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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    Think I'm going with the Blues Cube - either the 30 or 60 Watt version (OK, the 60 is the "Stage"). Dirt Road would be a hoot, but without an out to the PA, it may become obsolete and I'd be kicking myself for not starting with the BC. As for "modeling," I have a POD XT that I have used forever, and I can tweak patches on it to get a wide variety of oddball sounds. What I really need is something that does Fender clean, has decent reverb, and takes pedals for boost and dirt.

    Now to which BC. The 30 would be a smidge less weighty - but only by a couple pounds. The 60 would give me mucho headroom - but with an out to the PA, would I actually need that much firepower? For around the house, the 30 would be more than adequate. But beyond that (rehearsals, jams, church), would I be kicking myself for not getting the bigger amp?

    I await your counsel. Help me Obe Wan!
     
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  2. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    See Brett Kingman on YouTube showing
    the Blues Cube 30 Hot.
    AMAZING...

    This Amp IS A JTM45 without question.

    If I don't buy one - then I am a fool.

    IMHO Roland is the new standard.
     
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  3. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Just to be clear: the BC 30 and 60 were the previous analog FET models. The Hot and Stage are the current products and blow the doors off their predecessors.

    Also be aware that headroom in these amps is in the digital model. The power section is there to make it loud, so the amp can be exercised even at bedroom volumes. The stock firmware, being based on the 5F6, runs out of headroom sooner than I'd like, which is why I switched to Ultimate Blues. (Speaking of same, there's one on Reverb at $165. It's been there a couple of weeks.) If you've got the cash for the Stage, splurge. The larger cabinet sounds better IMHO and the separate channel controls, footswitch option and tone capsule socket add a lot of flexibility.
     
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  4. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    Guys:

    Thanks for all your words of wisdom!

    Just found a minty Blues Cube Stage on Reverb for $425 and pulled the trigger. New ones are going for $800. Should arrive Tuesday next. This should come in handy when I get the jam off the ground I'm working with a local club owner to orchestrate. Seller is including a heavy duty canvas cover too!

    That being said, I have a bunch of "store credit" at a local shop that sells Quilters, so I may get a 101 Reverb and build a cab for it. Would be nice backup and highly portable.

    For both of these amps, I may swap out speakers with Eminence Texas Heat or Red White & Blues. Heard great things @ both, and having the right speaker makes a heck of a difference.
     
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  5. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    Typical - hasn't even played the amp yet and is already planning to swap the speaker! :D We're a fickle lot...
     
  6. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    BSMAN:

    This forum should change its name to "GAS Support Group.":p
    When a member acquires a new piece of gear, they open threads.
    All the other members congratulate them and it's like an online birthday party ...
    In this case, there's no point in posting a pic of the amp, everybody knows what they look like.
    However, I am also about to start on a Thinline build that should be a doozy, so when that's done, I'll post a pic of it in front of the amp.
     
  7. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Spend some time with the BC before you start swapping things. The hardware is tuned to be relatively flat, enough so that the IRs in my modeler stay on when run into the effects return of my BCA. I'm pretty sure the firmware takes that into account.
     
  8. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Holic

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    I had a Blues Cube 60, I just hated it. Everything sounded artificial, cold. Only thig I liked about it was the looks of it.
     
  9. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    All the current crop shares with those is the name. Those were a pretty simple FET design.
     
  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Holic

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    Good then, because it was awfull and friggin heavy.
     
  11. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Congrats on the Stage! You may want to look into what the various Tone Capsules can do for you. You might end up stalking Reverb for good buys on them (well, at least I did anyway) :twisted:
     
  12. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    The "Ultimate Blues" one is available used on Reverb @ $165.
    I may get it someday - or maybe a smallish pedal board. I already have a Blues Driver and a Dirty Duo.
    Could you recommend a fuzzbox and maybe a delay pedal? Thanks!
     
  13. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I have all 5 Tone Capsules, and I’d rank the Ultimate Blues dead last. I bought it first because everyone online raved about it. That was a mistake. Buy the Robben Ford TC if you like a Dumble tone or an NY Blues TC if you want to sound like a Vox. In some ways, I like the Sparkle Clean best and it’s the cheapest — go figure.

    Anyway, you have a lot of options for transforming the sound of your amp without changing the speaker. :) For pedal recommendations, you’re better off asking in the “The Stomp Box” section.
     
  14. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the info @ tone capsules - I've seen the hype over the Ultimate Blues, and it's good to know it's not "all that." But when they're going for $150 used and the speakers I'm interested in go for roughly half that, it makes for a tough call.

    I'm thinking do one or the other. Doing both would cost about the same as finding a good used Dirt Road Special (there's one on Reverb for $300). Maybe get a gnarly pawn shop cabinet and put the Texas Heat in it and use it with the (someday) Quilter?

    So many choices. So little money. <sigh>
     
  15. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    That's one person's opinion and most of this boils down to personal preference. Mine is that the stock firmware is dark and lacks headroom, which is fine because it models a 5F6 and that's how a 5F6 behaves. There's been a UBTC plugged into my BCA for almost as long as I've owned it; I prefer it for the amps it models and the extra headroom. For an amp-and-nothing-else setup, I'm fine with it. The NYB looks interesting but there's no need to buy one with a handful of good Vox models in my modeler. The RF and EJ sound decent, but those tones aren't my cup of tea. SC might be fun but I can do something a lot like it outboard.

    $75 gets you a speaker that's still going to have a dank 5F6 model behind it. $150 gets you an entirely-different amp without having to replace anything physical other than the doohickey carrying the new firmware.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  16. BillNeaves

    BillNeaves Tele-Meister

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    I left the gigging tube amp world a couple years ago with the BC Hot... best decision ever. 30 watts are LOUD, and, I typically just mic it for larger gigs... zero complaints and lots of compliments...
     
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