Other Amps

Roland Blues Cube Hot

1

When I walk by my guitar room I frequently get the urge to pick up a guitar and play, sometimes just for 5 or 10 minutes. Rightly or not I don't like to turn on a tube amp for these short musical interludes as I feel it may cause damage. Maybe someone can tell me if this is correct. Regardless, I decided to look for a low watt solid state amp. Of course it would have to sound good and hopefully tubelike. My inquiries lead me to the Roland Blues Cube Hot. The specs looked good, .5 to 30 watts, 12 inch speaker, boost switch, tone boost, reverb. I watched some YouTube videos, all were very positive. One was a comparison to a Fender Blues Jr., the Roland had a favorable result. I really like this amp. At the 30 watt setting this thing is LOUD and could be used in a small venue. Roland has made huge strides with their Tube Logic technology. They come with either a blonde or black tolex cabinet. Anyone else here have experience with the Blues Cube Hot.

2

Maybe I shoudl check this out for 15 watt use

3

That is a VERY impressive demo! I re-listened to parts of it using Sennheiser HD 380 Pro headphones with the picture off. Based on sounds & tones I would not tell which parts were through the tube (vs SS) amp. The Roland is a great sounding amp. Congratulations and have lots of fun with it!

Like you I do NOT like to turn on a tube amp for brief sessions. I've always believed that excessive switching on/off will shorten tube life.

I bought a Fender Jazzmaster Ultralite (SS) head 10 years ago to use for practice and "short" sessions. It truly has a wonderful sound and tone. Like your Roland The Jazzmaster would be very difficult to identify as an SS amp in a blindfold test. One of Fender's best kept secrets, they discontinued those models 2009-2010.

Roland has been doing great things with solid state amps. Quilter Labs has also developed some intriguing products..... Unfortunately there are no Quilter dealers in my area so I've had no opportunities to try and of their amps.

4

I got a Roland Cube Street EX as a practice/acoustic guitar/portable pa amp and have been well pleased. It's a little lacking in warmth for the electric, but plenty loud, with onboard effects and a tuner. For the acoustic and vocals, it's just great. Very, very useful.

5

Congrats on finding the right amp for the purpose, Gretscho; the Cubes have always been impressive, and great value for the money.


But what is Mick doing on the Anderton's channel?

I'm afraid I tuned out of the demo when the other guy said "It's all about what you hear with your ears, you know what I mean?"

Hey...and don't forget to breathe!


I'm not a bit surprised the Blues Cube Hot (what a bizarre name) stands up to (and whomps the hell out of, if anyone would be the first to admit it) the little Blues Junior. I've never been a fan of Fender's modern Junior amps, despite their ubiquity and none-dare-notice-the-emperor's-clothes reputation. Far as I've heard, they're good for that ONE cranked singin'stingin' creamy-crunchy midrange blues-rock thang...WHEN they're cranked...period. Unless you're Jeff Beck, they're best at making everyone sound the same.

Which is just to say...they do nothing for me. Mileage is sure to vary.

It's strange that the luddites on gear shows are still having the conversation about tubes vs whatever-else. That ship left the shore years ago, while they were bowing in obeisance at the Tube Altar. Now they're stomping around on the shore, rubbing their eyes in the light of their late awakening, shaking their fists as the ship sails out of sight, yelling "GET THOSE TRANNNSISTERS and DIGITS OFF MY LAWN," whimpering under their breaths "hey, wait for me! I'm coming..."


And geez, while I'm venting...

Roland is Boss, and Boss is Roland, the twain am one and the same - so why the multiple nameplates for their amps? Roland Cube, Boss Katana, Boss Nextone...

OK. rant over.

6

I know what you mean Tim. All this 'yeah but does it sound like a tube amp' is dumb. I guess it's obvious that that's the idea. DSP. Never worked out why folks think there's some mystery to it when hidden underneath the hood of an amp panel. Or put in a stomp box like the new Boss pedals. Or is it Roland? Would still love to try one though!

7

I got one in tweed. Like you, I watched a lot of videos that helped making my decision. This thing sounds pretty good to me. I really like being able to use it set at .5w for practice.

While I live out in the country, there are still neighbors, so I (probably not nearly as much as they) appreciate being able to play without rattling all the window glass.

Full disclosure: Unlike most of you, I am NOT a guitarist...professional, amateur, or otherwise ...I barely know which end of a guitar to play.

(I AM jonesing to try out some of Tavo’s pedals though)

8

I have the Blues Cube Artist - the 80W cousin to the Blues Cube Hot. The photo below is from an old gig a few years back with my trusty Gretsch 6120N. It's the black tolex version too, which I like. It has a lot of great features including adjustable power settings (0.5W to 80W), two channels, EQ, reverb, effects loop, master volume. It also includes a built in tremolo which I think is really, really good!

I have to admit that when I first played the stock amp, it was good but I wasn't really in love. Then I got the NY Blues tone capsule, installed it, and...GAME OVER! There was the tube tone and response I'd been looking for on both the clean and crunch channels!

Another thing I discovered is that the High input allows you to achieve an edge-of-breakup tube tone at reasonable volume levels. I can easily use it without any pedals at all and get great tones from clean to heavy overdrive. Fortunately, it takes pedals well, though my pedalboard is fairly modest these days.

By the way - I hardly ever use the 80W mode. 15W or maybe 40W is all I ever need for 99% of my gigs. 0.5W is great for practicing and bedroom use. I also use the Line Out feature to plug into our band's mixer/PA so I can hear my guitar though our IEMs without having an external mic (as shown in the old photo below).

My local music store will be getting the new Boss Nextone amps soon. I plan to try one out, but it will take a lot to convince me to replace my Blues Cube.

9

I am getting close to trying one. If it does well on clean and reverb is decent, I will ignore the fact that it can be distorted. Normally those amps aren't even allowed on my property, but my older, kinder gentler self is adopting a more live and let live attitude.


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