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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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on August 29, 2012
The Roland Cube-40XL is a great little amp that packs a punch. It features a wide selection of high-quality Roland tones and effects. A few of my favorites include the awesome JC Clean sound, the legendary R-Fier, and a surprisingly sweet tweed tone, among others. The chorus effect is nice (but mono), as is the tap delay. There are two styles of reverb, spring and plate. The spring reverb perfectly reproduces the mechanical reverb you find on some tube amps, while the plates produce a smoother effect.

This amp features two independent Solo Channels, one clean and one lead, each of which can remember the effects you set. That's a very handy new feature I really appreciate. The built-in tuner can be used on a per-string basis, or optionally as a chromatic tuner. This was a thoughtful improvement.

The built-in looper was a sweet addition I've enjoyed, and have used it to perform some of my original tunes I couldn't have pulled off otherwise. You do need an extra Boss FS-6 pedal to use it, however. This is in addition to one FS-6 for clean/lead/solo, and another for effects. The pedals are not cheap, but well worth the expense. They are all, of course, optional, although if you intend to play live, you'll probably want at least one set. You could opt for pedals from another manufacturer, but frankly, I don't recommend it. The FS-6 pedals work perfectly for the Cube, can be configured for either latch or momentary operation, and can be chained together.

Typical Roland quality, this amp is made to last. I won't conceal the fact that I'm a big fan of Roland gear, and the 40XL doesn't disappoint. It's solid and road-worthy, not to mention stylish. I love its compact size. I can stick it in the window sill at the weekly jam I host, saving space for an extra amp on stage.

There are only a few minor drawbacks worth mentioning.

First, it's a little underpowered for gigging with a live band. That's not really surprising, considering its size. Having said that, I am still using it in a live band setting and it usually hangs just fine with the larger Fender amps. It's only when the volume gets way out of control that the Cube 40XL struggles a little. It's not really a fair complaint, since it's amazingly powerful and full sounding for such a small amp, but it's worth noting.

Second: It is, of course, a digital amp. I'm not a tube purist, by any means, but there's a difference. The Roland modeling, however, is second to none. This thing is a tone monster. It's still not a tube amp, but that's not a big deal for me. Some people can't get past the digital stigma. Personally, I think it sounds killer, tubes or none. YMMV.

Finally, I wish this thing had a line out for a second speaker or amp. If I could plug this baby into my old amp, I wouldn't have to worry about the power issue. It DOES have a Recording Out/Phones jack, but this cuts the sound from the speaker (as it should for those purposes). Also, it would be nice to send a line out to the board, instead of having to mic it. But the tried and tested mic method works fine, so it's not a big deal.

One other thing about the Recording Out/Phones jack, the sound is MONO, which unfortunately diminishes the fantastic Roland stereo effects (like the chorus) when recording or listening through headphones. Though not a deal-breaker, it seems like a disappointing oversight.

Other than these minor nitpicks, I love my Cube 40XL. It's sturdy, powerful, versatile, and cool. It's perfect for practice, rehearsals, and small venues. All in all, another superb piece of Roland gear.

If you're looking for something a bit bigger, check out the Cube 80XL.
22 comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 26, 2012
I was extremely disappointed by this amp and will be returning it. The Cube 40XL has a lot of great features and sounds very good. But it has one very annoying problem -- it emits a soft, constant hissing sound when it's at idle. No matter the volume or other settings, the hissing is always there. It's particularly irritating when using headphones for late night practice. The headphone jack is essentially useless. I Googled Cube 40XL hiss and discovered that this is a common problem due to, evidently, a design flaw. I have a Cube 30 which I bought about 10 years ago and it's dead silent when powered on and not being played. Not so with the 40XL which is a shame because otherwise it's an excellent practice amp.
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on January 29, 2012
Great little amp for both practice and stage. The amp models are pretty good; my only gripe is the volume change when switching from one amp type to another. The Tweed amp model has great tone, and the R'fier nails the Santana Mesa Boogie tone. The independent delay and reverb are a real plus. The effects are adequate.

The size and weight (22 lbs.) make this a great grab and go amp. The 10" speaker puts out fantastic tone!! To use the looper "live" you'll need at least 1 of the Boss double pedals (FS-6).

Overall, a fantastic value!! I plan on also buying the Cube 80XL for the line out and the extra volume when needed. These little amps replace my big tube amps and floor pedals and make gigging easy again. Great job by Roland!!
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on July 10, 2012
This review is actually for the 20XL as that is the one I have and there is no hissing/static
problems.
After using the 20XL and being very impressed with it, I then ordered the 40XL at the reduced
price offered by one of Amazons sub contract companies, but right after making the order because
of reports of the low volume hissing problems checked on warranties and return procedures on this
amp. (Something I should have done before I ordered the amp)
What it boils down to, is that the reduced price (around 20%) you are getting from Amazon, may not
be as good as you think if the equipment is deffective.
If you return it, you will have to pay for the return shipping and in most cases a restocking fee.
I am not saying that the amp you will get will have the problems mentioned, but it looks like the
odds are about 50/50.
I buy a ton of stuff off of Amazon, but in this case, you may just want to go with one of the
regular suppliers that 100% warranty (All return shipping and no restocking charge)an amp if there is a problem.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 27, 2014
Yes, this amp is the best I have ever owned (Peavey, Marshall, Fender) The range of tones is almost endless. The small size makes it easy to tote around, but the big sound makes it suitable for small gigs. It's bass range is far beyond what its 10 inch speaker and small cabinet size should be able to produce.

If you are looking at other mod based practice amps, you owe it to yourself to try the Roland. I find all of its tones surpass the Line 6 amps, its clean tones are far better than the Marshall practice amps, (and R-Fier is such a great metal tone), and the heavier tones surpass what the Fender Mustangs can produce. The only tones that fall a bit short when compared to the Fender Mustang amps are those Fender blues tones, but the Roland blues sounds aren't bad at all. I have had mine for over a year now and I still have "wow" moments whether playing my Martin Acoustic or Shecter with EMGs.

Hiss? NONE. My amp is the quietest amp I have ever used. There is no discernible background noise.

Finally, the build quality of these Cube amps is unparalleled. Everything on the Roland Cube 40XL feels solid and professional. No other amp in its price range feels as rugged as the Cubes.
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on December 14, 2013
Perfect for me starting out price wise. Get lots of sounds and effects with this one. Best bang for the buck in my opinion. May not be a Fender but sounds great anyway. If it sounds bad it's probably the guy at the other end pluckin the strings......
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on April 27, 2012
I did a lot of research before buying this amp from Andertons and on paper it looks great, very versatile, effects built in with a looper but it's completely flawed by a constant whitenoise/hissing (ssshhhhhh) from both the speaker and headphones/direct out, even with nothing plugged in/volume down. This makes using the amp intolerable and it's completely useless for recording purposes. Avoid....
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on July 25, 2013
Incredible amp. I was looking for something portable to take to smallish jazz gigs so the clean sound was the real appeal. I was hesitant because of the review comments about hiss. Whatever was going on with the hiss has been fixed, as this amp is dead silent in both clean and dirty channels. The clean sound is absolutely perfect, outstanding for jazz, the effects work simply and sound great, and the lead sounds are awesome as well, the Boogie sounds and feels dead on to me. I couldn't be happier, and I can't figure out how this well built marvel can be so affordable. the only thing that bums me out is my $2400 Boogie Mark combo is relegated to the garage, I can't justify lugging all that mess and separate effects pedals etc. Setup with this thing is a few seconds.

As for the power, it has more than enough power for any rock gig I've ever done, not interested in doing anything so loud that this thing couldn't handle!
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on October 9, 2014
This amp is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have a Marshall JC-30 but never feel like I can easily get new sounds out of it. This doesn't replace the Marshall, but I do play 90% of the time on it now. Just bought it for a friend. And if you were my friend, I'd buy it for you too.
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on June 25, 2012
Great Amp for practice and gigging in small room situations! I have not tried it with a drummer yet, but judging from previous experience, if the drummer is capable of a lighter touch, it should be fine. I have had ZERO hissing problems with this amp. Apparently, either they had a bad batch, or they can be susceptible to "dirty" power issues. Whatever the problem, I have not had it. I did own a 30X that had an irritating noise in the note played as it trailed off. This 40XL does not have this and works exactly as I hoped!!

I think all of the models sound decent. The JC clean channel is REALLY good!! Some of the OD/Dist sounds are a bit cheezy but like all gear, it can usually be adjusted to an acceptable sound if you're willing to tweak the controls on your guitar and amp a bit. The amp models and distortion sounds are not perfect but they are very usable. The bass response is addictive!! For the apartment dweller, I would submit that you can get as good or better sound quality out of this amp at low volume than you could with your boutique low watt tube amp and pedals. Let's face it, tubes need some heat to work properly and at really low levels, they just don't perform all that well. I used to use a Champ and pedals for practice, this works better for my low volume practice needs. The cleans sustain well and the distortion sounds come across bigger feeling and more inspiring.

I think all of the effects are good. I love that it not only has a separate reverb that can be used with the delay on, but it has a decent spring and great plate sound! This is a big improvement over my 30X! The tremolo is really good as is the delay. I think the rest of the effects are quite good as well but I don't use many when I play so I may not be the best person to evaluate them. Also, if you store a delayed sound in the "Solo" channel, you can use the delayed sound with the looper. Not ideal but doable!!

Foot switches, many folks seem caught up on gigging a 40 watt SS amp with all of the foot switches. They are "optional!" Since I use it almost exclusively as a practice amp, switching the amp by hand is easy and many times preferable. I use one FS-5U for the looper. You can push the button on the amp for the looper and it blinks to let you know that it is ready to record. When you actually play something it begins to record so that allows you to get into position to play. When you are ready to end the loop, press the footswitch and the loop will...loop. Push the footswitch again and you can dub/layer another loop. To stop or delete the loop, you have to push the stop button on the amp. For practice this is certainly adequate.

The FS-5U can also act as the channel switch if you plug it into the other slot. The only reason someone would need all 6 footswitches is to access all the features of the amp with their feet. On the 80XL, I could see wanting all of them if you are gigging, but hey, it has the "option" to do so. Pretty cool if you ask me!!

I am very happy with it so far and it is a substantial improvement over my old 30X both sound and feature-wise!!
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