Sound — 7
Despite the large number of glowing reviews of this amp for its sound quality, I am going to disagree somewhat here. Firstly I would say that I am familiar with the Roland Cube series, and own, or have previously owned both a Microcube, and Cube 20x. I have a number of issues with this amp; none of them by themselves is necessarily a deal breaker, but based on my experiences of this amp and others from the Cube series, I can make the following observations: 1). The sound models sound very different (and nowhere near as good) as the same sound models on the Microcube). To my ears the Microcube sounds better on almost all settings. The Classic Stack setting on the 30x is nothing like as good as the microcubes. It is far muddier and is just lacking in comparison. This also applies to some of the other amp models as well. The Brit Combo model also sounds WAY better on the diminutive Microcube. 2). The clean channel on the Cube 30X is WAY louder than the lead channel / models. Not a major problem, but somewhat annoying. 3). The reverb, delay and effects don't sound nearly as good on this model as they do on the Microcube and Cube 20x. The reverb has a strange decay sound, especially if you mute the strings. Again, the microcube wins 4). Of course, the 30x has a 'fuller' sound due to its bigger speaker and higher wattage than the microcube for example, but the difference isn't that significant, especially at low volume practice levels. 5). The Cube 30X is MUCH noisier than any other cube I have tried. I am talking about interference and hum that it seems to pickup from the guitar and / or surroundings. 6). The built in tuner on the 30x I had was nothing like as responsive and sensitive as that on the 20x model. Whilst I think in general the Roland Cube range are excellent amps, especially for the money, I am somewhat surprised and disappointed by the 30x. Mainly this is because of the difference in how the models sound comparing to the Microcube. Also, in comparison to the Cube 20x, the 30x just lacks the magic that the Cube 20X has (maybe the smaller 8 inch speaker of the 20x has something to do with it?). In summary, maybe I got a duff one...but I think this unlikely due to the high reliability of these amps. I mean, it's not bad, and in its own right it is very good...until you compare it to the microcube, which although lacking the features of the bigger cubes, more than makes up for in tone. To anyone considering this or one of the other Cubes for home practice - my advice is try them all out. And then buy the Microcube or Cube 20X ;o)
Overall Impression — 7
Good, but sounds somewhat anaemic and lifeless compared to the 20x and microcube. More digital sounding and lacks the midrange warmth and magic of the smaller cubes. I play classic rock style, and the classic stack model (Marshall) is passable, but again much better on the microcube.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Solid build quality. No hesitation in saying it is dependable. Roland reliability. Nothing to report. I would use it without a backup due to solid state reliability and Rolands record of good reliable products. Build quality is rugged with thick plastic edge protectors. Full marks here.
Features — 9
Plenty of features, and easy to use. I won't go over what others have already adequately described. Undoubtedly pretty versatile. Decent range of common effects, chorus, tremolo etc which are reasonable sounding. Reverb/delay is an either/or as on the other cubes - i.e you can only have one or the other on at one time. Not really a problem for me as I don't like using both together. Power squeezer feature is ok, but better on the 20x.