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

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

  1. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    USB interfaces for new tones and tone adjustments are old, Vox, Fender, Roland, everybody has USB now.
     
  2. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, if it's a programmable amp with editing software connected to a computer.

    Not sure how this applies to the Tone Capsule architecture. Is anyone else doing a "hard wired" set of presets?
     
  3. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    That's why I ask, what is the tone capsule? Is it a chip, or just a memory stick with software on it? Modelling amps have the chip, modelling amps with USB have chips and memory to accept software, so I'm just guessing, the the tone capsule is one or the other, now separated instead of integrated?
     
  4. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    I would say since neither of those amps still exist those examples do nothing to prove the concept is not "flawed".
     
  5. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I bought a used Blues Cube Stage a couple of weeks ago and now I just bought two tone capsules used - the Ultimate Blues (BF Deluxe) and NY Blues (Voxy). I will give them a thorough tryout and sell back into the used market anything that doesn't work for me.
    But I do expect the BC to become a main gigging amp for me, whether I end up using the capsules or not. The stock tone is really useful for what I do and I like the weight and the overall quality. I am skeptical, but hopeful, that this will end up being the sweet spot for me between "flexible" modeling amps and "no computers needed" old fashioned amps.

    Oh, and comparing the cost of the capsules to a new amp - I paid $140 for the NY Blues, how much Vox tube amp can I get for that? I doubt I could even retube an AC30 for that price. The only question is if the tone is there.
     
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  6. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

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    I have the UBTC and it’s nice. I would like to try the NYBTC but am holding out for a used one at a decent price. Report back how you like it!
     
  7. dptele

    dptele TDPRI Member

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    So from a tech perspective, anything that lives in a hardware capsule can live in software just as easily these days. So there is little reason roland couldn't build all this into a new 'super' blues cube and put a selector on the top to let you pick any of them. The circuitry that creates these sounds is likely the same in each capsule with minor variations (or simply a storage device). Video game manufacturers did this for years to make you buy physical cartridges to play the games but these days it's all downloads-- just like this should be.
     
  8. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I concede that you are correct about the tech side of these things. However I just don't like to have to hook my amp up to a computer to get a nice sound or to mess with it. Don't wanna do it. I don't want to use a computer in band rehearsal, none of it. I need a simple and good sounding tool that is completely WYSIWYG. I even have a Katana 100 and have gigged with it a bunch, and it sounds great, but when I'm using a preset none of the knob positions tell me what the amp is doing. I just don't want computers on my amp, or my bicycle, my miter saw, my coffee maker, etc. either. So yes you're probably right this is a big profit center for Roland but I for one am hopeful this will satisfy my luddite tendencies while still giving me a few great tones in one amp.
     
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  9. bluescube

    bluescube Friend of Leo's

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    Someone needs to disect a tone capsule and see what's inside
     
  10. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    I had the Blues Cube Artist for over a year and bought two tone capsules. I also have a now discontinued Roland 80gx. My observance only, is that I could achieve the sound of the Tone capsules with my pedal board. My 80gx is louder and cleaner, and fuller sounding. I gigged both. I sold the Blues cube. I had put the BC artisti beside my DRRI and TRRI. The BC artist could not achieve the fullness of sound no matter how I set the EQ, but the 80gx could.
     
  11. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting - I just wanted to report back on my first experiences with the UB Capsule. I think I like it - it's clearly the same ballpark as the stock amp, but for sure there is more clean headroom and it's a bit scooped. I also think the "dual tone" sound is less muddy and the low input seems more usable. I think that I prefer it, but I definitely want to go back and forth with them before I say much more.
     
  12. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ever since I saw the Captain do a blindfold test and pick the new Roland blues cube as one of his favorite amps among some nice tube amps, I’ve been wanting to try one of these.

     
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  13. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    *ooops*
     
  14. doolbon

    doolbon TDPRI Member

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    Curious myself. We would love for you to do that for us.
     
  15. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    The designers and marketers have determined that there is a significant segment of the market that is computer friendly (if not too computer savvy) and they'd like an analog of "rolling tubes" , but that doesn't involve shopping for NOS tubes and understanding how tube circuits work, or bothering with biasing amps.
    They could put all the hardware and software from the modules into the amp and just mount a knob on the front, like so many modeling amps do, but I think they make more money this way, and they give the computer nerds a chance to "mod" their sound by picking just the right "tube". Makes me laugh, but if it sounds good, go for it.
     
  16. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Edited because the person I was replying to had their post deleted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  17. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    i've seen them used at gigs where I was on the job in a slot or visiting a friend who was. You should get over the notion that there are opinions that you don't share, because that will make your life easier, and everyone else's less painful.
     
  18. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Wow! Golly, thanks for the life advice.
     
  19. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    My pleasure. I'd rather be cordial than sarcastic. Short version: those amp modules are gimmicks. I'm all for them if they sound good to the user. They are entitled to opine that tube snobs are closed minded regarding newer technology. They can get off my lawn with their digital amps and their Alexis.

    I think Jeff Beck was playing through a what ... Pro Jr? Bill "M" told me Bonnie Raitt used a Blues Jr. I'm looking forward to seeing someone I've heard of using a "module" amp.
     
  20. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

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    I’ve used the term gimmick to describe the tone capsules (and, hey, I own a BCA and one capsule), but that’s not exactly fair. They do what they’re supposed to do and they do it very well. The amp sounds great and the capsules change the amp enough that it’s worth the price.

    But I agree - it’s goofy and I’d prefer they build it into the amp. I would happily have paid more for it. To me it sounds much better than the Katanas. I’m not yet sure about the new Nextone. And it sounds better than most of the tube amps I’ve tried in this price range.

    Also, please don’t imply that we all have to use what famous guitarists of the past used. That’s just silly.
     
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