Roland Cube 60

Roland’s new(er) kid on the block, the Roland Cube 60 is one of Roland’s first stabs at making a modeling amp. In fact, what this really is, is a Boss amp. The modeling capabilities and tones on the lead channel come straight from Boss’s COSM database of tones, but stamped with the Roland name so people might actually buy it. This 60 Watt amp is reasonably priced, and is perfect for just about everyone, but before everyone gets one, lets dig into the nitty-gritty shall we?

Construction: This amp is pretty solidly built; well actually, it’s very solid. It’s closed back, steel grille front, plywood panel and thick plastic corners make it one of the most durable amplifiers i’ve ever seen. Not only that, but the controls are recessed into the top like so:
Image Courtesy of Elderly music. 2006

so that if your amp happens to roll backwards or have something resting on the top, you don’t need to worry about the settings getting messed with or that the knobs will get broken. The knobs themselves are basically a slightly meatier version of the knobs that Boss uses on their multi-effects pedals, so they’re meant to be bumped around. All of the inputs are plastic and don’t have that metal feel to them that quality amps have, but they are nonetheless strong, and none have loosened in my time of use.

The tone (clean channel): The clean channel’s electronics are supposedly taken from Roland’s Jazz amplifier series, giving them a very reputable name in clean channeling. Personally, it just sounds like any other clean channel, which is probably good and it shows that they’re not really trying to reinvent the wheel. The only unique thing about the clean channel is the bright button, an awkward attempt at adding a little boost in brightness. It barely sounds like it does much, but it’s a decent idea.

The tone (Lead channel): I really have liked the versatility of the different models of amps. They sound very similar to what they’re named, but it takes a little bit of tweaking to really get the sounds to sparkle. Turn on the Black Panel amp, and you’ll get the surfy 50’s spank that you’d expect, the Brit combo has the extra treble and slight bit of dirt to give you a slight Brian May style wail to it, and the Tweed has a decent twang to it if it’s set up properly. For the lead players, the Classic amp setting is a decent way to get some crunch out of it, but it never really stood out above the rest, so it’s one of the least used settings. The Metal and the “R-fier” (Roland trying to get away with Rectifier without paying Mesa Boogie any dues) are very similar, except the R-Fier amp has a more scooped mid on it already to evoke the Metallica-like tone, whilst the Metal setting has a good amount more mid, a little less bass, and more treble. If you’re going for that real crunchy Pantera/Megadeth sound, it’s all R-fier with full bass, low mid, and high treble.

What Roland did do was attempt to put two different, slightly odd things on an amp like this; the Acoustic setting and the Dyna-amp.

The acoustic setting sounds slightly acoustic-like, basically making your normal notes sound more bouncy and hollow. If you’re wondering what I mean by bouncy, it’s rather hard to explain. It’s almost like it’s being thrown into a small wood body then being heard to get the acoustic reverb, instead of a generic reverb tank like all amps have.

The Dyna-amp setting is supposed to be touch sensitive to playing. If you play hard, it distorts, if you play soft, it’s clean. It’s not really that great. I’d rather just switch channels to go from clean to distorted, and even if you do use the Dyna-amp, it still sounds a little distorted when playing lightly.

Taming the Beast: It’s 60 Watts out of a 12 inch speaker, and it’s loud. If you want more out of it, there’s a powered extension speaker jack in the back, but this thing is already loud as hell. It’s quite good at high volumes, no evasive feedback or ringing, so there’s one for Boss for keeping it quiet when it’s loud.
So what’s wrong with it?: There are a lot of good things about this amp, but as always, it has it’s flaws:

The effects: It’s the generic effects channel meant to give versatility to an amp. It seems to be par for the course today, with upper end Marshall’s even being stocked with them. They’re boring, and they rarely get any use. You can’t adjust the settings, you can only make them more or less noticeable. Want a longer or shorter delay? Less repeats on the echo? Sorry, get a delay pedal. Want to use phaser and tremolo? Sorry. Get both of those. The effects on this amp are solely there to take up space, and occasionally color your sound. They should’ve just left the reverb and the chorus there, and called it a day.

The R-fier: It’s a great sounding channel when you’re playing, but they screwed up one thing…they put a noise gate onto it. Not only that, but it’s a bad noise gate. It doesn’t really quiet it when you’re not playing, but it cuts the sustain of off the notes you want to ring out, and that’s bad for a distorted setting. Distortion is known for high gain and sustain (Rhyme intended), but when there’s a cheap noise gate there cutting you off, it’s irritating. After awhile you get used to it, but it really shouldn’t be something you have to get used to.

The Equalizer: Another mess-up, they only put one on. So if you’re going from the scooped mid, monstrous metal tone to a neck pickup, clean jazz chord, you’re going to have to sacrifice one for the other. Basically, it means that if you set up the knobs for a high treble, low bass clean sound, and you switch to the R-fier setting, it’s going to sound terrible. Best bet? Find a happy medium between both of them and leave it. If you’re really put off, get two of em. There only 350 dollars, and that extra money might be worth saving you the small hassles.

The Pros: Versatile, sturdy, cost-effective, and it sounds great.

The Cons: One equalizer, generic effects, no footswitch included.

The Grade:

Advertisements

15 Comments

Filed under amplifier, guitar, guitar review, music, Roland, Roland Cube 60

15 responses to “Roland Cube 60

  1. I’ve tried the Roland Cube30X at our local Bentley music store here in Malaysia. Sounds good and it is really versatile. I’m sure the Roland Cube 60 is gonna be more awesome. One thing I like about the amp is it fits any jamming, traveling and gig situations. I am saving up some moolah to buy that baby. Price here is kinda steep though. It’s around RM1650. Convert that to USD, that would be around $471+? Do you own one yourself G-Man? 😀

  2. Hey guess what? I got the amp already last night. It came straight to my home!!
    I tell you it’s one awesome amp. Updates here: http://www.kastum.com/orang_sabah/roland-cube-60-guitar-amp-finally-mine

    Happy!! 😀

  3. Brett

    Fantastic amp, I got one yesterday and it is sweet. It is versatile, with the right amount of tweaking you can find just about any rock/metal tone you desire. Sure it is slightly flawed as the reviewer states with design, but seriously for it’s price this is a loud beast with killer tone you would be hard set to beat outside of an Orange or a Vox amp. Avoid Spider 2 at all costs.

  4. Greg Pasillas

    I’m getting to really like my Roland 60.
    I used a Roland 30 for a fews years and decided to move up to the 60. I play mostly clean, but use pedals if “color” is needed.
    One feature I’ve really come to appreciate is the “Brightness” button. This feature (for me) has equalized the sound of my single coil and humbucker equipped guitars. Through other amps, my humbucker guitars can’t get the “chimey” ringing clarity of my single coils, but through the 60 with “brightness” on, the humbuckers can really sing!

  5. John

    I’ve had my Roland Cube 60 for about a month, now. I bought it without playing through it based on the numerous reviews on it by other jazz players. Next to the Hendrickson, this amp got most of the kudos. I wasn’t disappointed. As mentioned in the review, a lot of the effects I’ll probably never use. And maybe once in a while drop in a distortion lead. But most of my stuff needs a solid bass and strong mids…that archtop “woody” sound, and this amp provides it! The one thing that still amazes me is how “transparent” this amp is. Having played through vintage Music Man amps most of the time, I’m used to hearing the AMP tone, rather than the guitar tone. Which is not a bad thing if the amps sounds good, like mine does. But the Roland Cube 60 allows the tonal characteristics of the guitar to shine through. At the same amp settings, my Strat sounds LIKE a strat! My 335 sounds LIKE a 335, and my archtop hollowbody the same. No, for my money, this little honey is one great boon to giggers and bedroom pluckers alike. It’s affordable, light, and–in my opinion–is probably the best sounding SS amp going at the moment.

  6. angelofdred

    hey, ive been usin my cube30 for awhile now, so i started lookin for a new practice/small gig amp an noticed that everything the reviewer said is true of the 60.
    heres my little addition to the 60- sounds bloody great on clean, and on gain… well what can i say… great for the money. one of the few problems with this amp… not great for lazy players or players that need the tone saved and there for use at the touch of a button, seeing as there are no presets or save buttons.. oh, but one handy thing to have is that aux in socket. intended for playing along to mp3s etc, i can use this amp as more thn an amp lol, im currently using it on my pc with the pc volume on low till i get some new speakers. i personally dont use the roland for gigs though… i use mi mates spare krank stack. and oh my god, i love that gain.
    comment from a metal fan lol.

  7. Marcio Lacerda

    Most use the Black Panel. I like the tone with reverb medium and low treble. I’m playing with a Brazilian Arch top guitar Condor Nelson Faria Signature Series. I need to clean and jazzy sounds. I found this in the simulation of the Black Panel. I enjoy playing with Phase, but only that. I intend to mount a set of effects for those who have no use in ampl. The chorus is very strange. The volume is very good. Not yet passed the 4
    português

    Marcio lacerda

    Manaus Amazonas Brazil

  8. Sam

    I got the cube 60 last week and so far it’s been a great amp. Two issues i have to raise though: it brings out the qualities of a bad guitar so you have to shell out the cash if you want to use it to its full capabilities and it takes some messing around to get the desired tone going. I have started to favor the R-fier amp setting but the noise gate kind of ruins it so i have to tweak it and use the delay/reverb sometimes to get the tone i want. but all in all an awesome amp.

  9. Marcel

    One note: in the review the acoustic setting was mentioned as not being very good. Alot of reviewers misunderstand what that setting is for. It’s NOT to make an electric guitar sound like an acoustic. It’s intended to plug in an acoustic guitar with a preamp. When you do that you’ll understand what you’ve got. An acoustic guitar sounds amazing through these amps.

  10. lachie

    hey umm could you give us a few tips on some settings we can put the amp on to get some good different sounds

  11. Epidemia

    My setting: vol5… treble 5,5… mid5,5…bass5,5…presence7,5 or vol5… treble6,5…mid5,5…bass6,5…presence6,5 or vol5…treble7,5…mid5,5…bass7,5…presence5,5…try it!!!

  12. Epidemia

    PD…Using the clean channel

  13. Epidemia

    For Marcio Lacerda… A jazz guitar teacher wrote his setting in the youtube… sounds great… using the clean channel of the cube 60… vol5…treble8…mid7,5…bass3…presence(0)…sounds very jazzy!!!!!!!!

  14. Vitskaia1

    I have a CK-60 Roland Cube for sale — like $100. I’m in Sacramento, CA area. vitskaia@hotmail.com

  15. Wanda Monton

    A guitar amplifier (or guitar amp) is an electronic amplifier designed to amplify the electrical signal of an electric or acoustic guitar so that it will produce sound through a loudspeaker. Most guitar amplifiers can also modify the instrument’s tone by emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain frequencies and adding electronic effects. Vibrations of the strings are “picked up” by a suitable microphone. –

    Take a look at the most up-to-date write-up at our personal internet site
    <'http://www.caramoanpackage.com/caramoan-tour/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s