Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Roland Microcube Guitar Amp: Billy Ray Rated #1

The amp pictured above is the tiny but good sounding Roland Microcube. It's got lots of features for such a small amp, including the ability to operate on batteries. My good friend and running buddy Billy Ray swears by his as a low volume practice amp.

You can find them for just under $100 on ebay or at musician's friend via price matching with the ebay seller. Normal retail is about $129.00 either at Guitar Center or via Musicians Friend or Music123. For the money, it's a great little amp.

Here's the copy from an online store about this amp, with a link to the page following the posted material:

"With the new Micro Cube, guitarists get a genuine Roland Cube amp in an ultra-compact package that even runs on batteries. Weighing in at just a few pounds, the Micro Cube packs a big punch and comes with six DSP effects, COSM Amp Modeling and a new Digital Tuning Forkgiving guitarists everything they need for killer tone on the go.


-Ultra-compact portable DSP guitar amp with 5-inch speaker
-Runs on battery or AC power (adapter supplied) and includes carry strap
-7 COSM guitar amp models including JC-120 and a special mic preamp model
-6 DSP effects: chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo and separate Delay/Reverb
-New Digital Tuning Fork with support for flat tunings up to 2 semitones
-Recording/Headphones output and stereo Auxiliary input for CD players, etc.
-Details Rock for 20 Hours on BatteriesThe Micro Cube is the first Cube amplifier -that runs on battery or AC power. Using six AA alkaline batteries, you can play for up to 20 hours thanks to the Micro Cube's high-efficiency amplifier. A carrying strap is also included, allowing you to be heard just about anywhere you want. And the sound? It's a Cube, so you know it sounds great!

7 Classic and Modern Amp ModelsLooking for the sound of Roland's JC-120 Jazz Chorus or your favorite British combo amp? You'll find those and more in the Micro Cube, thanks to seven COSM amp models. Roland's COSM technology is the only modeling method that captures every nuance of the original amps'from the preamp and circuits to the speaker. All you need is the Micro Cube for perfect tone.High-Quality EffectsThere's no need to lug around pedals when the Micro Cube comes with six DSP effects. All the essentials are included from chorus and flanging to a phaser and tremolo effect. A separate Delay/Reverb processor lets you dial in anything from slapback and long delays to reverb and more (in addition to using one of the aforementioned modulation effects).New Digital Tuning Fork and MoreTuning up is a snap using the new Digital Tuning Fork. Just press the Tuning Fork button (the harder you hit it the louder the sound) and you get an instant reference tone with support for flat tunings up to two semitones. The Micro Cube also comes with a choice of 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch stereo Auxiliary inputs great for connecting a CD player or line-level instrument plus a Recording/Headphones output. Take a Cube anywhere you go!

Billy Ray has lots of good amps, past and present, and currently favors Mesa Boogies and an old Fender Musicmaster Bass Amp. But he really likes him some Roland Microcube.

I have the upgrade from this amp for bass, the Roland MICRO CUBE BASS RX Portable Bass Amplifier, which is just slightly larger than the guitar Microcube amp pictured above. For just sitting around and jamming or even for home recording use, these are just great.

The the Guitar Microcube, I could even see doing a small Starbucks type gig with a guitar or two being amplified through these, perhaps running a line out to a small PA for some extra volume if needed. But the Guitar Microcube is surprisingly loud for it's size.

It's good for taking around on car vacations. I like to do some picking when on a vacation, often after the family has gone to bed. You can have some fun with the sounds built into this amp, and some of the sounds are pretty good considering the size of this micro amp.

Roland has an innovative history of products both electronic and amplified. The Cube line of amps are not new, but the Microcube is the latest generation of what are some very cool amps in the current and past Cube line.

I'm going to write next about a Roland Cube amp they don't make anymore, The Blues Cube.

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