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 Roland Micro Cube Bass Amp
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Mark
Ha`aha`a

USA
1628 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2008 :  2:03:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mark's Homepage
On a quick trip to Kailua-Kona a couple of weeks ago KonaBob & I checked out the new Roland Micro Cube Bass amp. We were both plenty impressed with how it sounded with the various in-store basses we tried. In fact, I liked it so much I bought one when I got home.

It runs on 6 AA batteries - if it is anything like the MicroCube Guitar amp it'll run for a long time -- plus AC. It's got 4 itty bity speakers, but puts out a surprising amount of bottom end and it is plenty loud enough for out door jams. It also has the usual excellent Roland amp modeling + effects. Hey, it even has a tuner & a bunch of cheezy drum patterns w/ tap tempo; very cool for causing a ruckus at your next kanikapila...

I've tried it with my Asbory, which has a piezo P/U, my vintage Framus and a nice Mexican Fender JP.

If you are looking for a relatively small, portable amp that actually lets your instrument sound like a bass, check it out.

BTW: It also sounds surprisingly decent as a guitar amp, too.


Darin
Lokahi

USA
294 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2008 :  5:15:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Darin's Homepage
Mark,

As always, thanks for the recommendation. Sounds quite useful.

Darin
http://www.hawaiiguitar.com/
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Trev
Lokahi

United Kingdom
265 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  01:16:22 AM  Show Profile
My good friend plays with a subwoofer intended to be for a computer. It's small, but it does sound really good for a bass.

However, it doesn't run off batteries, and guitars don't really work with it. The convenience might make this worth a look. I'll definitely check this one out. Thanks Mark! (I hope things are calming down for you a bit as well!)
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Retro
Ahonui

USA
2368 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  07:05:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage
Looks like something I'd be interested in, but I can't find the answer to a key question anywhere: how much does it weigh?
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Mark
Ha`aha`a

USA
1628 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  08:13:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mark's Homepage
Retro, et al -

I'll have mine at Folklife, so you are welcome to try it out.

quote:
how much does it weigh?


A heckuva a lot less than my late 60's/early 70's rig. Which consisted of some weird old modified tube head and a huge 18" Gauss speaker mounted in a custom made folded horn cabinet constructed out of 3/4 inch particle board.

(Built by Tycho Brae Sound, if memory serves-- which it probably doesn't, considering the date...anybody out there remember who did the concert audio at the Long Beach Fox?)

Maybe weighed 150, 200 lbs, ez. So much fun to load in & out of second floor clubs...

It did feature a tie-dye speaker grill....

Edited by - Mark on 05/21/2008 08:15:51 AM
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cpatch
Ahonui

USA
2187 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  12:40:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit cpatch's Homepage  Send cpatch an AOL message
How did Bob like it compared to what he's been using?

Craig
My goal is to be able to play as well as people think I can.
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  1:44:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
Bob is going to take his 3 string Walkingbass down to the store sometime in the next day or two, and try it out! I would love to have one for travel.
I love the sound I get from my Yamaha subwoofer, but it is not air travel friendly by any means...

Craig, I haven't heard from you for a long time. Have you mastered slack key bass? Will you be at Ceritos this year? I have my airline tickets already!
Aloha,
-Konabob

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass
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Tommy
Akahai

USA
72 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  4:42:11 PM  Show Profile
KB-I'm looking forward to hearing your review with a walkingbass. I'm looking for something travel friendly to bring with me to AMC next month! Tommy
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  8:49:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
I took my bass down to the music store, and tried out the Micro Cube Bass RX Amp. I really hoped it would work out but with my piezo pickup. But it was just "ok". I also tried out the Ibanez SW20 Soundwave Bass Combo Amplifier which was priced at $125. It sounded really good, and was a sturdy little box that would travel well.

Aloha,
-Konabob

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass

Edited by - Konabob on 05/22/2008 1:44:12 PM
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ArtSap
Lokahi

USA
267 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2008 :  09:12:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit ArtSap's Homepage  Send ArtSap a Yahoo! Message
I've been meaning to go down to the local Guitar Center and see if they have one so that I can try it out but haven't had a chance yet. I'm interested in hearing how both a 5-string electric and 5-string acoustic-electric sound playing through it. If and when I ever get the opportunity, I'll let you know...

Art
SF Bay Area, CA / Mililani, HI
"The real music comes from within you - not from the instrument"
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Retro
Ahonui

USA
2368 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2008 :  09:58:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage
Sorta. Mark brought it out when we were jamming yesterday, but I didn't get to hear much of it. I did get to see what it weighs, however - about the same as my little 10-watt-er. I liked what I heard of Mark playing through it - though I admit I was more distracted by the bass he was playing, a tiny portable model I'd not seen before - I believe it was a Gibson, but I don't know the model.
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noeau
Ha`aha`a

USA
1105 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2008 :  5:35:48 PM  Show Profile
The bass was the famous Konabob bass. Pretty cool huh?

No'eau, eia au he mea pa'ani wale nō.
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Retro
Ahonui

USA
2368 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2008 :  6:34:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage
Maggie did bring the WalkingStick bass (& another Micro Cube amp), but Mark had (at the Saturday afternoon kani near Key Arena) the little one that guavasunrise originally posted a picture of here (but he took the post away, it seems; bring 'em back, brah).
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Retro
Ahonui

USA
2368 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2008 :  7:55:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage
Well, while I got to hear 'em, see 'em & lift 'em - I nevah play 'em. But I'll probably get that amp sometime soon, as the sound was much more "natural" than my oddah leetle one. Maybe Mark & Maggie can chime in soon (after they recover from their Folklife roadtrips).
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Mark
Ha`aha`a

USA
1628 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2008 :  10:15:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mark's Homepage
OK, after using the Microcube a bunch, here's what I think--

It's the best battery bass amp I have heard. Plenty of tonal variation, plenty of volume for most situations (I haven't tried it with a rock band, though...), long battery life, lightweight. The FX are quite decent. The drum machine is there if you like that sort of thing.

A lot of the sound of the amp come from the Roland amp modeling. So you have to get used to which amp model sounds best with your bass, as well as the playing situation. F'rinstance, I'd generally choose "Flip Top" which is based on my beloved but long gone Ampex B-15. But outside I chose another amp model cuz it had more punch. Once I chose the model, then I'd dial in the EQ.

Only down side: the 1/4" out is also the headphone out-- plug in and it mutes the speakers. That means you cannot use it as an onstage monitor while taking a direct out to the board. I plan to get out the soldering iron and fix that...

I used it with my Asbory at a Charanga gig the night before the festival and it sounded full and plenty loud enough (remember, this is a band with bagpipes...)

Ditto at Folklife, where Charanga did some busking* outside. I had all the volume I needed.

I also played a wild session with Kory (Thumbstruck) & his friend Carl on button box, plus Joe Vinkow & Julie Sakahara on gypsy & archtop guitars, Gregg (Retro) on `ukulele & an unidentified dobro player and five-string fiddler. (That's what I like about folklife). I'll leave it to you to figure out what kind of music we were playing.

I have also used it for jam sessions with my Fender bass and a borrowed Ibenez (?) and it cooked.

I heard Maggie's Kona Walking Stick though one and it sounded OK but not as deep as any other bass-- I think a little pre-amp/EQ pedal might have helped. Or maybe some creative tone shaping and modeling.

Sounds like Bob was underwhelmed, too. I think that's a factor of the pickup and stings on the Walking Stick, not the Microcube. So, if you have one of Bob's basses, test the Roland before you buy one.

RE: The Asbory. Mine's by Guild, so it is one of the older ones. Every bass player should own one. They sound great, weigh nothing, and are EZ to haul around. Strings are still available.

One caveat: With the fretless fingerboard and short scale, you have to pay attention. If I drift off and let my fingers go where they would on my Fender bass, the band leader shoots me the hairly eyeball.

*busking Performing on the street in exchange for whatever money the audience wishes to give. Not to be confused with panhandling.



Edited by - Mark on 05/27/2008 10:19:25 AM
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2008 :  3:25:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
Hi Mark,
Yes, the sound was "ok", but compared to my subwoofer, I just had to turn it down. With electric coil pickups, it sounds just fine.
By the way, if you find out how to do a line out and also use the amp as a stage monitor, let me know! Roland should have thought of
that when they designed the Micro Cube. The effects are great. I would love to feed the output to the house and still hear what I was
playing.

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass
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