MS-4 review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 5.3 Decent
  • Users' score: 6.2 (67 votes)
Marshall: MS-4

Price paid: A$ 60

Sound — 5
I'm using a multitude of guitars through this mainly a Jackson JS30KE with EMG 81 85 pickups, or Epiphone Les Paul Standard. The amp has some good clean tones coming out of it, but it stops there. Once distortion is added the sound turns to mud almost instantly rendering it basically useless for anything besides clean playing. As a primarily metal player I was disappointed, but again for $60 you can't expect punishing amounts of distortion, and especially from such a small amp. That said, it can get quite loud for such a small amp, but the quality of the tone also decreases. Obviously its designed for quiet home practice so I'm not too saddened by this.

Overall Impression — 5
For the clean playing I do, this amp serves me well. For anything else at home, I turn to my faithful Peavey Vypyr. If for some reason the amp stopped working or was stolen I wouldn't buy it again. Not because I hate it, simply because my Vypyr provides much better qualities and is still more than suitable for home use. For anyone looking for a micro amp to play anything but cleans with, this isnt for you. For clean players though, this might be a good investment depending on the specificity of the tone your after.

Reliability & Durability — 5
Obviously this is meant for quiet home practicing so no I wouldn't gig with it. Reliability seems to be decent, I've had it for two months without any problems with atleast an hour of use a day. I can't see it failing on me anytime soon since I don't neglect it, but I wouldn't be sad if it did. Also, this thing goes through batteries rather quickly.

Features — 6
The Marshall MS 4 features a tone, master volume and gain control with an on/off Switch and headphone jack. For $60, you can't really complain about the features. Runs off an included 9volt battery or mains power with an adapter sold separate. Unlike the MS-2 which features a belt clip, the MS-4 uses a stand which I found to be less than trustworthy.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lovely ornament only!It sounds ok for its size if you ONLY use a battery .... I bought the power adapter and it causes a buzzing noise,and even makes the tone and vol controls on my guitar buzz when I touch them .... I think it COULD have "Earthing" issues electronically ... I also feel static building up in my fingers while I play using the mains adapter ... I DO NOT TRUST IT AND DONT FEEL ITS SAFE.
    revo crazy wrote: i have one of these.... great fun... mines about two years old now and because it gets torutured the input jack is a bit broken... however i keep taking it to peices and soldering it and it now seems to be working fine... if you want it because of its protability though i would buy an ms-2 or if you want someting of a higher quality (which obviously means higher price tag) buy a vox da5.... thats my opinion anyway
    This. I had to desolder the "channel" switch in my MS-2 and replace it with a slide switch because the bad switch kept cutting out. The MS-4 is almost identical; just a little more power and a second speaker. It's really not even good for headphones. I bought it for that, but just ended up playing unplugged for 6 months where I was living in tight quarters. Now I'll just bring my RP350 and plug headphones into that. I did buy a DA5 (& gigged with that once). That's great for driving trips, but not good for flying. that sounds better than my 30 watt Marshall.
    Awful amp. Phones jack is buzzing like hell. On the other hand - nice toy.
    I got a problem with this amp, the batteries were gettin drained pretty quick. I tried a 9v adapter to it, now it doesn't even turn on, light doesn't come on, no sound. I unplug the adapter, put a battery in works fine. Anyone help?