Have you ever wished to have a full stack in a smaller size? That layered design but in a smaller size? If so, Marshall has listened to all of your prayers and has brought out MS4, which is a micro full stack. At first glance, it looks a bit weird but as you get that queerness out of the way, it will seem pretty cool. This amp is distinctive not only by its looks, but it is also extremely portable and convenient. And, of course, it delivers signature Marshall tones. If you are considering splurging on this bad boy or you have not picked anything out yet, keep on reading and find out, why you might want to select MS4.
Marshall MS4 is definitely a micro full stack, since it features an amp head and two speaker cabinets. It has only 1 watts of power capacity and one 3” speaker in each cabinet. As other portable amplifiers, this is can also be powered with a 9V battery or the optional AC adapter. This makes it super convenient if you want to stay loyal to your Marshall tones, but do not want to carry around huge devices. MS4 can create both clean and overdriven sounds, meaning that you can still turn to distortion whenever you have that craving. It has a pull-out stand that allows you to mount it safely on the surface. In terms of sockets, here we have a single input for your instrument, a headphone jack for connecting your headphones and jamming silently, as well as a power supply socket. Even though the features of MS4 are not as extensive as on some of its rivals, it has everything you might need for your daily performances.
The head of this micro stack has all the essential controls that you would need for nailing your tone. They are easy to tweak, as well as accurate and responsive, which are basically the main requirements when it comes to judging the controls of the amps. I am pretty sure it will only take a glance to understand what each of the knobs does, but I will still help you a bit and give you preliminary information.
The control panel starts with the Gain knob. It intensifies the strength of your signal, makes it louder and ultimately distorts it until you get that nice gnarl in your sound. Then we have the Volume knob, which sets the level of the overall output and makes sure that everything is well-balanced. Next comes the Tone control, which is basically a 1-band EQ. Turning it clockwise accentuates the treble in your frequency range, while turning it counterclockwise improves the bass response and attenuates the bottom-end. Last but not least, there is an On/Off switch, which either activates or turns off the amp. Pretty simple, ha? You just have to play around with these 4 knobs and all your sonic fantasies will come true.
When we talk about Marshall amps, it goes without saying that an amazing sound is expected. This brand has had its own ups and downs, but generally they set quite a high bar when it comes to producing good sound quality. MS4 strives to achieve that excellence by delivering powerful tone. It is way louder than you would expect it to be, however, it will not shutter any windows or make anybody’s ears bleed. Though the volume it can produce is quite enough for daily practices. Its clean tones have that warm, Marshall character, while the overdriven notes are not too cray and have a subtle crunch to them. MS4 works pretty well with pedals as well, which opens up the doors for creativity and experimentation. All in all, this amp sounds great and is perfect for those, who tend to favor simplicity over complicated features.
Marshall MS4 has a distinctive design that catches your eye no matter what. Resembling the bigger full stacks, it attempts to deliver quality sound and definitely succeeds at that. Its features are useful for daily performances and can be quite handy while jamming on your own. Is it the most powerful portable amp out there? Probably not, but it does quite a decent job at competing with its rivals. Try it out and make your own judgement. Good luck!
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