Blues Cube blues

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by markal, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. markal

    markal Tele-Afflicted

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    Some may recall that my Roland Blues Cube Artist died a couple months ago. Ended up being the power supply. I guess that was a common problem in the early runs of this amp. Had it repaired, and for the last few weeks it has worked flawlessly and sounded great (maybe even better than before, perhaps the failing power supply was diminishing the tone).

    Last night it started acting up again. The volume spontaneously varied and then at one point the sound just disappeared. The power was still there (LEDs on etc.) but no sound. This morning I got sound but the volume is definitely lower than normal. Gonna be a roller coaster!

    I don’t think I’ll take it in yet given the problem is probably intermittent, but we’ll see. I’m not currently playing out at all so it’s not a huge problem for me.

    Thankfully, I have two other amps, but, man, I really love the Blues Cube.
     
  2. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Uh oh. I’ll count the minutes until someone invokes the “t” word...
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
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  3. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    At least you've got a song out of it! Verse part should go to the rhythm of Heartbreak Hotel.


    Well last night I was playin'
    on my favorite solid state amp
    turned that Roland product up real loud
    But it wasn't no louder than a lamp! (?)

    I got the blues cube blues....
    I got them blues cube blues
    Lord I got em I got the blues cube blues

    They say it's a well known issue
    A faulty power supply
    Those tube amp using boys
    Oh they tease me on TDPRI
    Etc!
     
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  4. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Ugh. Doesn't sound giggable. Question- were you the original owner? (I'm wondering if anything odd happened to it you didn't know about.)
    My band is back to doing outdoor gigs, still going well with the BCA I had bought used. I have a used BCS I use for practices, too. Really like these amps.
     
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  5. markal

    markal Tele-Afflicted

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    Ha! I love it!
     
  6. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Friend of Leo's

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    You may eventually have to buy a newer model. Those don't seem as serviceable as old Peaveys (or as valued as a JC in terms of not scrapping). Just something to see looming on the horizon.

    Or, wait for it......

    Look into a (insert pedal platform tube amp here).

    The BC line isn't as disposably priced as the cheaper katanas, but modern amps can be a pain to service, tube or SS.
     
  7. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Afflicted

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    Definitely the amp and not something going on with pedals/cables etc?
     
  8. markal

    markal Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m pretty sure, yeah. I tested various amp, cable and board combinations. Seems to be the amp.
     
  9. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Hmmm...this sounds discouraging for me too. I own a used Blues Cube Artist too, but got it at bargain price, and it was pristine, used at home only. So far so good, but this is slightly disconcerting. Do you use any of those pesky Tone Capsules with it?
     
  10. wblynch

    wblynch Tele-Meister

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    might just be a volume pot
     
  11. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    A general question about the Blues Cube amps: How good are they really? I have considered getting one.
     
  12. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    Sorry to hear about your troubles with the Blues Cube. I've owned my current Blues Cube Artist (with the NY Blues Tone Capsule) for several years and it's been a flawless performer, both at gigs and at home. I'm wondering if your original power supply issue damaged something else in the system. Or perhaps the original fix was not complete. Unfortunately, I don't think there are service manuals for the newer Blues Cubes, so it would be a challenge to diagnose the problem without a schematic. I would definitely contact Roland and explain your situation and see what they say. At least ask for a schematic.

    On a related note, I own a fully working 90s era Blues Cube BC-60. I bought it used and it's not failed on me either. Also, I saw a parted-out, malfunctioning BC-60 chassis on eBay and purchased it with the intention of fixing it. Fortunately, the service manual/schematic is available online for the old BC-60. I recently got around to checking it out and after some probing with my DVM discovered that one of the driver transistors in the power amp was shorted. Ordered a replacement on eBay and it's now working like new! I'm thinking about making it into a head so it can be paired with any 8 ohm cabinet.
     
  13. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Bummer to hear. I've had my BCA for a few years and still loving it. Hopefully your issue can be resolved so you can get back to you enjoying it.
     
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  14. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    Opinions will vary. I had the BC stage which I probably used for 6 gigs over the course of a year and change. I thought it sounded pretty good and pretty tube-like, but some of the features like the dual-channel blend are just poorly implemented. It was pretty portable and feels and looks like a nice quality piece of gear. Ultimately though I went to a much more expensive tube amp (with a different tonal starting point) and i prefer my sound now (but it did cost triple the price).
    At $400 or so used, it will give you a nice tweed bassman-ish tone in a 112 combo that has plenty of volume for regular gigs. if you are looking for roughly that sound in a one hand carry form factor, I think they are worth considering, but there are lots of 112 combos to choose from.
     
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  15. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    FWIW, I have a used Blues Cube Artist I've used in about 75 gigs with my classic rock band. People, including other guitarists, come up to me every show or two and ask what the amp is and how it sounds so good. They can't believe it's solid state.

    I run it at the next-to highest setting, 45W, with the master on about three-and-a-half, angled on a stand, and mic'd with a Senheiser 906 to the PA. That's loud enough to fill in 'my space' with a little more through a floor monitor in front. I play an HSS Strat with DiMarzio Area neck and middle, and AT-1 humbucker in the bridge. No other distortion or gain pedals. With the footswitch and channels, it gives four levels of volume and increasing gain from clean to pretty hard driven tones. We play a lot of things like Santana, Allman Bros, Steely Dan, Tom Petty - so a pretty wide variety of tones for rhythm to lead. Not metal or super hard rock stuff, but it would do fine for Zeppelin. YMMV

    Edit - I have a BC Stage, as well, and agree with @tfarny that the channel switching options are more limited with it. For example, the Artist has the per channel boost settings available on the foot switch. That's not the case with the Stage. It's a smaller cabinet, less headroom overall, but a nice sound in its own way. I use it for practice mainly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  16. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Bummer. My money would still be on the power supply.
     
  17. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it's as good as an average tube amp such as an HRD, and more versatile. Mine replaced a modified YCV40 as my gig amp. I recently tried a couple of tone capsules, and the Ultimate Blues improved it. Now, both channels are distinct and usable.

    There are some aspects that could be better realised - the DI isn't great, the tremolo and reverb are distinctly average and FX loop on input/output should be reversed - but generally, it's good, and it's my most used amp.
     
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  18. Muku

    Muku Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  19. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey man, you're not allowed to hawk stuff in forums. PMs only.
    Probably best to delete. They ban for stuff like that.
     
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  20. markal

    markal Tele-Afflicted

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    Minor update. So the volume issue seems to be isolated to the “low” input, which I’ve been using lately. There is a pronounced volume jump with any pedal (including a reverb pedal) that doesn’t affect the volume when I’m plugged into the “high” input. I don’t think that happened in the past but I almost always used the high input until recently.

    Other than that it’s been fine the last few nights. But I have no explanation for it losing sound.
     
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