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Monday 4 September 2017

Super mega awesome mondo new old stock Digitech DHP-55 day

Buying new old stock (NOS) is a thing with music equipment, and it refers to buying never-used old stock for products that are no longer available to buy, making them old stock that is still new. Usually, the term NOS is used to refer to vacuum tubes which are no longer manufactured (and in some cases haven't been manufactured for half a century or more), but which some people still have old stock of available for sale, and often at extremely exquisite prices.

I bought a Digitech DHP-55 effects processor a while ago, hoping to get one than runs on the v2.00 or higher firmware, though that earlier one that I bought ended up having v1.04 firmware.

The absolute latest firmware for the Digitech DHP-55 is v2.04. But anything above v2.00 apparently has some added delay, reverb, and filter effect parameters and improved MIDI controls, which are features I was interested in. v2.xx also has extra effects presets that aren't in the earlier version units.

I thought I'd leave it at that, but recently I saw this Reverb listing for a "Mint" condition Digitech DHP-55 for $150 USD, shipping from Canada (where I live). The listing had just been posted, and I saw it because I was signed up for email notifications. That deal sounded awesome enough that I decided to buy it, and figured I'll sell whichever of the two DHP-55s I'd have that had the lower firmware.

Also, the listing had just been posted. I saw it because I was signed up for "Digitech DHP-55" email notifications. It probably wasn't going to stay around long regardless of who bought it.

I received it today, and found that it had the original, untouched shrink wrap still on it.

When I moved the unit around, I heard some rattling coming from inside the chassis, so I opened it up, and discovered these loose washer nuts in it, and also a small plastic piece. No idea what they were doing in there, as it doesn't look like they're needed anywhere. Anyway, I removed those bonus items and proceeded with my review of the unit.

While the chassis was open, I saw that the firmware chips have v2.03 stickers printed on them.

So, I set the unit up for use, and turned it on. Powering it up, the LCD screen confirms it is running on the v2.03 firmware. Also, there are, as of yet, no custom user presets: All of the "User A" presets are identical to the factory "Mono" presets, and all the "User B" presets are identical to the factory "Stereo" presets - keeping with the NOS (new old stock) theme by showing that this unit has never been configured before.

I don't know what the range of years is that the DHP-55 was produced within (the LCD copyright date is different on both of my units, so that isn't a clue), but a sticker on this one shows that it's a 1997 production unit, making it 20 years old at the time of its first power-up.

Also notable about this unit's having been kept in its shrink wrap is that its faceplate has not started to push away from the chassis, as is common with the long-used specimens of this unit.

The new, v2.03 DHP-55's faceplate (palm prints because it is hot and humid here today):

My older, v1.04 DHP-55's faceplate:

On top of being an ideal unit, it was also priced just slightly on the lower side of what these units have been going for used. So, getting an unused one for the price is awesome. I even think that I'll be easily able to sell my older unit for a bit higher of a price than I bought this one for, and recoup the entire cost of this new one after paying listing fees.

The seller is a music shop in Ontario. Maybe they had the device sitting in warehouse storage and just came across it, and wanted to offload it to free up inventory space.

Whatever the story, I'm glad I found and bought it, and I'm going to enjoy using it.

C~ Soundscapes