hulika

Author Topic: Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot/Stage (initial review)  (Read 352 times)

Offline deltaslim

  • Philmusicus Addictus
  • *****
Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot/Stage (initial review)
« on: September 11, 2018, 03:18:37 AM »
Hey, long time no hear... Just got this amp and thought I'd like to put my thoughts on record and share with those interested in this series of amps.

I've been playing the amp with a Micsis blackguard Tele with 5 way switch. So far, I'm very impressed. I can approach Blackface-type tones by zeroing out the mids, maxing the bass and bumping the highs. But tweed (bumped mids) is there by default and gets more tweedy (dirty in a musical kind of way) the more you crank it. But you can do that with many amps. The sound is tubey to my ears but, again, many will claim that about other amps.

More importantly, and this is why I bothered to write and post here, is that this is the first non-tube amp I've played that behaved and felt like a tube amp:
- cranking the MV and using low attenuation (0.5 or 5 watts) allowed for power stage saturation (at higher wattage, you have more loud clean headroom, obviously). of course, increasing the Volume with the MV maxed starts to introduce preamp gain but in a nice way that complemented but did not overpower the power amp (unlike on some Marshall MV tube amps)
- roll back the guitar's vol and it cleans up (ok, i admit lots of amps and even modelers can do this)
- increasing mids introduced more gain/distortion along with the mid freqs -- which i think is not often the case with SS/digital amps
- i could almost feel the amp's sound throbbing from the power section (or the cab), like it might break down. i used to have an SFPR, Supro, tweed Blues Jr and played other small tube amps that seemed about to explode.
- the bass starts to become flabby when you crank the amp (very common on small to medium-sized Fender tube amps, from PR to SR). don't think it's the speaker since it is not a low-wattage spkr.

These were done with the Boost and Tone switch off, as I liked the amp's tone without them engaged.

Also, I realized that even 0.5 watts can be too loud for some rooms! I was interested in the Blues Stage or Artist model for the Crunch channel and extra features but they might be too powerful to behave like this small amp did.

Wala lang...
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 09:55:31 PM by deltaslim »

Offline nicoyow

  • Philmusicus Addictus
  • *****
Re: Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot (initial review)
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 03:23:52 AM »
edit:

the real question is, the price?  :-D

kidding aside. Welcome back sir. Long time no hear...
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 03:25:53 AM by nicoyow »
Sa pinipig, bukod sa pwede mo singhutin, pwede mo rin tikman.

Offline dantuts

  • Philmusicus Addictus
  • *****
Re: Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot (initial review)
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 07:01:50 PM »
as always nice review..

saw your post sa IG but never thought na mag amp review ka dito sa PM.. hahaha


welcome back deltaslim.  :-D :-D
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 07:04:02 PM by dantuts »
I was alive in the forest
I was cut by the cruel axe
In life I was silent In death I sweetly sing

Offline deltaslim

  • Philmusicus Addictus
  • *****
Re: Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot (initial review)
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 02:47:29 AM »
Hehe. Thanks.  I thought I'd share what I am learning. It's quickly forgotten on social media eh.

UPDATE:

Thanks to the return policy here, I can still decide to return if I'm not getting Blackface-enough tones. I'm actually trying to nail down a particular blues/BF tone -- Ronnie Earl. He goes from very Twin Reverb-like clean to a a Vibrolux/Super Reverb breakup (a distorted 6L6, quite different from a distorted 6V6). He uses an SR with no pedals or special pickups so let's see...  I tried using my Timmy to scoop the mids even more (ie, boost the bass and highs) with some success but it's overdriving the amp as well. On the other hand, that's a testament to the tube-like "feel" of the amp. 

I'm also missing some harmonic complexity in the highs when it's cranked. Maybe you get that only when cranked with little or no attenuation. Like an early Marshall or Bluesbreaker/18watter... which again was based on an an overdriven 6L6/5881...

Or maybe I just need a Strat... Haha!

Offline redjaztin

  • Forum Fanatic
  • ****
Re: Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot (initial review)
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 10:11:33 AM »
Hey, long time no hear... Just got this amp and thought I'd like to put my thoughts on record and share with those interested in this series of amps.

I've been playing the amp with a Micsis blackguard Tele with 5 way switch. So far, I'm very impressed. I can approach Blackface-type tones by zeroing out the mids, maxing the bass and bumping the highs. But tweed (bumped mids) is there by default and gets more tweedy (dirty in a musical kind of way) the more you crank it. But you can do that with many amps. The sound is tubey to my ears but, again, many will claim that about other amps.

More importantly, and this is why I bothered to write and post here, is that this is the first non-tube amp I've played that behaved and felt like a tube amp:
- cranking the MV and using low attenuation (0.5 or 5 watts) allowed for power stage saturation (at higher wattage, you have more loud clean headroom, obviously). of course, increasing the Volume with the MV maxed starts to introduce preamp gain but in a nice way that complemented but did not overpower the power amp (unlike on some Marshall MV tube amps)
- roll back the guitar's vol and it cleans up (ok, i admit lots of amps and even modelers can do this)
- increasing mids introduced more gain/distortion along with the mid freqs -- which i think is not often the case with SS/digital amps
- i could almost feel the amp's sound throbbing from the power section (or the cab), like it might break down. i used to have an SFPR, Supro, tweed Blues Jr and played other small tube amps that seemed about to explode.
- the bass starts to become flabby when you crank the amp (very common on small to medium-sized Fender tube amps, from PR to SR). don't think it's the speaker since it is not a low-wattage spkr.

These were done with the Boost and Tone switch off, as I liked the amp's tone without them engaged.

Also, I realized that even 0.5 watts can be too loud for some rooms! I was interested in the Blues Stage or Artist model for the Crunch channel and extra features but they might be too powerful to behave like this small amp did.

Wala lang...

Nice review :)


Offline deltaslim

  • Philmusicus Addictus
  • *****
Re: Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot (initial review)
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 08:51:08 PM »
UPDATE: I upgraded to the Roland Blues Cube Stage (60w) and the difference is quite significant:

-  I can get closer to BF-like tones
- More harmonics, chimey and open sounding
- 2 channels (clean and dirty)
- The Dual-Tone feature is awesome -- like playing through two amps (clean and dirty) at the same time.
- Ability to footswitch the 2 channels and Dual-Tone

I have to say... this is the best SS amp I've ever played. It's better than some tube amps I've owned/tried (eg, Blues Jr/Deluxe, etc.) and even some Fenders.

Offline dantuts

  • Philmusicus Addictus
  • *****
Re: Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot (initial review)
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2018, 10:11:40 AM »
nako ang lakas nyan ..  hahaha  :-D :-D :-D

the beauty of return policy !  :) :)
I was alive in the forest
I was cut by the cruel axe
In life I was silent In death I sweetly sing

Offline deltaslim

  • Philmusicus Addictus
  • *****
Re: Amp review: Roland Blues Cube Hot (initial review)
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2018, 08:08:35 PM »
With the MV and the power scaling, I can get the tone I want at the volume my neighbors can tolerate. :-)