Cube-80X review by Roland

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.7 (81 votes)
Roland: Cube-80X
1

Price paid: $ 420

Purchased from: Roland Egypt

Sound — 10
I use this amp with my ESP LTD AX-400FM guitar with two active EMG 81 humbucker pickups, I play mostly Death Metal and thrash, and sometimes I play some clean melodies, and this amp does the job!

The amp has 10 COSM amp models (same technology used in Boss Multi-effects processors such as the GT-8 and the GT-10) which I will list briefly:

1) JC Clean: Based on the Roland Jazz Chorus "JC 120" amp, and this is the clean channel, it has a "bright" button which produces richer mids and highs.

2) Acoustic Sim: an Acoustic simulator model

3) Black Panel: Based on the classic "Fender Twin Reverb" amplifier, suitable for country, blues, jazz, and Rock

4) DLX combo: Based on the classic "Fender Deluxe Reverb" amplifier, this has higher overdrive than the Black Panel, and suitable for same genres

5) BRIT combo: Based on the "Vox AC-30TB" amp, for that classic British Rock sound

6) Tweed: Based on the Vintage "Fender Tweed Bassman 4x10" Combo, suitable for blues and rock

7) Classic Stack: Based on the "Marshall JMP 1987" stack, and it's truely Perfect for the top rock sound of the 80's.

8) Metal Stack: Based on the "Peavy EVH 5150", with high gain and heavy distortion and sustain, great for Metal

9) R-Fier stack: my personal favorite, based on the "Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier" with super high gain, this it the ultimate model for metal, extreme metal, and that brutal crushing and screaming sound!

10) Dyna amp: an amp type that changes tone according to picking dynamics, if you pick softly it'll sound clean and if you apply more force it'll sound distorted (you can use your volume knob with your pinky too to perfect the use of this amp model)

so, this amp is basically perfact for any musical style you could possibly think of, it can have a very nice and clear clean tone, or a crushing brutal distortion based on your needs.

Overall Impression — 10
I play Death and Trash Metal and the R-fier model suit's my needs and if I ever think about switching my musical style I'd still use the same amplifier as it's extremely versatile. I've Been playing for 4 years now, I own an ESP LTD AX-400FM Guitar, a ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Crybaby Wah and this is basically my whole setup along with the amp. The amp is perfect, I can't think of any additional feature it could hold, infact, I don't even use half of it's features now, this is an irreplaceable amp, I'd definitely get another one if mine broke.

I love that amplifier's sound and features, and I can't think of anything I hate about it. I want to give it a 9/10 in any of the review sections but I just can't find a single flaw to that amazing amp. I compared it to a lot of other combo amps but the COSM amp models in this Cube are just as realistic as actual tube amps, and no solid state or modeling amp would sound half as good as this amp.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I can reply on this amp, and I use it in gigs without backup, as my whole effects and sounds come from that amp, I simply will not sound the same without it, and this amp is built like a tank! It's a very powerful, and loud amp, yet portable. The amp works fine till now, haven't had any problems with it so far.

Features — 10
This the the 2008 Roland Cube 80x Combo Guitar Amplifier, the successor of the Cube 60 amp. This amp is Extremely versatile as it has 10 Built-in COSM amp models, ranging from JC clean sound to British Combo, to Marshal Classic Stack, to the Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier model. You can play Jazz, Blues, Country, Classic, Rock, Traditional metal, Extreme Metal, basically anything you could play. It has two types of Channel switching, one using the standard Switch button, and one using the "solo" function which is a memory function in which you can save all your effects presents including amp model and recall by pressing the "solo" button. This Amp doesn't lack any feature that I know of, infact, it offers more than what most guitarists would need, it has four built in effects; Chorus, flanger, phaser, and tremolo. It has Two types of delay and two types of reverb including spring reverb. It features a Very handy Tool which is the Looper, you can record up to 40 seconds and then the looper plays back the recorded input and you can even add as much layers over that loop till infinity. This is an incredibly LOUD amp, I've played it with volume at half it's maximum and it was louder than my friend's Randall 100w tube amp at half it's max. Volume. This is a Great modeling amp, it simulates tube amps flawlessly and the built in effects would spare you from ever using pedals again, I only use a ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Crybaby wah pedal with it. You can use up to 6 footswitches on this amp to control every feature using footswitches, you can connect your iPod, Zune, or any mp3/CD player in the line-in input, you can use the amp as a head and connect it to a speaker, a 4x12" cabinet maybe. You have a recording output, headphones output, and mixer output.

47 comments sorted by best / new / date

    FarmhouseGuitar
    I gotta say this about the Roland Cube 80x. I have been playing for over 20 years and have played everything from JCM800's in the 80's to combo's to Peavey, Randall, Marshall's...but over the past 3 years, I have been disabled, so all of my playing is home playing. I have gone through several "modeling" amps, Vyper, Mustang, Vox..the whole gamet, and swore I would never own the cube until I just happen to try it out at the local music store. I have to say it has the best features of them all and gets just amazing tone. Unlike every other combo that you can add an extention cabinet to, the Cube speaker does NOT drop out when you add. I have a Marshall 4x12 being pushed by the Cube and let me tell you...a world of difference!!! Its like having 5x12 at your control. There are a few things that can be improved upon, onboard effects are good, but footpedals are always better, but you also add them to any setup. The 2 types of reverb are Excellent. 2 channels AND a Solo channel for an added boost for Leads. As far as modeling amps go, and most Combo's go, I would have to say that this one ranks in the top 5 in Combo amps in this price range..hands down.
    TheEsupremacy
    The Peavey Vypyr blows this thing away. It's not even close. A/B them and you'll see what I mean.
    Ezz_zombie
    can i please clarify some points please : 1) the COSM technology simulates the tube amps perfectly, AND, it's modified digitally also to sound the same even at lower volumes while tube amps are designed to be played loud or else they dont deliver their TRUE tone 2) there is absolutely NO tube amp within this price range (less than 500$) so, to get that sound from a modeling amp that's about a quarter of the price of a tube amp is a pretty sweet deal 3) if you're gonna compare, dont compare this amp with 2000-5000$ marshall amps !! .. compare it with a tube amp that's within the same price range. 4) i stand by what i say; i bought this amp according to reviews and i saw that it's the best for my budget, however, when i tried it out at a friends i was amazed... and there's nothing broken with his amp either or something.. this IS a pretty damn loud amp and pushes more distortion than some tube amps... 5) i'm mainly talking about it's "Mesa-boogie rectifier" modeling... so, please stop comparing it to marshalls, and peavys... you're comparing completely different amps... if someone has the mesa boogie then please be my guest and speak your mind 6) simply go to the music store and try out the amp and see for yourself, i dont work for Roland you know ! and i'm not a huge fan either, if i had the money, i'd buy a Mesa-Boogie triple rectifer and a 4x12" cabinet ! 7) i forgot to mention that this amp has a dynamic output similar to tube amps and as you raise the volume it gets louder AND more gain/distortion too just like tube amps.. this is something i forgot to mention 8) why are we comparing a 400$ modeling amp to all-famous marshalls valve and peavys and tube amps ? .. i never meant to compare between them.. i just mentioned that this amp kicked my friend's tube amp's ass.. maybe the Enhanced EQ and the presence and other control knobs helped define my sound more... i dont know.. but i'm NOT gonna go be dragged into a argument comparing my amp to a tube one 9) TRY IT OUT and then talk please !
    kaliber.jack
    Quite a discussion on this. I've had this amp for a few months. I've used other comparable amps (Line 6 spiders, the tube Fender Blues Junior) and the Roland is my favorite for sound. I don't gig with it and don't crank it up all the way but we rock in a garage at all volumes. This thing packs a serious punch and sounds great. Considering all the features (less the annoying tuner function)and sound I would have a hard time finding better value for money for an everyday amp.
    doive
    i was unimpressed by it's cleans and low gain models i have to say - but i imagine for metal etc. it'd be pretty decent - it's pushing the boundary of going for a small valve amp rather than a big ss at $400 hehe - "i play death and trash metal" nice typo :p
    Miquespa
    Ezz_zombie wrote: blackmambana wrote: ^ a review with all 10s just seems inadequate. Even if its great for the price range it cant deserve a ten/ten for everything. well, when you compare it to a Tube amp and find this amp kicking it's butt you'll be as impressed as i am !
    Criticism FTW. lol.
    dimatrod
    I find it funny that usually the people going for these amps are the ones that say "they push out more distortion than any amp", so basically they're looking for a beehive rather than an amplifier. I myself had a Flextone III which I adored but got rid of it because it was unnecessarily heavy and loud, so I went with a PodXTLive which cost me $200 + KC-150. I'd rather have a Blackstar HT-5 or a 15 watt version but at the moment I'm happy with the sounds I'm getting from this. Also, I think if someone is getting a 50+ watt amp, it should be for gigging, and if so, better look for something more authentic like a real tube amp+pedals than a modeler. IMO anyways
    lespaul609
    this amp is definately good if you want a wide varitey of sounds at decent volume, but if you think it sounds better than an all tube amp then you are officially off your nut
    Swimmist
    lyonk55 wrote: Swimmist wrote: sorry, but there is NO WAY an 80 watt solid state could overpower a 100 watt tube amp.... Somebodies gonna have to explain that one to me... I'm curious too...aren't tube amps ment to be about 2x(or more) as loud as a solid state of the same wattage? I'm sure I've read something like that anyway...
    I heard over 3x....I guess you cant trust people who but 10's on every section in a review
    ebelcher122
    Yes, some solid state amps do sound good, while others sound horrid. I am not a huge fan of the roland cube I would maybe use it as a practice amp if i couldn't be to loud. The whole tube has to be loud to get good tone is kinda mixed imo. My rivera knucklehead sounds great at low volumes like room playing... playing louder does change the tone and add distortion, but also distorts the clean channel...with my effects loop i can crank the volumes, enable the fx loop for both channels, then lower the fx volume. This gives me the added gain and tone of playing louder, but lets me keep the amp at low volumes. I got the rivera because i couldn't afford a mesa recto at the time, and after playing it for awhile i am glad i actually like it much more.....anyways i do like the versatility of the different models and im not trying to compare it to a tube stack just trying to clear that up...and it does sounds pretty good, but imo not close to a good tube amp.
    McMullen20
    i got last years model of this and it is nice. for those of you with bigger amps this one have great effects and when i get a half stack im gunna use the effects off my old one cuz its got more effects.
    Fredzilla51
    One note for Roland Cube 80X users. I liked the sound of the amp...right off....for it's versatility and nice sweet fat tone...probaby due to my guitar (M. Kelly Patriot Custom)...with the Mahogany body...even though it can go to single coil with taps....but would like to hear it thru a Strat like (Ash) body. For the $...it is hard to beat..and has some good power. I read allot of threads from another sight...and this one...and decided to drill my own Ports in the lower front end of the cabinate. Just 1" holes. Two more are up top...and are laterally elongated ports. Back panel has a horizontal 3/4" opening. This makes it sound more like the Cube 60X. Much punchier...brighter..and more articulate for the Lows...Mids..and Highs. Lows are much better defined also. Really changed the character...to a sweeter sound...and slightly louder (punchier) also. Half an hours work...for drilling holes and such. Was worth the Mod. Really sounds better...for all Amp models. More articulation and more Punch...for lows to highs.
    john.stockton.7
    I love tube amps (50watt marshalls from the 70s) - but getting the sound I like is sometimes a crapshoot from tube amps today at lower vols especially as my tube combo amp gets older. The cube 80xl has the same great tone available all the time and multiple (super high quality) amp models also. I'd rather have the versatility of the Cube than just one tube amp (unless it was Michael Schenker's lol). The cube sounds absolutely great for Hard rock going into the PA direct.
    Alpha_Wolf
    I have the CUBE 30X, and I love the tone of it, but it doesn't get near loud enough to be heard over my friends when we practice, so I think I'll start saving up for this one.
    thomson125
    If i play on the JC-clean mode with some reverb and chorus, will the effects still be there if i switch to the R-fier mode? Or any other mode besides R-fier.
    hahaokayman
    Maybe it's all 10s in the realm of solid state modeling amplifiers, not amplifiers in general...you people ever think?
    OffshoreClown
    I got one of these amps for christmas! highly reccomend it. It's a great amp, i haven't gone wrong with it yet.. i want to get a foot channel switcher thing though.. anyone know if it will work? And tomorrow i'm getting a box for my computer that will set up my computer with some line 69 software with an amp anyway! Fun Times (:
    theshadow180
    I play a Flying V through this amp and I must say that it is basically perfect. Its helped me achieve my ideal tones and so far I can't find a fault with it. Highly recommend.
    i want to get a foot channel switcher thing though.. anyone know if it will work?
    Roland recommends a Boss FS-6 in its owners manual so I can only assume that ones been tried and tested
    Corsack
    Bought this as my second amp. Lots of power and a good variety of sounds. Acoustic simulator is disappointing and the in-built tuner is hard to use at first but can get all of the tricky tunings if you use it right. Money well spent.
    lyonk55
    Swimmist wrote: sorry, but there is NO WAY an 80 watt solid state could overpower a 100 watt tube amp.... Somebodies gonna have to explain that one to me...
    I'm curious too...aren't tube amps ment to be about 2x(or more) as loud as a solid state of the same wattage? I'm sure I've read something like that anyway...
    Phoenix-Kun
    Ezz_zombie wrote: can i please clarify some points please : 1) the COSM technology simulates the tube amps perfectly, AND, it's modified digitally also to sound the same even at lower volumes while tube amps are designed to be played loud or else they dont deliver their TRUE tone 2) there is absolutely NO tube amp within this price range (less than 500$) so, to get that sound from a modeling amp that's about a quarter of the price of a tube amp is a pretty sweet deal 3) if you're gonna compare, dont compare this amp with 2000-5000$ marshall amps !! .. compare it with a tube amp that's within the same price range. 4) i stand by what i say; i bought this amp according to reviews and i saw that it's the best for my budget, however, when i tried it out at a friends i was amazed... and there's nothing broken with his amp either or something.. this IS a pretty damn loud amp and pushes more distortion than some tube amps... 5) i'm mainly talking about it's "Mesa-boogie rectifier" modeling... so, please stop comparing it to marshalls, and peavys... you're comparing completely different amps... if someone has the mesa boogie then please be my guest and speak your mind 6) simply go to the music store and try out the amp and see for yourself, i dont work for Roland you know ! and i'm not a huge fan either, if i had the money, i'd buy a Mesa-Boogie triple rectifer and a 4x12" cabinet ! 7) i forgot to mention that this amp has a dynamic output similar to tube amps and as you raise the volume it gets louder AND more gain/distortion too just like tube amps.. this is something i forgot to mention 8) why are we comparing a 400$ modeling amp to all-famous marshalls valve and peavys and tube amps ? .. i never meant to compare between them.. i just mentioned that this amp kicked my friend's tube amp's ass.. maybe the Enhanced EQ and the presence and other control knobs helped define my sound more... i dont know.. but i'm NOT gonna go be dragged into a argument comparing my amp to a tube one 9) TRY IT OUT and then talk please !
    What was your friends amp?
    JoePerry4life
    These amps are moldelling amps because they only MODEL the good tube amps. How could it sound better then something its copying?
    The Judist
    larrytheguitar wrote: aren't these discontinued?
    No, this Cube 80x is new for this year (2009). I would consider one but it's too new (and thus not discounted much). Instead I bought a used version of the latest Peavey Bandit (it's insane!)
    blackmambana
    ^ a review with all 10s just seems inadequate. Even if its great for the price range it cant deserve a ten/ten for everything.
    schimmel
    Even though he gave everything a 10 I have to say I own a Cube 30 and I absolutely love it. My only complaint is that sometimes it can't get as loud as I want. I also play an Ibanez ART300 and a Washburn WI14 through it
    Ezz_zombie
    MANTAJAZZ wrote: i dont trust dude that owns esp AX :
    dude, please lets not get into this argument ! you listen to Jazz, why judge a metalhead ? .. besides, John Gallagher from Dying fetus (one of the most respectable brutal/ technical death metal bands) play the exact same guitar. EMG 81 active pickups, mahogany body, tune-o-matic bridge, set-thru neck... what's not to like about the guitar?
    Ezz_zombie
    blackmambana wrote: ^ a review with all 10s just seems inadequate. Even if its great for the price range it cant deserve a ten/ten for everything.
    well, when you compare it to a Tube amp and find this amp kicking it's butt you'll be as impressed as i am !
    Ezz_zombie
    cos the COSM technology simulates also the air and reverberation of the room and other elements affecting the sound, and incorporate them within the amp's sound, so it's more controllable than real tube amps. also, tube amps dont sound good except at high volumes (the tubes then start to get overdriven and work their stuff), while in modeling amps the transistor does it's job at any volume even if barely audible and at last but not least, my friend's amp tube amp was a randall, and i was using my "mesa boogie rectifier model"... so, until he gets an actual mesa-boogie dual rectifier which is about a few thousands of dollars, he'd sound better then !
    bfmvrock
    I've got the 60 watt version. This would be better as sometimes mine just doesn't pack enough punch
    JoePerry4life
    No tube amps do not only sound good at high volume. Tube amps still sound good at low volumes. Better than a solid state modeler anyways. The difference between tube amps is IMO they have a better tone. You can't emulate tube tone.
    driggsi424
    Ezz_zombie wrote: cos the COSM technology simulates also the air and reverberation of the room and other elements affecting the sound, and incorporate them within the amp's sound, so it's more controllable than real tube amps. also, tube amps dont sound good except at high volumes (the tubes then start to get overdriven and work their stuff), while in modeling amps the transistor does it's job at any volume even if barely audible and at last but not least, my friend's amp tube amp was a randall, and i was using my "mesa boogie rectifier model"... so, until he gets an actual mesa-boogie dual rectifier which is about a few thousands of dollars, he'd sound better then !
    I own a Marshall JCM2000 DSL head and it sounds great at high volumes. Most tube amps sound WAYYY better at high volumes than at low volumes because the tubes are being pushed (hence, more gain, more distinct tambre, ect.) Most solid state amps have no color or depth at high volumes and just sound completely digital...ie. this amp. So i'll say I disagree with your statement completely.
    Ezz_zombie
    i saidtube am0s dont sound good EXCEPT on high volume as their tubes start to get overdriven. so, we're basically saying the same thing yet, if u live in an urban district, especially an appartment you cant use tube amps with high volumes, neighbours will call the cops ! ... so, at lower volumes, solid state amps (modeling amps) are more suitable.
    BIGD2
    My Cube 30 sounds much better down low than pushed. Might be the speaker and I've thought about running it through a cabinet lately just to prove my point. I would not buy another Cube.
    leftinflinflon
    I have used modelling amps, foot pedals, line 6 pods etc etc etc. They model sounds, and some not too well, so I got a Marshall vintage modern 2266C. Now depending on your preferred styles, I would advise, strongly, get the real deal. Because your just modelling oterhwise. Quality has a price tag. And after all, isn't it all about the tone.
    The Pickle Man
    Why get more than a 30 watt Cube? They're only really good for practicing, or dicking around in a jam on.
    BoSh55
    I played on X30 and he is realy good!!! This is the best amp for his price!!!!
    if_you_knew
    Ezz_zombie wrote: blackmambana wrote: ^ a review with all 10s just seems inadequate. Even if its great for the price range it cant deserve a ten/ten for everything. well, when you compare it to a Tube amp and find this amp kicking it's butt you'll be as impressed as i am !
    You say something like that, and we're expected to listen to you?
    Swimmist
    sorry, but there is NO WAY an 80 watt solid state could overpower a 100 watt tube amp.... Somebodies gonna have to explain that one to me...
    presens
    hi, how should I use the wha pedal? guitar-- pedal -- amp? does that work? The roland does not have an effect loop.