MG50FX review by Marshall

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 5.3 Decent
  • Users' score: 8 (144 votes)
Marshall: MG50FX
0

Price paid: £ 200

Sound — 5
I'm using a Les Paul copy by Rally (GL-400) with some generic covered humbuckers. When trying to do punk rock etc on the overdrive channel this amp reaches somewhere from O.K to Good. Once you try a style that needs a clean sound, you're out of luck. By default the amp puts a chorus effect on the clean channel which in my opinion ruins it (a bad chorus effect but it may appeal to some). Effects can be disabled by hitting the FX button but you're still left with a lacking and honestly unacceptable tone. Perhaps if you've got enough time to tweak the hell out of this thing you might get a slightly better result. The crunch channel is ok but lacks the diversity that you would get from a tube amp which leaves it feeling somewhat redundant. Ticking over on clean on even a low volume, this thing emits a loud buzz worsened only by the effects that always seem to turn themselves back on. Overdrive 2 at loud levels is something you want to stay far away from. Distortion is ok on this amp but lacks the depth and soul that you'd get from a tube amp. However, for a solid state amp, it's passable.

Overall Impression — 5
I bought this naively thinking that I'd get some kind of tone reminiscent of the more pricey Marshall amps. I was wrong. I mainly play punk and general rock where I need a good overdriven tone but that's something I've yet to find with this amp. I've been playing for around 5 years now but have only been really getting into playing over the last 2 years which is when I started to become aware about equipment and how it influenced your tone. When I purchased this, I did so on the hope that the brand name would provide which I'm sad to say it didn't. If this were stolen I would definitely not get another. There are plenty of options out there that provide much more versatility and can get you closer to that Marshall tone than this can. If you're looking at buying this amp and/or are looking for a 50 watt combo around 200 I'd recommend you check out the Vox Valvetronix instead of this. Clearly, brand name is not everything.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Though it feels cheap to the touch, it's fairly heavy and seems quite well built. I've had no problems with the amp so far apart from an issue with the footswitch which was simply a contact problem and was likely a one-off. Right now I've got nothing else to gig with so I'd have no choice but to use it. However, given the circumstances, I think I'd be safe gigging with it and not needing a backup.

Features — 4
I don't know the exact date the amp was made but it seems to be fairly recent. Versatility? I wouldn't say that's one of this amp's strong points. I'm experimenting with a number of different styles at the moment and this amp has been a real struggle to get the tone I needed. It does put out an ok crunch/overdrive type sound with some tweaking but otherwise you'll be lucky to get the tone you want. The amp comes with 4 channels, fully customisable and footswitchable which are by default: Clean, Crunch, Overdrive and Overdrive 2. It includes a feature Marshall calls Frequency Dependant Damping which is supposed to make the amp behave more as if it were a tube amp but its still blatantly solid state. The output to the speaker can be easily detached to allow you to hook this thing up to a different cabinet should you wish to. Also included is an MP3 in, good for playing along and an emulated 1/8' headphone jack which ends up sounding dramatically different to what you'd hear coming from the amp normally. There are some built in effects including Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Reverb etc but I tend to stay away from those as they are pretty poor and sacrifice tone too much. One thing I will say is that this thing is loud and could be used for gigging. Much over 1/4 on the Master volume and the neighbours start complaining. That being said, it doesn't exactly sound great at high volume.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    FearOfTheDuck
    I got a MG250DFX, but thats cos i'm poor. Honestly, if you fiddle around with the settings you can get a good sound.
    rockfreak611
    Jed121 wrote: I have the 2006 model and it's a tank. I've used the latest ones to date and they seem to have a much poorer build and sound.. I'd say look for an old one and get a bargain for a good marshall sound at low cost.
    Same. mine actually sounds pretty decent with my band in the mix. I can get a nice spongey crunch out it.
    L2112Lif
    Yeah, the lower end of Vox is ten times better than the lower end of Marshall. Hell, for the price of this amp you can pick up the Vox VT50 which, at the least, gives you a tube to look at and watch warm up. Wether or not the tube actually does much is still up in the air, but the sound is much better anyway... I had the old ones of these, the MG250DFX from like, three years ago. I still use it for the piezo output of my LP Ultra II because there's no other use for it, and no one's willing to buy it. Sometimes I think about building a pre and power amp section just to bypass the digitalness of this amplifier.
    busted_hater
    in my 40 years of playing i have never liked cheap end marshalls and have only ever liked a few top end marshall. would much rather play vox, fender and carr amps.
    FearOfTheDuck wrote: I got a MG250DFX, but thats cos i'm poor. Honestly, if you fiddle around with the settings you can get a good sound.
    For cheap end stuff it is all about the vox's. for the same price you could have got a Vox Valvetronix VT15. 1 million times better amp for your money. I got a MG250DFX, but thats cos i'm poor. Honestly, if you fiddle around with the settings you can get a good sound.[/quote]
    westley23j
    my first 2 amps were marshall. i only got them for the name. since then i have a mesa boogie dual rectifier roadster combo with a fender deluxe reverb to add a bit to my cleans. spend the $ and buy a mesa boogie. they are "tweaker" amps, but once you find your tone, you will never look any further. ill never buy ANY marshall again.
    Sidtheboon
    I have this amp too and i also agree its absolute shit, i was expecting much more
    Poopr
    I don't like the crunchy sounds of marshall. I use Vox and it's sounds well because the different distortion settings. I say, check it out
    Jyrgen
    A Vox Valvetronix is indeed a better sounding and more versatile choice
    CalebJThompson
    FearOfTheDuck wrote: I got a MG250DFX, but thats cos i'm poor. Honestly, if you fiddle around with the settings you can get a good sound.
    Until you play a real Marshall...
    The^Unforgiven
    Oh, c'mon! It might not be a great amp, but a 4 for the features? If you ask me, the amp's got quite a load of features, and 4 is a grade you'd give to a super-stripped-down amp...
    quinlikesmetal
    I have to say the newer line of these suck, but i have the much older version and that thing just cranks and is an absolute tank.
    Jed121
    I have the 2006 model and it's a tank. I've used the latest ones to date and they seem to have a much poorer build and sound.. I'd say look for an old one and get a bargain for a good marshall sound at low cost.
    hamtheman222
    in my opinuin the new MG's are shit! i have an old version of the MG100HDFX and its ****ing brutal!!!
    Nickyshane
    Megadeaf wrote: thefreak013 wrote: Peavey!!!!! Any Peavey solid state I've ever used has really sucked. Their tube amps rock though. I'd kill for a 5150 instead of my Crate POS.
    Don't discredit the ValveKing, I picked up because i can't really afford a 6505+, and lemme tell you, the cleans are damn good, along with the distortion beign rediculously tight once i ran my sonic maximizer through it. As far as the marshall goes, honestly, i've been VERY unimpressed with the MG line. I used the older Spider II line from Line 6, and i used the 212 150 watt version, which could honestly be fine for bedroom or gigging. Thing is the amp was good for distortion and effects, cleans were junk though. If your looking for a bedroom amp, vox is the way to go, if your looking for a real stage ready sound, you have to go either tube or go with peavey's Supreme XL line, those things are killer.
    Megadeaf
    thefreak013 wrote: Peavey!!!!!
    Any Peavey solid state I've ever used has really sucked. Their tube amps rock though. I'd kill for a 5150 instead of my Crate POS.
    guitar4eternity
    Maybe Marshall is losing its touch??? I have a Fender Deville Hot Rod tube amp which provides all the nice tube rock, metal, and blues distortion I need. It's simple to use and cool to look at... but it also cost $800. If you don't like it... don't buy it, or return it and get something else instead of whining about it. (Call the Wambulance much?)
    FearOfTheDuck
    Yeah i only got it because it was cheap and it had Marshall on it. I now know what sounds good and what sounds terrible. I don't gig yet so its fine just for jams.
    dorado91
    I played the MG once at a friend's house and didn't like it too much. I own a VT50 and that is a much better choice in my opinion. Tons of different and GOOD sounds you can get outta that baby.
    Anthony1991
    Why didnt either of you return it? If i were this dissatisfied i'd of thrown it back at the sales people. I own a marshall MG15CDR, and tbh the cleans (since it has no chorus) aren't that bad - by no means fantastic but atleast useable and can hit the 'good' area with tonal tweaks from the guitar and pickup selection. The OD channels on the MG's are more of a 'saturated' distortion i feel, which is a good effect for recording to put in the background to give something more umph. But for actual playing with, not so good, solid review.
    Duke_Jr
    Solid state amps are great amps to practice with but that's about it. For live playing, I would say to at least use a valve state amp, which are not too expensive and still give you a decent sound. I'm using a Marshall VS100 with a 12AX7 tube in the preamp. Not so great on clean but the Crunch and OD sound great. Good to see honest people still out there!
    Charlie4
    World Music supply has a video demoing an MG30 DFX and that thing sounds Great for solid state. Very nice overdrive on that video. Check it out, cos either the majority of people are wrong or the video guy guy is. Zakk Wylde can't be wrong can he? "The OD is crushing" Anything but MG. Vox, Fender, Roland, Kustom, Peavey, the list goes on...for under $200. Nuff said.
    Jj795
    Mmmmm...a little harsh on the thing. Remember you get what you pay for and if the thing did not suit, then why in hell did you keep it ? Marshall's are ok , but there are a lot better out there.