MG30FX review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.5 Neat
  • Users' score: 5.3 (82 votes)
Marshall: MG30FX

Sound — 8
The sound is really quite good on this amp. I mainly run two guitars through it, an Ibanez SAS36QM and an Epiphone Les Paul Custom. Both sound great. I don't get much feedback despite often practising quite close to the amp. I also do not get much buzz either. I would say the easiest sound to get out of this amp is a 'blues' kind of sound but with the right settings, you can play pretty much anything through it. The clean channel does not become too distorted when you crank up the volume but the distortion is pretty mild so for playing heavier rock/metal, you may also want to invest in a pedal.

Overall Impression — 6
I play rock and metal and although this amp probably wouldn't be my first choice for these styles, it would be up there. I have been playing for 8 years and I also have a Line 6 Spider IV 150 watt. The Marshall does not compare to the Line 6 but there is a severe difference in price between the two. If this amp were stolen/lost I would probably look to buy a different amp. The falling through jack input is a pain but overall it is not a bad amp however I would prefer it to have more effects (not something you often get on a Marshall).

Reliability & Durability — 5
So, this is the point that lets the entire amp down for me. I cannot depend soly on this amp and if I were to play it at a gig, I would definitely feel the need for a backup. The input jack falls through constantly. Which wouldn't matter too much but it literally takes forever to fix. Once you have fixed it again, you have about 3 hours max before it decides to fall through again. In terms of wiring, I haven't had a problem and I guess it may be a one off problem but just something to bare in mind.

Features — 7
I was pleasantly surprised with the features on this amp. It is 70W and I think made in 2009. It has a clean and crunch channel, plus 2 overdrive channels. There is a 3 band EQ (bass, mid, treble), gain, master volume, channel volume, FX (chorus, phaser, flanger and delay). The effects aren't the best so I would suggest adding pedals to it if you need any. I play metal and rock and to be honest the distortion isn't too bad although not particularly 'heavy'. There is a headphone jack and an MP3 jack, the MP3 jack being quite useful for playing along to songs or just listening to music in general. There is also a tuner and a store function where you can select the default effects added to each channel.Lastly there is a foot controller option.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The input jack falls through constantly
    Yup, always. its ****ing annoying
    Bought this MG30DFX for my Grandson for a early X-mas gift..hes started up a band and the Marshall name is famous for sound quality..but WTF happened to this model?? After I heard him play through it, I broke out my old Frankenstrat and tryed it out myself..what a POS!! Boxed it up and took it back!! He's using one of my amps..its only a loner until I can fix him up with something with better quality!! Was a real let down!
    Yea..the shop where I bought the Marshall from was really POed that I brought it back and pitched a fit about giving me a refund...but hell, I live in Texas and we got the lemmon law here..if you do not like something you got 72 hours to return it..period!! Got my cash back and we went to another store and I got him the Vox 100watt SS with all the built ins. I own several Marshalls..WTF happened to this model???
    I think it is a pretty nice practice amp, but it doesn't last too long. We had one in our rehersal space, and it broke ~one month. They had to get a new one. I don't like it.
    How do you have a 70w MG30FX? The "30l in the model number is the amps wattage.....
    Same idea that pop out on my mind. I think the 70W is the consumption and 30W is the output. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    I recommend not buying this amp. For the guy that said OD2 has a Slash tone, if thats Slash's tone it sucks.
    I have heard nightmare stories of current Marshall amps, I went to Vox and never looked back
    TomGale wrote: I'm so pissed off I didn't read these reviews before buying this amp (lucky I got a refund)... but most people are right... the worst thing about this amp is the overdrive/gain/distortion... it sucks! The best I got out of it, with a BRAND new 2011 Epiphone Zakk Wylde with Active EMG 81 & 85 PUs was a heavy ACDC Sound. WTF! Marshall should be cranked and insane with distortion, with the ability to pull back and get the more classic rock sound... this amp FAILS HARD!
    Yeah, the distortion is too heavy for classic rock but you can't kind of get any heavier with the amp. Hard rock is the only thing this amp can do. The gain at 9 o'clock sounds almost the same as gain at full. And it's not about the amount of gain, the EQ controls pretty much suck. The only control that really affects the tone is contour. But I think you should keep it at zero. Otherwise it doesn't sound any good, it sounds too scooped. But the clean sucks much more than the distortion. The distortion channel is just a one trick pony but the clean just sounds so bland, dull and boring. No warmth at all and no dynamics. And it distorts because of a "cool" feature that tries to mimic a cranked tube amp clean channel. Solid state clean channels should stay clean. But what do you expect from an amp that costs less than 200? Though it seems like people are trying to do too "fine" amps for too cheap. They should make a simple amp like the solid states from the '80s. No BS inside, just everything you need for practice. But every amp today has to be loaded with built in effects and amp models and some crappy "tube amp" emulators that make your clean sound distorted (and it doesn't even sound like tube amp). They could throw all those BS features away and make a decent practice amp with the same money.
    I would say the easiest sound to get out of this amp is a 'blues' kind of sound but with the right settings, you can play pretty much anything through it. The clean channel does not become too distorted when you crank up the volume but the distortion is pretty mild so for playing heavier rock/metal, you may also want to invest in a pedal.
    I have to disagree. I think it has too much gain, even if the gain is at 9 o'clock. The distortion is passable. It's OK if you play hard rock/punk but this amp really lacks variety. It has that one kind of distortion sound. Only when you tweak the contour knob, you can get different sounds (though I think the only setting that sounds good is contour at 0). The clean channel is very boring sounding. It's bland and lacks the warmth. Chorus helps it but really it just sounds bad. And also it distorts too easily. This amp should have a low gain input so the clean stayed clean. Compressor pedal helps it a bit so it doesn't distort if you hit the strings too hard. Seems like they tried to make too fine amp for too cheap. I have read that the clean channel was made to distort in high volumes because then you get that "blues crunch." But the "blues crunch" sound sucks. Solid state clean channel should stay clean, that's where it's at its best. Really, if you want to get a cheap solid state amp, buy an old Peavey. They are not as "fine" amps as this but at least they are not full of BS. Or then just invest some more money on a real tube amp and you'll never regret buying it (you can find tube amps for pretty cheap if you go used). Why can't people make simple amps any more? Everything has to have digital effects etc. crap that doesn't work properly and nobody uses. Don't buy a pedal before you have a better amp (when you might not even need the pedal).
    I have one and still not sure whether it supposed to be in manual mode or auto ?? I have my store light lit up all the time. Is that the correct way to run it ? I only ever use the clean channel as everything else seems miles too noisey. overdrive 1 and 2 are just noise adders. But as I was and still am a noob I just went with the name. I did prefer the Line6 30 watt much better. But I still own the MG30fx and I had the pedal a cable and a Marshall tea mug thrown in for the delay I had to wait. Well I didn't wait as I opted for the bigger 30 instead of the 20. Bosh!
    The distortion of this amp is so natural and much nicer than the distiortion of Line 6 Spider IV.And on OD2 channel you can get kind of Metallica sound easily, just play with the equalizer and reverb knobs on your amp (give less bass and more treble) and with pickups swich on your guitar (use bridge pickup only). Give it as much time as it needs to find the right settings for your ears. And kind of Slash tone is possible as well, of course (use neck pickup on your guitar for bluesy tones of Slash solos, sometimes both pickups for fuller sound) and spend as much time as it needs with the equalizer knobs again. Guys, this is not expensive tube amp, but you can get amazing sounds out of it for what it is. And the digital effects are also nicer compared to the other amps I have owned - VOX, Line 6. OK, they are simple, but they sound sweet - always use just touch of chorus, touch of reverb, etc. There usually is no need to crank the effects up. I would recommend to anybody, who likes such tones. However, try more amps on your own, then buy based on your taste. This one has been the winner for me for a long time and still is (meaning home use, etc.). BTW - VOX had also pretty sounds - very versatile and tasty, but Marshalls are for me.
    anyone notice that everyone who had a -8 review had a cheap setup as far as guitars? the haters had epiphone or ibanez. btw, this is the best combo out there for the money. volume is incredible, i gigged a basketball gym at half volume. distortion is nice and crunchy, but you still get good clarity. clean sounds best if you add a tiny amount of reverb, which there is plenty of. the only problem is the flanger, which is a little weak, but everything else is great.