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roland Cube 80X 80W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amp



Sound Quality

Excellent for its price


Reliability/Durability

So far (three months and two or three gigs a week) so good.


Price/Value


General Comments

I’ve been using and gigging with this amp for several months I thought I might be able to add some useful comments.

 

I play with my band in small clubs once or twice a week – we do rock ‘n’ roll, soul with a little blues thrown in and do it to a relatively high level – I’ve been playing for (gasp) over 30 years.

Prior to using this amp I used a Mesa Boogie 5.25, which is a beautiful sounding amp, but my model at least was prone to problems, with tubes blowing mid gig and all kinds of rumbles and crackles which was very annoying considering how much I paid for the thing. It went back to the shop many times but it was never quite resolved. I live in SE Asia and power is not always very constant which may have contributed to the problems – at least that’s what the man in the shop said!

 

So something else was required. Where I live and play, most gigs have a back line and PA and musicians just turn up with their instruments. However, not surprisingly most amps are in terrible condition, so I like to take my own. Apologies as I know this is a Tele forum but I mostly play a Strat and can get a very credible bell like sound out of the Cube 80x using the clean sound with the bright switch on. As has been mentioned here previously you do have to turn down the bass control to around 9 o’clock otherwise it is way too bassy.

 

If I play my Mesa side by side with my Roland of course the tube amp is better, but here’s the thing  - not that much better. I have a suspicion that there is a lot of snobbery about the Roland – it’s made in China, it’s not tube etc. But the sound is really good for such a small amp and then we come to the effects. I like to be as portable as possible and don’t want to take a whole effects board, which is where the Roland scores again. It has chorus, tremolo, phase, reverb etc. all of which are very usable. It also has all the different amp models. I don’t particularly care for these as they all, without exception, sound rather muddy to my ears. However, use the clean sound and add a really good distortion pedal (I use Box of Rock) and you get a fantastic sound. Other than that I use a separate tuner – there is one on the Cube but is fiddly to use mid gig – and sometimes a Wah Wah pedal.

 

If you are a high end session player then of course this amp wont do – you’ll want the best tube amp and the best pedals, but for us more humble gigging musicians this is a really good, reliable bet which I would certainly recommend on the terms I mention.

 

In summary they are inexpensive, portable, loud, produce a very reasonable sound and have bags of effects and work really well for a gigging musician.


Reviewer's Background



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