Cube-40XL review by Roland

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (55 votes)
Roland: Cube-40XL

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Yamaha Music Square

Sound — 8
I have a Yamaha Pacifica 112V with HSS config and a coil tap function which splits the bridge into a single coil. It is great for my style, keeping in mind classic rock, blues, and metal. It has two types of reverb, SPRING AND PLATE.

These are the models and the amps accordingly.

- JC CLEAN Roland JC-120
ACOUSTIC SIM Roland AC-60 w/ Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
- BLACK PANEL Fender Twin Reverb
- TWEED Fender Bassman 4 x 10
- CLASSIC STACK Marshall Plexi
- METAL STACK Peavey EVH-5150
- R-FIER STACK Boogie Dual Rectifier
- EXTREME Original Roland ultra-gain amp
- DYNA AMP Original Roland dynamic amp (Produces overdrive according to picking strength, AWESOME).

Till Tweed, you can make it either clean, or with a bit of overdrive except in JC clean and acoustic. Only after I turn the volume knob above 7 or 8(which is VERY LOUD), the sound becomes a bit broken. I personally like the Black panel, JC clean, Tweed, R-fier the most.

As I stated it is good for a wide variety of music. The distortion is freaking KILLER! From the Classic model till the Dyna amp(high overdrive at high volume and hard picking). EXTREME is when you come back from school, scolded by a teacher for not doing your homework, and want to make a grunge-metal song about the teacher. CAUTION:- The cat/dog/snake in your house might be scared.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, it's pretty nice for people who have a wide variety of music, and also for a first amp(For me it is) it's pretty awesome! I've been playing since almost 2 and a half years. I own an Yamaha Pacifica 112V (which is also pretty great). This is my first rig. I bought them together.

I would surely buy this amp again IF it get's stolen, and will then torture the thief with EXTREME setting by making him put his ears next to the amp speaker. I totally love this amp. I compared it with all the 40 watt range of practice amps in the market. It beat them all, the Spider (which are crappy), Vox VT+, Fender Mustang, etc in this range. An auto-wah would be good, but it has many other things to keep it alive. I hope you like this review.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Oh YES, I would use it without ANY backup! It is literally a piece of big heavy rock. I've hit it on walls, dropped it, from a little height though, and once a kid was running and I was taking it back to my car, it hit him on his leg, the amp and that kid fell down, first thing I did, I asked if he was okay? It's so freaking solid, it looks almost bullet-proof.

Features — 9
I guess it was made in 2010 or 2011. It's a great, versatile amp, at least for me! I mainly play old school/classic rock, blues and a bit of metal. The gain on this amp is excellent and the lower end is extraordinary. It gets the neighbors shouting, but I can't hear them when this amp is on. Well mostly I play with the Power Squeezer on so I can keep the sound low without compromising on the gain. It is undoubtedly one the best features of this amp.

It has 2 channels, one JC Clean, and the other one is the Lead channel. It has 2 types of reverb, 5 effects on the EFX knob, which are chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo and heavy octave. I use them quite frequently and they are pretty nice! It has a separate delay and also a 80 second Looper. Great for overdubbing and soloing practice. It has a headphone jack, and 6 foot-switchable functions. It also has the SOLO function, in which you can store your favorite settings from each channel. I wish it had a bit better clean, but I totally love few of the amp models. I use it generally for practice at home and for few gigs in schools, other places.

It is a pretty decent amp for a SS amp. Great upgrade over the previous cubes. It also has a very good automatic chromatic tuner and an aux input for backing tracks, iPod and stuff.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I do get really sick and tired of hearing rubbish comments from "tube amp snobs". This particular Cube 40XL is an excellent amp, period. I own a "tube amp" and an SS modelling amp, both of which I really enjoy. I used to won this model amp, and stupidly sold it. I will buy one again. They are that good in my opinion. I've been playing for nearly 50 years, and have owned more amps, both tube and SS, than I can remember, so have a pretty good idea about quality tone. I think this is a very good amp for a new guitar player, or someone quite experienced. I also think they are excellent value for money. Just me 2.78 cents worth (+gst)
    Man, to everybody that comments "Oh man, you should try a tube amp", go try the amp out. It's really a fantastic piece of equipment, and for how versatile it is, it doesn't really have any competition for the next batch of price ranges. Seeing this amp at Guitar Center for 130 bucks, and knowing that it'll take pedals for any kind of music, it's practically perfect for a cover band. Not to mention it doesn't weigh eight million pounds like most tube amps... No, you're probably not going to sound like Van Halen. But if you're doing it right, you can probably make some money with it while you try to become the next rock god.
    Have one of these and are excellent value for the cost. The cleans are amazing and the acoustic simulator does simulate rather well. The distortion on this amp isn't too bad, not any better or worse than the vox valvetronix 30w i owned prior to this.
    vtypeslaughter wrote: it is not originally from roland, this is just a model of a pedal made by boss, dyna drive dn-2, FYI
    roland is basically boss. it's owned by boss.
    I have been playing for almost forty years and am accustomed to playing through full stackmonsters. I have also had many amps both tube and excellent solid state amps. I was originally looking for another stack and almost stepped on this little cube 20GX sitting in the shop. I played it for about half an hour in the store and was suprised not only by the quality of the sound and effects but by how loud it was compared with other larger combo amps I have tried. The little thing has a warm, pleasing sound and as an avowed Boss pedal snob, I was pleasantly suprised by the quality of the onboard effects.admittedly a quality tube amp can produce a better sound but then again when I reviewed the amp, many professional musicians rave over this line of amps for their sound quality. After studying the information available online (couldnt find a user review below 9 out of 10)I returned to the store and spent three hours comparing the amp and variety of sounds against a 40 watt Fender Mustang , Fender Frontman and Vox modelling amp. To my ear as well as the two guitarist employees all preferred this amp by far for sound quality, features and ease of use. Needless to say I am now the proud owner of one of these great amps. Read the reviews, spend some time playing through one and decide for yourself
    Slipknot101.0 wrote: vtypeslaughter wrote: it is not originally from roland, this is just a model of a pedal made by boss, dyna drive dn-2, FYI roland is basically boss. it's owned by boss.
    Exactly. And i picked up the amp models info up from their own site, FYI.
    i would like to have as setting for cube 40xl that would sound like john petrucci using a ibanez rg 3550mz.....any ideas...
    The 40 won't do it by itself.....I have a line 6 floor pod + that I shape the distortion with and use the 40xl to make it nasty.....I use an Ibanez S-series on it and it is SO sick.....
    For clean you can't beat them for the money, jc and tweed settings are better than fender super champ tube amp and great value
    Just ordered a 40XL as my first amp, look forward to using it after reading some of the reviews.
    "DYNA AMP Original Roland dynamic amp (Produces overdrive according to picking strength, AWESOME)" it is not originally from roland, this is just a model of a pedal made by boss, dyna drive dn-2, FYI
    prleLTD wrote: try a tube amp then change numbers to 5 or lower
    There's a point in your comment because now when I have bought my second amp, a Laney VC30 tube amp, I have noticed how much better it sounds compared to my old Microcube that I sold. But you must remember that this is a practice amp and not meant to sound as good as tube amp. When you have found The Sound, you don't need to have 100 different amp models. Two sounds are enough for me: clean and overdrive/distortion. And that's what my new amp can do pretty well. But I disagree with the scoring thing. I would still give my old Microcube a 7 or something. It served well and had a decent Marshall model (that sounded better than the drive channel on Marshall MG).
    all are rubbish cant even recommend any of these trans amps there all shit and break down after a couple of years.....anyway i ended up with a blackheart b15 valve combo 2nd hand for $150 its basic no headphones no effects so i bought a digitech 155 that is ok i guess? not the best but cheap as a starter $120 for my drums and effects should have got the boss rc3 but its twice as much and no drums but is much better
    trans amps don't all suck. Transistors are more reliable than tubes for sure. Ever heard of a Roland JC? Tubes can distort signals more pleasantly sometimes but there are a whole bunch of tube amps out there that sound like shit. And a heap of clean channels on tube amps especially at low volumes are lifeless poorly voiced jokes of instruments.