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Roland Cube 60 Bass (orange) recapping a good idea?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by fasternak, Dec 5, 2018.


  1. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Just realized that my decades old Cube sounds better (louder & more transparent) than my AI Clarus SL/EA Wizzy 12” rig. The Cube has been in deep storage. And I haven’t plugged it in since I bought it used in the early 90s. Pulled it out to sell recently. And I now I want to gig with it. But I don’t trust it because of it’s age. Wondering what the odds are that recapping will ef-up this cheap but great sounding amp. Also feeling a little weird about investing $200 in a beater (it looks bad) that may be worth less than $200 in value after I get the work done. Anyone have any experience refurbishing this amp? Or care share a little sage wisdom regarding the prudence of restoring this old orange character?
     
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Hard to say, that amp only produces
    60 watts on a sunny day with a light breeze. The rear port is prone to chuffing when you run the amp above 6. I owned one and gigged with it, for about two years. Sounded nice for the time but then I purchased a Gallien Krueger 200 MB. I’d say the caps are probably fine.
     
    fasternak likes this.
  3. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Thanks for the reply, Ric! I’m (upright bass) jazz musician. Don’t need more volume than this for piano trio in small venues. I sold my GK 200 MB and bought the AI Clarus SL/EA Wizzy 12” rig. You may think I’m crazy for saying this, but my Cube 60 Bass sounds better than either. I gather you think the caps are in reliable shape despite being 30+ years old. I need something reliable, though. Think recapping might mess up the transparency I like so much?
     
  4. madbanjoman

    madbanjoman Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    I wouldn’t recap it until it crapped out. Take a backup amp if you are really worried about it. I had an amp crap out at a wedding. Did the rest of the gig acoustically. Pulled like a madman to make sure I was heard. I always take my upright on serious gigs.
     
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  5. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Agreed. Since no caps died on power up (you didn't lose any low end or get a bunch of hum) they'll reform in the first few hours of use.
     
    fasternak likes this.
  6. I’ve got a beige Cube 60, great sound. Enjoy it for what it is. I now play an AER Amp One, louder and more versatile.
     
    fasternak likes this.
  7. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Thanks for the advice! What do you mean by ‘reform in a few hours’, GD?
     
  8. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Let sleeping dogs lie seems to be the common opinion here. But it’s still not exactly clear to me why I should wait until I need to do it. Is it the unnecessary expense or the risk of altering the performance quality of the amp that should give me pause? If it’s the latter, then should I only replace the cap that blows and leave the rest of the originals alone? Apologies for dragging this thread out. But I’d like to leave the backup amp at home. So I’m hoping recapping is not likely to bang it up too badly.
     
  9. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Are you using the AER with an upright and piezo, Doctor?
     
  10. Yep. Not an MBOL sound, but IME it works better than the Cube doubling in a live band that can get loud.
     
    fasternak likes this.
  11. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013

    Not MBOL, thank God! That last thing I need is to get randy for a $1700 amp.
     
  12. Maple

    Maple Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    If caps fail, It’s generally the big electrolytic power caps which would result in hum and maybe popping. Replacing them with new equivalents won’t affect the sound you like.

    The small caps you see in the signal chain are build differently and can generally last for many decades.
     
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  13. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Very helpful and encouraging information here. Thanks, Maple!
     
  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Fasternak,
    Juat as a way of background, I am also primarily a Jazz musician. I've done short stints with Diana Krall, Bobby Shew, and more recently a concert with Howard Levy, Philip Jers, and a few other quys and gals.

    I gigged with the Cube 60 until the 200MB came along, but I always had a Walter Woods in my back pocket when I had to do bigger things. I liked the Cube 60 it's very compact and portable. So if you dig it

    go for it, but I'm pretty sure trying to upgrade or update that amp would be a gesture in futility. First you'd have to find the schematic, which may be possible, then you have
    to find a amp technician who can repare older solid state amps, (not an easy thing,
    depending on where you are located, then the technician has to source the parts, and finally there's the time and cost of doing all these things. Just my take of course. I have an Ampeg B-15N(C) that still works fine and it was manufactured in 1964, so
    "if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Ampeg has appreciated, while our Cube 60's
    have kind of dissapeared of the face of the earth.
     
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  15. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Really appreciate the feedback, Ric! Mind giving me a little more detail as to why you think refurbishing the Cube is a futile endeavor?
     
    Ric Vice likes this.
  16. Maple

    Maple Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I should add - electrolytic caps don’t usually fail from use (they can but it’s not as common). They fail from sitting around without a charge on them. So if you’re using it now and using it regularly, it should be fine.
     
  17. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    It’s been sitting unused in the back of the garage since the early 90s. I bought it used then. And it’s in rough cosmetic condition. And it has a very slight hiss. I thought it was junk until I tested it with the intention of selling it. The transparency shocked me. Now orange is the new black.
     
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Fasternack, Sorry added my reasoning to the post when I edited the entry.

    Roland Cube 60  Bass Amp.
     
  19. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Thanks again, Ric! I’ve got a qualified tech who wants $175 to $200 to do the job. I may be wrong, but I don’t think he needs a schematic to do the job. (Is that the Cube 60 Bass schematic I see in your last msg?) It follows, I’m still leaning toward doing the deed.
     
  20. fasternak

    fasternak

    May 31, 2013
    Thanks to all. I’ve decided to pass on refurbishment and use the old Cube for rehearsal only.
     

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