MG15DFX review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 6.6 (206 votes)
Marshall: MG15DFX

Sound — 7
I'm using an Epiphone SG 400. It has the stock electronics which includes two humbuckers, one at the bridge, one at the neck. So far I'm using the clean channel almost exclusively. I'm not using any pedals or effects except maybe a touch of the amp's reverb. For live performance, I mic the amp, turning the clean channel to 10 and use the guitar volume and my playing style to get the level of clean or grit that I want. With the guitar volume up from 7 - 10, there is actually good gain. I can get good power chords and good full sounding chords. The amp has a pretty good voice here at high volume on the clean channel. It does sing a bit, not like a more serious amp, but for me this is the amp's sweet spot. It has nice sustain too. BTW, I always have the FDD button activated. I tried the emulated line out but the sound is nowhere near a good as micing the amp. Maybe for direct recording it would be OK, but I'm not impressed with it live. There's another guitar player in the worship band that's using a DigiTech RP pedal of some kind. It sounds pretty weak compared the MG15DFX. The MG has some nice mids and lows lacking in the DigiTech. This amp can get muddy. I use only the treble setting on my guitar and also the tone is set high. This helps both volume and clarity of the sound. I'd probably get better sound with better pickups on the guitar, but for now it's pretty good set as I have it. The guitar's rhythm setting is OK at mid to lower volumes, but I don't like the way it breaks up at higher volumes although it's good for power chords. Ok, let's talk abut the OD channel. For me, this channel does pick up where the clean channel leaves off. To do this, the gain has to be at minimum and the volume needs to be down as well. It will never clean up like the clean channel, but I guess it's not meant to. So far I get nothing useful from the OD channel. There is not enough definition there for me. It's just a static mess for playing chords. It's OK for leads or just playing a few strings at a time. I need to do more experimenting with it, but since there is no footswitch for the channels, and since I get the gain I need on the clean channel, I have no need for this channel. It isn't flexible enough for me for live performance, and I haven't been able to get a sound from it that I like. If I want more overdrive I think I'd get a pedal and continue to use the clean channel. I'm giving this a 7 since I'm very happy with the clean channel but I don't think the OD channel is very useful.

Overall Impression — 7
As I said I've used this in a church worship setting playing a variety of different types of songs. The style? Well, with with this amp all the styles range now range from Marshall clean to Marshall crunchy. Which is not a bad thing IMO. Others seem to think it's good too. I like that I can use my playing style and guitar volume to affect the sound coming from the amp. I don't have to switch channels, hit buttons, or stomp on boxes to get different sounds. I don't get a wide variety of sounds but at least I can start calm and gradually wind things up when necessary, and when maxed out on the clean channel, the sound is a lot better than what you get from a cheap effects unit. I'm giving this a 7 overall. This has a good range of flexibility on one channel and meets my current needs without any add-ons. I'm not rating it higher because of what does not work for me - namely, the OD channel, and even if it did work, there's no convenient way to switch to it live. I know, it's a PRACTICE amp.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This was already used when I got it. It looks used too, so I'm thinking anything that could go wrong would probably have done so by now. Since this is what I have, this is what I use. No backups. I love how light this amp is when I'm carrying it back and forth. I'd like a nicer amp eventually, but the good ones are around 40 - 60 pounds. Once or twice I have noticed a clicking on the OD channel. (I don't like the channel but I do still experiment with it). Another reason for me to avoid the OD channel while playing live. No issues with the effects, but I don't really have a need for them. I'm giving it an 8 because it's not perfect, but seems to be doing very well for the way I use it.

Features — 8
My background - I've been a long time acoustic guitarist, mostly just a chord player. I also play other instruments. Guitar is not my best, but I do OK. I picked up a used MG15DFX, seems to be the latest incarnation of this product but not sure when it was made. Features have been explained already, I won't repeat. I use this amp for practice mostly with headphones but I don't need to put the headphones directly on my ears to hear it and advise against for anything but low volumes. I've also used it mic'd in a small worship setting at church. Giving features an 8 since they're pretty good for something in this range.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    This amp is awsome, really good sound both for clean and gain tones. at full volume you can practice with a full band with drums, the only disadvantage is that it doesnt have footswiching capabilities but you can mod it easily to do that. I curently use it for recording with impulses with an easy mod. Audio sample and instructions here: