Cube-15 review by Roland

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (103 votes)
Roland: Cube-15

Price paid: $ 125

Purchased from: Pittsburgh Guitars

Sound — 8
I am using an ESP LTD Viper-50 with standard ESP humbuckers, and occasionally I use a Fender American Standard Stratocaster. The amp is great clean, easpescially with the strat. It doesn't sound digitized, there's no distortion at high volumes, and the tone has great depth. However, the lead channel is a bit bland. Overdrive is all right if you only need a little distortion. I don't really use the distortion setting, because it's really just a middle ground between metal and overdrive, and the sound isn't much different from overdrive (when on lower gain) or metal (when on higher gain). The metal channel is pretty cool. It is a sort of bassy distortion with good sustain, a crunchy sound on low gain, and a darker, metal sound on high gain. Metal stack is really just a version of metal with more treble that sounds better for soloing, thoguh on lower gains, it sounds kind of boring. I've found this is a good setting for a Randy Rhoads-style tone. An annoying feature of the lead channel is that it doesn't have the depth that the clean channel does. The ditortions are all a bit flat, and you can't really get a crushing, pummeling tone out of them (often, I use the DigiTech RP80 I mentioned earlier for more brutal sounds). On all settings, there is some buzz, espescially on higher volumes.

Overall Impression — 8
This amp is good for rock, metal, and blues. I have been playing for a little over a year, and as I mentioned, I use an ESP LTD Viper-50, an American standard Stratocaster, and a Digitech RP-80 pedal. I have no regrets in buying this product, as the price was good, and it's a great practice amp. If it were lost or stolen, I'd practice on my Sunn 100W Beta Lead (which I hate to do, because it's really old and not very good anymore), and I'd probably buy a louder amp that's better for live playing (Mesa Double Rectifier). However, like I said, the Roland Cube 15 is good for practicing on, and I like it alot.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It seems fairly sturdy for its size, although Iwouldn't play it in a live setting unless the place I was playing in was very small and carried sound extremely well. The amp has never broken down.

Features — 8
This amp is fine for the styles I play (hard rock, metal, sometimes blues). It has two channels - clean and lead. The clean channel has a volume knob, and the lead channel has volume and gain knobs. Lead has four settings - overdrive, distortion, metal, and metal stack. Of course, it has the standard EQ knobs (bass, mid, treble). There is a recording/out jack, as well as an auxilary in jack (primarily used for hooking up a CD player to the amp). I wish it had reverb, but I have a Digitech RP-80, so I can get reverb from that (not as good as real amp reverb, but it's all right).

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