We all know that there are no limits to human capabilities, creativity and development. Likewise, there are no limits to the brands’ ability to surprise their customers with innovative equipment and countless opportunities. This is especially true for the names such as Roland. They never fail to produce quality amplifiers in all the price ranges. Be it a high-end treat or an affordable variation, you are guaranteed to receive something you will love and admire for ages. Their CUBE-10GX will not disappoint you either. It has everything one would expect from Roland and maybe even some more. This practice amplifier is just as spectacular as some of the famous bigger models. So let’s discuss features, controls and sound of this unit and find out together, if it is truly as good as it seems at first glance.
Roland decided to make all our practice dreams come true and brought out a model equipped with an extensive set of versatile features. Its diversity will blow you away and I am not even exaggerating. CUBE-10GX can create 10 watts of power, which is a perfect amount for a bedroom practice. Who needs a 100 watt beast which will crash all the windows, am I right? It is equipped with a single 8” (20 cm) speaker, which is protected with a sturdy, heavy-duty chassis. What is more, this bad boy has a COSM (Composite Object Sound Modeling) technology that takes into consideration electronic circuitry, structure and materials, combines them and recreates the desired sound accordingly. Here, we have three types of COSM amplifiers, namely, Clean (Roland JC-120), Crunch (Marshall JMP1987) and Lead (MESA/Boogie Rectifier). They can be replaced with the ones you like better by utilizing a smartphone app. CUBE-10GX also comes with three on-board effects: Reverb (and Spring Reverb), Chorus and Delay. Even though we have standard sockets here, I will still discuss them briefly. So, we have a single input for your electric guitar, an auxiliary input for devices such as MP3 player and a headphone output for silent practicing. A mouthful for such a small amp, don’t you think?
One of the reasons why I fell in love with CUBE-10GX is its fancy design. Yeah, yeah, I know, nobody gives a damn about looks, but I do enjoy an amp that has expensive appearance and screams quality from its shell. The reason why I am saying this now is that the control panel follows that pattern of fanciness as well. Silver knobs are mounted on the black surface, sorted into dedicated sections and labelled with distinctive white ink. Even though some of the controls are pretty self-explanatory, I will try to give you unambiguous definition of their functionalities and simplify everything even further.
The first section is called Amplifier. It is comprised with Amp Type selector and Gain and Volume knobs. The first one allows you to choose between Clean, Crunch and Lead models, Gain modifies the amount of distortion of the selected amp, while Volume defines the level of the guitar signal. Then comes the EQ section with standard Bass, Middle and Treble encoders that adjust particular frequency ranges (low, mid or high). Last but not least, we have Effect section with a single knob. It allows you to choose between chorus, delay and reverb and determine their depth as well.
The prime cause for Roland’s popularity is the sound of its amplifiers. And CUBE-10GX does not betray that rule either and delivers mind-blowing experience. Its sonic quality is out of this world and definitely sets a high bar among its rivals. The COSM models are distinctive, scrupulous and defined, with no artificiality or any audible digital character. The sounds of these amps go from clean to overdrive to hard-core distortion. Clean sounds are rich both in texture and sonic character, overdriven tones are subtle, but have that solid-state punchy character, while distorted ones are reminiscent of the pedals meaning that they are crisp and fast and crazy. Each amp model has its own EQ voicing, so do not get confused when you hear something completely different from your chosen settings. On-board effects are not dull or blank, rather, they are organic and defined. They color your tone without overpowering or overlapping the sound of your guitar. Such sonic versatility is the very reason why CUBE-10GX is an amazing tool for practice. It allows you to take it easy and master clean tones, while giving the option to perfect your craftsmanship and learn some new playing techniques with heavier genres.
Let’s wrap this article up and summarize everything discussed above. By now it goes without saying that CUBE-10GX is one of the best practice amplifiers out there. I am pretty sure you will not doubt that, since its capabilities prove everything perfectly. It will be at your service whether you want a one trick pony or a jack of all trades. No matter what kind of sounds you are looking for, this little fella can deliver them all (at least the majority). The overall tonal quality and COSM quality in particular is ethereal. If you take a look at the options available, you will notice that CUBE-10GX is one of those that stand out. Sonic parameters and features aside, this amplifier is also portable and great for those who like to change their practice environment frequently or want something that can also handle small performances with friends. All in all, CUBE-10GX is an amplifier you should undoubtedly get your hands on. Good luck!