NAMM 2019: Roland Boss debuts new guitar products

NAMM 2019: Roland Boss debuts new guitar products

Roland Boss’s highlight at this year’s Winter NAMM is likely to be the new Waza Tube Amp Expander, a new command centre for tube-based guitar amplifiers. This amp-top device combines different professional guitar tools into one unit, including a variable reactive load, active analogue power stage, miked cab simulator, IR loader, and USB recording interface. It also offers extensive connectivity and real-time control options, plus Boss effects and support for storing 10 onboard setups for instant recall.

A key feature of the Waza Tube Amp Expander is its advanced reactive load section, which allows players to crank their valve amp to its sweet spot while controlling the volume to suit any situation.

Backed by Roland’s impressive Tube Logic technology, the load section provides user-variable control of the impedance interaction with the amp’s output transformer, eliminating the tone and feel artefacts introduced with some other load boxes. Selecting from sixteen different settings, users can make their amp behave as if it were connected to their favourite speaker cab. Any tube guitar amp up to 150 watts is supported, from vintage combos to modern high-gain heads.

Ten different rig set-ups can be stored in the unit, and each includes the user’s custom effects and EQ settings, cab/IR selections, effects loop on/off, MIDI parameters, and amp channel-switching status. Rigs can be recalled with a panel knob, and additional controls are provided for reverb and other functions. Deep real-time performance control is supported with optional GA-FC and FS-series footswitches and MIDI.

Also new is the Blues Cube Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule, designed in collaboration with renowned guitarist Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter. The core voicing is based around the KT66, a vintage British output valve noted for its full sound, high headroom, and dynamic feel. Roland says: ‘A Blues Cube amplifier with the Sparkle Clean Tone Capsule installed delivers a richly expressive clean voice that’s ideal for pop, country, and jazz styles, pedal steel players, and any guitarist who shapes their sound with stompbox pedals’.  It joins Tone Capsules Tone Capsules developed with Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Oz Noy, and Kirk Fletcher.

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