Review: Roland Cube 40XL

Little combo with models and more   23-Dec-10

No flash plug

    MP4 10:27 mins

The Roland Cube range has been with use for many years and has long been regarded as one of the leading lights in the micro amp world.

The Cube 40XL is a 40watt combo with 10inch speaker, COSM amp modelling technology, EQ, effects, 80 second looper, tuner and more.

This unit is  certainly compact, with all controls on the top surface of the unit which while portable, is also reassuringly weighty at 10kg (22lbs).

Simple in operation, you get a clean (JC channel) and a Lead Channel with gain and volume, switchable either via top panel, or by footswitch (not included). 8 COSM Models are available:
ACOUSTIC SIM (rather good actually), BLACK PANEL (Fender Twin), BRIT COMBO (AC30), TWEED (Fender Bassman), CLASSIC STACK (Marshall ish), METAL STACK (even more Marshall), R-FIER STACK (Mesa Boogie), EXTREME, DYNA AMP

In addition, there’s a single effect accessed via the  effects knob. These are not editable, but each of the four (Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo) have mulitple variations of speed or depth.
Lastly the heavy Octave gives you just that - a lower octave octivider, which when combined with some of the driven sounds gets pretty heavy.

You also get a Solo function, which allows you to store an alternative setup - effects, EQ, gain, COSM model selection for quick voice selection. Think of it as a single memory location - its simple but actually quite useful.

There’s also a delay knob which gives you a range of short to long delays and also a simple looper. The looper has up to 80seconds of record time which should give you enough to jam along with. Very simple, and useful - though a footswitch makes all the difference for record in /out.

Finally, there’s a tuner which should get you out of a jam and allows for some non-standard tuning of drop E and drop top E.

Overall, we were pretty impressed with this little amp - ideal for the practice setup at home, it has plenty of features to inspire. You could even use it for small gigs and rehearsals too at a push. The addition of headphones out and Power Squeezer function, which drops the amp output level, while retaining the sound, mean that you wont annoy the neighbors or your parents.

Good value for money with a great set of features.

Available now:
£199 Full RRP


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