MA50C review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (55 votes)
Marshall: MA50C

Price paid: € 550

Purchased from: Thomann

Sound — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 9
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.

Reliability & Durability — 10
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.

Features — 8
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.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    EpiExplorer wrote: Why use a Squier strat.. an Epi Les Paul would be only a little bit more cash and sound many times better. Especially through tube..
    Obviously this guy is stupid.
    sewoo55 wrote: are you sure the distortion sound is crunchy? i used a guitar with emg pickups and my marshall mg practice amp sounded heavier and crunchier than the MA50.....
    I wouldn't call the sound of active pickups "crunchy." Crunch is the sound you get when you crank the clean channel volume up. Like Hendrix is quite crunchy IMO. Crunchy, IMO, is almost clean but has some light overdrive. And twangy sound is a part of crunch (EMGs are pretty much anti-twang). Strat + cranked tube clean channel = crunch at its best.
    A mate of mine got one of these a couple of months ago (sometime last year) the first time I heard it I thought it sounded amazing. But it was the first tube amp I ever heard. Many other amps later, I realised that the clean channel is very stale sounding - Although it does sound better than any solid state amps clean channel - it still lacked something.. Very sterile. I found the drive channels a bit too harsh.. But this amp does take pedals well, also the reverb is OK.. not great but OK.