MG250DFX review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 3
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 5.3 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.2 (151 votes)
Marshall: MG250DFX

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Sound — 3
I play with two Epiphones, one custom and one Ultra II, as well as a Michael Kelly with coil taps. I played these guitars through every amp in the store before buying them, so I know the sound I get from the 250 isn't the guitar's fault. Here comes the obligatory metaphor; this amplifier is like taking a domesticated cat and trying to sell it as a lion. While it nearly passes for 'classic' rock on the crunch channel, there is no way to push this amplifier to anything else. Its bland, which is bad. I ended up running a multi-FX through the clean channel, and later using the speakers as an output for POD Farm on my computer.

Overall Impression — 4
I've been playing for some time, and in the beginning this amplifier was awesome. I 'almost' got my dad to shell out the bucks for a Marshall tube head and half-stack, but my dad... Oh boy, he's tricky! If this amplifier was stolen or lost, I'd have to buy it again because I use it for the piezo output on my Ultra II, but I would be wary of the price and downsize dramatically. On second thought, I run the electric section of the guitar through a Vox VT30, so I might just buy another one of those, and perhaps work them with a delay to get orchestrations a la Brian May. Oh well, 500 bucks out the window and I'm one bad experience richer.

Reliability & Durability — 7
If your tastes are bland, or you aren't looking to use the actual amplifier part, then this is the amp for you. I've dropped it, kicked it, spilled it, had my dogs urinate on it both intentionally and accidentally... It still works! Some people have trouble with the fan breaking, I however, have yet to have this problem. One knob managed to break off, but that was a quick fix. My Ultra II, however, took months. It reminds me of a Jeff Foxworthy joke about cheap sunglasses... I think its that you could never lose a pair of cheap-o's because no one wants them... Same thing applies here.

Features — 7
This amplifier has two channels, one clean and one distorted... For the most part. There is a gain knob for the clean channel, and putting it halfway up is gonna give you a little bit of drive. Unfortunately, the clean and crunchier channels will almost NEVER be anything near unity, the clean will always be significantly (And I mean significantly, as in you won't know it exists) softer than the crunch. Its solid state, but with a Switch that makes it sound a little (not much) like its coming from a tube amplifier. It isn't a bad beginners amplifier, but it begs the question, what beginner needs 250 watts of output?

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    HOW COME YOU CANT FIND ONE ANY WHERE ? how much were they new? are they rare? did they only make the one year 2002? PEACE, Brother BERN
    my friend has this amp, he has it sitting on a 4x12 cab that was rewired, now it is pumping 3-12's to the left and 3-12's to the right, frickin rocks, marshall should come out with a line of these, 3/4 stack LOL, peace, Brother Bern
    Huh, I like my MG250 a lot. I've always had Fender amps (pre cbs Princeton, Deluxe and Twin Reverb with EV-SRO speakers). I had been using a Fender FM 25R (Mexican). This is no pre cbs twin reverb but it's loud and clear. No problems with fan noise, or any other unwanted clutter. I don't use the effects much but the reverb is pretty strong. I can get some decent tremolo type sound with the effects but the only other effect I use is Wahwah (old Vox). I mostly use a 58/60 Fender strat custom (Fender hardware, Beautiful Warmoth neck and body, Rio Grande Tallboy pickups). I play R&B, soul, blues and reggae. I have no trouble finding good tones. I bought this amp off ebay in excellent condition for $151.00 US. The price was great so I bought it as an investment. My wife and friends tell me I'm crazy to sell it, even at twice the cost. So I'm keeping it, for now.
    Funny how people play an MG15 and then rip this out. Swap out the speakers and you have one of the best solid states around. Sure its no JCM, but its cheap, hard, and loud.
    This is hands down the WORST pos I have ever owned. By reading these posts I must have bought the lemon. I have had nothing but problems with this amp. It started 30 days after buying it. It is now taking up room in a corner because for the fourth time it has crapped out. It is completely un-useable now and I have pretty much given up on it. It is/was my practice amp and has been replaced by a Roland Cube which has turned out to be bulletproof. Pretty sad considering it was a USED Roland I bought for $80.00. Hopefully anyone else with these amps gets a better deal than I did.
    i traded some doucher on craigslist an ipod for this amp and a BOSS DS-1. Sounds good to me. maybe people on here are stupid and cant get good tone on their own, and have it so engrained in their mind that their bad tome is their amp and guitars faut, and then when they sound shitty, they look waywartd for a piece of equipment to blame. if paul gilbert can shred on an ibanez gio and a 10 watt POS than you can get good tone off a marshall and a (probably) shitty epiphone youre using anyway.
    ARom22 wrote: "At the moment I am using an Epiphone gibson sg with two seymour duncan humbuckers, so i know what great tone sounds like" LOL man you made my day, lol omg i might need surgery from this Try a GIBSON GIBSON LES PAUL with two GIBSON pickups and an amp with some VALVES and then we can talk about great tone
    While I agree that the Gibson Les Paul does have impeccable tone and that one can't compete with valve distortion (the difference between my old Marshall MG50FX & my Mesa 5:50 Express is like the difference between a Chevy Aveo & a BMW M3), I wouldn't be so quick to judge Epi SGs. I own one with Alnico Classic humbuckers and get brilliant tones out of it. And the majority of Seymour Duncan's pickups are just hands-down better than Gibson's stock pickups. I mean, a JB/'59 combo or P-90s? Give me the Duncans any day. That's just my opinion, though
    This amp sounds great in my opinion (have had it and gigged with it for.. 3 years?). True, it isn't gonna get you an extremely heavy tone, but if you have really hot pickups, the tone you can get out of it can absolutely tear through Slayer or Megadeth. It has a very classic sort of tone (it is Marshall after all). Trick to getting this amp to sound good: Treble pretty high, bass very low, in my opinion.
    I got this amp a few years back and I didn't quite like it at first, but then again, I was running a cheap strat-copy through it and I had no idea what the the contour knob did, now I play a Gibson Flying V Faded through it, with the contour on about six with the treble pulled back a good bit and I love the sound I get. Honestly, I think this amp's party piece has to be the contour knob- run a Fender Jazzmaster infront of it and put the contour to about two and you can get a pink floyd-style tone with a little delay/chorus and should you put the contour all the way over and switch to humbuckers, I managed to get Disturbed levels of distortion. All in all, I like this amp, yes, player error has a lot to do with it, but assuming this has a good player, then it will not thank you for using a bad guitar. Would recommend for punk through to havy metal, the clean tone isn't too nice, but the old trick of rolling the volume right back on the distortion channel works nicely for me (particularly when using the Jazzmaster on the jazz circuit)and for lower-gain stuff, you're better off going for a Fender- the low-gain stuff on this amp is nice, but a more dedicated amp would probably suit you better for that. Finally, I have the master volume on this really high and the channel volume quite low, so that it plays in the power stage when it's at low volumes- that has helped a lot, I think.
    I have had this amp for 5 years and never loved it but it just got better. Stock it's too dense and undefined. I removed the back and that helped the density x10. I had a speaker from an old solid state fender amp and put that in and that cured the bottom heavy sound. It sounds so much better now, away from the modern JCM tone it was trying for and closer to the Plexi days. If I have to remove the marshall tags so be it.
    I have this amp -- got it for steal at like $75 and a trade of a Fender Princeton chorus amp in 2012. Agreed, the distortion channel is a bit muddy, but the damn thing shakes my garage. No complaints there. Running a BOSS DS-1 and BOSS SO-1 with a MXR noise gate line driver (circa 1982?).