The best looper pedals are not that novice but they are not quite old either. They come in a variety of shapes, weights and with very different features. Even for those who know these pedals in and out, getting the best one can be a big challenge.
Table of Contents
- The Best Looper Pedals for Guitars in 2020
- 1. Boss RC-30 Phrase Looper Pedal
- 2. TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal
- 3. Digitech JMSXT Jamman Solo XT
- 4. Boss RC-3 Loop Station Pedal
- 5. Digitech JMEXTV JamMan Looper Pedal
- 6. Pigtronix SPL Infinity Looper Pedal
- 7. Zoom G1on Guitar Effects Loop Pedal
- 8. Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper Pedal
- 9. Line 6 JM4 Looper Pedal
- 10. Vox VLL1 Lil Looper Multi-Effect Pedal
- Useful Item Guide
- Stereo or Mono output
- Number of Pedals
- Multiple Loops
- Reverse Looping
- Types of Inputs
- True Bypass
- 1. Which looper is the best?
- Value For Money
- Our Top Pick
- Highest Quality
- 2. What does a looper pedal do?
- 3. What is analog dry through?
- 4. Which is better, multiple pedals/switches or single pedal/switch?
It depends on your own needs and what you really want to get done. For someone using it at home to practice or just make tunes, a simple pedal with basic features should be good enough. Again, it comes down to your own liking as some people want to make use of advanced features as well. If you're looking for a different effect such as Delay, you may wish to look at our top 11 delay pedals.
1. Boss RC-30 Phrase Looper Pedal
The Boss RC-30 Looper Pedal is a product design and made in Japan. It is a looper with twin pedals and it is multitrack. There are two synchronized tracks along with volume faders and select buttons. And you can customize the loops and make them a tad bit more special with built-in effects.
The best thing about this looper pedal is that it has a very generous memory. You can record up to 3 hours of stereo which should be ample for those who use it quite frequently. Also there are 99 onboard memory phrases where you can store the loops. The weight is quite manageable as well with the looper weighing only 4 pounds.
Why We Liked It - It is one of those products that make it easy for you to achieve your goals. Most people look for value when they buy something whether expensive or cheap. This one simply provides great value for the price you will buy it for.
2. TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal
If you are a guitarist looking for a looper that understands you, the Ditto is exactly what you need. It is designed while keeping in mind the needs of a guitarist. You get only 5 minutes of loops but unlimited number of undos and retakes. The overdubs are unlimited too so there is a lot of possibility.
It does require power at least 9 Volts with 100 mA current. It also features analog dry through and true by pass. This allows your signal to stay intact and sound as pure as it came out. Most guitarist want total control of their tunes and this is ideal for them. It is definitely high quality and is a result of manufacturer's constant efforts to involve guitarists in the process to understand their needs. The Ditto works out great for bass as well.
Similar Read: Best Guitars for Beginners to Start Playing
Why We Liked It - The Ditto is a mix of creativity, high quality, and affordability. It is hard to find products that provide exactly what you need and in the price, you can afford. The Ditto does justice to your money through its features.
3. Digitech JMSXT Jamman Solo XT
The Digitech Solo XT Stereo Looper has solved all the capacity and memory issues for a looper pedal. With this product the stereo recording time is already quite generous but the great things is that you can even further extend itl. The built-in stereo recording time is 35 minutes with loops in 200 internal memories.
However, there is an optional SDHC card option that increase the CD quality loops by another 200 memories. So basically, you can get a whopping 16 hours of stereo recording time. There is an aux input for connecting CD or MP3 players to play music. The overall build is metal and quite rugged so you can be sure about durability. Everything happens on the fly as it is very easy to record rhythm loops and then solo over them. Using the JamSync you can connect multiple loopers to make a multilooping system.
Why We Liked It - This pedal is a complete package as it also includes a power supply. With some pedals, you have to get pedal power supplies separately but with this, there is no such hassle. Not only that it also provide many other conveniences and durability. It achieves time stretching and does not affect the quality a bit.
4. Boss RC-3 Loop Station Pedal
This is yet another great product from Boss who know what is best for guitarists. It is a compact-sized pedal weighing just a mere 1.4 pounds. But do not think it is small in any way in terms of performance. You can store up to 99 loops and record 3 hours of stereo.
There is a USB 2.0 port as well to make things easier for you. This way you can connect it to your computer and import or export WAV audios. This requires 9 V power supply. There is a rhythm guide with real drums to take your recording game to the next level.
Why We Liked It - Boss is a truly high quality producer of pedals. This particular model is imported from Taiwan and is very durable. You get tremendous value from this pedal even if it seems a bit expensive.
5. Digitech JMEXTV JamMan Looper Pedal
A lot of us like things simple and this JamMAn Express XT Stereo Looper is very minimalistic. You have many features that are present in most pedals from Digitech. This includes JamSync as well which allows you to connect several loopers to create a whole system. The true by pass gives you the control and keeps the signals intact. It is very easy to use especially with the LEDs.
There are three LEDs for record, play and dub. You can virtually do unlimited dubs and as for stereo time you can record stereo for 10 minutes. This is the first looper to feature the Silent Clear technology. It automatically clears the loop when you press for it and does not play it via the amp.
Why We Liked It - It is a very modern and user-friendly product that any player would love to have. Also, it is one of the most affordable pedals you can find online. You get so much in a price that is truly reasonable.
6. Pigtronix SPL Infinity Looper Pedal
There is a lot you can achieve with the Pigtronix SPL Infinity Looper. There are 2 stereo loops with sync with loop two having multipliers x1, x2, x3, x4, and x6. It is simple but incredibly powerful features that give you the power to make loops as you like.
It sounds amazing because of its discreet analog limiter stages, analog pass through and 24-bit rate. If you are a person obsessed with high definition sound then this is perfect for you. And if all of this was not enough, this pedal provides an aux output to play the loops on stage monitors. Using the USB port you can transfer the loops at the same rate to your computer. No matter what style you play, it achieves clarity and high quality and makes your loops sound professional.
Why We Liked It - This is packed with innovative features that provide you immense playground with looping and make the sound truly professional. This is how a high end pedal should be with diverse connections like aux and usb and simple to use features.
7. Zoom G1on Guitar Effects Loop Pedal
Quality pedals do not necessarily have to be expensive and that is what the Zoom G1on proves. You have 75 effects options to add to the loops. There are 14 amp models for you to use. You can utilize up to 5 effects at one time which gives you virtually hundreds of combinations to try. In terms of memory, you have 100 memory locations.
The features onboard include tuner and a rhythm machine. It requires 4 AA batteries that are included in the pedal along with a guide to help you get started. You can connect your headphones or amplifiers with the output jack. You can do so much with effects including flanging, phasing, chorus and distortion. It is super light too weighing a little over 13 ounces. You cannot undo a loop which is probably the only thing lacking in this otherwise great looper.
Why We Liked It - The effects that this pedal offers make it so much fun. You can play around and try out different effects together (up to 5) to make something unique. It is also very simple to use and not at all expensive.
8. Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper Pedal
This is yet another pedal that makes looping a breeze. Everything can be done with just a touch of a button. You can stop, undo, redo, and half the speed with just a touch. You can record two instruments simultaneously so you and your bandmate or friend can play together to create loops. The recording time is not that much but still decent enough compared with low end pedals.
You have 10 minutes of stereo recording. This one is super light as well weighing only 1.6 pounds. The price makes it a bit more towards high end but you have an adapter included. It can use 9V battery too but that is not included. It is a sophisticated looper that would definitely appeal to anyone looking for multitasking and having complete control.
Why We Liked It - Whether you are an amateur or a pro, using a pedal should not be rocket science. Electro Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper makes it very easy for anyone to record stereo and create amazing sounding loops.
9. Line 6 JM4 Looper Pedal
Line 6 JM4 Looper is very professional in every which way and is great for jamming. It is used in studios by professional recording artists but you can always use it at home too. The 24 minutes recording time is enough to record loops on the go. There is a plethora of tunes waiting for you to explore with over 150 song presets, and over 250 artists presets. There more than 36 tone banks that are user created.
The sounds evolve so quickly when you use this loop as the jam tracks can be looped into something totally unique. With this you do not have to spend a lot of time tuning your guitar, you can just keep playing. You can add a variety of moods to your tunes and let your creativity flow free.
Why We Liked It - It is simply awesome for jamming and has scads of prerecorded presets from professional recording artists. This offering is pretty hard to resist for any guitar enthusiast. Though expensive, it makes sure you get great value for every buck you spend.
10. Vox VLL1 Lil Looper Multi-Effect Pedal
Many loopers do not have power supply included but thanks heaven this one does. You can record 90 seconds on two loops and have multiple effects to play with. As for undo and redo, there is no end to that. There is a feature called Loop Quantize that allows you to make phrases of specific length and synchronize two loops to a certain tempo.
It is a dual pedal looper that lets you record, dub and playback between the two independent loops. It is small and very manageable and portable. There is an option to connect a microphone through the mic input.
Why We Liked It - Vox VLL1 is a fantastic pedal for trying different things and making tunes that sound professional. The value for money is good considering there is power supply is included. Using it is a breeze and anyone can use it.
Useful Item Guide
There are certain details that you should know about before deciding which one to get for yourself. Here is a comprehensive buyer's guide to help you make sense of it all:
This is probably the first thing you would want to check out when looking for a looper pedal. The built-in memory varies greatly between pedals and almost all of them have some at least. In some models the memory is extendable with the help of an SD card. This is important as memory is necessary for recording stereo loops in CD quality. Some have minutes of internal stereo recording memory and some even have hours of recording time. It boils down to your needs whether you need something with a lot of memory. If you use it all too often and record a high number of loops then go for the one with a considerable size of internal memory and possibly an SD card option.
Stereo or Mono output
Mono output is fine for jamming purposes but if you want to record your loops in stereo, a stereo output is necessary. Most pedals now come with stereo output options like a chorus pedal that lets you divide the sound into stereo output.
Number of Pedals
The number of pedals or switches in the looper is a very important measure especially if you plan to use it in a professional setting or live on stage. Pedals and switches are essentially used to utilize different features of the looper. Many pedals only have a single pedal which is fine in most scenarios but when you are live on stage it would be very difficult to move different dials to stop or play some loops. So with more pedals it becomes easier to switch between loops and make use of the many features. It is very useful for a multilayered loop.
Luckily enough, even on a single pedal looper pedal you have the option to add additional pedals. This way you get the same capabilities as you would with a looper with built in multiple pedals. It is quite easy to do that but keep in mind you will have to spend some more money on the additional switches/pedals. In case you believe you will need multiple pedals then it makes sense to get the one with multiple pedals rather than buying single one and purchasing more later.
Many looper pedals would only allow you to play a single loop at a time. This is quite normal and works out fine when you are practicing solos. However, for playing a song you will need to play more than one loop at a time and for this, you will need a looper that has the ability to do that. This way you can play multiple pre-recorded loops simultaneously and create complex tunes and songs. If you are a professional looking to make records then this is absolutely necessary for you to really utilize the loops for music creation.
You can play the recorded loops backward as well. It is a very interesting feature that perhaps is not really widely used but can give you the chance to play around with loops and create something amazing.
It can add different textures to your music and most modern pedals have this feature but it is not that popular yet. It is something you could try finding in the pedal especially if you like to experiment with your instruments.
Types of Inputs
The most common input type in pedals is a quarter inch input which is basically the standard cable input from guitars. However, there are other options available in many pedals. You can plug in XLR or even a microphone to add different sequences to the loops. In addition to that other rather common inputs include aux jacks for including music from MP3 players or devices. Some pedals can be connected with your computer through a USB port to transfer the loops directly. All of this is great for any sort of use and give you a lot of control and convenience at the same time. And these inputs are available in cheap pedals as well.
Some pedals have true bypass feature that basically lets the tone going in to be just like tone going out. In some pedals even when they are off, the signal can be affected and the tone is not really the same. Pedals that are in true by pass mode would not affect the tone. These are considered more reliable and retain the quality of the tone.
Looper pedals come in a wide range of prices that usually depend on the brand name and also on the features that are available in them. Obviously the ones with latest cutting edge technology, multiple pedals and advanced features tend to cost a bit more. However, you can find a basic looper under $100 easily. The higher end ones start onwards of $100 and can go up to $500 even. Such pedals are more suited for professional use and have features that usually would be required of professional guitarists and recording artists. With the high end brands, you usually get a lot of advanced features that can allow you to experiment.
As for brands, the higher end brands are quite pricey. The quality and features does not have much to do with brands as now you can get a decent quality pedal from a lesser known brand at a particularly low price. It is more of personal choice which brand you prefer. Read Also: 10 Best Noise Gate Pedals of this Year.
1. Which looper is the best?
Looper pedals as you know are not all the same and therefore it is hard to pick one. Nevertheless, deciding which one is truly the best depends more on your own needs and preferences than the pedal itself. Of course, its quality and functionality matter a lot but that can only be decided once you evaluate your own needs and what you aim to achieve with it. Remember, loopers have many features besides the few basic ones that virtually all of them have.
Value For Money
If the criterion for you is value for money, it would not be that difficult to find one. Most of these pedals especially those that are rather simplistic, are cheap and offer good value. The TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper is a great product that is high quality and reasonably priced.
What it offers is what you can also find in high end pedals but this cost much lesser. You have qualities like true by pass and analog dry through. Also you can do unlimited undo/redos making it very useful for all styles.
Our top pick is Boss RC-30 phrase Looper Pedal for a number of reasons. First off, it is from a brand that understands loopers through and through. This product is very professional and can give you a lot of control.
The best thing is that it has very large memory of 3 hours which is usually not available with many loopers. There is a lot of room for you to experiment and utilize the built in effects.
In terms of quality, Digitech JMSXT Jammam Solo XT Looper Sampler Pedal takes the cake. It is truly high quality and costs much lesser than most high end brands. It is super strong and therefore very long lasting. The features present are diverse and give you complete control.
The memory available is generous enough for frequent looping. In fact, it can be extended to a whopping 16 hours of stereo recording with an SD card. And if all of this was not enough to convince you to hit the buy button for this one, consider the fact that it comes with power supply. Last we checked many pedals do not come with the pedal.
2. What does a looper pedal do?
A looper pedal is a device used to record samples from an instrument which can be played over and over again or even dubbed. The guitarists used the switches or pedals to control the looper with their foot. The idea was to make it an easy process for them to record tones in loops and use effects to produce music.
Here is what you can basically do with the pedal:
Record Solos: You can play chords on your guitar and record these samples. This allows you to practice solo techniques. It is a great way to improve your skills by yourself.
Create Music: Of course, the loopers are most widely used for composing songs. You can create amazing sounding tracks and write the lyrics to it.
Learn: You want to learn how your favorite guitarist played a lick? The looper can help you do that with the auxiliary input. You can plug in your phone or mp3 device to play a song. You can slow down without effecting the pitch and get to the bottom of how the lick was done.
Experiment: One of the most popular recent recording artists to use loopers for his songs is Ed Sheeran. He has managed to combine his superb vocals with some great loops that make him sort of a band in his own right. You can do the same and experiment with the tones and loops to create something unique.
3. What is analog dry through?
It is a feature on looper pedals that splits the signal into two. One side is sent to be the effects side where it is converted into digital signal whereas the other side remains intact i.e. the output is the same as input and it remains dry. The purpose behind this feature is to retain the purity of the dry sound signal.
Not all loopers have this feature so you have to make sure if you want to retain pure signal that you get a looper that has this feature. Also, it does not really have to be expensive because this feature is present in loopers that cost less than $100. This feature is liked by many guitarists and is great because it does not affect the signal and you hear it as pure as it came out.
4. Which is better, multiple pedals/switches or single pedal/switch?
Each one of these has its own set of benefits. It depends on your application as to which one is most suitable for which type of looper and would get the best results. For instance, in a live setup having a single pedal can be cumbersome as you will have to manually change switches. For this scenario the best looper would be a multi pedal or multi switch one that will let you utilize the features rather quickly and easily. For this reason, for professional on stage use a multiple pedal looper is the best option and is widely used.
For home use and personal practice, both can work out well and give you a lot of control and convenience. However, single pedal loopers tend to be smaller and lighter so it is easier to handle them and carry them around. They are cheap too so you can even purchase several and make connections to have a multiple pedal looper system.
There is no clear winner as it entirely depends on your situation. A lot of guitarists prefer multi pedal loops as these are quite professional (click for our guide here). You can easily find some high quality multiple switches or pedals. Another thing that you can consider is that some loopers can be extended to have multiple secondary pedals. If you are unsure about which one you would need you can get one that has this capability.
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