MG30DFX review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 4
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Features: 2
  • Reviewer's score: 3.3 Poor
  • Users' score: 6.8 (302 votes)
Marshall: MG30DFX

Sound — 4
Overall, this amp tends to have strong mids. This gives it a bit mroe punch, and makes it sound more like you'd expect a Marshall to sound. The clean channel is good for one thing: strumming type songs. Try to play a lead, blues, or jazz and this channel won't cut it. It will just sound dull and boring. Once you take it past half, the clean breaks up and sounds choppy and buzzy. The louder it gets past half, the crappier the sound. This is because of tube emulation circuitry that Marshall puts in the Mg's, they don't advertise it much because it isn't a very good feature. Forget about headphones, you will need to turn the volume up past half to hear yourself, and that will make the amp sound crap. I need a clean channel that can be acousticy, glassy, flat, and this amp doesn't do that. Some electric strumming songs sound good through it though. The Overdrive channel is much better than the clean. It has crunch, and it is very punchy. The problem is that it is not versatile. You will get one tone out of it, no matter how you tweak the thing. I spent months looking for the perfect tone, and it just wasn't there. You can't get insane distortion, you can't even come close to the Metallica chug. You also can't get anything bluesy out of it. Try to play Hendrix, SRV, Led Zeppelin, or Queen on it and you will sound nothing like the bands. It's good at what it's designed to do, but it won't do anything else. Turn this channel up past half and it won't get that breakup, but it still sounds best around 3-4. If you trun the bass up, the amp will shake things since it ha a 10 inch speaker. It's loud for a 30 watt amp on overdrive, louder than most other amps. This isn't a $5000 dollar amp, and no amp this cheap will ever sound like one. However, that does not make up for the lack of versatility and the bad clean.

Overall Impression — 4
Overall, this is an average amp. It doesn't have anything special, and a lot of the features are bad, but you can get some good tones out of it. For the price, you can buy a much better and more versatile amp, but you'll be hard pressed to get that Marshall sound. If you play blues, funk, psychadelic rock, metal, or jazz like I do this amp will not cut it. It can only handle classic rock. When I tryed to play these other genres, it made my palying sound bad which is a definate turnoff. I lost this amp, and got an new amp that I like much more. When I bought this amp, I liked to play AC/DC and not much else. The amp was good for that, but as my taste and experiance grew the amp started to frustrate me more and more. This amp will not give you much room to grow and experiment in. The only things that are really good about this is the AC/DC tone, and the looks. If you have your heart set on an MG, get the MG15. It's much better value, and you probably wont need the extra 15 watts anyway. This amp has been overhyped, and it is not the real all tube JCM800 that Marshall is famous for. You should go and try all the amps in this price range. I only tried the MG30DFX and I paid the price. One last word, this is not very important though. This amp smells extremely bad. Marshall used some very funky smelling glue when it was manufactured, and when the speaker pushes air the smell comes out. It is very noxious, it gave me headaches and it didn't ever go away. The amps in the store don't smell like this because they have been aired out, that is they have been played on extensively.

Features — 2
The MG's are notortious for being unreliable, and mine is no exception. After four months, the MG kept on cutting out. I took it to the shop, they sent it to Marshall. Marshall kept it for two weeks, and then I got it back. Once I got it back, it was fine. Then after another month, it broke down again. The only thing the Marshall shop did was to set the amp to a nu metal sounding overdrive. One friend has his heat sink almost fall out. This is a very bad problem, the amp could have blown. HE did fix it though, and it isn't likely to give him other problems. Everyone who owns an MG (that I've known) has had it break down on them. They are built in India, this is worse than Korea or China kids. NOTE:I treat this amp, like all of my gear, very well. I keep it in a safe place, away from anything that will interfear with it's operation. I keep it clean, and I always turn the volume down before and after I trun it on/off. I only plug guitars in when it is off. The bottom line: an amp should not constantly break down on you like this, no matter how cheap it is.

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