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Marshall G30RCD
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Marshall G30RCD

Solid-State Combo Guitar Amp from Marshall belonging to the MG series.

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MGR/Anonymous MGR/Anonymous

« Marshall MG Series: G30RCD »

Published on 11/07/01 at 15:00
I needed a modestly priced, modestly sized combo for practice and recording, but wanted good tone, good durabilty and two channels with reverb. I wanted quality tone but without the cost of tubes (valves), always a challenge! I decided that around 30 to 50 watts should be adequete and started auditioning amps from various manufacturers including Fender, Laney, etc.
But I kept coming back to Marshall's very affordable MG series of transistor amps. I finally purchased the 30 watt model (G30RCD) from a small dealer in central London for £130 UKP.

This amp provided exactly what I was after, it offers two footswitchable channels, the first is the clean channel with a fairly basic volume, treble and bass control set up but despite the simple controls it sounds very crisp and clear with my Telecaster plugged in. Channel two offers up far more controls for dirty/overdriven tones and being a Marshall, this didn't dissapoint! Offering gain, teble, mid, bass and volumne controls and has immense versatility for the price. The gain control is very responsive and can offer up a good impersonation of good ole blues tube tone right up to mental metal crunch. Scoop out the mids and it gets even scarier! Another excellent touch to speed up familiarity is the owners manual, which gives several suggested set-ups for the controls to suit various styles of music, eg. A blues setting, a rock setting, a metal setting etc. etc. so dabbling with the knobs whilst glancing at the manual soon starts to stir up tones that one likes. The final control is the reverb, and this is simply great, very deep and versatile (I never have it higher than number 3) and rounds the sound nicely. It also features some good inputs and outputs including headphones and CD in. All in all, a versatile twin channel amp. Also a bit of a surprise is the power and volume of this amp, it is much louder than I anticipated! It may say only 30 watts, but is a 30 Marshall watts! One could possibly even gig with it.

There were some minor dissapointments with this amp, but NOT in the sound quality or build quality or the tone, just the facilites, which may have been dropped to get the price point right. For example, there is no Master volume control, just two separate volume controls for each channel, so after getting all your tones right, a change in volume level for a new environment means adjusting each channel individually rather than simply controlling the whole output with a master control. Another slighlty limiting factor is that the reverb is not footswitchable and is not independant for each channel, but works globally. Another slight let down is the fact that the channels are footswitchable (which is a facility I needed) but a footswitch is NOT provided, it has to be purchased seperately! When one considers the small cost to Marshall of chucking in a cheap footswitch, it does seem a bit petty to leave it out. I bought one afterwards, they are £11 UKP for the standard Marshall one or £16 UKP for the one with an indicator light for the channels, this is the one I went for as a light is handy in a noisy environment. Of course one could use a cheap non-Marshall one (say Maplins) for considerably less (around £5 UKP) but I wanted Marshall written on mine!

The overall quality of this amp is great. The wonderful thing about Jim Marshall's products is that it doesn't matter how much you've got to spend, or small or big you want to go, you still get the great Marshall quality feel. A heavy, strong and well crafted cabinet, the same thickness and style as others in their range that costs loads more, no cost cutting here. It feels, looks and proabably is, bomb proof! All the controls work very well and operate smoothly, the whole thing has a real quality feel. And you've got "That badge" across the front, inspirational! Makes even me feel like a proper rocker!

A great sounding, well built and suprisingly powerful amp for the small financial outlay, I would give it a 5 star score if it came with Master volume control and a footswitch, but still the best amp for the money that I could find at the time. 4 out of 5.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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