Blues Cube Artist 80-watt.. How much hiss is normal?

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by claypainter, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. claypainter

    claypainter Electromatic

    79
    Dec 31, 2018
    Katy, TX
    Hi, all.
    I bought a used Blues Cube Artist off of Reverb for what I thought was a great price.
    Got it today, pulled it out and put it through some paces.
    1) I've never had an amp this big, so I am unfamiliar with what is normal.
    2) Seller accidentally an Ebay return slip in the box saying that it was returning because it "Didn't work or was defective."

    paranoia starts to kick in, but that could mean anything really.

    3) The amp sounds delicious, but it seems very hiss sensitive. If presence, gain, or volumes are cranked up above pretty low levels it becomes noticeable...

    Is this how all big amps are? Is there a way to tell if this is normal hiss or too much hiss?
    Noob questions for sure, but thanks for the input.

    -Clay
     
  2. claypainter

    claypainter Electromatic

    79
    Dec 31, 2018
    Katy, TX
    Well it looks like hiss and hum is a pretty complex and common problem based on the interwebs.

    Looks like my best bet is just not to crank the amp until I understand the complexities a bit better.
     
  3. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Only snakes and bees should hiss and hum........:eek:
     
    Robbie likes this.
  4. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Bees hum because they don't know the words.
     
    sh4rkbyt3, thunder58 and section2 like this.
  5. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Size has no relevance to hiss/hum at all.

    This is an excellent Roland solid state amp and should be very low noise on all settings.
    I have an older Cube 60 and it's almost silent.

    There's long threads on this amp on thegearpage forum- here's just 1 to read
    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/roland-blues-cube-artist.1735501/

    Most likely you'll find yours needs repair :)
     
    claypainter likes this.
  6. claypainter

    claypainter Electromatic

    79
    Dec 31, 2018
    Katy, TX
    Thanks for this. I'm in contact with the seller.
    They said that they had repaired something similar prior to selling it and they are giving me a refund.

    It's a bummer. I liked the price and love the amp when it doesn't hiss.
     
    Waxhead likes this.
  7. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    773
    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    My BCA is pretty quiet so there may be an issue with your amp. It could be something simple, so it would be worth getting it checked out.
     
    sh4rkbyt3 likes this.
  8. claypainter

    claypainter Electromatic

    79
    Dec 31, 2018
    Katy, TX
    Update.
    I returned the blues cube to the seller :(

    Good News - I liked the amp so much (aside from the hiss), that I immediately bought another and it should be here shortly.
     
    sh4rkbyt3, Waxhead, collama and 2 others like this.
  9. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Glad to hear you got it sorted out. Enjoy the new one when it arrives!
     
    sh4rkbyt3 and claypainter like this.
  10. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    no , that's transformers that don't know the words
     
    Henry and wabash slim like this.
  11. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Cue Zappa's "Dynamo Hum".
     
    sh4rkbyt3 and thunder58 like this.
  12. collama

    collama Electromatic

    88
    Sep 4, 2017
    Colorado
    Good choice. I have a BCA and there’s very little noise/hum/ hiss, just a small amount when using single coils and lots of gain.
     
    Waxhead likes this.
  13. claypainter

    claypainter Electromatic

    79
    Dec 31, 2018
    Katy, TX
    Well bad news.

    The New amp came.

    It hisses/hums too.

    Below are the options:

    1) Brand new amp has a defect (doubtful).
    2) The baseline hum is loud on this amp (??).
    3) I am getting a lot of EMI in the area that I am using the amp.

    Any hints on how to troubleshoot this?
     
  14. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Take the amp someplace with clean power and hopefully another rig. Use at least 2 guitars and cords.
     
  15. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Eliminate FX/stomp boxes first. Look outside and see if there are power lines nearby. Are there dimmers, AC units, other motors nearby? Your AC power feed (from the utility) might also be the issue. You may need to use a power conditioner or isolation transformer.

    Then again, it just could be the amp. All amps hiss to some point---the more power, the more noise. This one amp might be a problem, or you may just be highly sensitive to the noise. Hiss usually isn't due to RFI or a dirty power source. The stages I worked on had isolation transformers and power conditioners for sound. We'd get problems from dimmer racks, HVAC motors, and other lighting sources like fluorescent and neon.

    Move to a different room, reorient the amp in the room. Try different amps, guitars and cables. Hopefully it'll be a simple fix.
     
    Waxhead likes this.
  16. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    This ^
     
    section2 likes this.
  17. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    773
    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    Besides checking the power, note that you have two input jacks (low and high). High will bump up your input signal a little while Low will (as the name implies) reduce the input signal slightly. Try each input.

    Do you have hot single coil pickups? That would contribute to noise, but then you would hear that through any amp.

    Also, there is a headphone jack in the back. Plug in some headphones and see if you still hear any noise.

    As I said, mine is pretty quiet as far as amps go, and I use it for gigging all the time. I remember trying out a Katana 100 once in a music store and it seemed quite noisy (much more so than my BCA), though it may have been the cheap guitar I was playing! :D
     
    sh4rkbyt3 likes this.
  18. claypainter

    claypainter Electromatic

    79
    Dec 31, 2018
    Katy, TX
    Thanks for the tip. This is speaker noise with no guitars plugged into it. Just noise and hum when I turn up the volume of the amp. I took it to various rooms and it seemed consistent.

    Thank for the leads. Again - this is amp only (no guitar or FX or stomp boxes).
    It may be just normal and I am expecting too much, but it it seems loud...
    I post my next steps below.

    Thanks for the input.


    OK - the internet taught me how to test whether it is a ground loop hum or not. I am going to test that tonight. If it's that, the solution seems easy with something like "Hum X." If that fails, I'll contact the distributor and see if I am just crazy in my expectations or what.

    Thanks, everyone.
     
  19. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Different rooms may not be sufficient, I meant a completely different place, farther is better. Sometimes electrical pollution is from outside tour house and affects a whole neighborhood. I'd go someplace as far as you can, like a music studio, workplace, someone you know's house.
     
    claypainter and Waxhead like this.
  20. claypainter

    claypainter Electromatic

    79
    Dec 31, 2018
    Katy, TX
    Well. I tested it for a ground loop issue by briefly plugging it into a ground lift adapter.
    Hum is still there.

    Plan forward is to take Henry's advice and take it to a completely different place.
    I'm also going to contact Sweetwater.

    Thanks everyone.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice