There has been a lot of controversy concerning the MG series from Marshall. It has been scolded on numerous forums, however, it is unfair to judge the whole line based on merely one model. Plus, it is always about personal preferences and needs. Something that works wonders for me might be a piece of crap for you. Anyways, today we are going to discuss Marshall MG50CFX and underline the reasons why it is amazing. We will judge this fella based on three main components: features, controls and sound. Let’s get started and find out together, whether this combo will be your chosen one or not.
MG50CFX is a solid-state amplifier with a single 12” speaker and 50 watts of power, able to handle any mediocre venue. It has four channels: Clean/Crunch and OD1/OD2. This feature is similar to its smaller variations, however, this time we have more options in terms of effects. MG50CFX, in particular, offers Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Vibe, Octave, Reverb and Delay. Additionally, it has an in-built tuner, tap tempo and an effects loop. This combo operates in two modes: Preset and Manual. The former turns the channels into the presets and allows you to store your favorite sounds in the device, while the latter enables you to control the amp as you normally would. When it comes to sockets, we have a single input for your instrument, MP3/Line In 3.5mm input for external audio sources and Headphone/Line Out 3.5mm output out for silent practicing or recording. The speaker of MG50CFX has the impedance of 8 ohms and is compatible with other speakers with the same impedance.
The control panel on MG50CFX is somewhere between confusing and easy to grasp. What I mean by this is that the knobs are straight-forward, however, here we have a number of buttons that might seem a bit overwhelming at first. Don’t worry, though, I will clear everything up and you will see for yourself that tweaking this guy is not that difficult.
Let’s start with the channels. There are two buttons for switching between four channels: the first one goes from Clean to Crunch, while the second one engages either OD1 or OD2. The knobs start with Gain, which intensifies the distortion. Then comes the 3-band EQ with Bass, Middle and Treble knobs. They modify low, mid or higher frequencies and shape your sound to its core. These are followed by a dedicated knob for Reverb, which shifts between Studio and Spring variations, going from subtle to thick lushness (the effect is activated by the button above the said knob). Volume modifies the level of the selected channel, FX allows you to choose between the above-mentioned effects. Then we have a dedicated knob for Delay, which offers four types of the effect: Hi-Fi, Tape, Multi or Reverse. Master volume adjusts the overall level of the MG50CFX. There is also a Tap button for setting the rhythm of the delay, EXT FX for activating the external effects loop, Damping switch that changes power amp damping so that it has either classic amp feeling or modern response (when turned off, it accentuates the midrange and limits bass and treble, when turned on, it emphasizes bass and treble) and Store for saving current settings into selected presets. And obviously, we have the Power switch that turns the device on and off. If you scrutinize the manual carefully, I am sure that everything will be child’s play for you.
The sound of MG50CFX is reminiscent of other models in the series, however, it is more powerful than its smaller siblings. The clean channel is extremely pristine and does not get distorted even with higher volume. Crunch has a touch of distortion, offering a subtle growl that merely thickens up the sound. The OD1 is an overdrive that can be dialed to its extremes, while OD2 is straight up gnarly distortion. The effects sound amazing as well, but do not expect them to substitute your pedals. The damping switch changes the whole game and further enhances your sonic options. MG50CFX does not deserve the criticism it receives, because it produces the signature Marshall sound, which says a lot in my book.
It can easily be said that MG50CFX is among the best amps. It offers diverse features and sounds that can be utilized in many different ways. Depending on your needs, this combo can act as a badass practice tool or be by your side during your smaller gigs. It is relatively easy to control, most importantly, all the knobs and buttons are responsive and accurate. The sound this device creates is quite distinctive and powerful, which is all you need as far as amps go. Do not listen to anyone, try out MG50CFX yourself and make the final decision accordingly. For me, it works wonders. Good luck!
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