on 12 March 2012
I bought this amp online after trying one in a music store that had no new ones in stock! I have had it now for 6 months and I play it every day. I use it mainly on the clean channel that is, as Roland advertise, as good as the JC120 - a very popular amp for jazz guitar players. It is, of course, solid state and is absolutely silent with nothing plugged in.
The amp modelling is based on Roland / Boss effects / COSM modelling and is superb. A wide range is available from mellow Mesa Boogie type gentle overdrive to metal thrash / ear bleeding stacks. The built in reverb is, in my opinion, quite a natural sound. I don't use the other effects although they are based on the very high quality of the Boss range. However, I have thoroughly checked them out, as has my son (who is more into rock / metal) and they are as you would expect from Boss / Roland. I have been playing valve (tube) amps for many years and I am perfectly happy with this solid state model. With Boss pedals and software, all the sounds of many famous and popular amps are available without the fragility and microphony (and burnout) problems of vacuum valves (tubes).
The really great thing about this amp is the sound quality and volume. The single speaker pushes a lot of air and makes a very full sound that belies the compactness of the design. The wood work is very solidly built and allows the 80 watts to push serious dBs out. I have no doubt that full volume would drown out even the most gymnastic acoustic drummers. It certainly makes the whole of our house vibrate!
One point to look out for. The speaker took a while to 'run in'. The tone and volume seemed to improve slowly over the first couple of weeks of playing. So, if you buy one, be patient and you will be rewarded.
Finally, and unusually for Roland, the price of this amp is (IMHO) cheap and an absolute bargain.
on 1 November 2012
I bought the amp on the basis of already using the 30amp version for practice for about a year. When the 80XL came out I needed a fairly compact amp to get in a suitcase to take overseas, and with a view to gigging with the band and mic up as required. The reviews were generally very good overall.
The difference i noticed was the 30 amp version uses the standard 1/4 guitar fitting for the Aux for running backings etc from my Line 6 looper, but the 80XL has a miniture fitting and I had to purchase the respective cables, albeit a much smaller cable size with high inputs was in my opionion a potential issue. (yes I was considering modifiying the fitting to 1/4 standard). The looper and foot switching combinations with various settings needs real thought and is very easy to mess up without a good deal of practice.
When used, I got significant interference when plugged in with the aux equipment on standby. I rechecked the cabling and connections aganst the 30 and they were fine, so the 80 couldnt be used with this set up. We play light, medium and heavy rock including a few Gazza Moore pieces. Overall the 80 was fine on clean. Clear, bright and with lots of variation adjustment in tones and certainly had the power. We did a gig with it on clean and was clearly cutting through on a 6-1/2 volume setting at a decent size venue. And that was where the good bit ends. Using the modelling to get that classic LP tone on crunch with decent sustain (and using an LP limited and Ibanez custom) was way off the mark. Having a decent spread of kit, then we (the band) spent numerous periods running the amp on clean via Marshall governer 2's, TS808, GT10 etc etc and that just compounded the issues. Summarily the amp is great for clean sessions. We even invited in a couple of well experienced guys to review and make whatever adjustment and settings to get near to what we wanted. In the end, all agreed to mic up the old valve 60 marshall, and what a difference. no comparrison. I guess Ive been spoiled with a good deal of time with my UK set up, JSX/JLS/Soldano + Marshall 4 cab and yes I know you will never get the similar tones etc from a modelling amp but it doesnt do what it says on the tin. So the 300 pounds i paid for it + carting it half way across the globe, and the band won;t have it in the line up. Sorry guys, we did our best. Generally a good amp, but not for gigs despite advancment in amp modelling and Roland give this impression making an 80 amp with almost ultimate versatility. So, it's back to the Marshall and it's going on EBay. The 30 has a better tone and i'll keep it for the gaf. I'll buy a new Marshall 60 etc and pay the excess baggage. Makes sense.
on 9 May 2012
Having migrated to the 80 from a Marshall 100 (watt) valve state, I can not add much to the review posted above. For 80 watts, this is seriously loud and beats the Marshall hands down in volume and tones.
The built in Boss effects are easy to use and sound fantastic. Foot switches are extras, however you'll need 6 of them to operate all of the effects!
Featured is a "solo" function which boosts your volume much like an EQ pedal.