/O with mono option also
    13) low cost considering all the options offered
    14) solid metal housing and silent switching
    15) usb interface for transferring loops to and from the looper

    No other looper has all of these features that are critical to live performance as well as song creation, rehearsal and jamming with friends. A multiple memory slot looper is your ‘song notebook’. Paging up and down between loop variations helps you construct songs that are more interesting than what one, two or three ‘phrase’ loopers allow.

    The JamMan Solo and Solo XT also have a ‘save’ button that allowed me to do a `save with your foot’ modification by adding a little piece of plastic (shelf endcap), making it even easier to create very complex multiple patch variations, all sync’d to the master. I attached the ‘endcap’ with Velcro (like a hinge) so it sits just above the Save Switch requiring only a light foot touch to save the currently playing loop. Then hit save again and page up with the FS3X to save it in a new slot, overdub to that, save up a slot – and so on. Then you can page up and down between these slots to chain your loop variations in any combination – with NO playback hiccup between the slots.

    To explain the sync’d JamMan approach, I’ve posted 3 multi-angle videos on YouTube, two are annotated with notes explaining what I’m doing with my feet. The video description text also goes into great detail about how I connected and configured the multiple loopers. In short, the master looper receives the FX send from the board, allowing each individual channel to go into the master. Also, each instrument plugs into its own looper (slaves) before going to the board. The vocals are looped (slave) using an insert cable and insert jack on the vocal channel of the board. Look for me on YouTube (Rejyna) to view the videos. I do not use the included software and instead use Adobe Bridge to manage, name and transfer loops to and from the looper. I also do not use the auto-start, tap tempo or rhythm options, but these are included if you need them.

    My newest CD release was recorded using one JamMan Solo Looper for all the musical parts. I then stitched and tweaked the ‘variations’ in SoundForge. And that was BEFORE I built my multiple sync’d looper rig!

    Look for me on SoundCloud, Bandcamp and CDBaby – the CD is called ‘IDIO’ – whether or not you like the music or buy my CD, listening to these songs will really demonstrate how much can be done using DigiTech JamMan Loopers. Once a person experiences `playing with themselves’, many find it hard to give up the habit…

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    Feedback: 21 positive
    • Wow. Thanks for the detailed description! Have you ever used the Pigtronix Infinity? I definitely need the preset slots as I will be saving and downloading and uploading guitar parts to play live while I play over it. But I also want the highest quality audio possible to keep signal clean. My end signal ultimately goes to a mixing board to a large house PA system. I was interested in the Infinity since it has supposedly very high quality audio recording AND true bypass as well. I had read somewhere the the Solo XT is not true bypass but buffered and that the audio quality is actually less than on the jamman express xt? It looks like you are quite satisfied with your tone through it though. Thoughts? Thanks.

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      Feedback: 1 positive
      • Hey there Daniel, thanks for the response. Yes, I’ve used the Pigtronix Infinity and it is awesome. It doesn’t allow saving multiple loops and that is why I went with the Solo XT. The Express XT does not offer saving either. My signal also goes to a board and through the PA. The Solo XT saves uncompressed .wav files. I do not notice significant changes in the sound quality. Not sure about the true bypass question. Best bet is to hike over to a Sam Ash or other guitar store and give it a test drive. Also, many online stores have money-back offers so you c an order, try it and if you don’t like it, return it. The difference in price between the Infinity and Solo XT is also a factor. Please search ‘rejyna’ on YouTube, SoundCloud or BandCamp to hear/see my rig in action. Loop large!

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        Feedback: 3 positive
      • I like the Inifinity. I use the XT because of onboard saving, switching between chained loops without latency, etc. I also use the ‘JamSync’ when syncing with midi clocks. I actually do not notice much quality degradation as long as levels are set properly – takes a little trial and error to get it correct. I also go into a board. You can hear the result of the audio on my IDIO CD and on my videos – I’m very satisfied.

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  17. Two Qs: 1) How does it compare with the Boss RC-3? 2) Does it do anything close to the delay function of the DIttoX4? I would like the older overdubs to fade as new ones are added. Thanks. Cfibanez.

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  18. I have some questions regarding Jamsync, and I was wondering if anyone here can answer them, as information is hard to find. I just bought a SoloXT, and I’m considering another couple, but I need to understand more about Jamsync first.

    Ok. Imagine a set-up whereby three SoloXT’s were synced together in a line, with only one input (guitar).

    So, suppose I want to use multiple loop slots to build more complex arrangements, as I would with a single SoloXT, but with three separate synced units.

    Question 1: In Jamsync, does scrolling up and down through the loop slots on the master SoloXT also affect the slave SoloXT’s in the same way? For example; If I scrolled to slot 33 on the master, would the slaves automatically scroll to slot 33 also?

    Question 2: When three SoloXT’s are being used in Jamsync, and all three tracks are in playback, is it possible to stop and restart the playback on each looper individually? Or does stopping one SoloXT stop all three? For example; Could I temporarily remove the loop from either of the slaves for a cycle of the playback, then bring it back in? You know … like if I want to drop the percussion for an ambient middle section. Same question with the loop on the master?Can it be stopped and started, while the other tracks in the loop continue to play? Is that possible? Or does stopping the loop on the master stop the whole lot? It must be possible with the slaves, at least? I can’t find the answers anywhere.

    Answers gratefully received 🙂

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