scottse, on july 07, 2010 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 599
Purchased from: Online vendor
Features: This is a two-channel Marshall amp. It is a tube/valve unit, not solid state. It has an effects loop in the back for hooking in effect pedals and the like. A foot Switch also comes with the units. It has one 16 ohm and two 8 ohm connections on the back as well. I am planning on putting a Vox Tonelab SE in the effects loop connections and a DigiTech jamman in front of the amp to see if this combination works well.
The sound out of this unit is tremendous. Clean or crunched, it sounds great. The controls adjust well. I have one issue with my unit and that is the master circuit for reverb, resonance, and presence does not work. Since the unit is brand new, it should be covered under Marshall's warranty. I don't know if this is a one time deal with this circuit or whether it is in the whole line. Other users will have to comment to see if this is the case. My suspicion is that I just happened to get a bad unit. The one I demo'd at the Samash store did not have this issue.
Compared to the Haze40 Marshall, this amp blows it away in sound quality. I compared some Line 6 units as well as Peavy and this unit was simply the best for a combo amp. The unit also has 100W versions for both head and combo. MA50H, MA100H, MA50C, MA100C. You get the picture. I'm interested to hear what other users have to say about tube/valve units in this price range from other suppliers. Rock on! // 9
Sound: The unit is very quiet with average pickups used. I have a simple Squire strat and even with those basic pickups I do not hear hum or noise when the guitar is sitting idle and the pickups are fully turned on.
The gain on this amp in crunch mode is simply wicked. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Well, considering it is a tube amp, so far so good. As I mentioned previously, the master controls for resonance, reverb, and presence do not work on my unit. The one at the store did work so it may just be an odd ball. // 8
Overall Impression: I would like to see the pedals effects like a Vox Tonemaster SE, or GT-10 built into the unit someday. I would also like to see a loop control built into the unit as well. That would be really cool. // 9
vince1991, on august 10, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 450
Purchased from: keymusic
Features: For the price this amp costs it's hard to complain about the features (it is the cheapest Marshall combo tube amp). It has a clean channel, overdrive channel and boost channel incl. Footswitch. The overdrive channel uses the same knobs as the boost channel but the sound can be altered with an added 'crunch balance' knob. The reverb, resonance and presence knobs change the sound on all 3 channels so there has to be some compromising to set up a good sound on each channel.
All together I can always find a decent sound for every music style I play, from blues to heavy metal. On the back of the amp there is an effects loop send & return, and the ability off hooking up speaker cabinets to the amp. As far as power goes, it's a marshall. It has plenty of power. I use it as a practice amp in my room and on the boost channel with the volume on 5 it makes shit vibrate all over the room so I guess it could be used for small gigs. // 9
Sound: I use a Jackson WRXT Warrior and a Gibson Les Paul Studio on this amp. Occasionally adding some effects with a Boss GT-8. On the clean channel it sounds amazing. Messing with the volume and tone knobs on the guitar itself can also produce very interesting sounds on this amp. The overdrive channel can get you close to the 'acdc sound' and especially with the Gibson I use it a lot for playing blues. You can get some really nice sounds out of this but with higer gain and crunch balance it starts sounding much like the boost channel. The boost channel itself has plenty of gain, so much that I think it sounds like crap when you put the gain past 7-8 unless you're playing stoner metal. The Jackson is great for playing metal on this amp, it sounds really heavy while with the Gibson it sounds tight and has some massive sustain. Playing with gain, volume and presence made me discover a pretty big variety of sounds on this amp. There is some noise on the boost channel but its not to bad. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I have this amp for about 6 months now. No problems this far, aside from the nut around the input jack falling of and the input jack dissapearing into the amp sometimes. This can be fixed in 10 minutes by opening the back of the amp and loosening the 4 screws on top of the amp to get access to the electronics (do not touch your tubes!). // 9
Overall Impression: It's a good amp, but it's still the cheapest Marshall tube amp combo. It sounds like a Marshall but don't expect it to sound like a JCM800. I chose it because I prefer tube amps and needed a small practice amp with decent sound and that is exactly what this thing is. There is also a 100w version witch costs a few hundred more, but personally I don't think the difference in sound is worth that. It appeared to be louder as well and the 50w version is more than loud enough for me to practice with. What I like most about it is that you get a lot for your money. Everybody can afford it, it's a simple amp, and it has a good Marshall sound. // 9
unregistered, on september 19, 2011 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 680
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: The Marshall MA50C is a 50 watt 2 channel tube amp. It has 2 EL8 power tubes and 3 ECC8 preamp tubes. Instead of using Celestion, Marshal used a cheaper 12" Eminence speaker. The amp has 2 channels with a overdrive boost (foot switch included). Both channels have a separate eq (bass, mid, treble). There is no headphone jack but it does have an effects loop. The speaker out jacks can accommodate either: 1) the single internal 16 ohm speaker, 2) the internal 16 ohm speaker plus another 16 ohm speaker, or 3) an 8 ohm speaker. I rated the features a 4 because the foot switch is useless for live applications. It has a slight delay after the switch is pressed before the channel or boost actually changes. // 4
Sound: I have a Kramer guitar (from the 80s) with really HOT Seymour Duncan humbuckers and an Ibanez with average quality single coils). The single coils sound better through this amp than the humbuckers. The Marshall MA50C is a very noisy amp even when nothing is plugged into it. This is annoying especially at low volume levels.
The amp is not as versatile as I was hoping. Its mid and lower gain crunch (ala AC/DC, ZZ top) is lousy, lacking note separation and dynamics of soft vs hard attack. It can mimic some heavy 80s rock such as Ratt, Motley Crue, etc. But even then the sound was too shrill for my tastes. It sounded more like a solid state overdrive than a tube. The clean channel also lacked the warmth of a tube amp. If I was blindfolded and someone played this amp without me knowing which amp they were playing I would have guessed it was solid state. The reverb is perhaps the worst of all internal reverbs I have ever heard. It has no depth even when cranked. It wasn't broken or unplugged as other reviewers noted on their respective amps; the knob did change the amount of reverb it just didn't sound very deep.
The overall sound in both the clean an overdrive channels was way too tinty, shrill, and piercing. I had to put the treble setting at 0 just to make the sound tolerable. I also had to adjust the tone on my guitar down (something I have never needed to do on any other amp for the kind of tone I want). // 3
Reliability & Durability: I can't speak to reliability and durability because I returned the amp. There were no defects on the one I had while I had it. As far as construction, better care could've been taken by the assemblers in Vietnam to wrap the box with vinyl. It didn't look horrible, but if you have OCD you may notice minor bumps and less than perfect cutting of the vinyl covering. The screen and beading were also less than perfectly installed. I rated this a 5 because a 10 may give it improper credit as to reliability and durability and a 1 may be unfair. // 5
Overall Impression: I have been playing guitar since the mid 80s and have played and owned many kinds of guitars and amps.
This is by far most disappointing amp I ever owned (if only for a brief period of time). I bought it because it said "Marshall" which turned out to be a big mistake on my part. Admittedly, Marshall makes good high end amps. Admittedly, Marshall never marketed the MA50C as anything but an entry level all-valve amp. However, I expected more from Marshall than what they produced in the MA50c. I wasn't expecting a JCM sound but I was at least hoping for a moderately decent tube sound. If you really want a Marshall, either spend much less and settle for their solid state selection, or save up and get one of their higher end models. // 1
unregistered, on october 03, 2011 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 600
Purchased from: Long and Mcquade
Features: The amp has two channels plus an overdrive with separate EQ for each. Also has presence controls and spring reverb. There are three 12ax7 and 2 el34 tubes. Teh foot controller has gain and OD switches. Simple layout and easy to use and view while playing - standing up. // 8
Sound: I have a variety of guitars, Axis, Ibanez Prestige, Fender Strat, Gretsch etc... I play most genres of music rock, blues, metal, rockabilly etc... The clean channel is great, crank it up and it only starts to break up around 8. The gain channel I didn't like and new I wouldn't because of teh reviews. I bought this amp knowing I'd replace the preamp tubes with JJ12ax7S tubes - all three. What difference, fuller sounding, the grit was gone. that's all this amp needs. // 7
Reliability & Durability: I've had mine for two weeks but don't have any concerns. The amp finish looks fine. The controls feel fine. Mine was a floor model so when I brought it home I simply wiped it down with a towel and warm water. Looks solid and sturdy, handles are solid and placed well. I gig every few weeks so time will tell. // 8
Overall Impression: For the money I can't complain, I knew this wasn't a $2000 JCM stack. I also have another tube amp 60watt 2x12 and it was triple the price and does sound better - what do you expect? I plan to use this for practice and small venues. Its light, sounds great and has the Marshall sound (Once you add the 12ax7s). // 8
mkittell, on february 03, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Features: This amp was made in 2011 and was purchased a little over a month ago. I find this amp to be very versatile for being an entry level tube combo. It has two channels - clean and overdrive. It also has an overdrive boost option. It comes with a foot switch for switching between clean and overdrive and also has the option of switching from clean to boost or from overdrive to boost. The boost does not have separate EQ dials so it seems best to set your boost levels, then switch back to regular overdrive and use the "Crunch Balance" dial to set your overdrive volume level. Both the clean and overdrive channels have treble mid and bass dials as well as volume, and the overdrive channel has a gain dial as well. In the master section there are adjustments for Reverb (which is pretty light until you crank it), Presence, and Resonance.
There are also manual channel switches on the amp if you choose not to use the foot switch. I use this amp at home for practice. If someone were to use it for gigs it should be noted that you need to stop playing and quickly mute the strings of your guitar as you switch between channels as there is a slight delay which you can hear if you play continuously. This is an undesirable trait of the amp. As for power, it is more than enough for me as I am no longer gigging but I still enjoy playing through a great amp with great tonal capabilities - and the Marshall MA50C is just that. It is an all tube power house that packs a punch as well as a surprisingly rich clean tone considering it is a Marshall. // 8
Sound: I use several guitars through this amp (from a semi-hollow body with humbuckers to an LP style guitar with humbuckers, to a Fender strat with single coils) but my favourite match is my 1970s Hohner "The Prinz" Telecaster Replica - which is packed with American Fender electronics. From reggae to ska to blues to hard rock this guitar just sings through the Marshall. As I mentioned earlier, after reading reviews about this amp I was quite pleasantly surprised with the clean tones I was able to get out of this amp. I am not a huge fan over the boosted overdrive as I do not usually need that kind of mega-distortion. However, the regular overdrive is just beautiful! Great warm crunchy tones. Also, I should mention that the clean channel breaks up really nicely when you crank the volume up past 7 or 8 and it gives out a really nice warm tube crunch. I am very impressed with the clean, and crunchy tones I can get out of this amp. As I said the boosted overdrive is pretty brutal but it is great for getting feedback and playing nice smooth effortless solos. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I'm not sure about reliability because I just got the amp less than a week ago. Seems pretty touch though. The amp is in perfect condition and has not needed new tubes yet as it is pretty much brand new. It has handles on the sides which is a nice addition and helps to ease transportation of the amp. // 8
Overall Impression: This amp is a great match for me. I will use this section to admit to something that many players out there may find blasphemous. As I revealed at the top of this review, I traded for this amp. A Fender 65 Twin Rerverb reissue to be exact. Now before you lose your head, it should be noted that the Fender had old tubes in need of replacement, and was in pretty rough shape as I gigged it pretty hard back in my hayday. However, I did not need an amp of such power and volume any more so I needed to trade down and let it go to someone who could get better use out of it. With the Marshall, I can turn it up to 5, 6, 7 and not blow my head off in my living room so it is the perfect amp for me. If it was stolen, I would buy a different amp only because I love to change it up every so often. I believe that trade makes the world go around and my guitar collection is in constant flux because of this. I love that little Marshall and even though it is marketed as an entry level tube amp, I find it to be a very versatile a surprising amp. // 9
FinnBrassMonkey, on may 31, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 550
Purchased from: Thomann
Features: This amp has a simple enough set of features: A clean channel with bass, middle and treble eq, along with volume, a crunch channel with its own eq and a crunch balance control, and a gain control, again with a volume control. There is also a boosted channel that is great for lead work or some metal sounds. There is also a master section with presence, resonance and reverb. The reverb doesn't really Shine through at lower levels. The crunch balance controls how close to the boosted channel the regular crunch sounds, so this offers a versatile range of sounds. The amp also comes with a pedal that switches between clean, crunch, and boost. The amp is 50 watts. // 8
Sound: I play anything from blues to hard rock, sometimes a little metal. This amp's crunch is perfect for classic and hard rock. You can easily achieve an acdc style crunch with half the crunch offered once you crank the volume. At lower distortion, a bluesy kind of sound is available which sounds great. Once you crank the crunch to about 3 o clock on the gain and crunch balance, you can get a great hard rock tone which sounds like thin lizzy or the darkness for example. The clean channel in also very good. It is very rich sounding and versatile thanks to the seperate eq. Mixing the two eq's of the crunch channel and the clean can grant you a range of cool sounds. I play a Fender Jaguar classic player hh, which offers a great ballsy tone when humbuckers are used, and a nice twangy and bright sound, similar to a strat when tapped to single coils. The boost of this amp is huge. I use it for solos, but a metal tone could easily be achieved via playing with he dials a bit. Overall, this amp is great for any kind of rock, particularly rock, hard rock, and classic rock, but is also very versatile for other genres too. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I have had the amp for about a year and a half and I have used it playing small gigs and all the time at practice, and I have no complaints. I thought there was a buzz on the amp but I'm pretty sure it is a problem with the plug socket in my room, since I have played it at gigs and friend's houses without any kind of problem, so no complaints there. I am very pleased so far. // 10
Overall Impression: In regards to the music I play, this amp is perfect. If you want a tube amp at an affordable price that sounds awesome, consider this amp. The tonal possibilities on this thing are huge, but you have to have an idea of what you are doing when dialing in the settings, or else it might sound odd. I think that this amp is definitely one of the best in terms of what you are getting for your money. If it were stolen, I would buy it again. The crunch balance is a very nice touch, it gives many tonal possibilities. I still haven't discovered all the sounds you can get yet. As I said before, you need to know what you are doing to dial in a setting that sounds good for you, but once you find your sound, this thing rocks. // 9
Tortexnisse, on july 10, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 750
Purchased from: Online Corporate Vendor
Features: I read many gear reviews on this site. I decided to join *just to make sure my opinion on this gear is heard by a potential prospective buyer*. This piece of equipment (indeed, the entire discontinued Vietnamese MA Marshall line) is generally a poorly regarded amplifier - a "faux" Marshall, a substandard substitute suitable for "poseurs" or "noobs" who "don't know a real Marshall," if you will, generally dismissed as unsuitable for any professional guitarist.
I believe the amp's public reputation to be based on ignorant prejudice prompted by shallow judgments and "tone snobbery." This amp certainly *is* a "real" Marshall, in build quality, features, and sound. It's relatively simple: 2-Channel switchable amp (footswitch), with a clean channel & an overdriven gain channel (which also has a footswitchable boost for lead cut-through, and there is a dial-in control to shape the overdrive tone between the overdrive channel and the boosted drive, called "Crunch Balance"... Confusing terminology, but quite clever and useful feature). The footswitch is sturdy, and the cable is plenty long; there is also a channel switching button on the controls, but the footswitch overrides this button. EACH channel has its own *separate* graphic EQ and volume control, with pots for Treble, Mid, & Bass.
Also, the amp has a Reverb control with Resonance & Presence pots. The rear of the amp includes an effects loop with send/return jacks, and a true bypass switch - the footswitch engages the effects loop, but this time the Bypass button overrides the footswitch (hence true bypass). The cabinet has one 12" AX-75 speaker, as well as speaker outputs for 8/16ohm auxiliary speakers (e.g., using the the amplifier as a 50w head to Drive a four-speaker cabinet, for instance). The circuitry is all valve, with 3 ECC83 tubes for the preamp, and 2 EL34 tubes for the poweramp; these are a bit tricky for the inexperienced to mod/replace, and seem oriented towards technicians. The cabinet has a top handle, as well as hard plastic "roadie" handles on both sides; it weighs about 23lbs (10kg).
The look is "classic" late-Marshall style; elegant, simple, instantly recognizable. Black bumpy textured vinyl, with black screen tolex, and a brushed gold plate on the top front with the controls, from left to right: single jack, clean channel pots, channel button & boost button, and overdrive channel pots, and finally the reverb/resonance/presence pots. The look is as generic as a Marshall could possibly be. Power? It's a 50w Marshall valve amp; don't sit in front of the speaker without earplugs, or frankly, you're dumb. I got this 50w combo because, with a 100w valve head & slant cabinet, you can't really play in a closed room (or even a small club) without overpowering every other sound/player. And even this 50w head can easily annoy other players with its ridiculous volume. Plenty for a small bar/club. MUCH too loud for an apartment, and perhaps most houses.
There is a reason why 5/10/15/20watt amps are taking over the scene. 100w or 50w is really overkill in most situations. But then, that's kinda why we love Marshalls in the first place, eh? So, rock on. I give an 8 because it has *everything a rock player needs*, but nothing especially innovative (and therefore nothing exceptional). Probably, it's most useful feature is the fact that you have truly separate clean/overdrive channels, so once you dial in, you can do more rocking and less fiddling - going from clean to distortion instantly, and back. Excellent. // 8
Sound: I use Gibson SG and Les Paul, primarily. Both a P-90 growler-howler, and humbucker equipped SG (currently OEM) and LP. But the amp will take any guitar. If you want to rock out; my preference is the traditional "boring" Gibson/Marshall sound (think 70s hard rock). The noise level of the amp depends on your guitar; my P-90 feeds back like a monster regardless of the amp, and the humbuckers do their phase thing. The clean channel is truly a treat - *whether or not the volume is low, medium, or absurd*. In fact, it's such a beautiful clean channel, I considered growing up and exploring jazz (for like, 5 minutes anyway). Rich, glassy but warm, clear but full... Surprised me, honestly. *THIS is the ONLY way you can pleasantly experience this amp at "bedroom" or apartment volumes!* (More on this in a second). The overdrive channel...
Ah, now we are getting to the heart of why this amplifier has a undeservedly maligned reputation (notwithstanding ignorant gear snobs who bash "budget" gear simply because enthusiastic non-professionals will finally have access to decent equipment at a chain store... There is no hope for such narrow-minded dummies; beware of these elitist know-it-alls). Because this is an inexpensive Made in Vietnam amp, many will shun the gear without ever giving it a chance. However, when they *do* give it a chance, some problems arise that might tend to unfairly color & "confirm" their (already negative) impression of a "fake" Marshall.
This is a 50w valve Marshall, and a simple one without gimmicks - think about it. The Drive does not open up to its potential without some serious turn on that volume knob. In 90% of places one would try this amplifier - especially a Corporate Guitar store - there is absolutely no way in hell anyone is going to stand for the sheer volume it takes to get this amp's true distortion tone off the ground. I can't get it past "2" in my pad. The common complaint is (e.g., see below), "it sounds like buzzing bees." I think it sounds like shit at low volumes... Like buzzing beetles, indeed. Thin & unimpressive. But, if you can, turn that dial. Something happens around "4-5" and the tone opens up wide; by "6-7" it's growling, and by "8-9" it is full on Marshall rock. This *is* a problem, in a sense.
For a "budget" amp, how many folks get to crank it without being hassled for obscene volume? But, if you can, this is not the sh-tty toy people cast it off as. It's a Marshall, and its genetics can be proven the Marshall way - crank it, rock on. Good for you? Probably, you can get these dirt cheap in the coming years... Tender mercies for peoples' stupidity. Screw the snobs... Vietnam? Is that what *you* think about when you're rocking? Not me. And I have other British made Marshalls, come and gone. Find out for yourself. I score an 8, again, because it does the job exactly as advertised. Nothing extraordinary, and -1 for being limited due to crazy volume, but +1 for the clean channel. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Now, this is a different matter. Obviously, corners must be cut somewhere for costs. Mostly, it is obvious that Marshall *cuts most of this cost in LABOR* (hence, Vietnam in Asia). The build quality is fine. The fit and finish, superb - as are most Marshalls. The materials? Well, less quality costs less, but will it last? If you need to treat it a little better, I Imagine so. But, this is the amp I go rockin out with to rooms, clubs, etc. Would it hold up on tour, on the road? I'm not the guy to answer that; I suspect that the maxim holds true in this regard. With Marshall, you get what you pay for. If you're a professional, you'll have a backup anyway. (Maybe *this* would be the backup, come to think. ) I simply don't use it often enough to render a judgment, but all my other Marshalls have stood up for 25+ years... And I'm lazy about maintenance. I rate 7, because, well... It's a $700 amp. It's not gonna be more than a plywood cabinet. // 7
Overall Impression: See above. I am not the kind of person to go "experimenting" with gear to find different stuff. The experimentation is all in the music. I want my gear to function, take a hell beating with daily use, and to reliably produce the sounds I need. So, once I find it, I stick with it. There is a reason why Gibson, Fender, Marshalls etc. Continue to be ubiquitous among professionals and hobbyists - because, by and large, the stuff works well. Marshall was my first amp, and I've played and tested countless other rigs/setups (e.g., Fender, Laney, Crate, Peavey, Kustom, Mesa, HiWatt, and on etc.). Only Mesa Boogie really captured my attention beyond the solid Gibson/Marshall setup I rely on. I will likely get one someday. All pro brands are good for a reason. Marshall has *not*, in my opinion, "damaged" their reputation with this MA50C, or the MA line - Marshall delivered. It's the gear snobs who gave the MA line its death sentence. And now, see Marshall? All they did was take their DSL name and put it on the Asian-built amps. The whole thing is ridiculous. If you want a "real Marshall," and the 50w combo has the features you like, GO FOR IT. It's good gear. // 8
austinswayne, on october 17, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: This is the Marshall MA50C tube combo amp. I bought it about 2 years ago and play on it regularly. The pre-amp contains 3 ECC83 tubes and the power amp contains 2 EL34 tubes playing through a 12" Eminence AX-75 speaker. The amp has 2 channels: clean and overdrive (the overdrive channel has a boost that increases gain dramatically). The amp also comes with the corresponding pedal to allow switching between clean and overdrive and boosted or un-boosted. The clean channel has 4 knobs: bass, middle, treble, and volume. The overdrive channel has 6 knobs: crunch balance, gain, bass, middle, treble, and volume. The last 3 knobs on the amp are master controls for reverb, resonance, and presence. Last but not least, this amp has an effects loop. I would say that overall this amp has many good features. // 8
Sound: I like to play music ranging from calm cleans all the way up to hardcore. Due to the nature of the dual channels, I would say that this amp provides me with enough versatility to allow me to play all of my genres with the exception hardcore. That being said, with the use of external distortion this amp allows me to play all the hardcore I want to. I play with a Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster and an Ibanez GRG with active EMGs (81 and 85 if I remember correctly). My pedals include the: Boss TU-2, Boss MT-2, Boss NS-2, Ibanez TS-9, Fulltone PlimSoul, TC Electronic Flashback, and TC Electronic Hall Of Fame.
As most tube amps are, this amp sounds very thin and shrill at low volumes on both channels (especially the OD channel). Once you get past the 9 o'clock point on the volume the sound improves greatly. This amp has a very bright sound to it and can sometimes need a little tailoring to the treble on either the amp or your guitar to smooth your tone out.
The clean channel on this amp is my favorite (especially past 12 o'clock); it isn't hard to make a fat and warm sound out of it. This channel is very quiet, even at higher volumes, which is something I enjoy. Another positive is that the clean channel has a lot of head room (I guess this could be considered a negative for some players). One thing I do not enjoy, however, is that the clean channel doesn't take PlimSoul super well compared to other "cleaner" amps (like Fenders). The MT-2 sounds good with it when the gain is pretty high. I would rate the clean channel at an 8.
The OD channel is not as impressive as the clean channel in my opinion. This channel is still fairly quiet (considering it's an OD channel) but can get really noisy with the boost engaged. I would not recommend using any external OD on this channel because it becomes very buzzy and diminishes tone. The amount of gain is pretty substantial and can easily handle the gain of bands like the Foo Fighters or Weezer. Being able to match their tone on this channel is a different story altogether. The tone of the OD channel does not sound very warm and does not have the feeling of "depth," even when cranked pretty loud (past 12 o'clock). I would say it sounds better than a solid state amp, but not too much better. I was expecting the OD channel to be amazing due to the brand name, but I was left hanging. I would rate the OD channel as a 5. It is usable, but average at best.
Combining the overall sound of the amp, I rate the sound as a 6 1/2, but I will round up to 7 since I like the clean. // 7
Reliability & Durability: I play gigs at my church basically every week, so it handles live playing well. The hardware in the amp is decent, but I have encountered a few issues. The first being that the spring reverb on my amp broke completely about 5 months into owning the amp. Also, after 1 1/2 years the input jack fell apart and I was unable to plug into the amp. For the most part, this amp is dependable despite those two incidents. The input falling apart rendered one of my church gigs unplayable which was a major disappointment, but considering how often I play and that this is a tube amp (notoriously fragile) I think its fairly good quality. I use this amp without a backup (because I don't have one with me all the time) often, but I am a little on the fence about not having one after the input jack problem. I can't recommend playing without a backup (simply because it is smart to have a backup if possible), but I would not be fearful that it is going to breakdown at any moment. // 7
Overall Impression: I have been playing guitar for 5 years and have owned this amp for 2 years. I play guitar a ton. I am in numerous church worship bands and I also used to play in a metal band. It is not uncommon for me to play guitar for 2 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I really like the clean channel on this amp, but if I was put in a scenario where this amp was stolen/lost/broken, I wouldn't actually buy this amp again. I have had fun with it, but there are overall better amps out there for $600 or less. I really thought that this amp was going to blow me out of the water, but unfortunately I am not sure if this amp truly lives up to the "Marshall" reputation. Does this amp have its positives? Absolutely, as do most amps, but I can't say that this amp is worth what I paid for it.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are better amps to buy if your budget is $600 or less. I hope that this review has been insightful and helps aid in any decision making process for your future amp purchases. // 6
Modman81, on july 22, 2015 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 200
Purchased from: Private seller
Features: Pretty straight forward two channel amp. 12AX7 preamp valves and EL34 power amp valves give it the classic Marshall setup. Clean has full band EQ and the gain has Gain balance and overall gain. Master spring reverb, presence resonance. Nothing spectacular in the features but plenty to be able to tailor you clean sound and overdrive. Would be nice to have the footswitch turn the reverb on and off. Two side handles help with transport. Has a special designed 75x speaker that's okay but nothing special // 7
Sound: Okay these amps get very mixed reviews. People either think their great and others thinks it's the worst Marshall ever made! I needed a cheap amp for a covers band I joined as didn't want to take my full rig. Like most working musician I have a very limited budget. I seen this amp advertised for a great price so decided to take the chance on it. I use pedals and I heard the clean channel is good so thought if the OD was rubbish I can just rely on my pedals. The first thing to note this amp is pretty light for a valve combo. The clean channel is great with a nice bright crisp tone. If you drive it with some humbuckers it breaks up nicely and it also takes pedals really well. The overdrive channel isn't instantly great, at low volume it's pretty much unusable. I decided to try adding a cheap volume attenuator in the FX Loop so I could crank the preamp without taking the windows out. What a difference! The amp really opens up when the pre amp I flat out, it's worth noting that these have a bright cap on the volume pot so at full volume the cap gets bypassed. I think the bright cap really causes these amps problems and should really be removed (something I may do!) the crunch balance control is pretty useful as it allows you to Find the right amount of drive you need. I play more indie/Britpop style so never enter the "metal" territory but this amp can do that if needed. With a Les Paul I was able to go from ClaptonCream era right up to '90s Oasis. The clean lets me to get a Johnny marr style tone (with a little chorus). The speaker is not the best and I recently heard one with a Vintage 30 Celestion and it made a huge difference. Unfortunately first impressions do count and a lot of people got put off these when they first heard them but the plus side is they can be picked up really cheap! With a little work you really can get some great tones out of this amp. I prefer the clean channel to the drive but that's just me. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Seems pretty well made and it's so far with stood a good few gigs and survived the back of the van! The valves could be housed a little better but I've so far had no problems. I bought it used so I have no idea what Marshall's customer service is like so can't comment on that. The finish seems good and all the pots seem okay. It has cheap valves in it from factory so I would suggest a re valve if it still have original tubes. I opened this up and everything seems well soldered nicely finished off // 8
Overall Impression: All in all this I good work horse valve amp. The clean channel is great and it takes pedals really well. The overdrive could be better but with a bit of work it can be excellent. You can pick these up really cheap and would be a huge step up from a modern day soildstate/digital amp. I get some great tones at gig volume so the amp seems to really open up when cranked. Dare I say it's almost JCM-900 like at high volume. If you just want this for home use I would suggest you get a cheap volume attenuator for the FX loop. // 9