Roland Cube 60 Review
Original author: Rtb
Model: Cube 60
Price: Around 300€ (or a bit more)
Well there is already review of a Roland Cube 30, but since I’m on holydays, I’ll use the opportunity to review my Roland Cube 60
First of all, I have this Cube for 2 and half years, and it has NEVER let me down. I’ll get to that. First, the usual copy paste of the specs
Powerful 60-watt output in a compact, 12-inch speaker design. Built-in 9 COSM guitar amp models, including JC, British Combo and R-Fire. New Dyna Amp feature offers expressive control over enhanced dynamics and tone transitions based on picking style. Six classic built-in Roland effects, including Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo and independent Delay/Reverb. Multiple outputs, including Recording/Phones Out, Line Out, Tuner Out and Ext Speaker Out (for connecting external cabinets). Channel switching, delay/reverb and effect on/off control via optional footswitch.
For more detail check http://www.rolandcorp.com.au/default.aspx?prd=601
First of all, why this amp? What did I wanted it for?
When I joined my band (Grimlet) I needed a new amp that I could use both at home and in rehearsals (I only had a 20W yamaha…). So it had to be very versatile!
Before purchasing I tried on a few Vox and Marshall models, alongside with the Cube 60. In fact, I always wanted to buy a Marshall Amp, but I was quite disappointed with the overall result, so I decided to buy the Rolland Cube 60.
For about 9 months (until I bought a Marshall AVT 150 Head and a Randall G2 300W Cab to stay at our GrimStudio) the Rolland was faithful companion. It weights 14kg, and I’m a fairly thin guy, so it is about the limit I can carry (comfortably).
Well… I’ve always had Sound Processors for guitar (currently a Line 6 POD XT Live), so I never used these much. Nevertheless I like the chorus and the delay. Also if you follow the instructions on how to make a floor switch (See Cube 30 review) you will get a very versatile Amp. As a downside, you can have only one effect at a time, and must chose between the delay or reverb. This is quite limited, but better than nothing. Also, in my opinion, these features on an Amp do no make a substitute for guitar processors.
The Cube 60 has basically 2 channels: Clean Channel and Amp Simulators Channel
The Clean Channel is absolutely awesome! I really mean it. In fact, it’s sound is so warm and bright that it was the main reason I chose it over a Marshall! Not the fact it had many effects and simulators! I risk to say that it’s clean channel is even better than many valve amps. In fact I have a Marshall AVT 150 and the clean channel of the Rolland is better (at relatively low volumes). It uses a technology called “Jazz Chorus” by Rolland and has been very successful over the last few years.
The Simulator Channel… well… I do believe that guitar processing should be left to guitar processors… I don’t want do be misunderstood here, but I really don’t like the simulation provided, with the exception of the “Acoustic” simulation. Here you can actually have a very good feeling if you manage your EQ settings right. As for the rest of the simulators I do believe they are quite poor. This is to me, the weaker aspect of the amp. Please bear in mind that I’m a metal player, but with the “Metal” and “R-Fier” simulators, the Cube 60 simply pumps the overdrive/noise, not achieving a decent definition (even with my brand new ESP LTD F-400). On the other hand, with relative low gain, you can have an acceptable sound for rock and such, but with high gain you only get noise. Also please take in account that currently I only use the POD XT Live, so after using this machine, most simulations simply wither into dust at my eyes. This Simulator Channel should be compared to the ones in another Amps, not to a POD, and as far as I recall, was also better than the VOX and Marshall models I tested at the time.
HOW IT WORKS ON REHERSALS
Ok… in those days, when I used the Cube 60, Grimlet was made by 6 guys (vocals, keys, drummer, 2 guitars and bass) so the Cube 60 had to get itself heard! To overcome this, the solution we found was to put the Cube 60 at about 1,70m height (more or less at ear level). The Cube 60 also had to set its volume to about half the total. With this solution the Cube 60 was heard in all the room, and most importantly: with good sound quality. The only real downside is that, at more than half the volume, the sound becomes a bit too treble. The louder it is, the more treble it will become, and of course, will loose quality. I believe the Cube 60 made about 180 hours with the volume at half (or even a bit more) the total volume. After these 180 hours it began to show a little resonance at very high volumes, which in my opinion, is perfectly understandable because these amp are not suited for such effort (this is no valve amp nor a 200W Cab with 4 speakers!)
USING IT ON GIGS
I honestly only used it once in a gig, on a small dark underground bar (now I use the Marshall/Randall), but alone it wasn’t potent enough, so we combined it with a Marshall, using the “Line Out”. Later on, our keyboard player used it A LOT as his own personal music munition, with great results. Also I know some people that use the Cube 60 as a personal munition, while the PA boosts the sound of the head/cab.
Don’t even recall correctly, but around €300, 2 and half years ago… in Portugal. As to resilience… It’s tough! You can kick it, bash it, sit on it, throw it into the back of your gear van, and it still laugh and tell you “Do your worst!”.It has some rubber “rulers” in 4 edges, that no matter how it falls, the rubber will take most of the impact. Also it has 2 “hooks” to accommodate the power cable (not detachable) so you won’t loose it nor simply left it hanging around.
I love it. Although I don’t use the effects or the Simulator Channel, to me, the great quality of the clean channel, portability and good resilience more than makes for the weaker aspects! It has only 60W, but you WILL get good sound quality. You can use it on gigs as personal munition, rehearsals or at home. Wonderful addition to my wargear.
Again, some more pics: Please ignore the dust in the control panel.. I'll clean it tomorrow.. or the day after