Review - The LOW-down on the Roland Microcube Bass RX

If you’re a bass player, then you know how much fun it is to lug around a 70 pound combo amp every time you want to jam with a buddy or maybe practice with the band. Face it, there are times you don’t go just so you won’t have to tote the thing.Roland has a solution- the Microcube Bass RX combo amp.

The Microcube Bass RX weighs just 15 pounds and takes up less space than a combo amp with a single 12 inch speaker. The dimensions are 11.75 x 8.5 x 11.5 inches.

The Microcube utilizes four specially built 4 inch speakers to give a full stereo bass sound. I’m not going to tell you this thing will break the windows or rattle the pictures on the wall, but I will say the sound is amazingly loud for it’s diminutive size. You should have no problem using this to jam or practice and it could come in very handy in other situations.

Since the Microcube Bass RX uses both an AC outlet and batteries, you can take this thing anywhere- like the beach, the deck, the park, or a mountain top if you’re really motivated. For batteries, the Microcube Bass RX requires 6 AA alkaline batteries which could last up to 11 hours.

Roland has incorporated eight COSM models including: Octave Bass, Super Flat, Flip Top, B Man, Bass360, Session, Concert 810 and Mic. Along with the eight COSM models, there is an effects knob which allows you to choose between chorus, flanger and T-wah.

While I think the COSM choices give the Microcube Bass RX a lot of choices for sound, the effects leave me a little wanting. You can only choose one effect at a time because they are all on the same knob. A nicer option would have been to give the user a way to blend the effects. There aren’t many bass players who use just one effect pedal at a time.

The Microcube Bass RX also comes with a built in rhythm machine. The rhythm can be set for a variety of styles of music and at any tempo the user desires. Just a few of the choices include: Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz and Funk.

Personally, I love this feature. It allows me to practice WITH a beat and WITHOUT having to use a separate metronome. Since the rhythm option is a drum machine, I also get the advantage of playing to drums rather than a bleep.

The Microcube Bass RX can be hooked up with the BOSS FS-5U or FS-6 footswitch. It also comes with the obligatory headphone jack, input jack and stereo auxiliary in jack.

The bottom line is this. I’m not just a fan of the Microcube Bass RX, I’m an owner as well. In fact, this is my primary practice amp because of its portability and the fact I won’t disturb the neighbors while I’m thumping those bottom notes.
I know, you want to know how much this thing costs. In all honesty, there are cheaper amps on the market. In my opinion there just aren’t any amps of the same size which offer all of the options this one does. I paid for the one I own, so this is not a paid endorsement. It’s not perfect and I’ve noted above but I’ll tell you now it was worth every penny.

As of December 11, 2009, Guitar Center and Musician’s Friend listed the Microcube Bass RX for $249.99 and $249 respectively. Same Day Music listed the Microcube Bass RX for $229. Both Musician’s Friend and Same Day Music offer free shipping on this item.

Mark Berryman
Rock House member and avid bass guitarist

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