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Roland D-Bass Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rickbass, Jul 30, 2001.


  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Just wondering if anyone has tried out or seen Roland's DB-500 or DB-700 amps up close and personal. A local Roland dealer offered to get one in if I'm serioulsy considering it.
    I remember when they made a great chorus amp for guitar.

    What the onboard effects/Feed Forward Processing/tone/volume are like?
     
  2. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    Hi,

    Actually, I just tried one this afternoon, a DB-700.

    The Amp is very powerful for its very small size.

    I hesitated a long time to finally decide I would not buy that Amp. I found it was very noisy (background noise) and the effects Chorus and Tube Drive (Distortion) were not that great. But, the sound is powerful. I had a discussion about those Amps with a very good soundman, a friend of mine, and warned me about those amps as he said: " They sound great when you try them, but on stage, you lose the sound and the tone you want ". Great Amp if portability is an issue. I will still think about it for a couple of days.

    I also tried the Ampeg BA-210SP. It has some sort of the warm Ampeg tone but not enough power to me. I cranked the Master and the volume both at level 10 and I did not find it was not comparable to another 220 watts amp. The built-in effects are OK if you like Chorus but the others are not to be used based on my humble opinion.
     
  3. I just tried one of the Rolands Sunday. Very powerful for its size and sounded nice. Extremly punchy with the compressor dialed in right and the chorus effect was one of the better bass voiced choruses I've heard...tweaked just right with the highs rolled back I got an almost fretless type of sound. Tried it with a few different basses...all sounded good, ranging from a Fender MIM P bass standard, to an Ibanez SR400, and a Warwick Streamer. I thought it was a nice sounding portable amp but it IMHO a bit overpriced. I also didn't see any ext cab output jacks...a real minus in my book.
     
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I really appreciate it Turlu and JetGlow. Sounds like Roland needs to go back to the drawing board on this one. Too bad it isn't a winner like thepr chorus guitar amp. I guess your comments are reasons I've never seen anyone even use a Roland for bass.....period.

    From what you all say, (and the soundman), the poor throw characteristics of the cab design and the lack of external cab capability are enough to put me off at any price, high or low.

    Maybe they'll show up as closeouts or in discontinued sales soon. It might be good for around the house.
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Rick, they seem to have a heavily "processed" sound, even when set flat (wherever that is;))
     
  6. Yep, they could end up as close outs. Just like their "Blues Cube" guitar amps did. Screaming toneful little amps...but not well thought out enough, everything was cool except no ext spkr out and funky effects loop volume weirdness....the DB Bass amps fall right in line there too. Cool tone, portable power, but not that completely thought out. I did like the chorus a lot though and while they did sound processed it oddly appealed to me...why I don't know.
     
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I know why...because you liked it!!. Go on, admit it. Feel the power.

    :D
    j/k
     
  8. EString

    EString

    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    I really like the DB series. Roland just introduced the DB-900 at NAMM, which has 4 10" and 2 12" speakers!!!
     
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I hope. Doggone Musician's Fiend carries Roland. They sent a postcard to me about an auction they're having in Kansas City for blems, closeouts, orphans, and whatever they don't want to count at inventory time. I bet there will be some deals that would even require Brad Johnson to bring a change of pants.

    Alas, it is on the 4th, a Saturday....I'd have to come straight from a gig after load out :rolleyes:
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've tried a couple of these at my local store and was very disappointed. Most of the things have already been mentioned : "processed" sound, noisy effects etc.

    I also found they were not that portable - too heavy and awkward. I can get a much better sound and volume with my Eden WT300 and an EA VL208 cab and with the head in a rucksack on my back, the setup is more portable/lighter as well.
     
  11. Offbase

    Offbase

    Mar 9, 2000
    I just got one (DB500) in today by mail order (morons sent me an obvious return, but it seems to be "ok", at least at low-moderate volume, which is all my apartment-dwelling status permits me at the moment). Some basic observations. First, I think this amp is slammed a bit too much -- maybe because of the high price and high expectations Roland set themselves up for. On the plus side: very nice, deep bottom end; good, warm overdrive tones (though not "particularly" tube amp-like -- it does have something of a digitized/modeled quality to it) (I'm a sansamp fan, and I think I prefer the Roland's "dirt" to it, at least after fiddling with it for only about 35 minutes); the tube setting seems the best -- very warm, with just a bit of "grind" to it; there are some very usuable tones in the tube & tube drive settings -- I like what I hear. Again, not exactly like playing through a real tube amp, but FOR WHAT IT IS, excellent. For playing anything you want a warm or "dirty" tone for, I think this amp is fine (luckily, that's what I'm after). Finally, I think this would make one GREAT recording amp. I played through cheesy $25 cans after checking it out through the speaker, and it was incredible! Blew away my Bass Pandora, which I though was the ultimate in headphone tone. Big, bold, in your face, and very clear. I'm not a huge effects fan, but the chorus was one of the better I've tried, as well.

    Now, the minuses (yes, there are PLENTY): The amp seems to overemphasize the highs, and you can't defeat the tweeter -- a bit too drastic a tone shift between the lows & highs; the open strings don't sound quite right on any setting -- a tad "twangy", for want of a better word (a "new" --for me -- bass, though, so I'll have to compare later with my Ampeg & see if it isn't the bass); you just can't get a decent sound (to my ears) from the solid state setting -- I just don't like it (too "hi-fi" for my tastes -- no warmth or color at all, and it seems actually somewhat "processed" -- I just can't nail it down, but I don't like it); it's not unreasonably heavy for 160 watts at around 55 pounds, but bulky & difficult to move around -- this one needs side handles! The top-rear controls are difficult to access, and I would think would be very difficult to work around when gigging; as someone previously mentioned, the IDIOTIC power cord problem (flat-out bad basic planning on Roland's part -- even computers have pull-out power cables!).

    I haven't got an two-way foot switch yet, so I haven't checked that out. I can say that I don't like the two presets, but that doesn't say much since you can set your own.

    On the whole, for the money/power and tube-like tone I was after, it was between this and a Hartke 2115, 200 watt, tube preamp combo for me. I've played the Hartke to death in music stores. Not a bad "tube-like" tone, maybe even a bit better than the Roland, but the freaking thing is an immoveable, bulky object without casters, and the two are probably comparable in volume, and cost about the same. Even for a 15" combo, the Hartke is big, heavy and bulky, so much so I couldn't imagine moving it anywhere just to play for a few hours. I think for what it is, the Roland is a pretty good amp. You could go for the new tech21 monitor wedge and a sansamp, but you're limited to 60 watts & a 10" speaker, and that combination is only about $100 cheaper than the Roland -- no thanks! I would say that anyone who's looking at using a bass pod for tube amp "modeling" through a 100-200 watt combo should give this one a look. If you're looking for "clean", solid state tone, ala SWR , you'll hate this. This is definately a love it or hate amp. "So far", I love it, but I haven't really given it a real workout yet, so we'll see. Sorry for all the rambling -- it's late! ;)