If you’re curious about the Boss RC 50 vs RC 300 looping pedals, you’ve come to the right post!
For context, I’ve played the guitar since 2003.
And although I certainly don’t know all there is to know about the instrument, I’m excited to share some of what I know on this blog.
So let’s dive in to the subject of loop pedals!
Looping in the world of guitar has been around for many decades. One of the biggest inventors in this space was Les Paul, the man behind the legendary guitar.
But these days, we have plenty of compact pedals for this purpose. In particular, Boss has been releasing awesome loopers since 2001. These days, they have a wide array of options. There’s anything from simple compact pedals like RC-1 up to complex devices like RC-505.
Looping itself can be tricky. Not that many musicians are good at it. However, Boss’ devices make it much simpler with their innovative features. Even with one or two footswitches, you get full control for overdubs.
Boss RC-50 Vs RC-300
Boss currently has and has had plenty of models on the market. But it seems that guitar players still mostly focus on RC-50 and RC-300. And it’s not uncommon to have people asking about which of these two is better.
This is why I decided to look more into the matter and compare these two. So what’s so special about them and how they actually work?
Boss’ RC-50 was a great innovation back in the 2000s. At that time, it was a top-of-the-line looper with some advanced features. But what made it really stand out was its memory. It could record up to 49 minutes in mono. In stereo, it’s half of that.
On the front panel, it has a total of 7 footswitches. On the right, three switches are for three stereo phrases or three channels. And each channel can hold dozens of overdubs. That’s pretty impressive, especially for a piece that came out in the 2000s.
Then we there are four switches on the left. The first one is for recording, overdubs, and playbacks. And it also has stop, tempo, and undo/redo footswitches.
By holding the tempo switch for more than two seconds, you get to select patches. Additionally, you can speed up or slow down what you already recorded and played on loop.
Of course, the looper also comes with some sampled drum beats. They’re rudimentary and some might be a bit outdated. Nonetheless, it’s a fairly useful tool in the right context.
This is all accompanied by a stereo and mono input, XLR microphone input, and an aux 1/8-inch input. There’s even a phantom power feature for condenser mics. Then there are two stereo outputs, headphone out, external control footswitch inputs, and MIDI in/out.
There’s also a USB port. Using this tool, you can export or import different WAV files. This is a pretty useful tool if you want to fully customize it.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that it comes with pretty decent digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion. It has a 24-bit depth and a 44.1 kHz sample rate.
Here’s a brief example of how it works in action.
The RC-300 was introduced in 2011 and it’s still in Boss’ line of products. This loop station is in many ways similar to the RC-50 model. For instance, the input and output layout is almost identical. There’s just one addition of the MIDI thru jack.
However, it’s a bit more advanced and has some practical features that make it easier to use. Most notably, it has two individual switches for each of the three tracks. These are rec/dub/play and stop switches.
What’s also awesome is that you have volume controls for each of the tracks. It’s also accompanied by a master volume knob and rhythm level. While we’re at it, RC-300 also comes with drum beats.
And, what’s more, there are 16 onboard effects and even an integrated expression pedal. You can turn the effects on and off using its FX loop switch.
As for the audio resolution, it’s actually a downgrade compared to RC-50. Here we have a 16-bit depth and 44.1 kHz sample rate. But it’s still pretty good and you won’t recognize the difference in most cases. However, it also comes with a huge memory that lets you store up to three hours of audio.
Here’s a brief demo video of RC-300 by Alex Hutchings. It showcases what this device can do with additional samples.
How Do They Compare?
Right off the bat, I have to say that RC-50 has a huge disadvantage. No, the looper itself isn’t bad. But it’s a discontinued model. You can only get old used pieces from the 2000s.
But, on the other hand, it’s not that hard to come by. It’s definitely a cheaper variant. And it’s great if you prefer older Boss stuff.
One thing that I should point out is that both RC-50 and RC-300 are pretty advanced. It’s not exactly something you want to get as a beginner to looping. It requires a lot of foot dancing to use their full potentials.
What many don’t like about both of these models are their drum beats. While some are okay, they mostly sound generic and a bit sterile. This is especially the case if you’re playing through a guitar amp. They’re lo-fi devices and are not the best option for sampled drum beats.
With all this said, I can’t help but notice the advantages of RC-300. It has all that RC-50 has, plus additional features. You get a more detailed control of what you’re recording and it’s a bit more precise. With its Loop Quantize feature, it can really sort things out.
Sure, the audio quality is lower on RC-300. But then again, there’s hardly a chance that you’ll notice the difference. And besides, you get a total of 3 hours of recording, so that’s pretty impressive.
Overall, both of these are pretty decent. They’re advance and require some serious experience with looping. But, as I said, I can’t help but notice the advantages of RC-300.
If You Like Loopers, There Are More Advanced Options Out There
Boss has been innovating in this field for quite some time now. Their loopers have set the standard for other companies. Now, while both RC-50 and RC-300 are great, you have some more advanced units today.
In particular, Boss released their RC-500 not that long ago. Honestly, this device outperforms both RC-50 and RC-300. And the layout of its controls is way more practical. Not to mention its incredible 13 hours of audio storage and 32-bit depth.
Now, these two older models aren’t bad. They’re actually pretty great. But if you’re looking for loopers, I’d almost always advise going with the more recent model. And RC-500 is your contemporary go-to looper. Here’s a brief demo of it.
Boss RC 50 Vs RC 300: Conclusion
I hope this article has given you a sense of how these two loop pedals differ and which is best for you!
As usual, please let me know in the comments if you have any guitar-related questions!
I’d love to try to answer them!
And if you’re interested in reading more about guitar gear, check out my guitar gift guide!