Marshall MG50DFX
Marshall MG50DFX

MG50DFX, Solid-State Combo Guitar Amp from Marshall in the MG 2nd Gen series.

King Loudness 05/03/2011

Marshall MG50DFX : King Loudness's user review

« Utterly disposable. »

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The Marshall MG50DFX is a 50 watt 1x12 combo from Marshall's MG line of solid state amplifiers. The specifications are as follows:

"The Marshall sound in a compact practice/backstage amp!"
Delivers a dynamic yet toneful punch
50W of power
12" speaker
2 channels (footswitchable)
Digital effects including reverb, delay, chorus, and flange
FDD (Frequency Dependent Dampening)
CD ins, plus emulated line out, and emulated headphone jacks

There's nothing really to write home about for this amp features wise. It's got two channels (clean and drive), each with its own EQ controls. There's also some mediocre quality digital effects, a damper (read: compression) switch and a master volume control.


This amp is meant to try and deliver the classic Marshall tones in a portable package that won't hurt the wallet. It would be all well and good if the amp sounded reasonable, but like many of its tube counterparts, the MG50DFX just drops the ball nearly everywhere tone wise...

The clean channel was about as generic as it got. Flat sounding overall with no real sparkle or definition regardless of the guitar used. The only way to really get the clean channel to sound good was to turn up the reverb and delay and play ambient licks, which had a kitschy digital sort of quality to it.

The drive channel was much the same issue. Boring, sterile, and otherwise just buzzy and thin sounding. For some inexplicable reason, Marshall chose to put a "contour" control on this channel as opposed to a midrange control. It's easily one of the oddest controls I've seen, because it's basically taking a preadjusted midrange frequency and providing some sort of range between low mids to high mids as opposed to letting the user dial in as much or little mids as they desire.

The digital effects were mediocre at best. It features a chorus, flanger, delay, and a chorus/delay blend, as well as a reverb. They weren't the WORST built in effects by any means, but they didn't really sound stellar... just flat and dull, much like the rest of the amp. Using the chorus would cause the amp to get a bit muddy, and trying to use the flanger or delay would mean your tone just got buried under a wash of effect.


I used this amplifier with a bunch of different Fender/Gibson style guitars. I can safely say I didn't like any of the tones in the amp. Next to my main rig at the time (Mesa Boogie Mark III/Basson 2x12), this amp was a complete and utter joke. The tones were just worlds apart, and I loathed the tones out of the amp so much that I got rid of it within under 24 hours (a record that still stands after more than a year and a half since owning it). It doesn't have much of an EQ curve per se... it's just really flat sounding. The contour control does put you in scooped or boosted midrange territory if you max it out at either end but it's still so thin and buzzy sounding that it really didn't make a difference... the choices were thin and buzzy with a cheap sounding "scooped metal" type tone, or a slightly more passable boosted midrange gain tone, which could've been okay if it wasn't for the inherent buzzing of the gain channel...


I don't much like modern Marshall gear and this amp is no exception. Cheap, lifeless and dull sounding overall... it's not even worth looking into unless you can find one for well under $100 used. Marshall has discontinued that particular version of the MG50DFX... so I guess it wasn't well received. That's probably for the best, since it's easily outclassed by comparable amps in the same new price bracket like the Peavey Bandit or Vypyr 75... both of which retail for about $350 CAD, approximately what the MG50DFX would've sold for new.

I was so disappointed with this amp that, after I got it on a Friday evening and played around with it, I took it into a local music shop on Saturday afternoon to trade it away.

In short, don't buy this. It's cheap, sounds thin and buzzy and it's a solid state Marshall... you can't ask for much worse a combination in my honest opinion.