Cube-40XL review by Roland

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (55 votes)
Roland: Cube-40XL
2

Price paid: € 199

Purchased from: Thomann

Sound — 9
I play an Epiphone Goth Explorer with alnico classic humbuckers which I was planning to change but when I tried it with the amp it was clear I didn't need to. Metal is my thing, specifically the harsh aggressive types. There's 3 amp styles you can use including the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier but I prefer the Extreme setting. Add some effects, fiddle with the tone knobs and it really hits the spot, no disappointment. The distortion is probably this amp's strong point. I've tried some of the more jazzy/classic sounds but I've not enough experience with it to know if what it's making is a good jazzy sound so I won't comment but nontheless it is certainly great that this amp has so much variety and range. It can get a bit buzzy if you go to the most extreme metal setting with 10 gain - nothing that will be noticed when playing. Another thing I like is that when you add all the effects and fiddle with the tone it can make a futuristic, electro sampler sound... Great for Industrial Metal or Aggrotech if you like that. The clean is basic stuff. Boring I think unless you add some effects but good enough. The acoustic simulator isn't that great but passable.

Overall Impression — 9
I play Metal so that was the first thing I tested and even if you just look at the Metal aspects you will be able to get a diverse and interesting sound out of this amp. I can't really comment on the other styles but what I've tested there's definitely some rock, bluesy, jazzy sounds in here. If I lost it I would definitely buy it again. I compared it to other modelling amps in the 30w-40w range (Peavey, Spider, Line 6, Behringer, etc) and this one had the best features and unique ones too like that power squeezer and solo function. It also lacked the negativity people seem to have towards Line 6 Spiders. My favourite thing is the range and diversity of the sound. I like techno/industrial sound and it really made these cool sounds. The power squeezer is really nice too. I didn't like the fact that you can only use one effect at a time though. In short it is the perfect amp if you enjoy experimenting and haven't yet settled on a specific sound AND/OR if you like the casual playing in a pub or small club or such. Don't buy it if you're set one one specific sound though - you'd be better off going for amps/effects that cater specifically to that style. No regrets!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would use this without fear of it breaking. The body of the amp is very strong - hard plastic frame with hard rubber along the edges and a metal frame over the speakers... Has this whole industrial look going. The knobs are all on tight and the few buttons there are are firm rubber. It hasn't broken down (I just got it) but it came with a guarantee so I'm not worried.

Features — 9
This is a new amp I bought at the end of 2011 but I don't know its creation date. I assume recently. It is a solid state modelling amplifier. It has 2 channels (clean and lead). The clean is the basic clean type of sound you'd expect. The fun stuff is found in the lead channel which features the various different amps it models. There are effects built in of course: flanger, phaser, chorus, tremolo, and heavy octave (you can only use one at a time though so that bit sucks). There is also delay and reverb which can be used simultaneously with any effect you choose. There are 9 different guitar amp styles you can choose from ranging from an acoustic simulator to blues/jazz stuff, to 60s surf rock, to old Fender types to Mesa Boogie and extreme Metal style amps. They all are quite accurate and combined with the effects its amazing the number of sound styles you can create. Other features include a looper which allows you to record for 80 seconds your guitar playing and you can then overdub your recordings with more guitar playing 3 times I think. There is also a "solo" function which allows to save a specific sound set-up you like and can be turned on even if you're using different settings at the time. Besides this you can play music through the amp if you have the right cable so you can play along with it, a headphone jack for quiet practicing. Finally it has a great feature called the power squeezer which limits the power to something like 2 watts BUT without making the amp lose tone or quality of its sound or effects - perfect for quiet practicing. I play at home strictly but I've turned up the volume to about 25% and it is certainly loud enough to play in pubs, clubs, smallish venues. Probably not in a large crowded gig but it wasn't made for that anyway. If you buy a controller pedal then you can activate the looper recording function and all the other functions on this guitar which I'd recommend if you plan on recording or playing live so you don't have to stop playing to edit the settings.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    mattyboy71
    All these people who constantly bring up tube amps during all of these reviews are 1000 times more boring than any digital sound could ever make.Not everyone can afford tube amps plus the maintenance costs.If someone says its a good practice amp these solid states are fine for that IMO.If you want to sound like an idiot go to an apple review and talk about oranges.I have one of these and I think there actually really good especially the clean.
    Moose_Guitarist
    I compared it to other modelling amps in the 30w-40w range (Peavey, Spider, Line 6, Behringer, etc)
    A Spider is Line 6. Just saying.....
    alex_crawford
    Reign77 wrote: prleLTD wrote: try a tube amp then change numbers to 5 or lower yes my thoughts exactly
    oh my god not again....
    MaggaraMarine
    ProgUnicorn wrote: prleLTD wrote: try a tube amp then change numbers to 5 or lower Fender frontman 15G ≠ tube amp.
    This! This amp is a practice amp and it's made for those who are looking for their style and sound . And of course it doesn't compare to amps that cost twice or three times as much. And the thing I like in this review is that he's honest. The ratings are pretty high but he admits that it's not the best amp in the world. So it's not one of the "It's SOOOO amazing and better than [insert whatever better and more expensive amp here]" reviews.
    In short it is the perfect amp if you enjoy experimenting and haven't yet settled on a specific sound AND/OR if you like the casual playing in a pub or small club or such. Don't buy it if you're set one one specific sound though - you'd be better off going for amps/effects that cater specifically to that style. No regrets!
    Duker63
    I just go this amp to replace the Peavey tube 120 I hated. I got the tones i was looking for right out of the box And i dont need to drop another 200 bucks for a pedal so I can use the Looper function Like the Peavey Vycrapper Its Loud It sounds good The price is right I am done trying to be a Tube snob
    youngalistai
    ive tried out the cube 40 and 80 they have the looper which is so handy to play along with. to be able to use a function like this and not have to but a separate looper and the 40w for 185 you cant go wrong for your first proper amp. if anyone out there can tell me they can get a better amp new or second hand with as good features id be very surprised
    Andragon
    I didn't know they made 40w versions. I have the 30w and know about the 60w. Good stuff.
    ProgUnicorn
    prleLTD wrote: try a tube amp then change numbers to 5 or lower
    Fender frontman 15G ≠ tube amp.
    KempDanny
    my neighbor's step-mother makes $67/hour on the computer. She has been fired from work for 7 months but last month her income was $8448 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here's the site to read more. ho.io/qazn
    CoolMcAwesome
    The Cube line from Roland is quite good. I have a 20x, and for a practice amp, it is pretty good.
    imaginedbufalo
    I have this amp and personally i think the distortion is not up to standard and am wanting a fendeer mustang III as its distortion is much better plus i need more noise.
    Reign77
    prleLTD wrote: try a tube amp then change numbers to 5 or lower
    yes my thoughts exactly