Looper comparison chart
Below you’ll find a hardware loop machine (looper) comparison chart solely based on what we tried out ourselves, mainly reflecting our personal experiences and views. It is a tiny start for a chart, growing upon experience.
Supplied data might be incomplete or accidentally false.
For older models see Per Boysen’s chart.
For anything looping related we generally recommend Loopers-Delight – this oldest looping mailing list is worth a ton of gold – just be aware, that it’s more for players than playbackers.
We like loopers as instruments. Features such as reverse looping, pitched looping, quick looping (BOSS and most time stretchers can’t do anything under 1.5 secs), extreme time stretching (Repeater-style, down to 1%), slicing etc. are interesting to us.
We rarely use playback machines to replace missing band members :D
We are musicians playing with others, therefore the machines we try and support shall be quick, versatile, good sounding and practical (regarding storage for instance).
As the technical situation gets more advanced today we feel a need to get in-depth and as well point out defect or maladvertised products as well as companies *downgrading sound/features_ of older products in their newer versions (like Boss from RC-50 to the RC-300).
We don’t use machines with a harsh & out-of-phase sound originating from bad signal conversion (16 bit are not enough, 24bit to be prefered, 44.1 KHz sample rate minimum, internal 32bit depth ideal). Good sound on big systems matters, and conversion ultimately shows their insuffciencies then.
Quality of conversion is yet not just something to be measured in technical specs only – even a Lexicon Jamman sounds marvellous with it’s 12bit/32KHz – faster isn’t automatically better and a good analog signal chain helps the sound a lot, too.
Finally we’d like to monitor mechanical parts for quality and endurance. We need no loud foot switches (they disturb low volume performances) nor any quickly failing mechanical parts, switches, faders, plugs and sockets. Manufacturers: Use quality parts only, please.
Check out lots of our loop-based music here.