Roland Cube 60/80x, T21 TM 30/60, Valvetronix, SCXD

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by evbrad2007, Dec 17, 2009.


  1. evbrad2007

    evbrad2007 Member

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    I'm hoping to learn from those of you who have had an opportunity to compare two or more of these amps. I play at home, never gig, have a few basic pedals so FX are not a must but could be a fun bonus...mostly want folks to weigh in on the relative quality of cleans, hair, OD, high gain tones of these amps respectively. I'm "downsizing" as I don't play enough any longer to justify pricey gear so need to get down to one versatile amp.

    Tech 21 Trademark 60 (or 30)
    Roland Cube 60 or 80x
    Fender Super Champ XD
    Valvetronix -- the lastest 30 to 60 watt version I suppose
     
  2. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a C60 and it is the best sounding SS amp I've ever heard. It smokes any I've had including the Line6FlextoneII/Plus, Fender Ultra Chorus, Princeton Amp(the SS one). The clean is great, and the effects are really nice. Great swiss army knife amp. The OD"s sound pretty good to. I have heard that the C80's loose a little of the nice organic sound of the 60's, but I have a friend who gigs with his C80 about 5 nites a week, and he loves it.
     
  3. sid9170

    sid9170 Member

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    I have a cube 60, and am very impressed. Have used on several gigs (C &W, an Oldies), and it sounded good! I got a ME70, to get access to quick sound changes. The effects on the cube are not versatile. The lowest setting on delay is too much. I want to experiment with the other clean settings (Black Pannel, tweed, Brit), I like the Stack setting for dirty sound. My son(a monster metal player) tried it thru his 4-12 cab, and said it sounds better than his Marshall! I use the line out to the PA, and am happy with it(some folks have panned the line out).

    This is a great value in a very portable solid state amp, that has a fair amount of features. Almost sounds and feels like a good tube amp.
    Dont think you can go far wrong with it.
     
  4. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    another cube 60 fan here. IMO, I prefer it to the others you listed. Although the SCXD is very nice sounding, I prefer the cube overall. The effects are not great. I just look at it like a cheap, light, reliable, decent sounding single channel amp that can be dialed to almost any playing situation.
     
  5. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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    I owned a C60 for several years. Great amp. Gave it to someone who needed an amp but couldn't afford one a few months ago. Bought a VOX VT50. Nice....but I liked the C60 better. Looking for another as we speak.

    I would get the C80 but I keep hearing they do not sound as good.
     
  6. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    My personal opinion is the Roland stuff sux. They shoulda stuck with keyboards and left us guitarists alone. I played a few different cubes for a few hours one day, I dont get the hype at all. I was completely unimpressed......

    Never tried the Tech 21, but I can tell from looking at it it aint gonna be versatile......reports are that it sounds great, though.

    For sheer quality of tone for what it does, the SCXD beats the Vox all to heck. For sheer versatility with at least decent tone, sometimes areally nice tone, nothing beats the Vox.

    If you consider yourself a Fender guy, then get the SCXD. If you want versatility to the hilt from an amp that still has a tube in it and has much nicer fx, get the Vox VT50, replace the speaker, and plug it into an extension cab.
     
  7. evbrad2007

    evbrad2007 Member

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    Thanks for the replies thus far! I had the opportunity today to try the Cube 80x, Vox 30VT and SCXD. First, I have to say that I didn't have a lot of time to spend on each amp and the environment was not the greatest...lots of other folks playing, competing noises; didn't feel comfortable cranking 'em up too much due to the already overwhelming cacophony.

    With that caveat, the strongest impression I was left with was that I was wholly disappointed with the SCXD. Ironically, given that among the three, it is the closest thing to a "real" tube amp, it was the least warm, thinnest and exhibited the starkest lack of that organic tube quality of the the three. Perhaps I missed something in dialing it in but I worked through all of the voices, adjusting the tone stack along the way, and it really never impressed...the FX were the weakest of the three amps as well IMO.

    Some other amps I have owned as a basis of comparison include a Victoria Victoriette, Swart AST, Heritage Victory head, Tiny Terror w/Jule's mod, Goodsell Super 17, 1966 Gretsch 6162, Ceriatone 18 watt head. Of the amps I sampled today, overall the Vox seems to stand out at this point; it seemed to be more consistently satisfying across all models. The Cube 80x has some nifty features that I think I would enjoy and it sounded very good, particularly on JC and blackface and one of the higher gain models(?), the tweed and british models seemed more digital/darkish and lacked clarity. I've heard mixed reviews about the 80x vs. the 60 so may need to check cube 60 out as well....can't find any Tech 21 amps to try anywhere...

    This all based on a pretty scant bit of playing time and experience with the amps so continued input from those who have owned and/or spent more time with these amps is much appreciated and valued. I need to get back in the shops when traffic is lighter and sample them some more. I feel like I really need to give the SCXD another chance based upon many of the raves about the amp, but my first impression was so underwhelming that I must admit my motivation to spend more time on it is very low.

    Another budget amp that has me intrigued is the little Vox AC4TVH...may not be versatile enough but I have a Jenkins 1x12 cab w/a 16ohm English Greenback just waiting for it;)

    Thanks for all the input thus far...much appreciated!:beer
     
  8. Gtrman100

    Gtrman100 Member

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    I have the SCXD and a Cube 60. Both are good amps, but are very different sounding. You need to try the SCXD in a smaller room, the single 10 doesn't move that much air and it will sound thinner than a 12 in a typical guitar shop. Put it in a normal sized room and it has excellent bass for a small amp. It has great Fender cleans, some very organic, usable distortions, and decent effects.

    My Cube 60 is used for jams and as a backup gig amp- light, loud, reliable and can cover many sonic bases really well. Being solid state it doesn't compress like the SCXD, but it's a much louder amp. I've got a 3 button footswitch which allows channel and effect switching so it's gig worthy for a regular club gig.

    So, I probably confused you more, but I'd sum it up by saying:
    1. The SCXD is best for home playing and has a real tube amp feel
    2. The Cube 60 will be more gig worthy, sounds good, and is more versatile for different playing situations.
     
  9. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    Another Cube 60 fan here. I tested out all those SS amps when I was looking for a bedroom amp 2 years ago. Cube 60 clean sounded the best to me. Has a 12" Celestion speaker and a few effects that are ok for an SS amp. I've gigged with it in small venues with a Jazz band. It's ok for that but I wouldn't do a rock or blues gig with any SS amp. I've never heard OD or distortions on any SS amp that didn't sound sterile and fizzy. Probably never will.

    People who criticise them a being overly harsh IMO. They are just cheap SS amps afterall. What do ya want for $350. Cube 60, Cube 80 and JC-120 are as good as you'll get in the SS line IMO. They're built like a brick too :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  10. steve_man

    steve_man Member

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    I've owned a Cube 60 and the Superchamp XD. For the money, the Cube just didn't cut it, IMO. VERY heavy, clean channel was good, but the distortions just sounded too sterile.

    The Superchamp sounded awesome, but I didn't care for the 10" speaker. Never tried the Tech model, but the newest line of the Valvetronix are absolutely stellar. That would be my pick...
     
  11. Pikesoldier

    Pikesoldier Member

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    if they stuck the scxd stock with a 12in speaker they'd never sell a blues jr again.

    that being said, i play it through a 2x12 cab and it has great classic fender tones. stock it ends up sounding more along the lines of what it is.... a 1x10in speakered amp (a little boxy), than what people think it should sound like (a 12in speaker amp). expect the 10in tone and you actually start to dig it pretty well, its just not what alot of guys are used to.

    but as to the choices, i've never played the tech 21, but the other three are solid choices all around, none of them are bad at all and it'll all come down to personal preference. pick one up, rock it hard, and dont think to much about it.
     
  12. sfletch

    sfletch Member

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    Gigged a lot with both a Cube 60 and a Trademark 60.

    They're both really very decent. I preferred the Trademark 60. It was very tube-like in feel, had a decent "sag"-like feel on the clean channel...took pedals well, etc. Ultimately, though it wasn't much lighter than the average 1x12 tube combo...so I went back to tube amps. It's really really a very good amp, though - regardless of tube or SS.

    The Cube is loud and light, but pretty directional (being closed back) - Contrary to many people's opinions, I never thought it took my favorite pedals that well. I felt like when I tried good pedals in front of it, it sounded pretty harsh and digital. I think it might sound good if you used an extra cab and it was open-backed....just a theory. You can find them used for a very good price, so it'd be no harm to try one out and keep it as a backup. I wish I still had one strictly for backup - leave in the car at gig - duties.
     
  13. jzero

    jzero Member

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    I have:
    a VT series' predecessor in the 15watt variety (the ad15vt),
    a SuperChampXD,
    a microcube,
    SS Fender London 185 through a Carvin cab,
    a Peavey Special 130,
    a Peavey Express 112,
    a Vox Pathfinder 10,
    and a Digitech RP250 through a power amp and 2 Toa SL-15s or some AKG headphones.

    AD15VT: good effects but a bit noisey. Great high gain and decent dirt but lacking because of smaller speaker and no tube output section. Wierd but usable eq. Not enough power or speaker for a band setting but ok for home use.

    SuperChampXD: wonderful tube tone. Cool voicing switch which simulates tweed, blackface, plexi, whatever. Great reverbs and other effects, but no control over parameters for effects. (boo) Needs 12" speaker cab to play out.

    Microcube: fantastic practice amp. Great amp models, superb effects, with just enough tweakability. Runs on AA batteries! Sounds very warm despite SS.

    Fender London 185: very good spring verb, nice cleans, LOUD power, very tweakable gain channel but still is better with pedals. Effects loop.

    Peavey Special 130: very good amp, LOUD power, good drive channel, exceptional clean with felxible eq, crappy reverb tank, no other effects. Isn't tube but doesn't sound that way. Great stuff.

    Peavey Express 112: Decent clean, stock speaker doesn't put out enough bass, the transtube circuit adds some nice compression to the output. Boring reverb. Effects loop. Good power. Not inspiring gain channel. A solid backup amp.

    Since you're considering the Cube 60, it sounds like you want near-gigable volume... but for home use. For that application (at my house), I'd go with the modelling box (Digitech RP250) into headphones or the Peavey Special 130.

    Vox Pathfinder 10: Great clean, no effects. Kinda cool but sometimes raspy distortion. Needs a bigger speaker. 15r is probably better.

    Digitech RP250: Nice models, nice reverbs, cool distortions, not so great but servicable eq. Nice Wah pedal. Flexible everything tool. Best sounding box I have with headphones. Sounds pretty great with the power amp and 15" speaker with horn.

    Of the options you mentioned, if effects are important to you, Cube 60 or 80. If a great reverb is enough, SCXD all the way.
     
  14. evbrad2007

    evbrad2007 Member

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    Well, the opinions seem to vary pretty widely; it sounds like I need to give the SCXD another listen. There is such a tremendous disconnect between the kudos it receives and what I heard during my time with it at the shop that I have to think I'm missing something. The Vox VT30 I tried out simply blew the SCXD away at the shop...both have 10 inch speakers so can't explain it away as a speaker size difference. I plan to spend some more time with each of these amps. The danger is that the more time I spend looking around, the more tempted I become to increase my budget and get back into something I have no business having:facepalm. Many thanks for the experience-based input thus far!
     
  15. AXEL276

    AXEL276 Member

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    I use a Trademark 60. Contrary to what someone has said they are very versatile amps. The cleans are very good and you can dial in OD on the clean chann if you want to thicken up or just stay ultra clean. The OD chann does everything, classic rock, blues, scooped, metal. The amp also has a boost which I use all the time for solo's (I gig with it all the time). It takes pedals well. I use a rack effects processor in the loop. I also own a Marshall JCM2000 DSL. The TM60 does the tube emulation very well. The XLR out also works great for recording and live thru the PA.

    This is an extremely versatile amp and it covers a lot of ground.
    FYI, the TM30 is an acoustic amp, more of a full range speaker thing.
     
  16. jzero

    jzero Member

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    Getting greate tone on the SXCD is easy. Try voice 2,3 or 8 with the Gain on zero and Volume 2 at 6 or more. Increase the gain till you get the amount of dirt you want. Cranking the Volume and low-gain is the way to get the power tubes cookin'... Nice creamy tube goodness thay way. Oh yeah, and put the FX on the reverb at the 11 oclock position. If you still like the Vox better, get it. They have nice higher gain tones and more flexible FX too.
     
  17. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    I think getting good tone from the SCXD will have more to do with which guitar you pull off the wall to test it with. Fenders seem to me like they respond well only to certain kinds of guitar setups. Dont pull a Gibson with humbuckers off the wall to test a Fender amp. Get the most expensive Tele they have. Or better yet, bring your own guitar, that's the only way you'll know for sure if you will be happy with it a month after you buy it. Plug it into a cab, that little 10 inch pos speaker in there is, well, a pos. It is hard to dial in, but there are a few really great sounds in that amp, IF you can find them.

    The thing I liked about the Vox VT50 and the AD50 was the power soak and the extension cab jack. If you pamper it and put a nice speaker in it it will be a ton of fun. But some speakers sound like crap in that amp, while there are a few that will really make it sing. Dont put an alnico in it...... I ran mine with the master on full at all times, with as little pre gain as necessary to get the desired sound. This cleans it up a lot, and lets you dial in cool sounds in a few seconds or a couple minutes, not hours and hours like other amps. Being able to save several of your own presets is worth somethin..
     
  18. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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    Here, I just now did this quick clip of my VT50. This was thru my Avatar 2X12 at tv volume. Lot's of different tones avail. I could not get the Fender amp you are speaking of to sound good at all at GC. The VOX gets very thick and mean.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZGqHWFeSW8
     
  19. sfletch

    sfletch Member

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    Nahh...the TM30 is an electric guitar amp with a single 10". Cool amp. I think their acoustic line is called the "bronzewood".
     
  20. evbrad2007

    evbrad2007 Member

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    Thanks for the clip! Sounds pretty tough, even w/a camera mic and using my cheap little earbuds. Interesting that you had the same experience with the SCXD that I did.

    I recognize that clip comparisons introduce a lot of extrameous variables but if anyone has clips of the SCXD through a 2x12 cab, I would be interested in hearing them.

    Thanks!
     

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