The Roland Cube-15XL is a great little amplifier. The 15 watt amp is more than loud enough for home practice, but has a handy power squeezer function to achieve full gain at low volume if practising in a small room.
The Roland Cube-15XL control panel includes:
- input jack
- three-band equalizer
- two channels, clean and lead with three BOSS distortion circuits to choose from
- AUX in jack
- recording out/phones jack.
The recommended retail on the Roland Cube 15-XL is A$169. If you search online, you can find them much cheaper.
Roland Cube-15XL sound
The Roland Cube-15XL is my first electric guitar amplifier. I have plugged my daughter’s Ibanez Mikro GRGM21M electric guitar into the amp.
The amp’s clean channel is just that, clean. The lead channel BOSS distortion circuits allow a range of distortion from minimal right through to extreme.
With the Roland Cube-15XL, you effectively get two amps in one — a 15 watt amplifier and a 2 watt amp. Nice. The power squeezer function preserves the same tone and balance, but at an output of 2 watts. Using the Ibanez Mikro electric guitar, I was quite surprised at how loud the 2 watt output is — it is more than loud enough for practising in the average bedroom or living room. You will probably want the full 15 watt output if you are playing alongside a drum kit though.
Other uses for the Roland Cube-15XL
While the Roland Cube 15-XL is designed as an electric guitar amp, I have pressed it into service for a few other functions too using the Aux input. I play Rocksmith using the amp to output the game’s sound (read how), I have plugged our Casio CTK-3000 keyboard into the amp and I have played music through it from my computer (read how).
As with all guitar amps, the bottom and top of the music range sound empty because they are designed to amplify electric guitars, which sit in the middle of the frequency range.
I have also pressed the amp into service amplifying my acoustic guitars using the amp’s clean channel. Acoustic guitar transponder and piezo pick-ups are prone to feedback though. You will get much better results using electro-magnetic pick-ups, similar to those used on electric guitars. You do, however, lose some of the acoustic guitar’s natural sound.
As my first electric guitar amp, the Roland Cube 15XL is great. It is a rugged design, has an Aux in socket, and is plenty loud enough with the flexibility to play at 15 watts or 2 watts output.