Every musician in his/her life at least once wanted a Marshall amp. If they say they haven’t even try one at least at the local music store, they are lying.
Marshall has over 50 years of experience in the amplifiers market and opposite to its biggest competitor, Fender, they focus mainly on sound, meaning amps and some pedals, they do not produce anything else.
This makes Marshall amplifiers a legend..
Marshall MG30CFX MG Series 30-Watt Guitar Combo Amp
4.5 / 5
Marshall MG15CF MG Series 15-Watt Guitar Combo Amp
4.4 / 5
Marshall MS2 Micro Guitar Amplifier
4.0 / 5
Marshall DSL Series DSL40C 40 Watt Valve 2 Channel Guitar Amplifier Combo
4.8 / 5
Best Marshall Amps
James Marshall, founder, and creator of Marshall was born in 1923 in England. Already in 1962, they opened the first Marshall store also in the London era, from there its brand became a music legend.
Played by all kinds of musicians, from Jimi Hendrix to Slash, Peter Townshend (The Who) or heavy metals like Dave Navarro or Malmsteen, Marshall amps are always there for you with a kick ass sound and extreme reliability.
Pioneers in the head + cabinet sound, they have also mastered the combo amplifying to. So many to choose from sure, but, let's try to keep it human.
1. Marshall MG30CFX MG Series 30-Watt Guitar Combo Amp
This solid-state Marshall amp is simply awesome for a first purchase. There are so many features for you to play with, so let's start.
First, you have four channels available.
The classic clean Marshall sound, a Crunch channel if you feel like playing the ’60 typical sound from Cure/ Clash/ Ramones, and furthermore you still have two extra channels which are Overdrive 1 and 2.
Including in this combo amp, there is also a Reverb, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Delay and Octave FX that can be customized with just the turn of a knob.
Have in mind, that as many of the basic lines from amplifiers, this sound effects are all digital, so if you are expecting to get the same sound as The Edge from U2 then you will be disappointed.
This of course does not mean you can have fun and dig around all the multiple options the amplifier provides.
Also have in mind that the way the knobs work you won’t be able to choose all these effects at the same time, you will have to choose between one or the other as some of them share a knob, but still it is a cool feature.
Clearly one of the best features of this amps is the ability to store your presets, this means that once you have found your sound just hit the store button and save it, you will be able to go back instantly whenever you want without the need to turn all the knobs again.
To complete this awesome amplifier, you have a 3-band equalizer (Bass, middle and treble) plus independent gain and master knobs. Furthermore, you have two 1/8 “input and output for MP3 or headphones.
This is a powerful 30 W amp in the market including a 10” speaker, although you may find it a little bit on the heavy size as it weighs more than 20 pounds.
things we liked
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
2. Marshall MG15CF MG Series 15-Watt Guitar Combo Amp
The Marshall MG15 CF is another great amp for you to keep an eye on. Especially if you are more the musician that only wants clean and overdrive tone.
Opposite to his brother, the MG15CFX, this 15-watt amplifier does not come with the FX unit, meaning you do not have Delay, Chorus, Reverb, Flanger, etc.
In this small but powerful amp, you will find two channels, a clean and an overdrive one, which they both share the same three-band EQ which will allow you to control with detailed the tone of your guitar.
With this EQ, you will be able to get a fat sound from your chords to a nice treble powerful sound for your solos.
I have seen so many times first timers going into music stores and just buying whatever has more features, despite even if they know what they are. Have in mind that music is a concentric business when aiming for pro.
If you want a pro sound, you must buy a lot of individual products that each will focus on the main skill. If you buy an amp with 20 options then most likely 15 you are never going to use them, and the other five will be far from good, they will be at best, average.
I’m not trying to be negative here, on the contrary, this allows me to emphasize the fact that the Marshall MG15CF may not have a lot of fun features, but for sure whatever it has, it does it very, very well.
It’s enough to practice with for years and maybe entertain your family and friends for a while. It also comes with an input jack for mp3 playing plus an extra output for headphones for silent practicing; this comes in handy if you want to play all night.
The version comes with 15 watts of power and a middle impedance of 8 ohms which will give you an excellent middle-frequency sound, plus the 3-band Equalizer will let you go a little bit towards the other edges.
The 1x8” speaker may not be huge, but it will be enough for you to go day and night practicing scales until you get them right.
Since this version is smaller, it is also lighter and in this case very easy to move around.
things we liked
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
3. Marshall MS2 Micro Guitar Amplifier
If you ever saw movies like “School of Rock” then you know what I mean, if not here is a picture for you to imagine what this amp looks like.
As you can see this little guy fits in the palm of your hand. This little guy runs on 9V batterie, and it is a fun product to play around and take with you, however, is nothing more than that.
It is a 1-watt amplifier that even though Marshal claims it was even played on professional recording studios, I have my serious doubts. However, if you want to buy something different and funny, this may be your option.
It comes with a 1/4" input plus two main knobs for volume and tone, plus a third one that allows you to change the two channels, clean and OD (The third position is off, important, so it does not drain the battery out).
Forget about getting a Marshall OD sound from this amp and especially for long or even if you have just change the batteries.
Most of the reviews out there, from people that bought the unit new they complain that either one channel (usually the clean) does not work or even if they both do they have a very bad sound and the overdrive is even poorer.
So one last time, If you want to have fun go ahead if you want to play music don’t waste your money on this.
things we liked
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
4. Marshall DSL Series DSL40C 40 Watt Valve 2 Channel Guitar Amplifier Combo
Now we are finally talking about a truly music amp. Believe me; there are so many good things to say about the DSL40C that I will have to do my best just to keep it simple.
First, we must mention the valves that this amplifier has, which includes three valves in the pre-amp plus three more in the power amp, this will give the overdrive the sensation that you are playing in the underground of England next to The Who.
Main features include a 40-watt beautiful amp with a 1x12” Celestion Seventy 80 speaker (Great quality, especially when pushing it to the limit).
Plus, it has an impedance of up to 16 Ohms (That can be changed to 12 or 8, not sure why you would do it, but is there). And, it has a switch that allows you to change the amp sound from Pentode (40 W) to Triode (20 W) this will give you a wider feel and sonic character.
It also includes an FX loop send/ return option that will let you play along with your pre recording tracks.
Two basic channels, clean/ crunch, and two overdrives lead 1 and 2, plus with the compatibility that I just mention this can become more than 16 channels.
It has independent volume and gain knobs for each channel which it makes sound like nothing, but it is great, this will allow you to have 1 channel at a certain level and gain and then just press the button and go to a second channel that can be much higher in gain and volume, perfect for you solo time.
5 Band Equalization tool, besides the classic, bass-middle-treble frequency adapter you also have a presence and resonance knob to give that extra touch at the end of the signal chain.
Lastly, as if all this wasn’t enough, it comes with a built-in reverb with classic and ultra settings that it is easy to turn on with the footswitch that is provided with the unit.
things we liked
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
Marshall Amps - Buyer’s Guide
If you have been reading my posts, you know I have an idea that tries to keep simple but concrete that is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
This real state mojo comes very in handy when trying to help people to understand what they should be buying (or at least trying).
Every location points to a different thing; the first one means to know who you are regarding music, are you thinking of starting? Have you played a couple of times or you are an average player already?
The second location goes of course to budget, if money is no problem then most definitely you would be looking at a different post.
Have in mind that a regular setup for a giant stadium gig (like Pink Floyd or U2, starts at about 3 Million dollars). But this does not mean that there are a lot of cool things on a budget that you can have, and believe me; all those big guys started the same way you are about to.
The last location is what kind of music do you want to play, will you be more on the cover side or the “my staff,” do you like to practice or to play songs. This is very important as amps usually are thought for a particular profile and may not be as useful for another one.
So, let me try to put this information in a way it is not only easy to understand but to compare between the options as well.
Question / Marshall Amp
MARSHALL MG30CFX MG SERIES 30-WATT
MARSHALL MG15CF MG SERIES 15 Watt
MARSHALL MS2 MICRO GUITAR AMPLIFIER
MARSHALL DSL SERIES DSL40C 40-WATT VALVE 2 CHANNEL COMBO
Ideal if you can afford the MG30CFX
To play serious music and even rock your local pub
Things to have in mind:
All the cool digital FX build in system that will prevent you to spend money on pedals.
Great if you just want a clean and a powerful overdrive channel. Nothing more
Again, is just for fun, do not expect much of it
Something in between of a clean/overdrive amp plus a full feature one. I would recommend this one if you are going for one or two sounds mostly
Getting the most out of it:
Use it for a little bit of everything. Try to play clean and dirty music but also learn how all the other effects are used and try to combine them as many times as possible.
Opposite to the first amp, try to stay on one or two goals with this amp model. Great for practicing and carrying it around. But try to stay in clean and Overdrive music and exercises
Just take it with you everywhere (With an extra 9 V batterie just in case, and…. Have fun.
This is a serious amp, instead of just copying sounds, try to make your own. Mostly focus on tone and depth of the signal, it is not easy, it takes time, but the price will be worth it
The biggest advantage:
The digital FX feature
It is affordable, and light weight
You can take it with you everywhere
You can focus on creating your own sound.
As all digital FX, they will sound a little too much like a fake sound, but learn how they are used and eventually buy pedals
It has a narrower option panel than the first one. When you want to get more sound, you will have to spend more money and time on learning them
It doesn’t give you enough power or reliability to always trust it
Not considerable, of course, there are better amps, but no cons on a general basis
When to move on to the next amplifier?
When you feel you learn all the sound and at the end, you realize that even though you change the knobs a lot, the core sound is the same, time to move on.
I will say it is time to move on whenever you have money to go for a better amp. This amp will also have a great reselling price online, so if you want to sell it, it should be easy
As soon as possible
This is an amp that you can play for the rest of your life, even at minor gigs, like the ones you can have at a party or a jamming session. I would say move on whenever you have a higher challenge, however, if possible do not sell it, you will rely on it more than you may know
In this case, the conclusion is very short. It depends on your budget. If you can, even if you are starting to try to go for the MARSHALL DSL SERIES DSL40C 40-WATT VALVE 2 CHANNEL COMBO, it is a beautiful work of art.
If the money is tight, then not to worry, Marshall has a second option for you that will be almost as good as the other one, just get the MARSHALL MG30CFX MG SERIES 30-WATT, learn how to use all its features and have tons of fun while at the same time you discover your sounds (When you found one you like, remember, just save it as a preset).
As always if you feel we left anything out, please let us know! I hope this post was useful to you and we will be writing a lot more, check on us again.