Blues Cube Hot vs. Dirt Road Special ... decisions decisions!

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Happy Enchilada, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    I am wanting a new amp. It's down to a choice between the EHX Dirt Road Special reissue and the Roland Blues Cube Hot. Here are my parameters:

    SOLID STATE to endure the rigors of being schlepped around to jams and rehearsals and worship services. I have a nice Blues Jr. with cowboy tolex and a Cannabis Rex that does the tube thing, but I need something that won't break and delivers more power.

    LIGHT WEIGHT so my 63-year-old bad back can hump it. Blues Cube weighs 27.8 and Dirt Road 29, so it's a wash here.

    LINE OUT so I can go direct to a PA and avoid being at the mercy of the sound guy's skill in setting up a mic. Blues Cube has one, Dirt Road doesn't.

    POWER enough to cut through if I have a break or solo. Blues Cube is rated @ 30 W, Dirt Road @ 40, so Dirt Road has an edge here.

    SIMPLICITY Dirt Road is single channel with choice of 4 reverbs you can select via included footswitch. Blues Cube ad copy says it "offers a choice of two channels," but all I see is a single input jack, so if anyone has experience with this, please enlighten me here.

    LOW AND HIGH POWER Blues Cube has a power selector switch (built-in attenuator?) that goes from half a Watt to "Max" of 30 W. Dirt Road has a single "volume" knob.

    CUSTOMER SERVICE no clue here, although I've heard EHX is great. Since both are SS amps, chances are if they work for 30 days, they should outlive me.

    PRICE there's around $100 difference here, with Dirt Road being less expensive. So that's not really a dealbreaker - we pay that much for a pedal, right?

    ... and last but not least ...

    SOUND it would be great to be able to do a side-by-side, but our local GC doesn't have either of these in and so I'll have to rely on you guys to tell me how satisfied you are with both or either.

    Really looking forward to your words of wisdom here fellas. Thanks!
     
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  2. davidchagrin

    davidchagrin Tele-Afflicted

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    If it were my choice, I'd likely go with the Roland BC. It's a great tweed sound with reverb. Roland makes high quality products that are very reliable. EHX is not known for reliability. I think the blues cube has better aesthetics as well.
     
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  3. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Throwing a curveball. Used Blues Cube Stage. Everything the Hot has plus more, especially attenuation. I tried it in April for 2 weeks, I was absolutely blown away. Returned it because, well, it was simply too much amp for me (I already had 2 other amps but nowhere near the versatality of the BC Stage). If you want authentic tweed tones, man, the Stage is your dream amp. If you can find a used Stage for $500 I would jump and yell and grab it.
     
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  4. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a BCH that I’ll work a deal with ya. It’s beyond mint condition since I’ve only played thru it a few hours here at home.

    I just have to have nothing but clean clean super clean
     
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  5. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    Dunno if Quilter is on the radar so to speak, but the Aviator Cub $650 (50W, 3 Fender emulations, 27lbs, etc) OR the new Superblock US pedal-sized head ($275; 25W, 3 emulations, onboard reverb) + a cabinet/speaker of your choosing.. might compare well with the ones being considered.
     
  6. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    As a huge fan of Boss pedals ( mine all over 20+ years), and Roland Cube amps- their sound, reliability, hold their value- great tools...Blues Cube is IMO, a no brainer!
    * plus folks seem to love them!
     
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  7. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    Burtf51 - thanks for the offer. Let's talk elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
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  8. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    Have you played the Aviator or the other Quilters?
    And what do you think?
     
  9. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, no love here yet for the Dirt Road. I've heard Roland amps are bulletproof, never owned one.
     
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  10. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I think @StevesBoogie idea of a used Blues Cube Stage is great. I own a Blues Cube Artist. Both it and the Stage can accept Roland Tone Capsules, so you can have your amp emulate other brands/models (Vox, Dumble, JTM45 and more). It’s a nice feature to have.
     
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  11. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    Checked Reverb, found a couple around $500 (but spendy shipping). BCH goes for $500 new. Hmmm ... Thanks for the info!
     
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  12. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm not putting down other choices ( I'm good for amps, but those Quilters sound like something I'd love), just commenting on a good track record with Roland amps.

    Have 3-4 other guitar buddies that all use small new and old Roland amps for gigs, busking, or practice.
     
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  13. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    Since you posted this, I'm in negotiations with a guy on Reverb with a used Stage 60W. I'd rather have "too much amp" than not enough in a full band situation. You can always turn down. Thanks for the help on this big decision!
     
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  14. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I bet it's the one I have on my watch list. Oh well...
     
  15. Dostradamas

    Dostradamas Tele-Meister

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    Looked at both and ended up with Trademark 30
    I would at least check the used market in your area.
    Very happy with this 14 # combo
     
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  16. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Afflicted

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    A year later, I'm still thrilled with my Trademark 10. There's very little that amp can't do a convincing imitation of.

    I've had my eye out for a BCH for over a year. Two years ago, they showed up frequently on the local used market at attractive prices, and GC was blowing out their Boss Drive Specials for $350. Now they rarely show up for sale locally at all, and when they do, sellers are asking practically new prices. Even Reverb seldom has very many of them. I'm not sure what's going on, other than that people who have them must be very happy with them.

    In other words, I doubt you can go wrong with a BCH unless you just don't want that tweed sound.
     
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  17. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    The Stage is a good choice in terms of bang for the buck because you can grow into it. Tone capsules pop up on Reverb every so often at decent prices if you want something less Bassman. I have the Ultimate Blues in my Artist and prefer that.
     
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  18. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I’ve had a Blues Cube Stage for a few years now. Excellent amp and tone. Lighter than a Fender PR.
     
  19. pinchegil

    pinchegil Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Boss Katana 50W 25lbs, on board emulations sub $250 Katanna 100 32.5 lbs sub $350, you can get a used 50 for $150 on cl
     
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  20. Martinp

    Martinp Tele-Afflicted

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    I had an original "Dirt Road Special" for like Thirty years, I sold it recently (it worked great) it was loud and had great distortion sounds. a fun amp "to have"
     
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