MB4210 Review

manufacturer: Marshall date: 12/06/2012 category: Bass Amplifiers
Marshall: MB4210
This amp has 3 channels: a solid state "Modern" channel, with a compressor, a "Classic" channel with an ECC83 preamp tube, and a "Blend" channel which allows you to combine the two.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 6.5
 Reliability & Durability: 5
 Features: 7.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (2) 10 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
MB4210 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 28, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 309

Purchased from: Local Music Store

Sound: At present I use a stock Ibanez ATK300 and a Modified Squier Jazz Bass with Seymour Duncan Vintage Pickups. If I play with the dials long enough I can create any sound, from a double bass sounding noise wonderful for Jazz and playing with an Acoustic guitar, to a Vintage growl suitable for classic and hard rock, to a funky sound perfect for slapping. The only problem is it takes time to set up because of the vast number of knobs and buttons, but I feel it is worth it. The Modern channel gives wonderful cleans, even at high volumes, though I have not dared to go over volume 7 because of the sheer power this thing generates. The classic channel gives a wonderful warm tube sound, which will overdrive slightly at higher volumes, by turning the gain up, or can be made to overdrive more at low volumes by pushing the boost button. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would gig with this amp without a backup no problem. As for ruggedness, I have dragged it through the streets of Liverpool and Stoke, it has had Leeds United fans jumping on it, and it still looks Brand New out the box. My amp tends to have a buzz for the first 5 minutes or so after turning it on, but that goes. I am unsure whether this is the nature of the tubes or a fault, but either way I would not expect that to happen to an amp which is only 4 months old. I have contacted Marshall and they can fix it and send it back to me in about a week, which I consider fairly quick. // 8

Overall Impression: I am I diverse musician, playing many different styles as I freelance with different bands and progress with my existing band, and I feel this amp reflects that. There are no limits to the sounds it can create, and can withstand a beating from being dragged from gig to gig. I tried lots of other amps around this price range before deciding on the Marshall, including Ampeg, Ashdown, Line 6, Fender and Behringer, but there was something about the Marshall that attracted me. I wish good luck to anyone Who tries to steal this amp, as the weight of it means they won't get far, but if they succeed I would buy from this range again without a doubt. I do find the long set up time for adjusting the vastly complicated settings annoying and not the most user-friendly (unlike the Ampeg Combos, which have 5 presets and a simple 3 band EQ), but the Manual provides you with some ideas to get you going, but I always carry a piece of paper with me, with some settings on it for certain tones. I also wish I could make more use of the compressor, but it is just too fierce to use for any meaningful purpose. The blend channel is the best idea I have ever seen, combining the warm sounds of tube with the sound definition and clarity of solid state. The boost button is a genius idea, as it gives the overdrive of a tube at its limit but as lower volumes, without the need for stompboxes, which in my opinion sound tinny. // 9

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overall: 4.5
MB4210 Reviewed by: templeguard, on december 06, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 388

Purchased from: Sounds Live

Sound: I love the sound of this amp. I play a Fender Precision in a 50's and 60's band and the sounds suits the music perfectly. I find it is a bit on the noisy side - quite a lot of hiss. I don't run the gain control very high so I get no distortion. I can get any variety of sound I need and am perfectly happy with the sound quality. I don't use the modern channel at all but I have tried it out and it has a very good sound. You can combine the two channels and although I don't use this facility while playing, the variety of sounds available are enormous. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This unfortunately is where the amplifier lets the name down. The amp developed a fault after a few weeks (bought from new in 2010). Sounds live were great, sorted the carriage back to Marshall and loaned me an amp whilst it was away. Marshall replaced the amp and sent me a new one within a couple of weeks so I have no issues with them. The new amp developed a fault after a while and was sent back to Marshall who repaired it and got it back to me swiftly. I can't fault Marshall or Sounds Live for their after sales service. I also have a Bass Head, the MBB450H, which I use as a back up amp. I was pleased I had it when the combo started playing up. Unfortunately the MBB450H has developed a fault and will need to go back to Marshall. I have no confidence in the rig any longer. I find I am listening for problems rather than concentrating on the music and that is certainly not a good thing. Three breakdowns in two and a half years. Not a good advert for Marshall. // 2

Overall Impression: The band plays 50's and 60's music - Everley's, Orbison, Presley, Johnny Kidd, Cliff - and the match of the Fender and the Marshall suits the music well. I have been playing since the early 60's so I've been around the block a few times and pride myself on having a bit knowledge about amps. I compared the Marshall with other makes and chose it because it was a bit more manageable than some of the others I tried out. I certainly wouldn't buy another and wish I had gone for a manufacturer more well known for bass amps. In fairness to Marshall, the lead guitarist has used nothing else for donkey's years and has never had as much as a hiccup. Perhaps it's just the bass range, or perhaps I have just had pure bad lick.

// 4

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