Trio+ or Boss RC-10R/RC-500?

A question to more educated people than I am gear wise :laughing: as per subject what is the difference and which one would be better? Boss has so many loopers it’s a bit confusing differences between all! When would you purchase 10R/RC-500 and when Trio+? Can trio+ host more than 1 loop and can it play more than 1 loop at the same time?

And now I shall listen to wiser voices than one in my head :smile:


The manual states the Trio+ can record 1 loop and unlimited number of overdubs. So sounds like you can layer to your hearts desire.

Hope that helps.


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Should add you cab record up to 5 song parts and each can be looped and overdubbed. :sunglasses:

Hi Adrian. I’ve got the Trio Plus and the Boss RC-500 (I did also consider the RC-10R). If it helps I can give you a bit of a write up of my opinion tomorrow morning with the things to consider that may help with your decision.

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James that would be wonderful thank you! As a user of both your insights would be what I am after!

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Toby thanks for letting me know, it is in a great advantage to Trio it can have loops overdubbed! Now just understanding differences between two and I can make fully conscious decision :slight_smile:


As aside those 5 parts which you would initially teach the Trio to play the bass and drums, would/could be Intro Verse Chorus Bridge Outro. Each could be up to 48 bars, though 32 is optimum. You can sequence as song with as many of each part as you want/need. And as I said each part could have an added layered loop over it. For continuity when recording subsequent parts (ie teaching drum and bass) after setting up the first one, you can synchronise the tempo when recording the subsequent parts and change the intensity of each part as and when required. There are 12 genres to choose from or selects the most appropriate for what you have taught it and up to 12 styles for each genre.


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No worries mate. It’s always good to get the low down from some that uses them both. I’ll try to lay it out in a way based on ny insights that you can select which one ticks all your boxes.

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This is something that you will need to think about as it depends on your requirements. If you ask a trio plus user they will swear by their trio plus and like wise for the boss users. Based on the stuff I’ve heard you play and from watching your practice videos I’ve got a feeling which one you’ll choose. I might write my answer on a sheet of paper in advance to see if I’m right.

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Haha I love the challenge I will await your reply and let you know in a post announcing the purchase :laughing:

Just to point out that every looper on the market has an overdub capability. The Trio+ is far from unique here.



From my own experience of the Trio+ and some limited knowledge of the Boss pedals, I would say it depends on what you want to achieve.

Yes, the Trio+ has up to 5 song parts but I would say it’s pretty much impractical to use these to build a multipart song from scratch as part of a performance.

At least not in a seamless way (it would be a very stop-start performance which would be a bit mundane for the audience whilst you set up the parts).

You could pre-set up the parts to build a sort of backing track in advance and I think this is where the Trio+'s strength is.

Or if you want it just for practice or songwriting purposes then this is obviously a useful capability.

But, as I say, I don’t think it’s practical or useful for traditional looper performance where you build the song from scratch.

In this respect I would say the RC-10R and RC-500 are much more performance focussed and would be better for you if that’s what you are after, even though they only have two song parts compared to the 5 on the Trio+.

Which one of those two? Well they have a lot of similarities but the RC-500 seems to be the better one for performance purposes, pretty much having everything the RC-10R does, plus some other capabilities.

The following video might be useful:




Bang on the money. They are all good devices but it comes down to what you primarily want out of it.

Trio Plus
I found the Trio Plus to be a great ‘band in the box’ plus looper. It’s definitely more backing track focused. It is really fun to use and not that difficult once you get familiar with it to put together a decent backing track.

With the Trio Plus you set the progression and tempo for the bass and drums to follow and then jam or improv alongside. You can create a backing track in 5 parts: an intro, a verse, a bridge, a chorus and an outro.

I would agree with Keith here and pre-set up is probably the best way to go if using the Trio Plus to perform. Being a ‘band in the box’ that is probably the way to go as you may go through a number of settings to get a backing track to suit the song.

Once you have generated the backing track you can select from 12 music genres with each genre having 12 song styles to choose from to find something that suits. You can also adjust the tempo of the backing track.

Up to 12 songs along with loops can be stored on the memory card which isn’t an issue as you can just swap the SD cards and/or manage your songs and loops on your computer. Not sure what the recording storage is but I’d presume it’s enough to space to store a set list.

Boss RC-10R and RC-500
The end ‘R’ in the RC-10R stands for rhythm. The Boss RC-10R is effectively a song based rhythm looper with over 280 preset rhythm styles and 16 drum kits.

The Boss RC-500 has significantly less preset rhythm styles (it has 57) but has loop effects that can be applied to the rhythm and other features like being able to connect a microphone. With the microphone I’m just wondering now what it would be like to mic up the acoustic with the looper rather than plugging in… hmmm… [edit: looks like folk do this to capture the unplugged sound of acoustic]

One of the really neat features of the Boss RC-10R is the drum fill variations for transitioning between sections as well as intro and ending fills which adds a little bit of dynamics to the song.

Unlike the Trio plus you can select the rhythm and set the tempo on the RC10-R and RC-500 in advance. I think this is a good feature if you’re wanting to record covers of looper songs, so you could build up your bpm until you play the song at the actual bpm.

With the RC-10R you have up to 6 hours recording time with 99 loop recording slots. That is quite a lot of memory. With the RC-500 the recording time increases to 13 hours. Either device has sufficient recording time.

With the RC-500 you can name the tracks which is great as makes it a lot easier to select the right track you want to play. With the RC-10R I don’t believe you can do that which is a disappointment.

With the RC-500 you have an additional foot switch on the device which is a bonus over the RC-10R. With the foot switches and external foot switches you can change the assignment to suit how your playing both system based and memory based.

One thing that I am just about to start looking at doing with the Boss RC-500 now that I have memorised Justin’s classic course blues solo is to upload Justin’s backing track wav file for the blues solo onto the looper. I did upload some of the free blues backing tracks on the boss studio along with Justin’s C major scale improvisation track for Grade 2 onto the looper for practicing improvisation. Similarly, I was thinking about stripping the guitars and vocals off songs that I am working on to create backing tracks and transfer them to the looper. That way I could create my own 12 bar blues loop and improvise over, move to the next track and practice some improv over a backing track created by others and then practice songs over backing tracks.

This is a good summary by Keith. Think of the RC-10R as a song writing looper and the RC-500 as a stage looper. The RC-500 does lack the extensive rhythms of the RC-10R but does pack other features.

One things to think about is the sound quality. Keith can probably give a better technical overview. The Trio Plus is 24 bit where as the Boss loopers are 32 bit. From my ears the Boss looper sounds better than the Trio Plus. So would probably be better suited for performance purposes.

There is a work around if you have the foot switches. This video explains it quite well. So I wouldn’t worry about the number of song parts when considering which one to buy.

Which One?
They are all very good devices. Comparing the Boss RC-10R and Boss RC-500 for the marginal difference in cost I think the Boss RC-500 is the better option. Now it comes down to between the Trio Plus and the Boss RC-500. That’s the difficult question as it all comes down to what you want out of the device. To be honest you couldn’t go wrong with either. In fact you could have both and neither would be gathering dust.

Do you have a pedal board or thinking about one? I’m just thinking of whether they can be powered/integrated with the pedal board?

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I am also think of selling my Trio plus, wonder what shipping would be to UK….:wink:

Worth checking out these Anderton Demo Videos

Trio Plus



I did come across a video where it showed the RC-500 looper being used with mic rather than plugged in electro-acoustic. I never thought about that until now.

Since Mike Dawes has appeared on the Justin Approved Teachers List Page… this was the acoustic video I was watching today (warning Mike swears at one point). The bit of interest is at the 6.40 mark in the video just after the Rocky Balboa scene.

James Keith thank you very much for fantastic explanations, that is exactly what I was hoping for! All makes perfect sense and I think I made my decision now which you all will find out probably in couple weeks time or so :laughing:

Boss Katana amp is going to be my pick here :slight_smile: I have 50 now but probably will upgrade to 100.

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That sums it up. It’s a bit clunky for live performance. Is there a well known artist out there that uses it live?

The drums and bass don’t sound all that great to my ears (I’ve heard the recordings from folks and have commented on the coconut clapping on a table drum sounds in the past) and it’s a well known tone-suck for your guitar tone as well (many comments across the guitar-web-boards about this). It’s a fine practice tool (which is why I never upgraded from the regular Trio).

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I actually think the audio quality is nothing to do with the stated resolution.

24-bit audio is already beyond what the human ear/brain can detect and is getting down to the point where the lowest bits are masked by the thermal noise in the components.

I think the difference in quality is more down to the analogue components they build around it, and the circuit design.

As CT says, the Trio has a bit of a reputation for being a “tone suck”, and the quality of the drum samples isn’t great.

If this was down to the digital resolution, at 24-bit, it should sound considerably more “hi-fi” than the vast majority of streamed music which is only at 16 bit resolution, but it doesn’t.



And that’s why you’re fast becoming my go to guy on here for all this techie stuff.

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