MG50DFX review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.1 (181 votes)
Marshall: MG50DFX

Price paid: $ 504

Sound — 6
Now about the sound. I'm not saying this amp has a bad sound. I'm saying I've been lucky finding an amp with this sound, since it suits my style and my taste perfectly. I mostly play Iron Maiden, The Darkness, Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, and also some Poison, Bon Jovi, Sum 41, Europe, when I'm not with my band. As you can see, the guitarists in these band all have different tones and sounds, but their level of distortion is all similar. And it's possible, on the Marshall MG50DFX, to find a sound similar to Slash's (consider the fact that I have a Les Paul, it's an Epiphone but still a Les Paul) or Adrian Smith's, and don't get me wrong, it's doesn't sound crap, it's amazingly similar. Also, using the contour knob, you can get a really good nu metal sound for bands like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit and System of a down. I don't like that stuff anymore, but, if someone playing this stuff wants to get a MG50, I want to tell him/her that this is the right amp. But this amp has a serious problem: the gain of the overdrive channel. No matter what, you can't get a crunchy sound out of this amp, or a light distortion. The gain on the clean channel isn't enough powerful to get it, and the gain on the overdrive channel seems too powerful, even at level 1. This is my main problem with this amp, since, when I'm playing with my band, I can always find the right sound for solos or heavier songs, but I can't find the right tone for crunchy rythms and such. About the clean channel, well, there's not much to say. Using the gain and the equalization knobs you can get a variety of different clean tones, even if not too many. Using the clean channel with a slight chorus effect and reverb is really great, and I'd dare to say one of the best clean sounds I've heard. So overall, this amp has actually a good sound, very different from most solid states and somehow similar to tube amps, but it isn't versatile enough. You just get black or white, and not what's in the middle, if you get what I mean. Because I know that an amp, especially a Marshall, has to be versatile and ready for every kind of player, I give it a 3, but remember, if you play heavy metal, nu metal or hard rock, or every kind of music which has highly distorted guitars, it's a 5.

Overall Impression — 8
Well, what to say more. I love this amp, but I can't give it a good rating, because not everyone plays what I play, and most people need a good variety of sounds. But talking for myself, I have everything I want: a good highly distorted sound, sound effects (I use chorus a lot for cleans, and sometimes for solos, it gives them a futuristic, 80s sound; it's very reactive and good for tapping, and the sound is not too harsh like it is in other solid states. Also, as I've said before, it's really loud for an amp of this kind. I just wish it was more versatile so I could get more sounds out of it, but I still have my DigiTech RP50. So, if you want to buy this, consider the style you play, you could either get a great amp or a crap amp, depending on your tastes and styles.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've played a small gig (like 100 people) with this amp, and it didn't give any problems. I would use it without a backup for sure, since it's very reliable, and it's built like a rock. The amp has never broken but I've only had it for two weeks.

Features — 8
This amp is a 1x12" solid state 50watt combo. It has two footswitchable channels (the footswitch is included in the package), clean and overdrive, both with their gain knob and equalization knobs. The overdrive channel has the contour knob instead of mids, which, as the instruction booklet and the site say, affects your sound really much, and, in my opinion, even too much. Also, the overdrive channel has a volume knob, which doesn't just change how loud your sound is, but makes your sound better as you choose a higher value. Then there's a master volume knob, which is the real volume control in the amp and affects both your clean and overdrive channel. Keep it low if you're practicing at home! Another really interesting function is the digital effects. There are four different digital effects, chorus, delay, chorus+delay and phaser. Only one effect at time can be used, and through the effect selection knob you can choose the "strenght" of the effect (for example, for chorus, you can go from a reverb-like sound to a continous, strong vibrato), and through the FX level knob you can choose how much it will affect your tone. The digital effect are footswitchable too, but you are only able to switch on or off the effect you've chosen through the knob. There's another digital effect too, which has it's own knob but is not footswitchable, and it is the reverb. Another function is this FDD, that is, frequency dependent damping, that should emulate, through a circuitry, the sound of a tube amp. I say this is the most useless function in the amp, since all it does, to me, is just make the amp louder. It seems to me like it's all an excuse from Marshall to make this amp stand out of the crowd. And this amp actually stands out of the crowd, but not because of the FDD. If you'll get this amp, you'll definitely find yourself with this function always on, since with this function off the amp just seems to have less volume. Other functions are a line out/headphones plug, an FX loop, and a CD in on the back to practice with your favourite songs but which is kinda useless since the guitar sound tends to cover the music. Overall, the features of this amp are good and its power suits me and my needs, as it is loud enough for a 50 watt solid-state, at least more than most.

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