It is definitely cumbersome carrying a big guitar amplifier every time you go places for performance or whatever might be the reason. We do not always need the high power output amplifiers like Marshall that can rock your bedroom and create cracks in the wall. Just a few watts of power is more than enough for bedroom playing or the likes. Most good quality guitar amps are rated at high power while it can be quite hard to get a decent, feature-filled amplifier that can output a maximum of 10W. Fortunately, Roland Cube Lite is one such low power amplifier and has ton of amazing features. Bedroom players do not have to compromise on the sound quality any more. I’ve also written about another similar model in the Roland Micro Cube GX review.
The Roland Cube Lite comes in a tiny package that can sit on your desktop. The whole thing only weighs 1.7kg which is quite light in weight and easy to carry. The build construction is made from good quality hard plastic. The speakers are covered with a nice fabric that should stay there for years without any significant damage. There are a bunch of controls to control the channels and the usual audio settings that are common on guitar amps. There are separate volume controls for the aux port and the guitar input which will be quite handy when we look at the workings of the iOS app. You can plug in your guitar through the 1/4 inch jack and there is a provision for connecting an auxiliary stereo jack for monitoring purposes. The amplifier is powered up through the usual DC adapter.
The Cube Lite is available in multiple colours such as Black, white, red,
Even though the amp is not an expensive one, it can still do the job exceedingly well. After all, it has been made by Roland. Along with the audio performance, we are also going to have a look into the accompanying iOS app that goes along with this amp.
First, the clean channel.
Just as one might expect to hear, the clean channel is absolutely “clean”. Rotate the reverb knob on the top and you have some cool effects. The sound on the clean channel is warm and covers the whole audible frequency range. The clean channel gives us an idea about the quality of the components used to construct this amplifier.
The crunch channel adds distortion which is mild in nature. The crunch is a mix of smooth and the rough sounds although it inclines more towards the clean side. There is a considerable level of warmth to the sound that brings life to your music.
As most of you should know, the extreme channel brings in all the distortion possible. The sounds are quite rough and do not sound muddy at all no matter how fast you are playing. This fact is quite important because a lot of cheap amplifiers of this size fail at this test.
The reverb, bass and treble should allow you to adjust the obvious parameters to get your sounds right. There is also the “drive” knob that allows you to adjust the gain of the amplifiers and hence, control the level of distortion. Even though the amplifier is small, Roland has provided all the manual controls that are usually available on the larger amps.
Roland Cube Lite comes with a nice little iOS app that is appreciated by most users. With this you can connect your iDevice to the Cube lite and record your music. In addition to that, you can connect your iDevice through the i-Cube Link and play music track on the amp. This is useful while practising your guitar skills for your favourite music tracks.
Another great feature of the Cube Lite app is, you can slow down the music track without distorting the tone so that you can practise playing your guitar at your own pace.
The ability to control aux input volume and the guitar input volume is useful to keep the external music volume in check so that it does not override your guitar tunes.
You can also cancel solos in the music track so that you can record your own. This is a cool feature and should help the learners evaluate their own performance. I wish there was Bluetooth connectivity between the two devices which would have eliminated the need for extra cable.
Such an amazing guitar amp is hard to come by. Most small, low power guitar amps compromise on quality of sound because the target consumer is a novice guitarist. Cube Lite is a great product for a professional as well as a Novice alike. There is no compromise in sound quality and it comes at a great price, although it is slightly on the higher side.
it’s a good little practice amp.If you are a beginner and you want a good amp to practice on I would recommend this ampUnless you are familiar with current Amp technology and terms, this product has a learning curve.Great at lower volume , but plenty loud when you feel like crank’n it.
Rated Power Output: 10 W (Stereo speakers 3 W x 2 + Subwoofer 4 W)
Nominal Input Level (1 kHz): INPUT: -10 dBu
i-CUBE LINK/STEREO AUX IN: -10 dBu
Speakers: 7.5 cm (3 inches) x 3
Amp Types: JC CLEAN, CRUNCH, EXTREME
Controls: POWER switch, Amp Type switch, DRIVE knob, VOLUME knob, BASS knob, TREBLE knob, CHORUS/REVERB knob Control, (i-CUBE LINK/STEREO AUX IN) VOLUME knob
Indicator: Amp Type
Connectors: INPUT jack: 1/4-inch phone type, i-CUBE LINK/STEREO AUX IN jack: 4-pole miniature phone type
PHONES jack: Stereo miniature phone type, DC IN jack
Power Supply: AC adaptor (DC 5.7 V)
Current Draw: 1000 mA
Accessories: Owner’s Manual, AC adaptor, Mini cable (4 poles)