Are Roland Tone Capsule Modules for their Blues Cube Amps a Gimmick?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by rob5755, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. rob5755

    rob5755 Tele-Holic

    538
    Oct 9, 2008
    Freehold NJ
    Any experience with Roland Tone Capsule Modules for their Blues Cube Amps? Are they a gimmick?
     
  2. rxtech

    rxtech Tele-Meister

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 8, 2004
    central california
    They do seem kind of gimmicky to me for such a great amp. Couldn't you get the same results (or close enough) with a good eq pedal?
     
  3. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    Don't think they are a gimmick but Roland is sure proud of them.
    Instead of being able to download tones you have to buy the tone capsules.
    Capitalist marketing.....
     
  4. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Mar 9, 2004
    Greensboro NC
    Not a gimmick. I have the New York Blues one and it is awesome. Totally turns my Bluescube into a VOX AC30. Most authentic tones of an AC and it can do bedroom levels.
     
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  5. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    How well does it replicate a Fender Twin/AB763 tones? And how light is the amp? I may have found my SS amp...
     
  6. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Mar 9, 2004
    Greensboro NC
    The Tweed tones are greasy, stale beer and cigarettes blues

    Thick mids and really compresses
     
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  7. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    So what amounts to a plug in chip that completely reconfigures a great amp into a completely different great amp is a gimmick, and a box that sits on the floor that you step on to get different sounds is not?

    Hmmm...

    Maybe the look of a glowing tube is kind of cheesy, but what the tone capsules do is definitely NOT a gimmick...

    Roland has created a way to hack the basic hardware of the amp, and for a fraction of the cost of another amp, give you a whole new one (Dumble - Robben Ford, Fender/Marshall - Eric Johnson, Vox AC - New York Blues, Fender Deluxe - Ultimate Blues).

    If you already own a Blues Cube, it's actually CHEAPER to buy a Tone Capsule that it would be to get the 2 or 3 distortion and OD pedals (for each sound) that you'd need to do what it does.
     
  8. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

    Is it a plug in chip, or just a memory stick, with software on it? Seems like an unnecessary device - like selling an amp with interchangeable switches, or interchangeable wire, or interchangeable lights - should have just been part of the amp, or like others, downloadable with a usb jack?
     
  9. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    They are not like presets for a modeling amp/multi f/x.

    Unlike a pedal, which is still using your amp as a foundation, the Tone Capsules are a hardware hack that's completely reconfiguring the amp's tone and response across the board.

    It's really like getting a completely new and different amp.
     
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  10. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    Even if it were able to be done on USB, I'm sure for anti-piracy reasons there's some proprietary hardware involved.
     
  11. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 2, 2006
    NY
    I don't know about "gimmick" , but I do think the implementation is fundamentally flawed. You actually need to physically swap them in and out to alter the tone. Much less versatile then either a modeling amp or pedals.
     
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  12. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    On the other hand, there are people who criticize modeling amps for having too many options, when all they want to do is plug in and play. Here you get a plug in and play amplifier, with options to expand its capabilities later if you want. If you don't want to, you don't have to.
     
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  13. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    Well, we know that a device exists to install and switch between multiple tone capsules with the flick of a switch - Roland is using it to demo them. See below.

    They say it's not for sale, but I'm sure if demand becomes great enough, it will be.

    And don't put it past some 3rd party to engineer up something exactly like it, and bring it to market.

    Also, it's only a flawed implementation if you're looking to switch between multiple amp emulations on the fly. If you're looking at it as more of a simulation of a real world amp, it's just being one amp, all the time, when the capsule is in, but when you remove or switch it, it's like bringing out a whole new amp.

    I think it's all in the perspective of what you want. If you want dozens of models and effects available at the touch of a MIDI controlled floorboard to access hundreds of tones, this isn't it.

    If you want one GREAT amp at a time, it's there for the taking.

     
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  14. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    Actually, the Tone Capsule is hardly the first implementation of this "flawed" concept...

    Check out the Randall Modular amps and MTS modules (14 different ones!)

    http://grailtone.com/guitar-tone-articles/randall-mts-modules.html

    Or the old Seymour Duncan Convertible amp from the 80's.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
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  15. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Mar 9, 2004
    Greensboro NC
    You have to turn OFF the amp before switching capsules. I think maybe it boots off the capsule? So with the NYBTC, I now have either a tweed or vox style amp. And the vox tone is amazing
     
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  16. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    Maybe the Vox tone is amazing but for the cost of the Roland amp plus the Tone Capsule you could probably buy a real Vox tube amp , maybe not a new one but a good used one.

    I'm not knocking the product, I just thing it is way overpriced for the market.
     
  17. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    But, again, my point is that for the price of the BC and the TC, you get TWO great amps...

    The initial investment is no more than for many high quality combo amps - what do you feel is out of line with the price point?

    You also get power scaling, a built in computer interface, and the blendable channels, lighter weight, and (hopefully) better reliability because of SS, none of which are on an tube AC

    P.S. I'm not some Roland fanboy/apologist, I'm just amazed at how much people slag these amps for reasons I can't quite fathom.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
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  18. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    I'd dispute the reliability , on a well built tube amp that is not an issue at all. I have not played one of the Roland amps in person, but demos and reviews are mixed, some folks seem to love them, others are less than impressed.
    The amps have some nice features, most of which I don't want or need, and I have to wonder how well they really work in a live performance situation.
    Most folks are using them at home and for that they are probably fine.
    Roland amps are not known for maintaining their value. They are already starting to depreciate in value , I expect within the next year you will be able to find them used even cheaper than now.

    Just because they have a video of Robben Ford or Eric Johnson playing one doesn't mean those guys really use those amps live, or that you or I will sound like them.


    Of course new tube amps depreciate also ...

    At least they aren't priced like the Boss Waza Craft amps :)
     
  19. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    Can we agree that this pretty much applies to ALL amps? And few if any new amps are immune to the dropping resale value.

    And features are certainly an individual thing - because I don't need something that's included doesn't make it a bad amp, just not a good fit for me...

    And you're absolutely right about the Waza-Craft amp - did they even sell ANY of those?
     
  20. old guitar player

    old guitar player Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 7, 2007
    the basement
    I had an original Blues Cube BC-30 amplifier from the 90's. I paid less for it than what one of these new Tone Capsules go for...lol...

    Anyhow I wasn't too impressed and would never buy another one. Tone Capsule or not.
     
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