Price paid: $ 345
Purchased from: Music123.com
Sound — 10
My only electric guitar at this point is a Schecter 006 Deluxe, but I've played many guitars through this amp. Unlike other modeling amps, the Cube is very responsive to both the character of the individual guitar and your playing style. No one guitar sounds good with all the amp models, but all the amp models sound good with some type of guitar. There is absolutely no noise, even standing right next to the amp with the gain cranked. It is good for every style of music, although it's deffinatly best for heavier stuff. Good cleans though! The clean channel begins to break up around 4.5. Unlike other solid state amps though, the breakup isn't harsh or raspy until around 8. The distortion ranges from a light overdrive to thrash metal. Here is an overview of some of the amp models:
Clean: this is your basic clean channel, based on a Roland Jazz Chorus. It sounds absolutely fantastic on the 60, much better than the smaller Cubes.
Acoustic: it's pretty much a Boss acoustic simulator. Paired with the right guitar and EQ'ed correctly, it can be pretty convincing. Be prepared to turn down the bass though.
Brit Combo: based on a Vox AC30. It's picky about the guitar, but using the right one it sounds pretty impressive. Good Beatles impression.
Classic Stack: based on a Marshall, a JPM I think. It sounds better than most other amps that pretend to be Marshalls, certainly better than the Marshall MG amps, but you just can't get that sound without EL34 powertubes. Gain-wise, it's AC/DC territory.
Metal Stack: based on a Peavey 5150 (now 6505). The distortion is thick, yet warm. Very good for anything from 80's metal to modern rock. You'll hear how warm it is and won't believe it's solid state.
R-Fier: based on a Mesa Boogie Duel Rectifier. It sounds amaizingly less digital than any other modeling amp Mesa I've ever heard, which includes a Line 6 Spider, Line 6 Flextone, and Vox Valvetronix. It's very compressed and sustains forever. More gain here than you'll ever need.
Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly hard rock, but I do occassionally play some blues and I always like a nice clean tone. This is a perfect match for my style. I've been playing guitar long enough to know good tone when I hear it. I also own a Roland Micro Cube. I simply don't need any other amps besides these two. I bought this amp without ever having played it before. I owned the microcube and loved it and was looking to replace my Crate GLX212. Guitar Center didn't have the 60, so I went ahead and bought it online. I'm glad I did. If it were lost or stolen, I'm sure I'd buy it again as there is no better amp for under $500. I compared it with various Crates, a Peavey Classic 50, Marshall MGs, a Fender Blues Jr (best cleans under $1000 btw), a Line 6 Spider II, and a Vox AD50VT. The Vox was the only one that even came close. I only wish Roland would make a head version of this with more effects, models, and flexibility (as well as wattage).
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is an absolute tank. I can't figure out what the cabinet is made out of, but it's a hell of a lot tougher than what most amps use. The closed back design and metal grill ensure that nothing will ever touch that speaker. Rubber corners protect both the amp and what you put it on. I would most certainly use it on a gig without a backup. Hell, I'd take it on tour without a backup. I never even bothered sending in the warranty. It's that tough.
Features — 10
The Cubes are all made in China. As far as I know, mine was made in 2004. It features 9 amp models, 6 built in digital effects, and all the output jacks you could ever ask for. It has two channels - one for the JC120 model and the other for the non-Roland amp models. It seems to me that it would have made more sense to put the clean models on one side and the overdriven ones on the other, but oh well. It has jacks for headphones, line out, extension speaker out, and a tuner. The effects, delay/reverb, and channels are all footswitchable via Boss single button non-latching footswitches. This is my amp for everything from bedroom practice to band practice to gigs. If it's every too bulky, I bring my Microcube. It's loud enough for playing with a band, although the cleans lack enough headrooom to overpower a loud drummer. The only feature it lacks is an effects loop, but you really won't need one because the built in effects are so good.