Loopers: JamMan Solo XT (with Accessory Footswitch) vs. JamMan Stereo?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by mrmxyzptlk, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    I have a JamMan Stereo. I like it a lot, but for my purposes it has a few flaws. The JamMan Solo XT seems to address some of these:

    • The JamMan Solo XT allows you to set the tempo of a loop via buttons on the pedal itself, with a BPM display. The Stereo requires you to use tap tempo (very imprecise, in my experience) or connect the pedal to a computer and use DigiTech's JamManager software, which is a fiddly and somewhat time-consuming process.

    • The Solo XT is "modular," meaning that you can bring just the relatively compact pedal itself for simpler looping tasks, or add the accessory pedal for scrolling through loops with your foot, stopping a loop with a single click, etc. With the Stereo, you're stuck schlepping around a large, fairly heavy device, regardless of the requirements of a particular gig.

    • The Solo XT runs on a battery or a standard 9V power supply. [EDIT: My mistake; it does not run on a battery.] The Stereo requires a proprietary power supply and does not have a battery option.

    • If I'm not mistaken, the accessory footswitch unit has "soft" switches. The switches on the Stereo are loud, plus they have long travel before engaging, making timing tricky at times.

    • The Solo XT allows you to synch multiple units, whereas the Stereo does not. This feature is not of interest to me now, but might be in the future; who knows?...

    On paper at least, the Solo XT plus footswitch combination seems to offer everything that the Stereo does and more, at a lower price. What I want to know is: Am I missing anything? I'm interested in selling my JamMan Stereo and buying a Solo XT, but I'm wondering if anyone who has had experience with both devices knows of anything I'd be sacrificing by doing so. Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  2. joshofsorts

    joshofsorts Supporting Member

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    I have never played with the Solo XT, but I assume the main difference is the workflow (using a single footswitch for a lot of the commands). I believe you can sync multiple Solo XT pedals, so if you want multiple loops this gives it a big advantage over the Stereo. The Stereo is good if you are playing a lot of pre-recorded loops (as Warren Ellis uses it), as the built in up/down bank footswitches make switching easy. With some practice you can use the Stereo in a verse/chorus type situation by using the up/down banks to switch between banks mid-song, a feature I don't believe most single-loop loopers have. In the end I think the Stereo's design is a little dated at this point with so many other options on the market, but for some it may still be invaluable. I find with all loopers it is a matter of figuring out what features you want and finding the looper that has those features and a workflow that you can work with. Each one has it's own limitations and quirks. Over the years I've had a Boss RC-20xl, Jamman Stereo & now a Pigtronix Infinity, all had their pros and cons.
     
  3. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    Thanks. Yes, I've used the Stereo successfully on gigs for multiple pre-recorded loops. However, it seems that the Solo XT is no different in this regard.

    Just to be clear, if I were to buy a Solo XT, I would definitely get the footswitch too. Again, as far as I can see, this combination can do everything that the Stereo can, but if anyone knows any differently, I'm all ears!
     
  4. Blue Bee

    Blue Bee Member

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    I had the Solo XT and now have the Stereo. I didn't bond with the footswitch on the XT, it was too much like Boss, just un-usable timing for me. Also the smaller knobs and interface was more difficult for me to navigate. I did not have the ext switching, was gonna get it but after getting the looper i disliked it enough to move on. Was excited to try it for the jam-sync function with a possible second unit purchase as well but the switch killed it for me and after add you another looper and possibly multiple ext footswitches it becomes quite a bigger and more complex setup than the Jamman Stereo.

    The Jamman Stereo had always looked so huge to me in pics that I stayed away from it and one day (long after i sold my Jamman) my student brought over the Stereo model and I was shocked at the not so huge size. Has amazing ease of use and functionality. The footswitches felt nice and responsive with amazing quantization. Was a world of difference to me. I fell in love... a few months later i found a used Stereo on TGP for around $150. Also the Stereo can be powered with a One-spot or Sanyo pedal-juice if you get a little pwr plug adapter.

    For the record Ive had quite a few loopers like: both Boomerang models, had the Infinity twice, M9, 2 different Boss models, Flashback, Vox lil looper, and i think thats it. For now the Jamman stereo fits the bill... I do wish it had midi, was smaller, black in color, had better beats, multiple tracks, played bass, had a tuner, amp sims, multitrack recording, etc... but i would really just be happy with the addition of midi.
     
  5. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    Thanks branbolio. I can understand how using the Boss-like switch on the Solo XT pedal for stopping and starting loop recording, or tap tempo, would be unwieldy.

    Has anyone used the Solo XT with the optional FS3X footswitch? I would imagine that this might transform the device.
     
  6. 8TrackJoe

    8TrackJoe Member

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    I have the Jamman Solo, so unless they have changed something dramatically between the Solo and the XT then the FS3 pedal functions like this; button 1) stops and clears loops, button 2 & 3 allows you to cycle through your loops. I rarely ever use those buttons, but for example if you have 4 loops in slots 1, 2, 3, 4. Then you can button/pedal up from loop 1 to loop 3 and then back down to loop 2 and then up to loop 4. As long as they are all pre-recorded loops. Since all I do is live on the fly, then all I use is the first button to stop and clear loops.
     
  7. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    Thanks 8TrackJoe. I was hoping that it would be possible to transfer the "start recording" and "stop recording" functions to one of the buttons on the FS3X, to bypass the spongy feel of the Solo XT switch. Apparently it isn't...

    [EDIT: I took a look at the Solo XT PDF manual, and learned that it is possible to stop loop recording with the "Mode" switch on the FS3X. Combining this with "Auto Record," it looks like it might be possible to start and stop loop recording with a high degree of precision, depending on the feel of the switch on the FS3X, which is still an unknown variable to me. If anyone can offer any impressions of the feel of the switches on the FS3X, that would be very useful and much appreciated!]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  8. Monts

    Monts Member

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    I use the Jamman stereo and dig it. The problem with smaller one button loopers is that i dont like the 'press the pedal twice' stop feature. The Fs3x would be a necessity if i were going to use it. Also, I'm not sure if there is reverse and fade out on the XT, while that may not be an issue to some, i use that. Also, i like being able to advance loops seamlessly, i use that feature often, i guess the extra $100 for the Stereo is for more convenient controls, and some extra features here and there, but to me, those are worth it.
     
  9. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    Thanks Monts. The Solo XT does have reverse and fade out. Also, again as far as I can see the optional FS3X can provide all the other extra functionality that you mention.

    The crux of what I'm trying to find out is: Exactly what extra features might the JamMan Stereo offer that the JamMan Solo XT/FS3X combination does not? This is what I've found so far:

    • The JamMan Stereo has a headphone jack, whereas the JamMan Solo XT does not.

    Anything else?...
     
  10. 8TrackJoe

    8TrackJoe Member

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    The Jamman Stereo also has a mic input and an aux input.
     
  11. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    The Solo XT also has the aux input, but not the XLR input. I see that the Solo XT also lacks the instrument level control that the Stereo has.

    Thanks everyone! Your contributions are all helping me tease out the differences between these two devices. Keep 'em coming!
     
  12. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    I went ahead and ordered a Solo XT and FS3X footswitch. I think that ultimately the best way for me to compare the Solo XT/FS3X combination with the Stereo will be simply to use both of them and see for myself, then keep the one that better suits my needs, and sell or return the other one. I should note that there are other loopers that seem attractive (the Pigtronix Infinity for its features, the TC Ditto or EHX Nano Looper 360 for their small size and excellent sound quality, etc.), but as far as I can tell, the Solo XT seems to offer the best balance of functionality and convenience for my purposes.
     
  13. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    Mainly for the benefit of anyone who might be searching for information on this topic in the future, I just want to note that I now have my JamMan Solo XT and FS3X footswitch, and aside from lacking the headphone jack and XLR input (for both of which there are easy workarounds), this combination is at least as good as the JamMan Stereo, as well as being smaller and cheaper. Furthermore, the switches on the FS3X are quiet. Why DigiTech doesn't use these same switches on the JamMan Stereo is a mystery to me.

    If choosing between the two systems, the choice is clear: JamMan Solo XT. I regret that when I bought my JamMan Stereo, I hadn't adequately done my homework.
     
  14. 8TrackJoe

    8TrackJoe Member

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    Glad you found a setup that works for you. Before I purchased my Jamman I must have spent six months researching loopers and was still confused over all the options on the different models. I found the Jamman on the local Craigslist. After trying it out I purchased the external pedal which made it so much better. After almost two years with there is still a lot of stuff with loopers that I am unfamiliar with thus the reason I am still trying to decide on my next choice.
     
  15. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    Yes, I agree that it is confusing. Every looper on the market seems to have its own strengths and weaknesses. One reason why I started this thread is to try to help, in some small way, others who might be trying to decide which looper is best for them. I readily admit that the DigiTech offerings might not necessarily be the be-all and end-all of loopers for all users, but for those who are drawn to the particular feature set of the DigiTech line, the Solo XT seems to be to be the current best bet (at least until something even better comes down the pike!), even though the Stereo is more expensive.

    I suppose the JamMan Delay (which I see on DigiTech's site is now discontinued) might be appealing to those who want a looper and delay combined in one unit. I have no personal experience with it, but it looks like it shares many of the same features as the Stereo, including 99 onboard memory locations (as opposed to the Solo XT's 200). I'd probably be inclined to use a Solo XT with a separate delay unit instead for more flexibility.
     
  16. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    I just remembered: The JamMan Stereo allows a user to save a new loop on the fly without having to bend over and press a button, using the third-party FABE foot switch add-on. The JamMan Solo XT does not. This could be important for some users (although not for me).
     
  17. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    XT also has jamsync where stereo does not. They really need to update stereo with this feature.

    I have the JM Delay unit, picked it on eBay like new for $170, one option it has that others don't is Exp pedal input, I've got it set up to control loop volume. And the delay section with those modify knobs, 3 presets and tap tempo is a very worthy delay. I also have the fs3x hooked up to it as well as the exp pedal. It just sits on floor in guitar room and doesn't go anywhere so size/power not a issue.

    Also picked up a Vox Delaylab when GC was closing them out for $99.

    My setup down there is Delaylab, RV-7 reverb then JM Delay/exp/fs3x all in stereo feeding 2 amps, all mounted to a 5ft board. Tons of fun.
     
  18. mrmxyzptlk

    mrmxyzptlk Member

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    My point exactly: The Solo XT has a few significant advantages over the Stereo, including JamSync, whereas any advantages that the latter might have over the former are fairly minor by comparison. Yet the Stereo is more expensive, and would appear superficially to be DigiTech's "flagship" looper. I was fooled, at least, when shopping for a looper months ago!
     
  19. Tom Von Kramm

    Tom Von Kramm Vendor

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    Keep in mind that the JamMan Stereo came out long before the SoloXT. The JMS was the flagship looper at the time, but time is linear. ;)
     

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