Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I'm not sure what the years of manufacture were for the Roland Blues Cube amplifiers but I know that I've seen and heard a lot of them over the years. They were available in 30 and 60 watt versions, with various speaker configurations. I think the picture above is the sixty watter with the three 10" speaker configuration, and it was also available in a one 12" configuration as well.
In any event, they resemble certain old Fender tube amps, and mostly to me look something like some of the Blues Junior amps I've seen.
TRUE, a tube amp they are not and a solid state amp like this has it's limitations. It was not the first and certainly not the last solid state amp attempt to emulate a tube amp but it has it's moments.
I once did a showcase gig on drums in 2003 with a California singer who was performing for several small record labels in Houston. In addition to the acoustic guitar playing lead singer and songwriter, her thrown together band, which was thrown together by her agent, consisted of me on drums and a friend of mine on bass that I recruited and some female lead guitarist named "Kat".
Kat didn't make the one rehearsal that we had with the artist, but she did make the gig, which was a private catered Friday evening affair at a large club on Washington, possibly the Rhythm Room. The bassist and I had basically learned the parts played on her self released CD with the music played by some California session cats that were not slouchy on their instruments. In fact, they were surprisingly technical and musical, and came up with great arrangements for the artist's songs.
Kat brought with her a Roland Blues Cube amp, and it was mic'd and ran through the board like everything else on stage. She sported a sunburst Strat, and boy was I surprised when she laid into that Blues Cube amp during a solo, using a green Ibanez Tube Screamer to boost her volume and tone during her solos.
Kat had played once before with the artist we were backing, and it turned out to be a really good performance. The soundman hooked up my DAT recorder to the board mix and I got a pretty good dang good live digital recording of the gig. None of my tube guitar amp freak friends have ever thought it was a Roland Blues Cube, a solid state amp, when they listen to the CD's I made of that gig. They all think it is some kind of Fender, but just a little bit off.
Many of the folks I knew in the recent past used to gig with the Blues Cube amps because of their durability. The solid state nature of the beast withstands hauling and riding in a vehicle and loading in/out and the like better than a tube amp.
Nothing like traveling with a tube amp in your vehicle and despite the fact that the amp is laying down, you hear the tubes and the like from inside the amp rattle as heavy bumps in the road are encountered. You just know that can't be good for the tubes or the amp setup as tube amps have.
I used to see these amps on ebay all the time, going for fairly reasonable prices, and generally appearing to be in nice condition. You hardly ever see them anymore, like lots of items I look for on ebay, it's become such an Amazon store that it's just not the same.
I wonder where all the people are selling their blues cube amps and the like that used to be getting bought and sold regularly on ebay? If you know, lemme know. I'd like to visit that website.


  1. everyone once in a while you'll see on pop up on craigslist... recently grabbed one for 100, what a steal!

  2. Bought one today from
    I'm very happy!!