The latest addition to Roland's acclaimed CUBE range is an iOS-embracing practice amp in disguise, dubbed the CUBE Lite.
Small enough to stick away on a shelf when you aren't using it, the CUBE Lite looks pretty stylish and is available in black, red or oh-so-modern white to suit your surroundings.
The business end puts out 10 watts through a basic stereo-plus-subwoofer setup that produces an ample amount of volume without disturbing the neighbours. If you prefer silent, though, plugging in a set of headphones will mute the speaker output.
For your guitar, you get three COSM amp models, the first being an emulation of a clean Roland JC model, then increasing amounts of distortion with the Crunch and Extreme models. As well as an output volume knob, there is control over the amp's drive, bass and treble plus effects - you can have a variable amount of either chorus or reverb.
The variable drive control can add a bit of grit to the JC sound and steadily increase the distortion on both of the other already overdriven models, so you get a range of sounds to cover all scenarios - from clean chording through raunchy chord work, and edgy lead tones to fat saturated lead with plenty of sustain and metal riffing.
To our ears, the sounds worked best with a touch of reverb, especially to sit your sound in with the other instruments when playing along with other music. To do just that, there's an aux input with an independent volume knob for plugging in the likes of an mp3 player or phone. This is also the i-CUBE link connection to an iOS device, which allows two-way communication (playback and recording) with the aforementioned CUBE JAM app via the supplied cable.
Playing back recorded music usually needs a different amp/ speaker system than you'd use for electric guitar sounds, but Roland's CUBE Lite happily takes care of both. No, it won't replace your big, 'proper' amp in the rehearsal room; what it will do is provide a useful, good looking system that's tailor-made for practice and home playing. At this price, who wouldn't want that?45 Stars
For more information visit the official Roland website.