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Rating and Reviews: Roland Cube-40XL Amp

The Roland Cube-40XL has great tone and plenty of power. With Roland's popular clean tone and COSM Modeling, the Roland Cube-40XL is a fine choice.

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"Do not underestimate this amp. It is great!" submitted April 14, 2011

By a customer from mac.com
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Musical Background: Recording engineer, Production Manager, etc
Music Style: Jazz, Rock, World.
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Sound: I'm really glad I got this amp. It sounds great, loud or quiet. The effects are just the best! Boss has taken their best effects and built them into this amp. Feature: Love the 80 second looper! Also love the 1/8 input jack on the back, plug in the ipod and jam. More footswitch jacks than on previous models. The reverb and delay are independent, also an improvement over previous models.The R-FIER setting just rocks. Also has a headphone out jack. Ease of Use: The only learning curve involves programing the solo button and using the looper. I think both are easier with a footswitch. Quality: Built like a tank. Great for practice but I fully suspect I could take this out and jam with it as well. It gets pretty loud. Value: I think this is a great deal. I checked the internet and Zzounds had the best price. Manufacturer Support: have not delt with them lately. The Wow Factor: My teacher has a a cube 30 and a cube 60. I had seen the amp before and liked it. The new XL series of cube amps is greatly improved over the last. More features. Overall: This is perfect for my practice needs and light jamming. I have a bigger amp if needed, but I've never needed it. The big amp is TOO big, it's just for recording. This amp is perfect.
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Roland Cube-40XL Amp Customer Review submitted August 18, 2011

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Sound: It's the most authentic modeling amp I've tried, and I've tried a lot! every model (except extreme, imo) is actually usable!!!! Lots of low end on this little guy, and plenty loud enough for home use. The EQ responds well, and the vintage amp models respond very much like a tube amp when the guitar volume is reduced. I generally don't use modulation effects so I won't comment on that, but the delay and the verb settings are great as well. Feature: Tons! Lost of foot switching capabilities, and if you want to save some money, you can buy stereo Y adapters and cheap piano sustain pedals. Two switchable channels, each with a solo feature (with independent volume control), effects on and off, and tap tempo means lots of flexibility for live use. The looper is fun too, and might come in handy at practice if the other guitarist in my band can't make it that night. Ease of Use: Everything is pretty self explanatory. Very easy for a modeling amp. I still read the manual cover to cover to make sure I'm not missing out on something cool. The manual is intuitive and to the point. Quality: I own a lot of Boss/Roland gear, and have never had a problem with any of them. The amp is rugged, and well built. No buzzes from loose screws or grills, even at high volume. Value: For a 40 watt amp with a 10" speaker, this puts out a lot of volume and low end, so I am relieved that I chose this over the 12" model. I saved a lot of dough, and didn't lose any features That I didn't need. This is the best value I have experienced in a long time, if not ever. Manufacturer Support: As I said under the quality section, I have owned lots of Boss/Roland gear, and have never had to call...I'm sure they are good when you need them.
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"Unbelievable amp." submitted January 24, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Metal
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Sound: Really great modeling amp, Can reproduce nearly any sound you can imagine. The only reason it doesn't get a 10 is because, well, nothing sounds like true tubes. But this comes real close! This thing can get loud, But I wouldn't imagine playing a gig with it, Unless mic'd. One mistake you don't want to make is to compare this to the "Other" brands of modelling amps out there. Roland really made something special here, the COSM technology they used makes a huge statement, and even bigger sound. The amp models are really amazing, Each one is voiced really well, and respond great to pedals, especially my Green Screamer TS808 clone. You can really hear, and feel the difference in the higher-gain amp models. Each is truly different than the others, And adding a distortion/overdrive pedals to the cleaner amps is just awesome. All the effects are really well done, And the 3-band EQ is surprisingly responsive, But does well to have your own multi-band EQ to back it up. Feature: The features really are the COSM models. The difference in sound with just a switch of a knob really will surprise you. It has a lot of effects on board, such as the Flanger, Chorus, Spring & Plate reverb, Delay, and my favorite one, the Looper. You can record up to 80 seconds of playing, and hit a button to play it back, then with another press of a button, Dub over it as many times as you want. All while never touching anything but the amp itself, or the footswitch (sold separately). There are 3 different channels One clean, Voiced from a Roland Jazz Chorus model. This probably is the best model on the entire amp, which is understandable since it IS a Roland. The Lead Channels - Here is where the majority of your Amp-Models are. I'd hate to call this the "Dirty" Channel, because of the great acoustic simulator here. And then there is the Solo channel. Press a button on the amp, Or your footswitch and it will save and store all the current settings of your amp, EQ, effects, all of it. You then can switch off of it, Maybe record a bit on the looper, hit your solo button again, and have a guitar-duet all by your lonesome. Ease of Use: It is truly easy to use, But the learning curve for the effects and getting your perfect sound out of each model can take some time. Quality: Really well made, I can't see anything breaking on this without extreme abuse. Tough screen in front of the speaker, The knobs feel really solid, no play in it. Value: The value you are getting for this thing is insane, There are things out there that WILL sound better, but will be nowhere near the price of this. This is the perfect amp for the beginning musician, The perfect bedroom amp. I wish I had this when I first started. Manufacturer Support: Neutral response, Haven't made any contact with the company. The Wow Factor: This thing looks great, It feels like a tank. It make look small, but it has serious heft, Wasn't made to last a year and then break. This things in it for the long haul. Overall: Overall for what you're paying, and what you're getting, I can't imagine buying any other amp under 600 dollars. This just does it all, and for such a cheap price. It is made well, and performs beyond expectations. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a great, cheap amp.
25 of 26 people (96.15%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Looks like the black box they pull out of plane wreckage and built as tough, but the recordings it'll make are suh-WHEET!" submitted April 7, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist & Semi-Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, Metal, Blues, Prog
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: I've been playing through this amp for a few months now and the more I play the more I love this amp. I've been playing for more than 30 years now so I've experience with hundreds of amps and in the 1x10 AND 1x12 combo categories this amp is as good or better than most tube amps. Let's face it, tubes are becoming obsolete when digital modeling can make a little $200 combo like this one sound this good. Don't get me wrong, I love tube sound, but there is no difference between what I hear from this and what I hear from a tube amp. (not to mention this is FAR less expensive and doesn't need to go in the shop once a year for new tubes and re-biasing.) I feel this amp also out shines other modeling combos as well, including previous 'Cube' amps. I have tried recording with this amp and it sounds great with a mic, but I didn't care for the direct sound very much. It's plenty loud but if you're looking for a performing amp then you might do better with the Cube 80XL. This amp seems to sound better with the volume at 12 o'clock rather than cranked. I am constantly amazed at how much low end this amp puts out. It's not like a half stack or anything but it is still more than you'd expect from a 1x10 combo. Probably thanks to the specially designed speaker. There's something here for everyone. Of course there's the Jazz Clean channel but the lead channel is where I spend most of my time. The acoustic sim is very expressive. It sounds like a piezo in a real acoustic. Kinda sterile but does the job. I like experimenting with the sim using humbuckers. Interesting tones there. Black Panel, Brit Combo, Tweed and Classic Stack all seem to play nice with overdrive pedals and sound great on their own. Especially if you're a blues fan. I don't know which I like more for blues and blues rock. Metal Stack is a favorite of mine. Very versatile. Just 'cos it says metal doesn't mean that's all it can be used for. R-fier is too treble heavy for my tastes but modern metal heads will love it. Extreme is my least favorite, but again, if extreme is your thing... Dyna Amp is my favorite. It does everything from late 60's style rock to metal tones. The eq is over the top so you have more control over the tone. You can have too much bass or none at all which opens up your own creativity. You can also clean up the distortion by backing off your guitars volume. Very versatile. Feature: This amp is loaded with great features. There are in essence four channels: clean, clean solo, lead, and lead solo. You set the solo sound by making your settings and then saving those settings in the memory for recall later. The delay effect sounds fantastic but you can't adjust the number of repeats so wild Pink Floyd style echo effects are a bit hard to work out but it's great for spacious lead work. The spring and plate reverbs are very well done. The tone is perfect and they don't distract from your playing. The modulation effects are all very usable but a wet/dry mix mini knob would really have been nice. They are too saturated for my taste, but still very usable. The octave effect works nicely but I wish it were usable with the mod effects instead of as an either mod or octave option. The coolest feature is the 80 second looper. This is like practicing duets by yourself. 80 seconds! This is by far the best practice and song writing tool I have. The looper can be controlled from the buttons on the amp but really, pedals are needed. Stopping, starting and dubbing can be a real pain without them. Also, channel switching, delay time, mod effect and reverb effect on/off functions can be controlled with foot switches. Six foot switches (or 3 Boss FS-6 switches)are optional and will run you almost as much as the amp itself. That's where this amp loses a star for me. A simpler controller could have been designed rather cheaply and included with the amp. There is also a power soak that they call a power squeezer. This drops your output from 40 watts to 2 watts. It's supposed to give you a better "cranked up" tone at lower volumes but honestly, I think it saps the life out of the tone. I just turn the amp down if I need to be quiet. I've heard some people say they liked the distorted tones better with the squeezer on but I couldn't disagree more. That's a personal preferance though. You'll have to decide that for yourself. Ease of Use: The need for a manual is almost none existant with this amp. Everything is very intuitive. The looper is very easy to learn how to use but any problems, a quick glance in the manual will get you running. The most difficult thing I found was the tone stack.(eq) I usually start with the knobs at 12 o'clock but I wasn't hearing what I thought I should. So I dropped them all to 0 and learned how each knob affects what the others do. Then the tones really came out. Blues, Jazz, Classic Rock, Country, 80's Metal, Extreme Metal, even a great sounding acoustic simulator that is fun to tweak. You'll get expressive sounds that no acoustic guitar could ever make. Quality: This amp gets beat up and takes it all. Rolling around in the back of my pickup when I'm going to jam with friends and you'd never know. Unfortunately, the power cable does not detach so all that winding will eventually wear it out and then you have to have a shop replace it. (C'mon Roland!) Otherwise, very solid with no buzzes or humms while playing. Steel grille protects the speaker. Value: By itself it is WELL worth the cost. Amazing tone and versatility. Great functionality from the panel. If you want the pedal functionality too you are essentially doubling the cost. It's still a decent value but I might go with the Cube 80XL for the added amp model, tone controls and performance volume levels. If you only want foot control of the looper you can actually do that with a single pedal. That only adds about $25 to the price tag making this an extremely good value. Overall: This is one of those amp's that you don't dump on someone down the road. This has great tones and versatility. You'll be playing this one at the old folks home when you're a resident there! Seriously, this is a stupendous practice amp, a better recording amp, and in small performance situations, awesome. 'Nuff said.
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" Roland Cube 40XL" submitted October 17, 2013

By Cecil Waldo in Memphis, TN
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Musical Background: 15 yrs exp
Music Style: Country, Jazz
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Overall: What a great amp. I tried quite a few brands and always came back to the Roland. I just love the clean sound. This thing has plenty pf power and built like a tank.
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"Amazing tone and value" submitted October 31, 2012

By John R in Big Spring, TX
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Musical Background: Home guitaritst 15+years
Music Style: Metal/blues/country
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Overall: The Cube 40XL is hands down,the most versatile,feature packed and flat out fun practice/small gig amp around. The tones are great and the addition of the looper,heavy octave and power squeezer make it an inspirational practice and songwriting tool. A definite must have for any guitarists home.
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