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Rating and Reviews: Roland CUBE-80GX

This 80-watt beast offers 3 channels, multiple effects, and the I-Cube link jack to interface with iOS gear for tonal customization and flexibility.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Roland Cube 80GX - pedal steel and banjo amp" submitted March 17, 2014

By Phil H in Whitesboro, NY
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 35 years on pedal steel, dobro, banjo, acoustic and electric guitars
Music Style: Modern and Classic Country
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Sound: It took a bit to dial in the sounds I like, but they were spot on. The built in effects are first rate, as I've used Boss pedals for reverb, delay and distortion for quite some time, and the ones included give plenty of options and flexibility. Our FOH sound man says its the best sound and signal he's ever gotten. I use a Hilton active volume pedal, and it took some adjustment to keep a clean sound, but it was achievable. Feature: I generally like all the features, except for the "line out", which is only a standard 1/4" jack. I have to use a direct box to send the signal to the sound guys. A built in DI with an XLR out would have been the best. Still, the 80GX is the only one in the series that has a line out, and it does work. The most usefull feature for me is having three distinct presets to use. It accomplishes everything I've needed in the past, and need now. The least useful feature for me, so far, has been the effects section. I haven't found much need for chorus, flanger, phaser and tremolo...yet. More expirimenting is needed... on my part. Additionally, I thought I would need the optional GA-FC six button footswitch. I play with the amp to my right side, with all the controls within easy reach. There was no need, and quite a bit of savings by not buying it. Ease of Use: Almost all of my playing is through FOH sound, so I only need to have enough volume for me to hear myself. I wear 15db ear plugs while playing, but set up and play the first few songs without them to be sure everything sounds good. This amp is easy to set up, and is fun to use. At home I like experimenting with the COSM and effects settings to see what "new" sounds I can get. The amp is very easy to use. Quality: Looks and feels well built to me. I am going to get a D2F cover for it though. Time will tell on the electronics. Value: As an all-in-one option for a pedal steel player that doubles on another instrument, this amp can't be beat. I saved at least $300 on effect pedals alone, not to mention the cost of another amp for a banjo. Manufacturer Support: When I first got it, I emailed Roland support to get information on using the line out jack, and they recommended using a Direct Box. They haven't steered me wrong yet. The Wow Factor: For a regular gigging musician, this amp has all the features I need, and at a weight that saves my back and wallet. Roland really put together a great piece with this unit. Overall: At 60 years old, I've been playing pedal steel guitar and 5st. banjo for the last 35 years, and play 85 to 90 weekend gigs a year. I've always had to rely on two amps to get the sound I wanted. I've used primarily Peavey amps for steel - Session 400, Session 500, Nashville 400 and finally a Nashville 112. The heaviest was the 500 at about 80 pounds; the lightest, the 112 was about 42 lbs. I even lightened that one up by swapping a Selenium NEO speaker for the original. For banjo, I've used Gallien Kruger MV200, Crate Gunniston, and LR Baggs preamps direct to the board. They all worked, but with limits to stage volume before feedback. After reading several comments on the steel guitar websites, I decided to give the Roland 80GX a try...and am I glad I did. The weight savings was tremendous, and the effects, COSM options and channelling functions were like they were made for me. I use the JC Clean channel for straight steel with reverb and a bit of delay, and use the Lead channel for added growl and distortion. For banjo, I used the Lead channel and saved it as my Solo setting. This resulted in about 50 pound less lugging around, eliminating one amp, one pedal board, a mic and cab grabber. It reduced my power strip usage by two slots, cleaned up my cables, reduced mixer channels to just one and made me a very happy camper. I just might be able to play this thing for another 20 years.
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"Compact, versatile amp" submitted April 25, 2014

By JBernard M in St.Louis, MO
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 40+ years as a pro.
Music Style: Classic rock, country, blues, big band, originals
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Overall: I'm getting old and I was looking for a light amp I could carry. Wanted to be able to get ample volume, pipe it through the PA if needed, and of course it needed to sound good. Even though I'm a die hard 'tube man', I thought I'd give this Cube 80GX a try. I like what I heard on my gig, and it will become one of my regular amps for rehearsals and small gigs. I had to special order a cover from a 3rd party vendor (because Roland doesn't make a cover for this), and I would recommenced doing the same. The pedal that controls all the effects, reverb and channel switching is a little pricey, but I went ahead and bought it anyway. I plan on keeping this amp so I wanted the pedal and the cover. This amp gets LOUD. You can play anywhere with it. The tone is great and you can get decent tube tone simulations out of it. As with all solid state amps, you can't 'push it' to the top of it's power rating.... you have to always work within the comfort level of the amp, and then you'll get good tones. (Tube amps can be pushed over the edge and still sound good. Can't do that with solid state amps). I have a Roland mini for years and always liked it. (It sits under my desk for personal rehearsal work). Because of this, I gave the Roland Cube 80GX a try. I like it, and I'm sure you will too! It's a "pro amp".... not some cheap 'wanna-be' amp So you can haul this thing out to a gig and be proud of what you're playing through.
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