When I first took the box and opened it, my initial reaction was: it’s so tiny & cute. I could almost cuddle it… 😉
Nonetheless, it comes in a sturdy metal case, the level knob, the button… everything really looks & feels top notch.
(Nice detail: rubber pads are not attached on the bottom but provided optional, depending on how you want it on your pedalboard.)
(Not nice detail: I know this thing is idiot-proof, but the manual is only available as PDF on the website, not included).
The foot-switch itself works very well, even though it’s really tiny. I would recommend placing it in a horizontal (not original vertical) position. This way, you can see the LED when your foot is on the switch.
Next thing, I grabbed a 9V batter and opened it up. I should have been suspicious because I needed a very weird screwdriver for this. It turns out: the thing is packed, no space for battery. Just AC power option. So I’m getting my 9V AC adaptar. Next to the large AC power plug, the Ditto Looper suddenly doesn’t look so cute & tiny anymore…
I kind of get the minimal footprint vision and it makes sense on most pedalboards. Personally, however, I’d also like to throw in the small pedal into my backpack when I feel like (you never know when the next opportunity for live looping arises…).
Also, some guitarists who rarely use the looper might appreciate a battery option.
Let’s hope there will be a battery option here in the future that is only slightly bigger (i.e. like the PolyTune vs PolyTune mini).
Let’s talk about the sound (- and this has actually been the main reason for me to get another one-button looper alongside the Boss RC-2). I want a looper for my pedalboard that I can leave on the FX chain and that won’t deliver a blurry digital sound or any noise.
All I can say is: The Ditto Looper lives up to its “true-bypass analog-dry-thru etc.” marketing hype. The sound through my studio monitors has been pristine, crystal clear. It’s really a joy hearing the clean loops…
This may sound as something simple, but actually is a big thing. If you want a looper in your FX chain for performance, clean sound is absolutely essential.
I haven’t fully tested how the Ditto Looper behaves with line level input/output. It kind of seems that guitar signal goes through as a standard guitar signal (analog dry-through…). However the looped sound might go out as line level. Haven’t figured out yet…
Now, let’s look at the looping functionality. I must admit, before today, I was quite worried because an initial prototype reviewer mentioned that you couldn’t tell the Play vs Overdub mode apart. Much to my relief I can say: No problem at all. I’m absolutely delighted how the one LED light works:
– Empty loop = Black (nothing)
– Record = Red
– Play = Green
– Overdub = Red (yes!)
– Undo/Redo = Blinks for short time
– Stop = Blinking green
– And here is the best feature: In Play/Overdub mode, whenever the loop passes the starting point, it briefly blinks just once. When I remember how often I had a two-bar loop where I couldn’t tell the loop starting point on my RC-50… This should be a default feature for all hardware loopers!!!
Simple, yet brilliant…
This whole LED display functionality gives you the feeling that people at TC Electronics have put attention into details.
The looper features themselves are pretty straightforward: Record, Play, Overdub, Undo/Redo (last layer), Stop, Delete. I haven’t measured if the looping time is really 5 minutes, but it is plenty. Here more in detail:
– 1. Press: Record (immediately, with foot down)
– 2. Press: Play (immediately)
– 3. Press: Overdub (foot up)
– 4. Press: Play (immediately)
– Long-press (in play mode): Toggle Undo/Redo last layer (after short delay)
– Double-press: Stop
– Double-press with Long-press: Stops immediately, then deletes loop
– After double-press (stop-mode), Press: Re-starts loop (immediately)
– After double-press (stop-mode), Long-press: Deletes loop (yet, plays loop again before delete!!)
Here is the problem:
In Stop-Mode, long-press will delete the loop. However, until the long press kicks in, the initial press will re-trigger the loop – until it finally stops and gets deleted. Interestingly, the Boss RC-2 has the same “feature” (that’s where the optional 2nd pedal was useful).
So, for deleting the loop, you have three options:
1.) Double-press with long-press: Stop the loop & delete at same time.
2.) In stop-mode, turn down loop level to 0, then long-press for delete.
3.) In stop-mode, double-press (as quick as possible) with long press. (this is what the PDF manual actually recommends).
This is a serious issue that requires a work-around imo.
Finally, one more positive detail: When you plug-off the looper while there is a loop on it, it will store it. Next time you plug-in the looper, the last loop is there, available in stop-mode.
So, to sum it up – I am very happy with the Ditto Looper and will definitely keep it.
The sturdy build, the attention to details (i.e. the LED), the perfect sound quality… I can’t remember having enjoyed any one-pedal-looper so much. The sound quality alone makes such a huge difference…
That being said, there are a few disadvantages I should also mention at the end:
Lack of battery really limits the flexibility. Let’s hope – just like the PolyTune vs PolyTune Mini – they come with a slightly larger battery version. (I would certainly get it).
Concerning functionality, this is a very well-thought device. Nevertheless, I still see room for improvement:
– In Stop-Mode, LongPress should delete the loop without re-playing the loop (until longpress kicks in). For this, you’d have to compromise the re-trigger a bit (re-start loop in stop-mode only when foot goes up). But it would be worth it in terms of functionality.
– While we’re at it: Why not finally add a Mulitply function? (Activate it with LongPress in Overdub-Mode; blinking red light in multiply mode). That would be so sweet!!
Especially, the long-press delete could – and should – easily be implemented with an update via USB port (yes, Ditto Looper has a USB port!). If someone could convince TC Electronics…
So, final verdict:
If you are looking for a fun, mobile looper for jamming, I’d probably stick with something like the Boss RC-2/RC-3 that gives you a battery option (“rhythm”/tempo accomp. might be also useful for jamming).
However, if you want a high-quality yet simple, affordable,& minimalistic looper for your live performance rig (that doesn’t compromise sound quality in your FX chain), the Ditto Looper might be the best choice so far.
review by Buzap
Here’s a review on the PremierGuitar page