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roland cube 60 vs roland cube 80

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by elkhart1956, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. elkhart1956

    elkhart1956 Tele-Meister

    Sep 1, 2010
    north east texas
    I have been reading conflicting opinions on which of these two amps has a better reputation.

    I am looking for a nice solid state amp that is quiet and light. I have about given up on the idea of owning a tube amp. I can't justify buying a new one, and I keep getting burned on used ones.

    Tubes will unfortunately have to wait.

    So what is the scuttle butt on these two amps?

    Cube 60 vs Cube 80

  2. Greg.Coal

    Greg.Coal Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 23, 2009
    I would like to know as well. Most say that the 60 (older) is better than the 80 (newer). Is it just an "older is better when it comes to musical instruments" thing?


  3. Swee_tone

    Swee_tone Tele-Holic

    Mar 23, 2009
    People on this site seem to prefer the 60 over the 80 but i'm wondering if they are giving the speaker a chance to break in and if they realise the new eq on the 80XL. There's a youtube vid from Roland on setting the new eq.
    I have the 40XL and used to have the 30 and much prefer the 40XL.

    Other places I have read that people love the 80XL.
    Also, these amps sound better as they are played louder than played quietly.

    I'm going to pick up an 80XL down the road, and run the 2 amps in stereo.

  4. Swee_tone

    Swee_tone Tele-Holic

    Mar 23, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011

  5. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

    I bought a Cube 60 about 6 or 7 years ago. Maybe more...I forget. Loved it from the word go. No need for anything to 'break in'.
    Used it quite a few times at various gigs, often just straight in to a clean 'Black Panel' setting. So long as you don't push it (never a good idea with a SS) it's fine.

    When the Cube 80 came out I bought one. Tried it for several weeks at home and at a few gigs.
    Got rid of it.
    The 'interactive' EQ was a pain in the hole. No way to make small adjustments as you go. And I couldn't find any setting that 'felt' like a 'real' amp, the way the Cube 60 can. I could find settings on the Cube 80 that sounded 'nice'...but if I tried to use it in a band situation, or if I set it beside another amp and compared, I realised that it sounded artificial and kind of empty.
    (I had a similar experience with a Fender MustangIII a few months ago as well and I sent it back with a sigh of relief after a few frustrating weeks, but that's another thread...)

    I now own a Fender 57 Deluxe tweed reissue. A handmade 5E3. Best amp I've ever owned. My wife got it for me for my upcoming 50th birthday (bless her).
    But I still am keeping my Cube 60 since there are one or 2 settings on it which IMO compare favourably to the tweed amp. Really.

    But I honestly wouldn't keep a Cube 80 even if it was given to me.

  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 26, 2003
    The North Coast
    I use a Cube 60 on a hundred or more dates a year. I also owned a Cube 80X at the same time I owned the Cube 60, for about six months.

    Disclaimer- This post is for the Cube 60, vs. the Cube 80X only! I have not played or spent any time at all with the newer Cube 80XL, and cannot comment at all as to how it sounds or performs in comparison with a Cube 60, or any other amp.

    I bought the 80X first. I stumbled onto it used, needing a small gig amp. The price was right, and reading all the great reviews on the Cube 60, I figured the newer model had to be even better. I took it home, I loved it, I gigged it like crazy. Liked it so much, I started looking for a backup for it. Found a used Cube 60. Bought it, took it home, and it BURIED the 80X.

    Side by side, there was no comparison. The 80X is a good sounding amp, the 60 is a fantastic sounding amp. The 80X was much darker and duller overall, and just kind of flat sounding. It was capable of ridiculous amounts of low end, but that low end was hard to tame and dial out. Some nights, I would have the bass all the way off and it was still too much.

    The 60 was much livelier and bouncier, sounded much more like a real version of what it models. It just had a ton more sparkle and chime. With the 80X, I always got the idea I was playing through something approximated, athough still very good. with the 60, I don't think that way, I just think my amp sounds good.

    Now, I do not use the high gain models. I have never even turned them on. I have no use for them whatsoever, so I am not even curious as to what they sound like. I have only used the Vox, tweed, Blackface, and JC clean channels on these amps, and will probably never use anything else. If you're looking for a review of the hi gain settings, sorry, I just don't know.

    But like I said, that was side by side. When all I owned was the 80X, and did not have the 60 to compare it to, I liked it plenty fine.

    Both amps are extremely reactive and dynamic, and both have similar features. the 80X sports a looper, and the 60 does not, but having no need for a looper, I don't care. The only on board effect I ever used (or use) on either amp is the reverb, which is "OK". It's very giggable if you find a sweet spot, but it ain't a real spring reverb, and that will be readily apparent. I use mine every night though, and it works fine. Not a deal breaker by any means.

    If there is a volume difference between the two amps, I couldn't tell. They are both BEASTS. If a Cube 60 is not loud enough for you to gig with, something is wrong with either you or the amp, probably with you.

    Both amps are great for LOW volume gigs as well as screamers. Used on the dirt side (I almost exclusively use the "tweed" model), the seperate gain and volume can be used to give you a very dynamic tone at a useable level. I love it. If you use a tube amp small enough to play some of the gigs I do regularly, it's gonna have a six or eight inch speaker and sound like a mosquito. If I use a big tube amp with real tone, it's way too loud to get sweet, and if I use an attenuator, I'm hauling three time the gear and taking up three times the space as I do with my cube. With the wattage and twelve inch speaker on the cube, and the seperate gain a volume, you can dial in a screaming tone at very conversation friendly levels, should the need arise. Makes the Cube an ideal candidate for bistro and restaurant gigs.

    These amps are built like tanks, extremely reliable. I've dropped my 60 three times, even watched it (thanks to an inept stage hand) take a three foot drop, then bounce down 3 stone stairs. Yeah, it actually DID bounce. A tube amp would have been toast. One of the plastic corners on my cube got cracked, the rest got scuffed up pretty good. That's all the damage it took. I wouldn't recommend throwing these things down the stairs all the time, I'm sure they wouldn't take it forever, but to say I was impressed would be an understatement.

    All in all, you can't go wrong with either amp, for home practice or for gigging, but I think the 60 is much more real and lively sounding amp. Now the 80XL, as I said, I have not been able to test, but I'm certainly looking forward to it.

  7. stratomite

    stratomite Tele-Meister

    Oct 10, 2007
    I have a Cube 30 which I dearly love and Cube 80X which I would sell if I was ever offered anything near what I paid for it. I had a Blues Cube and sold it.

    Not to confuse the issue, but if you want to get close to the tube sound and don't want to pay the tube price, take a look at a Fender Mustang III or IV.

  8. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    I bought a Cube 60 partly on Jakedog's recommendation of it and couldn't be happier.

    Plenty of volume and I basically use the BF setting 90% of them time.

    I also use the trem, delay, and reverb.

    My ear/my band are not good enough to to go much beyond those models into stomp box versions. Reverb's not stupendous but it's usable.

    Beats the heck out of hauling my old PR around and there's way more headroom.

    I think the prices on used 60's is also dropping - at least on Ebay. I just put a WTB on CL and someone responded.

  9. Swee_tone

    Swee_tone Tele-Holic

    Mar 23, 2009
    Wow. Sorry to hear.

  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I graduated from the 60 to the 80X, then on to the 80XL.
    I had no complaints with the first two, I just wanted all the bells and whistles.
    I'm a working bar player, and I can't find anything that beats the 80XL.
    I keep looking, too.

  11. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 10, 2003
    White Mountains
    Yeah ole Jakedog's the culprit in my case also. I had been hunting for 6 months or so for a Polytone Minibrute which I knew but even for awful examples that obviously had seen better days opening bids began at $350 which is absurd.

    Anyways I decided that I had to see what all The Buzz was about regarding the Cube 60 and lucked out because someone was offering one on ebay shipped to my door for $219 :eek: yeah... in pristine almost unused condition. (I can hear the kid screaming to his parents "no I wanted a Tube Amp!") :D

    I should also mention at this time that I watched two demos of both the 60 and the 80 and Johnnie DeMarco the demo guy did a good job with both but his demaeanor on the 60 was like: "I've found it!!!"
    You can always tell when someone's really happy to be playing through something and this guy was.

    As for me I just fell in love with "JC Clean" - the first channel, Volume on 4 and Reverb on 2. And that's it.:cool:

  12. Psyclone

    Psyclone Tele-Meister

    Dec 14, 2007
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Deleted my post for being completely and totally pointless.

  13. Twangasaurus

    Twangasaurus Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 26, 2010
    I didn't delete my post but it is pretty pointless.
    brianswindall likes this.

  14. sid9170

    sid9170 TDPRI Member

    Oct 21, 2008
    cleveland oh
    I have had a Cube 60 for about 2 years, and just got a Cube 80XL for the extra features, which are real nice. Used the80XL on our last gig and was pretty happy with it , but thought there was something missing.
    Compared the 2 amps side by side llast night on some clean settngs with strat, and found that the 6 is indeed a more authentic tone, and more responsive to my touch! The 80 has some honky mids that cant be dialed out, and is a bit brittle. Still a good amp, and I dont think I would notice much difference live, but the 60 feels good over most of the EQ range, and I think the 80 is more touchy. Dont know if I'll keep the 80XL or not. I wishRoland would have kept the basic amp the same.

  15. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Zagreb, Croatia
    If you're talking the newer (black) Cube 60, than here are some diferences:

    - The 80's Chorus effect is more lush, like a real Boss pedal.
    - Separate Delay and Reverb on the 80
    - More Amp sims
    - According to a guitar tech, the speaker on the 80 is designed to handle much more high gain volume without burning up.

    On the other hand, to use all the effects and looper on the 80 requires more complicated footswitching. The recomended Boss FS's are really expensive, and run on batteries only.

    The biggest problem with the 80 is that the eq settings work completely differently than on most amps. Instead of starting at noon, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Then, when you change the amp sim, you have to find another sweet spot.
    I owned both and eventually sold 'em, but I would rather opt for the 60, just for the sake of simplicity.

  16. ProToneThinline

    ProToneThinline Tele-Holic

    Jun 27, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Actually, only the delay/looper requires the Roland footswitch. The channel/solo and effects/reverb functions work just fine with a standard dual/TRS footswitch.

  17. Durberville

    Durberville Tele-Meister

    Jun 6, 2011
    Leighton Buzzard
    I have never tried the 60, but I bought an 80xl in march, just as a practice amp to keep the wear off my valve amps, and since then I have not gigged with anything else.

    My other amps are a Laney VC 30 2x12 and a Peavey classic 30, both good amps, but when a/b 'd with the Cube in a gig situation , there just was no comparison.

    For even big gigs i just use the line out straight to the PA and it sounds just as good as Micing it.

    The only downsides for me is the effects are not that great.

  18. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Having tried out both an 80xl and a 40xl I thought that 40xl was the better sounding of the two even with a single 10" vs the 12" in the 80xl. Working with a blues bad recently one of the guitarists used an 80xl in rehearsal and always seemed to struggle finding a tone he liked.

    We did a little breakdown practice to lock in some stuff with just him and me (on bass) and he used my 40xl and found he liked it much better. Maybe that 12" in a closed cab produces just too much low end but for my needs playing Teles the 40xl seemed like a much better match. I'd also agree that the newer models are a little more complex to operate but nothing you can't get used to.

    Overall the Cube 60 may be a better gigging amp than either the 40xl or the 80xl because it's simpler to dial in but it has less features. It just depends on what your after. I've even gigged my 40xl and I find it pretty easy to set up four different settings to use and switch between them easily enough.

    For me it's strong points are the JC Clean, Tweed, and the Dyna Amp setting which is pretty touch sensitive like a tube amp. The only on board effect I use all the time is the reverb. I hesitated to get a 40w over the 80w but after playing them I just felt the 40xl sounded better and the volume difference isn't as great as it might seem.

  19. Durberville

    Durberville Tele-Meister

    Jun 6, 2011
    Leighton Buzzard
    For me the only 3 settings I use are the JC clean , the Tweed, and the Marshall one (at around 12 oclock on the dial).

    I love the Plate reverb, and use the delay quite a bit too.

    I do quite a few duo gigs ,(just Drums and a guitar) and found the extra bass really fills out the bottom end, sounds great through the PA with bass bins.

  20. Diagoras

    Diagoras Tele-Holic

    May 18, 2013
    I have the Cube 60 and the Cube 80X. They are the only amps I ever use.

    I absolutely LOVE these amps. I can get them both dialed in to my tone(s) very easily. As far as I can tell, they are equally excellent (although of course the 80X is slightly louder and has a few extra features).

    I don't know about the newer Cube XL's. They have a different EQ?

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