Roland Blues Cubes

Started by pycraft, July 17, 2014, 08:27:06 AM

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New product out from Roland; anyone any idea if these are full-range amps?  (Am guessing maybe?)


I would guess no.  It's billed as a guitar amp and I only see the one 12" driver.  Looks to be pitched as a practical, mid-priced alternative to a vintage tube amp, with the benefits of low-maintenance, on-board effects, direct recording, etc.

I don't know whether it's a digital signal path or an analog design a la the Tech 21 Trademark line, but I'm guessing it's the former.  And if I'm right, I just have to get on my soapbox for a minute and complain about all the B.S. semantics manufacturers will dance through to distance their products from the now passé term, "modeling".  In this case it's "far beyond modeling"; with Kemper it's "profiling, not modeling", and so on.  In Kemper's case I get the logic that they're not modeling behaviors at a component level, but for my purposes, if you run though an ADC, compute, then run through a DAC in order to simulate a tone, it's a modeling amp.  It might be very, very good modeling, but that doesn't change the fundamentals of the design, or the meaning of the word.

I dig the aesthetics, though.  Looks like a cool package, depending on price.

QuoteRoland's Tube Logic design philosophy...

You see?  My B.S. meter starts twitching whenever I see perfectly common words spelled out in proper-case.  Sounds like modeling to me... and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.


These are not suitable for gear we discuss.

Frankly Roland already  tried this years ago

Often "new" releases from Roland are simply rehashed versions of past failures, as they seem to apply the motto of  Hair Conditioner instructions"

"Repeat as Necessary!"

1995 Roland BC-30

Service manual


Interesting.  And I see they were calling the algorithms (or circuit design, depending) "Tube Logic" even then.  But there's no indication as to what that actually means. 

Quote...carefully reproducing the inner workings of the revered tweed-era tube amp in every way...

...doesn't really say anything, except to state their aim.  Am I correct in assuming this is just their branding for a specific set of modeling algorithms (complemented by the rest of the h/w of course)?


QuoteAm I correct in assuming this is just their branding for a specific set of modeling algorithms (complemented by the rest of the h/w of course)?

Correct - just as any manufacturer does when trying to distinguish its brand of A/D>DSP>D/A, verses "Brand-X"s brand of A/D>DSP>D/A. 

hint: - same confusion exists for DSP's in  guitars

Jerry K

I must say I think it sounds great in this clip! 



but thats with a straight guitar into a Blues Cube

If I was playing Blues / Rock GUITAR  all the time - yes it would be a nice amp

But I play more than just electric guitar  tones with my rig   - I play Synths and GUITAR AMP MODELING systems  - either IPad  / IPhone based , or VG-99, GR-55, GP-10 based - (small gig)  Id rather play through a pair of TC Helicon FX150 full range speaker or ( big room , outdoor festival) a pair of Alesis Alpha 112A 100 watt powered cabs

Best Amplifier recommendations for Guitar Synth / Modeling systems

QuoteCommon hurdle Electric guitarists face when using VG/GR gear

Traditional Guitar Amps loaded with Electric Guitar speakers are the wrong tool for the job for faithful reproduction of Synthesizers or Modeled Acoustic Instruments

Play your MP3 Player into an Electric Guitar Amp and listen - you will notice a "lack of high end", other midrange peaks, and possibly distortion audio issues when using a Speaker cab designed for Electric Guitar  - its not going to faithfully reproduce your GR-55 sounds - and might lead down a road of pain, should you spend months tweaking patches for that guitar rig , then find yourself in a situation as opening act using a borrowed amp or forced to use a DI box straight into the PA - you might wonder why nobody hires your band  - because if you boost the GR-55 High end EQ to compensate for your inferior audio monitor system

Toby Krebs

Quote from: Jerry K on January 16, 2015, 08:32:23 AM
I must say I think it sounds great in this clip! 

Fender sells a lot of the Blues Deluxe Reissue 40 watt 1x12 combo amps.I have one and like it a lot.Roland likes having some of that market I think and thats why they offer these "Blues Cube" models from time to time.

These days though for GR55/ GT10/HD500 etc...duties the Cube 80XL gets the call and it may not be full range but you would not know that to hear it.Big Fat PCM keyboard tones are all I hear when I use it with my GR55.


Hello, I haven't posted anything here for a loooong time.

I still love my VG-99, but I just got a Roland Blues Cube Artist.  A completely different kind of beast from the VG series, but absolutely awesome.  Instead of doing *everything* the Blues Cube does one thing... really well :-D

Anyone else have one of these?  Is there a forum?



Oh yes, I still use my '99, FC300 and a QSC when I want to do something different or play bass

However, that's in my basement mostly.  I play in a band, and needed something for normal Blues gigging.  I found the '99 with PA speaker to have too many buttons, and cables to be the right tool in a muddy field.

Also, I gotta say, the new Blues Cube does a superior imitation of the sound and feel of a tube amp.  I don't think I could tell it apart in a blind test.  But there is no way I would put up with the hassles of real vintage tubes.


This is pretty interesting.


Doing a blind test is an excellent idea.  It's too bad they didn't control for volume.  The Hot Rod was *way* louder than either of the modeling amps, and therefore sounded "better".  The spring reverb also gave away the "real thing".

I'd like to see some careful blind tests.


Missed that one. That is hilarious ;D


Isn't it just massive compression, a mid boost and some overdrive with some highs rolled off and a bunch of leds?
My music projects online at

GK Devices:  Roland VG-99, Boss GP-10, Boss SY-1000.


I'll reserve judgement until I've heard it in real life.



I'm told by Roland the Tone Capsules are a hybrid design,  Analog Discrete FET design, along with some firmware for the Blues Cube DSP.



The Monty Python graphic is Awesome! Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk... ;D Made my morning! $300 for a borg tube implant?? Pretty pricey. It better make me play like Eric Johnson for that kind of money... New "Profit Center" is right!  ::)
Suhr Classic Pro SSS, PRS Hollowbody II Piezo, Breedlove Oregon Concerto E, Fractal FM3, Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special


I had a weird thought last night: obtain EJ "tone capsule". 

Open it up and HACK IT to make the amp do stuff it's not supposed to. 

Okay, that's crazy.  The capsule is kinda spendy methinks but the idea is there - modify the tone capsule to make the amp do what YOUR unique tone demands.  An interesting idea.  Each amp could have it's own "digital dna" for a specific sound that suits YOU rather than a name player.  Although, if my stuff sounded like EJ's I'd be pleased.
My music projects online at

GK Devices:  Roland VG-99, Boss GP-10, Boss SY-1000.


There are two versions of this amp, the smaller one is more portable and the bigger one has more features, so clearly you need both. I think the tones are delicious and sound very tube-y indeed. Cool that it is solid state and you don't have to rely on /replace tube sets. Cool that you can step the power down as needed. Looks are very cool, if like me you prefer tweed to the silver Fender look. The creamy color is better than the yellowed look of some other amps. I like the metal corners.

But since I don't have $900 sitting around doing nothing, I went into my GR-55 and worked up some sweeeeeet tones using the "Pro Crunch" amp. 

I saw the propaga-- er, interview with the inimitable Eric, and the capsule sounds just like him on Cliffs of Dover. Problem for me is the same problem I have with playing GR-300 type sound: my skills are so far below the inestimable Pat, and using these tones invites comparison with tracks most beloved by guitar geeks. Fun for personal use, but I feel more comfortable finding my own take on sounds rather than sounding too much like one of the Tone Heroes.
electric: Ibanez SA 73 semihollow body with Gibson Classic '57's, acoustic: mahogany jumbo, recording: Cubase Artist 11 or Tascam DP008


Gift boxed AND in-home installation.


Played one in a store the other day. Sounded amazing with a tele (Graham Coxon Sig). When I tried HBs, it didn't sound so great on the drive channel, but that could have been the lousy Dean that was the store's least nasty looking guitar.

FWIW the old blues cubes weren't modelling, they used FETs throughout. There's at least some DSP in this amp as I looked through the rear grill and saw a large 'digital looking' chip. :p



Roland Blues Cube - Tone Capsule Shootout

I'm told by Roland the Tone Capsules are a hybrid design,  Analog Discrete FET design, along with some firmware for the Blues Cube DSP.



PHOTO of inside of Roland Blues Cube Amp that accepts the Roland Tone Capsules (PCB Top inside view ( i.e current 2014  generation - not the old one from 1995 )

I desire a similar view as this example showing the components  ( this is a Blackstar from UK)


these pics of Blues Cube Artist were sent to me today