MG30DFX review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 6.8 (302 votes)
Marshall: MG30DFX
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Price paid: $ 299.99

Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com

Sound — 5
I've used an Epiphone les paul and a Squier stratocaster through this amp for a considerable amount of playing time, probably on average 3 hours a day for the past 2 and a half years. Of course, the strat's single coils sound thinner than the humbuckers on the les paul, but other than that there was a very small difference in tone. The sound sure as hell beat my old Behringer starter pak 15 watt amp, but when I started recording this amp and comparing it to professional recordings I immediately realized how subpar this amp is sound-wise. The clean is really boring with single coils, it sounded alright with my lespaul but that was all the work of the humbuckers. Although marshalls are famous for having plenty of mid range, this MG has too much mid and that definitely makes it a lot less crisp sounding. I often described the recorded sound as "mushy", which nobody understood until they heard it. Also, the gain knob only does half the job: it does increase the sound of action on the guitar (hammer ons, slide ups etc) but it does not make the tone more powerful, you still get the same mushy sound. In addition, there's no such thing as light gain on this amp, so open chords don't sound very good, even if you turn the gain down and turn your guitar's volume knob down. However, I've done some research and it turns out that most solid state amps have these same problems, and as far as solid states go the Marshall MG series is actually pretty good. But still, the only times I was impressed with the sound were when I first got it (because it was replacing a really crappy amp) and when I got my les paul (the alnico classic humbuckers work wonders on any amp). Overall a very average sound. If I could compare it to anything, it really sounds like Journey's guitars sound on "Any Way You Want It". If you're happy with that then more power to ya but I play modern pop-punk/alternative rock/indie, which requires a much more crisp modern sound. If you play my stuff get the AVT20X instead as a practice amp.

Overall Impression — 6
It might be fine for some classic rock but for pop-punk the sound was decent at best. I just bought a Marshall AVT valvestate 2000 stack and I'm a hell of a lot more impressed with that. If you're a beginner you won't be unsatisfied but there are a few better options for similar price ranges.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've had this amp for almost 3 years, and haven't had any problems. I've heard a lot of complaints from other people but I'm judging this based on my own experience. I've never gigged it, I mean it's not even loud enough for my band's drummer to hear the chord changes when we practice.

Features — 6
This amp is not spanking new, but relatively modern. There aren't many features, but you wouldn't expect many on a 30 watt solid state, ust the three basic EQ regions, gain, and volume. To be honest, it's not very versatile. No matter how you tweak the EQ, and regardless whether you're using a single coil strat or a lespaul with humbuckers, you get pretty much the same sound, unless you turn the mid up all the way but that will sound like crap on any amp. However, the FX are nice, I really like how you can get delay at several different tempos, and the fdd button can give your guitar a more slashy tone, if you like your gain to cut through the air a bit.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    hurleydude77
    jackson.88 wrote: men you're f***ing insane! this amp is some kind of perfect come on! I use this amp with my Jackson Dk2 "hot rod flames" model, and i can say that it sounds more than awesome! how can you just give a rating of 2 to this amp! do you know anything 'bout guitar and amps? probably no! Its a good amp for the price! A wonderful amp! the overdrive is perfect, i can obtain every tone i want, and the clean couldn't be as a Fender one but its still good enough to have a more-than-decent sound! so if you own some crappy guitar like a strat copy from an unknown crappy brand from alaska or wherelse, please don't comment this amp! s**t its a MARSHALL! not a behringer!
    ^ he obviously just upgraded from that 100 dollar behringer starter pak. dont worry dude, i did too, and i felt the same way. but slowly you will see that this amp is only top of the line for begginers, and you'll get really sick of it and want something with valves.
    SG69
    hmmm if you have a crap guitar dont say anything? well i have a gibson SG and it mskes a gibson sound like shit, hows that a good amp? i dont think you know anything about amps jackson88
    sektor47
    My friend has one of these amps, it's fairly loud, not so hummy, doesn't give feedback unless you shove your guitar right in front of the amp, the effects are alright, yep. But when we jam, his distortion is so weak sounding, like it's not solid, chunky, or crunchy! It's just that weak distortion, which is definitly the amp's fault, my friend uses a Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top, and it sure sounds chunky as heck. I would rather get the Fender Frontman 25r over this amp, although the reverb on the Fender Frontman is crap, the Fender amp sounds much better than this amp, even when cranked, which it sounds crap at.