Roland has been making the rounds, slowly retooling all of the “Cube” amps in their product line. The standout was the Micro Cube revision a few months back, because to the inverse of most other amp series the smallest cubes seem to be the flagship. At the very least they come in all the fancy colors. I don’t have the sales figures to back this up, but my hunch is that those of us looking for a small, portable amp often gravitate towards the smallest, most porta-probable choice.
For those of you who want your tiny amps just a little less tiny, Roland is showing off the Cube-10GX at NAMM. Confusingly, it has an 8″ speaker, not one that’s 2 inches larger as the name would suggest. The 10GX is also a bit more Spartan in its feature set compared its Micro sibling. You’ll find no built-in tuner or pitch/modulation effects, and as far as I can tell there’s no preset mode, although you can use Roland’s “Cube Kit” app to swap out different amp models. This is par for the course: the larger the amp, the less likely it is to have those built in gizmos that are only of use in bedroom/backstage/camping/orbital space station situations. Still, an 8-in combo amp is firmly rooted in the “practice amp” category, so at the very least it’s a shame the tuner didn’t make its way into the design.
But for what it’s worth, Roland’s Cube amps are in my opinion the best sounding low cost/size/power backpack amps from any of the major manufacturers. So if you’re looking for an amplifier that you could palm in one hand and slam dunk, but you want something a wee stone larger than a Micro Cube, your options are now one larger.