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  1. #1

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    I borrowed a Roland Cube 20X amp from my son in law and was pleasantly surprised. I had never played a Roland Cube earlier and had somehow discarded them as a serious amp but that was a mistaken belief. These lil' amps sound just fine for jazz and are dirt cheap to boot. I'd love to try out a Roland Cube 30 one day. I have seen some used ones for sale for 50 bucks ...

    I miked the Cube 20x in my studio and this is what I recorded. The battery of my camcorder was low so I could not make a video unfortunately.

    The tune is "The Night has a Thousand Eyes."

    I checked the Roland website and apparently the Cube 30 and 20 are no longer made. What a shame.

    DB


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  3. #2

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    Yes. Nice amps, eh?

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Yes. Nice amps, eh?
    For the money, incredibly so yes. Amazing, for it is obvious they were never intended for jazz sounds.

    DB

  5. #4

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    The 40 model is loud enough to gig with.

    More or less they were replaced with the Boss Katana amps.

  6. #5

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    You can always get a Street Cube which has the advantage of running on batteries....

  7. #6

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    Dick you make anything sound good.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    The 40 model is loud enough to gig with.

    More or less they were replaced with the Boss Katana amps.
    I own a Katana 50 myself and find it a so so amp. The older Cube seems better value for money.

    DB

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Dick you make anything sound good.
    Thanks Vinny. Glad you liked it.

    DB

  10. #9

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    Sounds good. I’ve got a Cube 80, it sounds quite good on the clean channel (which I believe is supposedly modelled on the roland jazz chorus amp). Some of my youtube videos were recorded using the line out from the cube.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    I borrowed a Roland Cube 20X amp from my son in law and was pleasantly surprised. I had never played a Roland Cube earlier and had somehow discarded them as a serious amp but that was a mistaken belief. These lil' amps sound just fine for jazz and are dirt cheap to boot. I'd love to try out a Roland Cube 30 one day. I have seen some used ones for sale for 50 bucks ...

    I miked the Cube 20x in my studio and this is what I recorded. The battery of my camcorder was low so I could not make a video unfortunately.

    The tune is "The Night has a Thousand Eyes."

    I checked the Roland website and apparently the Cube 30 and 20 are no longer made. What a shame.

    DB

    My erstwhile playing partner used a Cube 30 (IIRC) during the years we gigged together, and always sounded great with it. Powerful, compact, clean with great tonal range, he always sounded top-notch, no matter what guitar (or keyboard, for that matter) he was favoring at the time. Classic amps.

  12. #11

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    I have had a Cube 60 for at least 10 years if not close to 15. Very reliable amp, lots of tonal flexibility. I paid around $200 for it used/like new. On gigs it was really handy to be able to run the line out to the PA and not have to futz around with micing the amp. The sound out to the board seemed pretty faithful to what I was hearing from the speaker. I usually used the "tweed" setting with the master volume fairly high and the gain fairly low to keep the sound clean but warm. It has been an amp that I recommend a lot to people; while it is not my favorite "living room" amp it is a solid choice for small to medium gigs, large gigs if there is a PA.

  13. #12

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    These are great amps for jazz. I have a 30 watt and a larger 80 watt. I just bought a used 30 watt for my grandson, so you can still find them at a reasonable price. And the nice thing about the 20, 30, or 40 watt is that they are light and easy to move. My 30 watt was bought new a decade ago and I've never had a problem with it.

    And, as always, great playing as usual.

  14. #13

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    I've had a Cube 30 and a Cube 80. The 30 was boomy and horribly bright sounding at the same time. The 80 was really muddy, it was almost impossible to get a clear sound out of it. Other players seem to get good sounds out of these amps but I really struggled with them.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    I own a Katana 50 myself and find it a so so amp. The older Cube seems better value for money.

    DB
    Trade it for my Cube 30?

  16. #15

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    The local music school , where I play with my combo, has a number of Cube 30s, 40s and 20s. I used to play on a 40, but started bringing my DV LJ which (to me) is much better. I have a Cube 30 myself which I don't really use. But they're nice amps.

  17. #16

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    Roland Cubes are great bang-for-buck little amps. With some patient knob twisting they can sound great and are built like tanks.
    Last edited by Gitfiddler; 11-15-2020 at 09:04 PM.

  18. #17

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    Personally IMO though pricey the Henriksen is the best SS jazz amp on the market at least here in the USA. We don’t have Mambo here on this side of the Atlantic pond. I am a analog old school guy. Point to point tube is a tough act to follow though not practical present day.
    I remember as a puppy lugging a Twin is just what you did. Now lugging more than 30 pounds is out of the question. Times have changed. Every next generation becomes softer due to the advancement of technology. Not bashing present day but advancement in technology makes every generation a tad lazier.
    IMO nothing can beat the sound of a Twin but that also entails a 85lbs anchor to drag around. In my glory days a Twin was a must. A Deluxe meant early breakup and less than stellar jazz tone.
    Times have changed. Easy on the spine trumps tone now. Nothing beats tube driven spring reverb though my Twin never leaves my home anymore.
    Todays SS amps are very good but don’t have the magical 3D tone of a good tuber. The Twin will always be King just like the L5 will always be archtop King. Technology will never overcome that fact.....IMO.
    Smaller and lighter is a great thing but their is a sacrifice.
    Just like a 4 cylinder motor vs a V8. Better gas mileage or better acceleration. You must decide what is more important.

  19. #18

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    Dick the question is really not about the amp it is all about the player. In your hands the sound is wonderful and to me that is the essence of what the guitar is all about. You could have played the tune on an a Strat with a battery operated mico-nothing..............and it would still sound fine. What the amp and the guitar do is make the accomplished player that much more appealing.

    But clearly I have to agree there is a point of diminishing returns and we stop.

    Keep up the good work...............your old friend on the the west side of the pond.

  20. #19

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    That little thing did sound great! Nice, punchy and full.

    These amps are sleepers, no doubt - in the right hands.

  21. #20

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    I've used the 40XL in a rehearsal space many times and did one outdoor octet gig with it. It was loud enough for that gig (nothing mic'ed). It sounds decent. It has a fair number of bells and whistles, none of which I used. It is no longer available new.

    The Little Jazz sounds better to me. Fewer bells and whistles and a little more money, used.

  22. #21

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    When I joined this Forum over a decade ago, Cube 60 stood out as the best value for money in jazz amplification. I've had two, and one remains as a shareware practice amp. Once stolen, once returned, it just keeps on ticking and cuckooing. When I'm occasionally using it nowadays, I have to dial out a lot of the bass end.

    I also had a Cube 30 that my accordionist friend liked so much I had to sell it to him. After at least a decade, he still uses it happily in a swing band. The later X models house more digital features but I've understood there's no improvement in jazz tones.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Joeontheguitar
    Trade it for my Cube 30?
    I can get a Cube 30 for about 50 bucks used. I think my Katana will sell for more than that so I'd rather do that.

    DB

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    When I joined this Forum over a decade ago, Cube 60 stood out as the best value for money in jazz amplification. I've had two, and one remains as a shareware practice amp. Once stolen, once returned, it just keeps on ticking and cuckooing. When I'm occasionally using it nowadays, I have to dial out a lot of the bass end.

    I also had a Cube 30 that my accordionist friend liked so much I had to sell it to him. After at least a decade, he still uses it happily in a swing band. The later X models house more digital features but I've understood there's no improvement in jazz tones.
    Does the Cube 60 sound better than the Cube 30?

    DB

  25. #24

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    I would think so. It has a 12 inch speaker instead of the 30s 10 inch one. That's the basic difference, plus the extra headroom. I've heard players use the 60 on jazz gigs, complete workable sound.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Does the Cube 60 sound better than the Cube 30?

    DB
    DB,

    First off let me say this; you are one of those guys who could make a cigar box with rubber bands sound good, so anything you demo will sound better in your videos than most guys will sound when they get whatever gear you have demoed.

    Back in 1980 I had a Cube 60 (Made in Japan). Very nice amp, but it didn't sound as good as my first Polytone (bought in 1974) did, so I sold it a year later and bought another Polytone. These days, Polytone is gone, Henriksen is pretty much the new Polytone and Roland is making the Cube amps (and others) in whatever low labor cost Asian Country that makes economic sense. Back in the day, the difference in cost between the American made Polytone and the Japanese made Roland was small enough to justify the Polytone. Today the cost difference between the Henriksen and the Roland Cubes (or other amps such as the DV Mark Little Jazz) may be harder to justify (Diminishing returns have been "amplified"). That said, I prefer the Henriksen to the Roland Cube or the DV Mark Little Jazz and was willing to pay the (not insignificant) difference. Those with more limited discretionary funds may feel otherwise.

    Globalism combined with technology has made some fine guitars and amps available at very low costs. My issue is that when gear is this cheap, it becomes financially unwise to fix it when it breaks, thus contribution to a toxic waste problem (though recycling technology is reducing that issue as we speak).

  27. #26

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    A lot was attributed to the Cube 60's "miracle speaker", a seemingly cheap, probably MIC speaker that is very flat. I once tried to swap it, but could not wrestle anything else into the existing space. When the original speaker was back and wired, the cab produced a noticeable, hissing "tail" to every note. This lasted for some time, then disappeared. A strange "learning" behavior.

  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    DB,

    First off let me say this; you are one of those guys who could make a cigar box with rubber bands sound good, so anything you demo will sound better in your videos than most guys will sound when they get whatever gear you have demoed. Back in 1980 I had a Cube 60 (Made in Japan). Very nice amp, but it didn't sound as good as my first Polytone (bought in 1974) did, so I sold it a year later and bought another Polytone. These days, Polytone is gone, Henriksen is pretty much the new Polytone and Roland is making the Cube amps (and others) in whatever low labor cost Asian Country that makes economic sense. Back in the day, the difference in cost between the American made Polytone and the Japanese made Roland was small enough to justify the Polytone. Today the cost difference between the Henriksen and the Roland Cubes (or other amps such as the DV Mark Little Jazz) may be harder to justify (Diminishing returns have been "amplified"). That said, I prefer the Henriksen to the Roland Cube or the DV Mark Little Jazz and was willing to pay the (not insignificant) difference. Those with more limited discretionary funds may feel otherwise.
    Globalism combined with technology has made some fine guitars and amps available at very low costs. My issue is that when gear is this cheap, it becomes financially unwise to fix it when it breaks, thus contribution to a toxic waste problem (though recycling technology is reducing that issue as we speak).
    Thanks SS. And you make a good point about cheap (throwaway) gear. I have been playing a Mambo amp for years now (not a cheap amp at all) and have rediscovered my 90s Polytone too. With only 7 kilos, the Mambo is more portable than my Polytone Mini Brute IV (with a 15" speaker). They both sound great. It's not that I need a Cube but I was kind of surprised it sounded nice enough when I borrowed one. I always thought (based on nothing really) that they were no good. I demoed a Henriksen once and yes, that's a good sounding amp indeed.

    I have this obsession for good sounding, lightweight amps. Must have something to do with my age. My Fender Twin days are so over ...

    I may get a used Cube 30 for rehearsals. They are dirt cheap.

    I never played a DV Mark 12 jazz. Looks promising too.

    DB

  29. #28

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    Hey DB, have you tried any of Gitterbug's TOOB speakers?

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Hey DB, have you tried any of Gitterbug's TOOB speakers?
    No, never heard of them. What are they?

    DB

  31. #30

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    This sounds great....it sounds like "you."

    The cubes were well done little modelers. I had a 60, i left it at the studio where I used to teach...its understood I can come get it whenever, but the other teachers there are still using it, so I figure why not let it get played?

  32. #31

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    I agree with other comments, DB - I always love your sound. Whenever I listen to a recording highlighting a guitar and/or amp, though, I'm always curious about the other contributions to tone. What are you using for picks and strings here?