I spent about two months researching the market looking for a guitar amp that would tick in the following boxes:
1) portable and light
2) multiple inputs
3) full-range speaker
4) loud enough for band practice
5) quite enough for bedroom practice
It was like solving a complicated equation. I hate guitar amps and combos because they seriously limit the sound you can produce with your guitar. Not to mention they make no sense if you?re a 21st century player and use digital technologies and synths. Hence a full-range speaker was a must.
I first focused my search to acoustic and keyboard amps but they tend to be bulky and have a lot of instrument-specific features that I wouldn?t need. So I refocused to small PA systems. Long story short? I settled on Roland CM-30 and went on to read reviews and more reviews. And tests?
By the time I was done, it got about 20 euros more expensive? Still, I placed my order.
Despite knowing the physical dimensions of the Cube by heart, I was rather surprised to find out how small it actually was. The top handle is an amazing detail - to carry the Cube around is very easy, it sort of balances itself out and the weight sensation is neutral. In other words, it?s comfortable. Oh, and it?s built like a tank with well recessed knobs.
What I really like is the sheer amount of inputs so you can connect your devices in such a way that best matches the Roland?s ins with your device?s outs.
Sound response is fairly neutral and I only use the on board equalizer to adjust for the room acoustic and/or particular placement.
I recommend using the Cube on a stand raised to your ears? level. A) you get the sensation of the best balanced sound, B) the Cube will actually sound loud. You can?t get around the physics here and while 30 watts amounts to a decent power output, the area of the speaker is small. There?s a reason it?s called Cube MONITOR.
I brought it to a band?s rehearsal and while it wasn?t the loudest thing around (along the drummer and bass player in a big room), I did got heard. The situation improved dramatically when I raised the Cube, though, and I still had about a third to go on both the channel and the master volume knobs. I think I might get another one - with two, I?d get comfortably loud and I?d be in full stereo.
The Cube is a really universal gadget - and it?s small and light so you can easily carry it along to ALWAYS have your own personal monitoring on stage (thanks to comprehensive ins/outs and routing), no matter what instrument you play.