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Roland RSP-550? Any thoughts? Multi-Effects Processors (HW)
Old 22nd November 2015
  #1
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Roland RSP-550? Any thoughts?

How are these things? And whats a good price for one? I'm mainly concerned about verbs, but this thing has a vocoder too if I'm right, which if its pretty good would be awesome. Its either this or a Lexicon MPX1.
Old 22nd November 2015
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinuspain View Post
How are these things? And whats a good price for one? I'm mainly concerned about verbs, but this thing has a vocoder too if I'm right, which if its pretty good would be awesome. Its either this or a Lexicon MPX1.
Start with preset 63 analog delay. Set feedback to around 80%, adjust the delay time to taste and enjoy.

Thumb through the Flange and Phasing presets. If you have rev 1.04, pull up preset 37 Black Hole and mess with those params. If you don't have that preset, you can update by simply burning new EPROMs.

Note that you can assign up to 4 MIDI CCs to modify 4 different params per patch in realtime.

Download the Algorithm Guide as well as the User Guide and read through.

For what these units usually sell for (well under $200 and as low as $50) they are amazing.

Downsides - backlight is LED and not easy (possible) to change out (still working this). Editing is via a small display and the typical minimal Roland up/down/select buttons of the era.
Old 22nd November 2015
  #3
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plasmasynth's Avatar
I have a MPX-1 and a RSP-550. Though it must not be 1.04 because I don't have black hole. I like the reverb on the MPX-1 better, but everything else on the RSP-550 is fantastic. Mainly use the SDD-320 modified preset and analog chorus. Given the choice I'd pick the RSP every time, probably since I use valhalla for verb stuff now.
Old 22nd November 2015
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Start with preset 63 analog delay. Set feedback to around 80%, adjust the delay time to taste and enjoy.

Thumb through the Flange and Phasing presets. If you have rev 1.04, pull up preset 37 Black Hole and mess with those params. If you don't have that preset, you can update by simply burning new EPROMs.

Note that you can assign up to 4 MIDI CCs to modify 4 different params per patch in realtime.

Download the Algorithm Guide as well as the User Guide and read through.

For what these units usually sell for (well under $200 and as low as $50) they are amazing.

Downsides - backlight is LED and not easy (possible) to change out (still working this). Editing is via a small display and the typical minimal Roland up/down/select buttons of the era.
I don't get this post...I don't have one yet
Old 22nd November 2015
  #5
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Let's put it another way -- sometimes you need a great sounding delay/phaser/flanger. Ideally you reach for the dedicated analog units in your rack. However, you also want some conveniences like tempo sync, programmatic mutes, external control over delay time or feedback, etc.

I had multiple PCM-80s, but I often didn't need/want to go down the patch design rabbit hole with those units. I wanted to pull up a great sounding phaser, adjust a few things and get on with making music.

Once I heard an RSP-550 in person, I sold off all but 1 of the pCM-80s and picked up a couple RSP-550's instead.

So, for whatever you end up paying - $75, $125, whatever, it's an amazing sounding unit and an amazing value.

Does it do the high-end Lexicon reverb sound? No. Is it a box you'll use all the time for various things? yes
Old 22nd November 2015
  #6
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if it's just for reverbs i would say get the lex. the rsp550 is an awesome unit but i wouldn't recommend it for the reverbs. they aren't bad but modulation is where it really shines. the chorus is just fantastic. especially the dimension d algorithm. never used the vocoder but i assume it's the same as in the se50/70 which is great. paid 80€ and it never leaves my rack again.
Old 22nd November 2015
  #7
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The SE70 has an edit knob, analogue distortion and only takes up half a rack unit, but I wouldn't be surprised if the RSP is quieter. Here's a comparison of the algorithm lists:

Old 6th December 2016
  #8
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Update

Hi all,
can anyone tell me, how can I update my RSP-550, to version 1.04 ???
Old 6th December 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbecker View Post
Hi all,
can anyone tell me, how can I update my RSP-550, to version 1.04 ???
Install EPROMs with the version 1.04 OS burned into them.

Since Roland no longer sells them, you'll have to find someone with an EPROM burner and access to the various OS revs.

I have the OS versions, but currently don't have a PC set up to do EPROM burns anymore (long boring story involving an upgrade to the family Windows PC).

So, track down someone with a burner, buy the correct size EPROMs, have them burn the OS and simply swap them in.
Old 16th December 2016
  #10
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RSP-550 is a sleeper multi-FX unit.

Even if you only use the superb Phasers & Chorus, they're worth the (very modest) price of admission IMHO.

Backlight on mine still works but the internal battery is gone, like most gear that age. Not sure what OS I have, don't think I have a Black Hole reverb so it must be an earlier version than 1.04.

It's not mouse-quiet, but the true stereo I/O can be run at +4.
Old 16th December 2016
  #11
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Batteries need to be (re) soldered (no holder) so you get to remove about 30 screws to get the case off and the MB out of the unit. You'll need a vertically mounted coin style battery or one with long leads that you can mount somewhere else on the unit.

I used those LED lightbars from Adafruit to replace the backlight on my RSPs. Documented it here in a Geekslutz thread

Love the sound of the unit - there's lots to be discovered in them. (I have 3 or 4 around here now).
Old 16th December 2016
  #12
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any ideas where i can find the 1.04 eprom?
Old 16th December 2016
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superstupid View Post
any ideas where i can find the 1.04 eprom?
I'll try to carve out a few minutes this weekend to put the binaries up on my website. You'll have to find someone with an EPROM burner to burn the new image.


Or send me a hundred $$ so I can rebuild the PC with serial port I had to do EPROM burns. (eventually I'll get that machine back together and running, but it's a very low priority these days).
Old 1st January 2017
  #14
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Here's the binaries for 1.04. There's an A and a B EPROM (labeled on the EPROM/board).
Attached Files
File Type: zip RSP550_1_04.zip (93.0 KB, 171 views)
Old 1st January 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Here's the binaries for 1.04. There's an A and a B EPROM (labeled on the EPROM/board).
great thanks a lot!
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