Purchased from: Drum Bank
Sound — 7
I am using a 50's reissue Stratocaster. The JC-120 Clean channel really shows off the classic unprocessed sound of the Fender, and doesn't break up even at full volume. Although the clean is smooth at full volume, electrical interference can be heard (if the Fender is close or if other electrical equipment is nearby). A great sounding channel that offers a smooth rich tone, and is excellent for pedal input (such as stomp boxes or modelling preamps). The first four models on the second channel (acoustic, black panel, brit combo and tweed) each give variable quality of tone, although mostly adequate. The acoustic model is probably the best of the four, and really does well toward making my Strat sound like an acoustic. However, take the Brit Combo for instance (apparently modelled on an AC-30), and things don't sound too great. The model is flat, too modern and too digital to recreate any '70s sound with any sort of authenticity. The same applies to the other 2 models, with the Tweed and Black Panel sounding far too straight forward. They contain non of the artifacts that make the original amps they are modelled on so sought after. The next three models are pretty much just overdrive or distortion amps (classic stack, metal and r-fier). When originally purchasing this amp (see reliability & durability), these 3 models sounded incredible. They had very sharp overdrive or distortion, with both power and tone intact. The three models were very distinguishable, with the Classic Stack offering a very dirty early '70s vibe, while the other two presented an '80s/'90s/'00s modern sound. By changing the gain setting, different amounts of distortion could be achieved, and so any kind of heavy rock song could be concieved by just these three models (to an extent). The last model; the Dyna Amp, is a rather interesting feature. It simply allows clean sounds when picking or strumming softly, and dirty R-fier type distortion when played harder. By setting the gain, you can change how easy it is to push the guitar to distortion. This effect is very Tube/Valve amp in terms of inspiration, as Tube/Valve amps are well known for their smoother access to overdrive/distortion while playing on an overdriven channel. The Dyna Amp is a great idea for people Who suddenly want to change their playing style from song to hard without pedals or switches.
Overall Impression — 6
I play progressive rock, and the amp was suitable for my needs. However, even this Cube 60 is simply an intermediates amp; being that I'm an intermediate moving on to find something even better! It's loud, has a great clean channel and emits no real noise of it's own (again, only from interference), but apart from the apparent unreliability of the circuits for the modelling, the models themselves are not good representations of what they are based on. The amp is cheaper now then when I bought it, and for good reason. There are much better amps available for the price I bought it for, and ones that model/emulate better. I want an AC-30 emulation that sounds like the real thing, and includes all those artifacts that make it sound quite like something ancient(POD XT does just that). Good amp for beginners, now at a more reasonable price, but advanced players Who understand tone will want to stray from this, or at least only use it's clean channel for pedal effects.
Reliability & Durability — 5
It could very well just be me, but after 8 months of owning this amp, the 3 overdrive/distortion models have become very airy (classic stack, metal and r-fier), as if each time I play my guitar, a gust of wind is also being modelled beside it! This means chords I play using these models, are very indistinguishable and so don't sound full or sharp at all. When direct recording for instance (proving it isn't my speakers) the playback is so full of air I can't hear the minors or majors over the all the noise/air and distortion. If you want sharp and definite distortion, you will not find it here. Well at least I find that I don't anymore. Again, to prove this problem is not with the Cube speakers, I now use the POD XT Live, and find that with the JC-120 Clean channel on the Cube, and the POD XT's AC-30 model, I achieve tone with incredible clarity. The actual amp itself is very durable, tough and robust. It's got a nice feel to it that gives the impression that dropping it wouldn't do a thing. It's all encased nice and tightly, with screwed in straps at each cornder, and a grainy hard surface that feels like a garage work surface.
Features — 7
The Roland Cube 60 comes equipped with 2 seperate channels, one simply being the JC-120 Clean model, and the other offering 8 more amp models. The usual tone controls (bass, middle, treble and presense) are present, alongside an EFX control and Delay/Reverb control. The JC-120 Clean channel has a "bright" setting for an even greater treble upper limit and of course a volume control, while the second channel has both gain and volume control. For a modern amp, the selection of models and fx is adequate, if not mind blowing.