Roland Cube-30
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Roland Cube-30
MGR/Russell Catchpole 12/01/2003

Roland Cube-30 : MGR/Russell Catchpole's user review

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I bought this little beast at Mike's Music in Bognor Regis, England 2 days ago for approximately £155 as part of a deal with the ROland bass 30 cube. My requirements were as follows:-

Very portable

Loud enough to play at small function alongside drums.

Sound as good as my old Carlsbro TC60 valve head and Sound City 4X12 but not give me a hernia when lifting it. He he no chance!

Able to play bass through it.


The Roland looks good and is very well built. Its just sooo small! I feel a bit naked with just this little box and no 4X12 behind me, but hey that's just a 'man thing'

It a guitar combo with a 30 watt amp and 10" speaker. It has bass, middle and treble controls affecting the final output. There are 2 modes of operation which are controlled by a switch on top. The first is 'JC Clean' which is the amp's own sound - very clean and punchy. This setting has its own separate volume control.

With the switch in the opposite setting, the unit's modelled sounds kick in, and these are truly amazing! They are controlled by a separate gain and master volume control. The first sound is the acoustic setting and this feels quite freaky when you're holding an electric, for it really does make a very convincing acoustic guitar sound for both strumming and melodies.

There are then a further 6 different amp sounds modelled on popular kit. I particularly like the 'Tweed' setting which gives a really nice warm creamy VOX AC30 sound with lovely progressive distortion. Next to that is the classic stack, and here's where you get the EL34 valves cooking a 4X12 combo - lovely sound, though obviously not quite as rib breaking as the real thing. Further on the amps gain in gain through to the R-fier Stack wich seems to produce 200% distortion if that's what you want!

There is also Chorus, Flanger, Phazer and Tremelo all controlled by one knob which selects a different effect and speed/depth depending on its position.

Extra depth to the sound can be gained by using the independent Delay/Reverb knob which again modifies the effect and delay/depth depending on iots position.

A footswitch input may be used to control the effects and switch between the clean and modelled settings.

There is a useful axiliary 1/4" jack input which allows you to pipe a CD player or drum machine through the unit. There is no volume control over this though so this has to be adjusted through the external device.

Finally there is a 1/4" headphone socket which mutes the speaker when in operation.

As I've only had the unit 2 days, I haven't had the opportunity to try it out outside the home, but I have jammed with my son playing drums at quite high volumes. The Cube easiy held its own when played both clean and dirty creating a suprisingly big sound for such a little box.

Its hard to critisise this thing but I'll try. I would have liked a line out socket in addition to the headphone socket which mutes the amp's speaker.

There is no volume control for the auxilary input.

A nylon guitar sound would have been nice.

I can't stop fiddling with it!

I am told its not suitable for playing bass though, so I had to buy the Bass Cube. Now that's another story!

The unit is very well built with tough plastic corners and a hard grill over the speaker. All the knobs & switches seem ok.

Versatility! That's the word for the Cube. I can carry it to church in one hand with my electric in the other and play a sweet sounding acoustic when I get there. I can play heavy metal at small venues or just copy-cat the guitar sound of any CD I put on from Hank Marvin to Joe Satriani to Dave Gillmore to to Brian May....

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com