DB-500 by roland.. is it good?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PunkerTrav, Sep 24, 2001.

  1. PunkerTrav

    PunkerTrav Guest

    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    Most of you have alot more experience than I.:( I was considering buy ing this amp.. the Roland DB-500. I was wondering if anyody had any pros and cons to share..

    Any advice is welcome.

    Thank you,
  2. Hugh Jazz

    Hugh Jazz Guest

    Sep 13, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    I've heard a lot of good things about this amp. I haven't had the chance to play it myself, so I couldn't really tell you too much.

    What I have heard is that the tone is great, and it sounds a lot louder than the assigned power/wattage specs.

    The only con I've heard is the price (you could get a decent stack for the price of this "combo").

    Hope this helps.
  3. PunkerTrav

    PunkerTrav Guest

    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    Thanks Hugh, i was kinda skeptical about the price, but I understand (being it's 3 amps in 1 and all).. And yes its true i could get a stack for the price, but then i would have to find a way to transport it. I'm looking quality over quantity. And a stack is out of the question.. Im too young to drive.:(
  4. PunkerTrav

    PunkerTrav Guest

    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA

    I said DB-500

    I meant DB-700

    OOps.. please givve any information on the DB-700, please

  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    It's a lot of money. Do you like it?
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've tried these in my local shop and didn't like them at all - too much noise from the tweeter and overall a metallic quality to the sound. Over-priced and really too heavy and bulky to be portable and not up to the sound of a good head and cab. Falls between two stools for me - doesn't satisfy either requirement very well.

    I mean you wouldn't be able to carry either of these very far and if you are obsessed with portability - then something like the GK 150 combo or a Hartke Kickback would be better.

    The promise was of better sound through digital modelling, but I couldn't get a better sound then a Kickback and as I say the noisy tweeter which couldn't be defeated on the models I tried, made it a non-starter for me.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think combos are a mistake or fallacy for portabilty, expecially if you are looking for quality. I mean there are heads that are very small and very high quality that are rated at 300 watts or more. Match this with a small high quality cab and it is much easier to carry round than a bulky combo.

    So I have an Eden traveler (there are even smaller/lighter 300 watt heads!) which I put in a small rucksack on my back and then match it with a small cab which I can carry in one hand - this is far more portable than any combo except say the GK one I mentioned.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've only used the DB-500 (there's a new DB-900 on the way, too).

    I did like the fact that you could have presets in memory. With two presets plus the "live" setting you can have three sounds on call at all times. This would be very useful if you play Top 40 covers or you use different basses (like fretted/fretless, upright/electric, etc.).

    The compressor and chorus sounded musical. The "tube drive" feature is not going to make SVT owners sell their rigs but does sound OK. You can dial in thick slabs of distortion if you like.

    The overall sound of the 500 I thought was bland. Since I already have some really nice amps (SWR, Epifani, etc.) it was hard for me to be impressed. I'd lay the blame here on the speaker design.

    As with any combo, I would be concerned that it really is powerful nenough for what you need to do, since none of the DB amps allow use of extension cabs (although you could add an external power amp and cabinet).

    I also was not crazy about the "premium" price. I didn't think the sound warranted it.

    Oh yeah, one big gripe: a non detachable power cord AND nothing to wrap the cord around for transport. Worst of both worlds!

    So I give it maybe a 6 out of 10. Your mileage may vary.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I would say that Brian's experience matches my own - but more eloquently put! ;)

    One of the guys in the shops where I tried them agreed with me though that the "memory" thing was really a gimmick that just wasn't worth the extra money. If you can't get a good enough basic sound anyway who cares about changing it that quickly anyway?
  10. I was looking forward to checking it out when I saw one at the local Mars store. I wasn't impressed at all. All I seemed to get out of it was mud, even with the treble all the way up. Not warmth, mud!

    I wouldn't pay $200 for this thing....

    My money on my next combo is going for the Nemesis 210 NC-210P. It's what a combo should be, powerful, light, and good sounding. Of course, lot's of people like their Eden Metros, but I'm not into spending that kind of jack.

    The small head, small cabinet idea is also great. More trips to the stage, perhaps, but less weight per trip. Most likely you're going to have at least 2 trips even with a combo; 1 for your bass(es), and one for your combo. You could do one trip with your bass and head, and one trip for the cab.

  11. I also tried the DB-700 recently.

    Only one thing about this Combo is its very high price (approx. $ 1 500 CANADIAN funds). The sound you get from those Amps is also very "digitalized" and I do not think it will cut through on a stage.

    For $ 1 700 Canadians Funds, I can get a Peavey Firebass head and a 410TVX cab. The choice is evident !!!
  12. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    want something portable?


    5 lbs! 300 watts! $550! and the 10" speaker cab for it is $450, and you can carry it with one hand no problem.

    this is my next amp :)

    edit: holy balls! the extension cab goes down to 30hz!!!

  13. I've heard some pretty mixed reviews on that thing. You could search around TB, and I think BP wrote it up a few months back.

    I'm liking the small head/small cab idea more and more the longer I think about it. A good combo always seems to weigh a TON. Of course, the Nemesis 2x10 is worth checking out.

  14. Is that a Clarus I see? BP had mixed reviews on that amp. They loved that it had 300 watts and weighed something like 5 pounds, and it sounded GREAT with their upright. But they didn't like the sound they got from electrics (everything from an old P-Bass to a new Modulous or something). They just felt this was an amp for upright players and not for electric players (mostly) like us.
  15. this thread is asking about the Roland amp. I'm sure that Punktrav would appreciate our staying on course.


    There, my 2c again.
    (remember when typewriters had a "cent" symbol?)

  16. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI

    yeah, in all honesty, i've only heard it played with an upright. when i get one, it will be because i don't want to lug my rack to teeny jazz gigs, or because i'd be using it with my upright. i just dig the fact that you can put the head in the case with your bass, and then just carry the speaker cabinet.

    do you think using the clarus head with something like an SWR or Eden 2x10 would make it sound better for electric?


  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    There are existing threads on the Acoustic Image Clarus and Contra amps in the DB forums, please move over there.
  18. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I had the chance to play through a DB-500 when they first came out and I was not impressed at all by it. There was nothing special about these amps, and for the same price you can get something better. Like others before me have said, its not really all that portable, the tweeter can't be defeated, you can't use an extension cab, and the sound itself just isn't that good. If I were in your shoes I would stay away from the Roland amps.