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If you’re on the hunt for some excellent Marshall amps ideal for rock and metal music, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, we’ll be showcasing ten impressive combo amplifiers crafted by this legendary manufacturer.
Marshall gear is widely acclaimed, but does it live up to the hype? The reality is that Marshall produces some of the finest amplifiers in the world, known for their iconic tone.
The company offers a range of options, from budget-friendly amps suitable for beginners to high-quality ones tailored to the needs of the most discerning guitarists.
10 Best Marshall Amps
That’s why I’ve put together a list of their top-notch pieces of equipment, which you can explore below. I’ve had the privilege of using all of these combos during my musical journey, so I’m confident in recommending each one.
The MG15GR is one of the most popular mid-level Marshall amplifiers suitable for both beginners and more advanced guitarists. It’s not too expensive and it offers a very punchy sound, so it’s perfect for rock and metal.
This model offers a 15-Watt power, a 3-Band EQ and a built-in digital reverb. These features significantly improve the overall playing experience, especially if you’re practicing at home. Although it may not be the best choice for live performances and studio recordings, it’s still one of the best Marshall amps out there.
What’s important, the MG15GR model takes the pedals very well. Of course, it sounds good without the pedals anyway, but you can be sure that it will work very well with all of the effects in your pedalboard.
The main disadvantage of this amp is the fact that it’s not a tube amp. Nevertheless, Marshall MG15GR will be an excellent choice for guitarists who want to mainly play rock and metal. Whether you’re looking for a nice and clean tone or a more distorted sound, this amp has got you covered.
Here’s the sound demo.
In comparison with previous amp, Marshall MG10 is smaller and a bit more basic. Still, I personally own that amp and I often use it for home practice, so I can totally confirm that it’s one of the best budget practice amps out there.
The manufacturer decided to equip this combo with 10 Watts of power, two separate channels (clean & overdrive) and a contour knob, which basically adjusts the high frequencies. Although this is a basic setting and there is no built-in reverb, this amp is more than enough for playing rock and metal music.
Who is it for? Well, I think that it will be an ideal choice if you’re searching for your first guitar amp. Nevertheless, I think that even more advanced players will benefit from using it for their practice. This amp is cheap, compact and it actually sounds pretty good. Who needs anything else?
I recently reviewed Marshall MG10 amp on my YouTube channel – feel free to check it out below. If you think that this video is helpful, consider subscribing to my channel – it will help my channel grow!
Marshall Code 25
Marshall Code 25 is a really cool and versatile mid-level combo suitable for a lot of genres of music, including rock and metal. This is a modeling amp, so it’s built a bit differently than the two previous solid-state amps.
The amp features 14 MST preamps, 4 MST power amps and eight various speaker cabinets. These settings offer a lot of versatility, so if you decide to get it, you won’t have to worry about getting extra guitar pedals. In addition, you can easily connect this amp with your phone via BlueTooth or your DAW via USB.
Considering the amount of tones that you can achieve on that thing, honestly – there is nothing to complain about. Of course, it’s not a tube amp, but it’s still an excellent choice for the vast majority of guitar players.
Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out.
Marshall Origin 20
Marshall Origin 20 is a high-quality guitar amp suitable for the most demanding guitarists who want to play rock and metal music. Although it’s not cheap, it features an exceptionally high level of quality.
This is a tube amp, so it features that iconic vintage tone. Marshall decided to equip this amp with three ECC83 preamp tubes and two EL34 power tubes. In addition, there’s a 10 inch speaker, three-band EQ and separate gain/master controls.
This particular model will be an excellent choice for the most demanding guitarists who are looking for a reliable piece of gear for their home or studio. In addition, it’s perfect for live performances as well.
Here’s the sound demo. Sounds pretty good, right?
Marshall SV20C Studio Vintage
The SV20C is an absolute beast! This is not a cheap combo, but it features an exceptional quality which fulfills the needs of the most demanding guitar players.
The Studio Vintage amp offers a really interesting vintage vibe. In fact, this particular amp is a low-watt version of the legendary Marshall 1959 Super Lead. For those who don’t know, this iconic amp significantly contributed to the growth of rock music back in the ’60s and ’70s.
Marshall decided to equip this amp with the 10″ Celestion V-Type speaker that offers a classic British tone. To be honest, it’s tough not to fall in love with that thing. It’s expensive, but it’s totally worth it!
Here’s the sound demo.
Marshall SC20C is an another high-level tube amp suitable for the most demanding professional guitarists. This model comes from Marshall’s Studio Classic Series, which is designed specifically for studio recordings.
This particular model features a preamp based on the legendary JCM 800 2203. In addition, there’s a 10″ Celestion speaker and 20 Watts of power which guarantee the classic Marshall tone.
Marshall equipped this combo with two ECC83 tubes, one ECC83 (phase splitter) tube and 2x EL34 tubes. You have to agree that its a really impressive setup! Surely, it’s one of the best tube amps for rock and metal genres.
Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out.
The MG30GFX is an another really cool and affordable amp manufactured by this legendary brand. High versatility, low cost and a great tone – who needs anything else?
Additionally, it features a wide range of different effects. You can easily switch between the reverb, phaser, flanger, delay and chorus presets. So that means that you won’t have to search for additional effects for your pedalboard!
When it comes to pricing, it’s not too expensive. In fact, considering its versatility, it’s actually pretty cheap! Surely, it really stands out from the competitive amps offered by such brands like Fender, VOX or Orange.
Here’s the sound demo. Sounds really good, right?
In comparison with previous amps, Marshall MS2 is way different. This is a battery-powered micro amp, which is compact and extremely useful. Although it offers only 1 Watt of power, it actually sounds pretty good.
I think that the MS2 model is a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much money on a practice amp. You don’t need the high-quality gear for your regular lessons, so choosing this cheap and tiny amp can also be a great solution.
Although it’s not for everyone, it’s definitely worth checking out. What I like about the Marshall MS2 is the fact that you can take it with you literally anywhere. This is absolutely game-changing!
Here’s the sound demo. You’ll see that is sounds good in rock and metal genres!
Marshal MG15 is a larger version of the Marshall MG10 mentioned earlier in today’s article. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s even more versatile and powerful.
In comparison with MG10, this model features 15-Watts of power, a 8″ speaker and a 3-band EQ which offers a lot of versatility when it comes to shaping your final tone. Just like in the smaller version, there are two channels available – clean and overdrive.
The MG15 will be ideal for home use and rehearsals with your band. It can get really loud, so it should be fine for rehearsing with a drummer and bassist. It’s probably one of the best Marshall amps for home use!
Here’s the sound demo.
Marshall Origin ORI50H
The ORI50H is a top quality all valve head which offers an absolutely amazing quality. Surely, anyone who’s looking for the classic vintage tone will be really happy with that piece of gear.
I think that it will be an ideal choice for professional musicians who are looking for a reliable piece of gear that is suitable for live gigs and studio sessions.
The main disadvantage of that amp head is the price – it’s not that cheap. However, considering how good it is, it may be a really good investment. Out of my experience, if you decide to get it for yourself, you’ll probably never have to buy any other tube head again!
Here’s the demo.
Pros & Cons Of Marshall Amps
- Iconic Tone: Marshall amps have a legendary reputation for delivering that classic rock and metal sound that has defined music for decades. Their distinctive overdrive and distortion tones are sought after by many guitarists.
- Durability: Marshall is known for building amps that can withstand the test of time. Their robust construction ensures that these amplifiers can handle the demands of live performances and touring.
- Wide Range: Marshall offers a diverse range of amplifiers, from compact practice amps to towering stacks. This variety caters to different playing styles, making it easier for musicians to find an amp that suits their needs.
- High Resale Value: Marshall amplifiers tend to retain their value in the used market. This is a significant advantage for musicians who may want to upgrade or change their gear down the road.
- Versatile: Many Marshall models come equipped with multiple channels and built-in effects. This versatility allows guitarists to explore various tones and styles without the need for additional pedals or gear.
- Stage Presence: The sight of a Marshall stack on stage is iconic. The visual impact adds a sense of authority and excitement to live performances, making it a favorite choice for many professional musicians.
- Studio-Ready: Marshall amplifiers have a reputation for delivering exceptional studio sound. They are often the go-to choice for recording artists, contributing to the creation of timeless music.
- Brand Legacy: Marshall is synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll history, and its association with legendary musicians adds prestige to its products. Owning a Marshall amp is like having a piece of music history.
- Premium Price: The quality and reputation of Marshall amplifiers come at a cost. They are often considered premium gear, which may not be affordable for all musicians, especially beginners.
- Weight and Size: Some Marshall models, especially stacks, can be heavy and bulky. This makes them less practical for musicians who need a portable setup or have limited space.
- Limited Clean Tones: While Marshall excels at delivering overdrive and distortion tones, achieving pristine clean tones may require additional equipment or adjustments.
- Maintenance: Tube-based Marshall amps, which are favored for their sound, require periodic maintenance, including tube replacements. This can incur additional expenses over time.
- Volume: High-wattage Marshall amplifiers can be extremely loud. This might not be suitable for bedroom practice or smaller venues without proper volume control.
- Learning Curve: Some Marshall amplifier models may have complex controls, which could be intimidating for beginners. It may take time to fully explore and understand their capabilities.
- Limited Modeling: While some competitors offer extensive modeling options, Marshall’s modeling capabilities may not be as comprehensive, limiting the range of available tones.
- Personal Taste: The distinctive Marshall sound, characterized by its British heritage, may not resonate with every guitarist. Tone preferences vary, and some players may prefer other brands for their unique sonic characteristics.
My Experience With Marshalls
Let’s be real – I tried A LOT of their amps throughout the years.
You can check out all of my reviews on the official YouTube channel of Best Guitars Now.
And you know what? I just love their gear.
It doesn’t really matter if I’m playing on a small MG10 at home or cranking up the volume on stage with a powerful 50-watt combo – their amps never fail.
Some people don’t like this brand, but I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for. For me they’re awesome!
- What is the difference between a solid-state amp and a tube amp from Marshall?
Solid-state amps use transistors for amplification, providing a cleaner and more consistent tone. In contrast, tube amps utilize vacuum tubes for a warmer, vintage sound with natural distortion when pushed.
- Are Marshall tube amps suitable for metal music?
Yes, many Marshall tube amps are excellent for metal, offering a powerful, aggressive tone and responsive gain controls that cater to metal guitarists.
- Do Marshall amps come with built-in effects and modeling?
Some Marshall amps feature built-in effects and modeling capabilities, while others maintain a more traditional approach, focusing on pure amplifier tone. Choose based on your preference.
- Can I use a Marshall combo amp for gigs, or should I opt for a stack?
Marshall combo amps can handle live performances well, but for larger venues, a stack may offer more volume and projection. The choice depends on your specific gigging needs.
- What is the typical warranty for Marshall amps?
Marshall amps often come with a warranty ranging from one to five years, depending on the model and region. Be sure to check the warranty terms when purchasing.
- Are Marshall amps suitable for recording in a studio setting?
Marshall amps are frequently used in studios due to their exceptional tone. Many artists rely on them for recording, but the choice of amp depends on the desired sound.
- How do I choose the right wattage for my Marshall amp?
The wattage you need depends on your playing environment. Lower wattage amps are suitable for home practice, while higher wattage amps are better for live performances.
- Can I connect pedals to a Marshall amp?
Yes, you can connect various pedals to a Marshall amp to shape your sound further. The amp’s clean platform makes it ideal for experimenting with different effects.
- What maintenance is required for a Marshall tube amp?
Tube amps require occasional tube replacement and routine maintenance to ensure optimal performance. It’s advisable to consult the user manual or a professional technician.
- Do Marshall amps retain their value over time?
Marshall amps are known for holding their value well in the used market, especially vintage models. Investing in a Marshall amp can be a sound choice for both your music and your wallet.
Undoubtedly, Marshall is a truly iconic amp manufacturer. All of the amps listed above feature a great quality, so they will be a good and reliable choice for the vast majority of guitarists. Whether you’re an amateur or a more intermediate player, you won’t be disappointed with their quality.
How about you? Which combo would you choose? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think, we’re really interested to hear your thoughts!
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