Price paid: € 255
Purchased from: Roland Planet
Sound — 10
You can get such a huge array of tones with this amp, whatever kind of guitar you play. Right now I only have a G&L Legacy, which is a Strat-style guitar (some call it the "real" Strat) with single-coil pickups. I play mostly hard rock and metal, and do some bluesy noodling and strumming stuff as well, and whatever else I take a notion to figure out. So here are the amp models. On the clean channel, you get Roland's own JC-120, which is very nice. Maybe it's just the guitar, but I especially love to play on this one with the middle pickup, very rich, chimey sound, but a good twang on the bridge position. Then over on the lead channel, you get, in order: The Acoustic simulator: Doesn't really sound Acoustic to me, but I look at it as another variation on clean tones. Pretty mellow, as you might guess, and does get close to Acoustic when you keep the gain low. Blackface: Still fairly clean, but with a little bit of bite and brightness to it. With the gain all the way up, you can still strum and pick and sound fairly clean but very "electric," but I like to keep the gain to about noon on this setting. Has kind of a "glassy" tone, if that's what they call it. Brit-Combo: To tell the truth, I don't really use this one much, but it's basically a punchier version of Blackface. Tweed: Great for blues, and with the gain all the up, it has a good crunch, but not too hard yet, but a little fuzzy in the low power chords. Classic Stack: This one's terrific for hard '70's rock like AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, old Aerosmith, Nugent, etc, and you can really twang on your A-string, a sound I love. Metal-Stack: At first, sounds like a pumped-up version of Classic Stack, but the more you play, it sounds much deeper and harder, good for more old-school, but not outdated, metal You can play some thrash on it and it sounds pretty good still. The thing about this one is that it's very bass-heavy, so you'll want to tweak the EQ (I like it with the bass knob at noon, the mids at 3:00 adn the highs all the way up, but you can tinker). Really, everything from Guns n' Roses and Van Halen to old Slayer and Pantera sound great on this setting. Rectifier: This one's for your heavy stuff, your thrash-metal, groove-metal, hardcore, some heavy Alice In Chains, etc. I don't think you're going to get quite to the level of brutal death metal with it, though. I like to play some of the styles I mentioned on the Metal Stack setting as well, but that's just my personal taste, and Rectifier is really where they belong. But that's the great thing about this amp: you can do whatever you want with it, you've got plenty of room to play around and experiment. There's one other setting, called Dyna-Amp, which changes the distortion in proportion to how hard you pick. Lots of people don't seem to find a lot of use for it, but I've found it to be pretty handy for a couple things. First, you can crank the gain all the way up and pound on it, and it gives you a sound kinda midway between Classic Stack and Metal Stack, very rich tone. Then, if you're playing a song that goes from light to heavy a lot, and you don't have a footswitch to Switch between channels, it's pretty neat, but you have to back the gain off to get it to work the way it should. I play Kix's "The Itch" this way, and find it's best to set the gain somewhere between 11:00 and noon. For the effects: delay and reverb are both very nice, although the delay is kinda quiet, and you have to really fiddle with it to get it to the exact right speed you want. On the other knob, you can pick between chorus, flanger, phaser and tremolo. Chorus is the only one I really use, and it's very sweet-sounding. Put 'er on Blackface with the gain at halfway and add in some chorus and she'll sing! The phaser is pretty awful, though, very fake-sounding, and cuts the volume down. Flanger is decent, although I don't have much use for it, and I can't imagine using the tremolo effect except if I were recording, and only sparingly at that.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for over thirty years and this has to be one of the best sounding amps I've owned. I wished I got the Cube 60 cause of maybe using it for live playing but miking the 30 X will do fine.It's a great sounding amp for the price and I would tell anyone to get one if your looking for a practice or a small club amp.If it was stolen would I buy another one? Hell I did!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is why I bought this amp. When I was looking for a home practice amp, I surfed the net. I read comments from users on various forums. Some amps received grand praise for their sound and had more effects like Wah, looper and more ways to control the effects. But there were other comments about hum, squeals and screeches and amp failure. Four months of research on the Internet, and I did not find one comment about a Roland Cube that didn't operate as expected. This amp was delivered to my house. It spent half the day on the doorstep in 10 degree temperature. It was cold that day. I wanted to wait for the amp to warm up, but I had to at least try it out. It worked flawlessly even while frozen. The structure is solid. It???s not going to break down.
Features — 10
It's a 30-watt, solid-state modeling amp with nine different sounds spread over two channels (one on the first, the other eight all on the second and selectable with a knob that you click around on). Three-band equalizer, Power Squeezer, tuner, some built-in effects, headphone/recording jack, input for a CD/PM3 player. Weighs about twenty pounds, and is about sixteen inches on a side, although not that deep (really isn't a cube shape, exactly). Really, it's got just about everything you need, and I can't find fault with the features it does have. For me especially (I upgraded from a really lame Quantum Terminator 20 I had since I was twelve), it's really an awesome little amp. Power Squeezer will drop the wattage down, so you can play quietly but still get the impression of playing loudly. I find it kinda muddies up the sound a little, though. The tuner is okay, but can be frustrating. The footswitch isn't included, so you'll probably want to get that at some point. And it may only be thirty watts, but it is a very LOUD thirty watts.