Gear Reviews

ROLAND CUBE 15

I've had people come up to me before and say 'Dude, that amp looks pretty weak...and pretty girly too...'. Then I proceeded to turn the volume all the way up to 2 and hit a power chord. Needless to say, you probably think 2 is nothing, but let me tell you, when I hit that chord, everyone's eardrums ruptured and they all drowned in their own blood. True story.

That's the first lesson: don't let this amp's size fool you. Even though it's only 15 watts, it sounds like you're playing through a Marshall half-stack if you're playing in a smaller room.
The amp's construction is very durable; mine has fallen over many times and been dropped, but it's still good as new. I think Roland tried to build this amp so as to look very durable and indestructable, and they succeeded. The metal grate on the front is pretty much invulnerable to whatever you throw at it. One of my friends has even spilled a gallon of milk on his Cube 15, and the only difference is now the amp looks odd. By the way, this amp has never failed on me. It's been solid all the time I've had it.

From durabilty, we move on to features. And once again, the Cube wins. 4 different pedals are built in to the Cube 15: Overdrive, Distortion, Metal, and Metal Stack. All four are suprisingly effective, however sometimes the Metal Stack sounds a little thin, but that's easily fixed when you pull up on the bass knob. With this amp, I've been able to successfully replicate a very close sounding tone to Jimmy Page, Angus Young, and Tom Morello. And when you remember that this amp isn't even a half-stack, that's very impressive. The array of tones you have at your disposal is incredible, as evidenced by this picture:



The clean channel is exactly that: you couldn't have a cleaner, clearer sound from a combo amp. It's good that the clean channel has its own volume knob, because sometimes even if you have both knobs at the same volume, the clean channel is a bit louder.



The amp also has an auxiliary input and the headphone output jacks, but I haven't had a chance to try the headphone jack.

I think the only drawback about this amp is so negligible, it's hardly worth mentioning, but the input jack (where you plug in your guitar) is on the top. It's not a big problem, but this results in the cable being plugged in at a pretty harsh angle, and after a while the cable starts to loose contacts points and fail.

Overall, this is the best combo amp for the money. Apart from the one minor design flaw, it's literally all you could ask for in a pratice amp. It's got the amazing features, the outstanding build quality and the great industrial-style look. And it doesn't cost a lot, you can get one pretty much anywhere new for $99.99. Not bad, considering what this amp has to offer.

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