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  1. #1

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    I know everyone is jonesing for one of those expensive jazz amps, but I kind of drunk-ordered, OK not really but early in the morning before coffee-ordered, a Roland MicroCube.

    I want a small, light amp to take to a friend’s house for playing on his front patio, with the capability of playing off batteries. (Interestingly I have a Pignose which I put into an old farm radio cabinet which would work—can get a reasonably clean tone with the guitar volume turned way down—but the battery circuit was fried, so only works with the adapter.)

    There are a lot of choices out there, but this seemed to give the most bang for the buck. White looks cool but doesn’t really go with my other black Tolex amps, but it was the only one in stock. ;-)

    I’ll let you know what I think of it when it arrives.

    Oh, btw, I ordered from Sweetwater—first time. A real person actually called me up to let me know the order was being shipped out that morning. Should be here in 3-4 days from ordering.

    Just ordered a MicroCube-microcubegxw-large-jpg

    Roland Micro Cube GXW 3-watt 1x5" Battery Powered Combo Amp - White | Sweetwater

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Here are the controls in case you’re not familiar. No Bluetooth, but there is an Aux input and apparently you can sync your phone with it.

    Just ordered a MicroCube-750-microcubegxw_detail2-jpg

  4. #3

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    Microcubes are cool. I have a Microcube RX (the one with four little speakers) that I have enjoyed for years. You can play off batteries for days & it is surprisingly loud. JC clean isn't the only cool sound in it either. Don't forget to experiment with the Gain control -- there are lots of colors in there.

  5. #4

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    Great product, but outpout volume is poor. I feel that YouTube clips misrepresent it in this respect. Unless I am missing something. Tell me that I am wrong and I will retrieve it from the back of the wardrobe!

    David

  6. #5

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    I have one at my mountain cabin (well mine shared with my four siblings, it use to my parents house). I like the Black Panel, and yes use the gain. Very handy for travel.

    I saw the blues guitarist Kal David gig with a microcube and get a great blues/rock tone. It was mic'd to the PA.
    Last edited by fep; 05-09-2021 at 10:27 AM.

  7. #6

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    I have the white one also. It's fantastic as a small practice amp.

    I find the Vox model (Brit Combo) to be the best for jazzy tones, with it's
    mins-forward voicing. For clean cleans I'll use the Roland JC120 model, and for everything else the British Stack (Marshall). But this little amp is great on my patio, or out at the fire pit, with all my guitars. Very handy.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat
    Great product, but outpout volume is poor. I feel that YouTube clips misrepresent it in this respect. Unless I am missing something. Tell me that I am wrong and I will retrieve it from the back of the wardrobe!

    David
    It depends on the settings. The secret is to use the Brit Combo model, which can get decently loud without being completely distorted. The blackface combo and JC models are heavily compressed/limited, which keeps them clean at the expense of volume. But no matter what, clean headroom and high volume are not its strong suit.

  9. #8

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    I have old MicroCube... it may sound strange but they somehow managed to make this little amp sound seriously. I like it even more than bigger cubes. And it is a real portable companion.


    Once we needed to check a bass my friend bassist wanted to buy used but there was no amp so I took the MicroCube just to plug in and check the bass but even with the bass it had relatively acceptable tone.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    It depends on the settings. The secret is to use the Brit Combo model, which can get decently loud without being completely distorted. The blackface combo and JC models are heavily compressed/limited, which keeps them clean at the expense of volume. But no matter what, clean headroom and high volume are not its strong suit.
    I can't remember if it was you who advised me to use BritCombo... and it worked.


    But later I found out that on some guitars JC clean works better and some BritCombo does the job.

  11. #10

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    They're great little amps...and the batteries last surprisingly long.

    Definitely try the "brit combo" trick for jazz playing, gain low, volume high.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    It depends on the settings. The secret is to use the Brit Combo model, which can get decently loud without being completely distorted. The blackface combo and JC models are heavily compressed/limited, which keeps them clean at the expense of volume. But no matter what, clean headroom and high volume are not its strong suit.
    Well, it wasn't really designed for that anyway. It's a portable practice amp... I guess people busk with it also, but there are better choices for that.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    They're great little amps...and the batteries last surprisingly long.

    Definitely try the "brit combo" trick for jazz playing, gain low, volume high.
    Yup, you are who we learned it from!

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    Well, it wasn't really designed for that anyway. It's a portable practice amp... I guess people busk with it also, but there are better choices for that.
    I did not like Roland street by the way

  15. #14

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    Jeff

    I have mine for at least 4 years. Great practice amp. Even great for small gigs. Always been impressed with Roland amps. Bought several of them thru Sweetwater and had the same good experience that you did. Good luck with yours.

  16. #15

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    I've had two. Great practice amp. But when I used it at outdoor jams, I found that the bass farted out/distorted easily when I turned the volume up. I think it's mostly because of the crappy speaker it comes with. It seems like some people had good results with swapping a 6 inch speaker based on what I've seen on forum discussions.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I've had two. Great practice amp. But when I used it at outdoor jams, I found that the bass farted out/distorted easily when I turned the volume up. I think it's mostly because of the crappy speaker it comes with. It seems like some people had good results with swapping a 6 inch speaker based on what I've seen on forum discussions.
    I had one years ago, that I installed a speaker out jack into. Plug that thing into a 4x12 cab, and it was a Marshall stack- no joke. I have a feeling with a "Real" speaker/cab (10" or 12" speaker), this little thing would sound very good indeed.... like many of the modelers out there.

    But then I'm sold on Roland's solid state amp tech- I have a Roland Blues Cube Artist, and it is so close to sounding a feeling like a tube amp, I'll bet in a blindfold test, 99% of the people would fail at telling them apart. Roland has cracked the code, IMO (and from all reports, so has Fender with their Tonemaster series).

  18. #17

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    My Microcube RX held up fine in an impromptu jam with a drummer and a hiphop/rapper.
    I was surprised. I was looking for some band mates at the time - ended up playing with the drummer for quite some time.

    My Microcube RX is 5 or 6 years old now. It still rocks. I use it for synth or guitar these days.
    Perfect for outside jamming too. Great sound if you aren't trying to rock a hall.

  19. #18

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    Got it yesterday. Put batteries in it and fired it up. Seems like a nice little amp. I haven't had time to explore everything, but I can tell the Clean and Blackface voices will be most useful. The effects are fairly aggressive. Not a fan of the chorus, unless I was going for 1970's Pink Floyd. A touch of reverb seems to be about the only thing worth adding for jazz playing.

    You can line in an iPad or phone, which is a nice feature, but unfortunately neither my iPhone nor iPad have a 1/8" plug, so an adapter would be necessary. Too bad there's no Bluetooth option.

    It seems loud enough, but not so loud I would want to take to a real gig with a drummer. Should be OK for playing on the porch or at my friend's house with his non-amplified upright bass.

    Anyway, glad I got it. Will write a bit more once I've had a chance to try it out more.

  20. #19

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    What these are really great for are playing direct out to p.a. or line in a mixing counsel. Then you will be seriously impressed!
    The actual speaker sound is pretty lame imo.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    What these are really great for are playing direct out to p.a. or line in a mixing counsel. Then you will be seriously impressed!
    Why not use a laptop for that? Or a phone? You'd be surprised. It probably sounds better then this microcube.

  22. #21

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    Too bad there's no Bluetooth option

    I use a MPOW wireless receiver to connect my phone to my old bose speaker. I am pretty sure it would work on your amp. Pretty affordable too. Enjoy your amp!

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    What these are really great for are playing direct out to p.a. or line in a mixing counsel. Then you will be seriously impressed!
    The actual speaker sound is pretty lame imo.
    Yes, they are and I was very impressed. Here is something from a few years back...

    walk into weirdness.mp3