The 4 Best Marshall Combo Amps – Reviews 2016

best marshall combo amp

Photo by Cheesyfeet / CC BY

If there is one amplifier brand that epitomizes rock music, it’s Marshall. Associated with some of the all-time greats, as well as the new heroes of guitar music, the company has created a classic brand that no one can touch. And they couldn’t have done it without that amazing, roaring, gritty sound.

The manufacturer offers top-quality products on all fronts, but this time around we’ll focus on combo amplifiers in an attempt to bring you the best Marshall combo amps on the market. We sifted through all the products out there, and here are our top 4 picks below.

Marshall DSL Series DSL 40C

If you’re a rock, metal or heavy blues player in pursuit of a strong combo amp that can offer high-end sound worthy of professionals for under $1000, there’s almost only one way to go – buy the Marshall DSL Series DSL40C.

Sporting 40 watts of power, this all valve amp (see full specs) boasts a set of two channels while delivering the groove through a single 12-inch Celestine speaker. The amp includes a digital reverb, along with a rear panel series FX loop, and a rear panel pentode/triode switch to tone it down a notch and bring 40 watts of power down to 20 watts.

You can use a foot-switch to choose between Classic and Ultra Gain channels depending on your needs. Use classic for standard rhythm and shuffle playing, and then switch to Ultra Gain to deliver that bone-crushing solo.

In the sonic aspect, this thing brings Marshall’s A-game on all fronts. It can be roaring with loads of controllable gain or it can be smooth and subtle, retaining the signature rock ‘n’ rolling vibe at all times. Versatile, portable, super powerful, it’s no wonder that the company received so much kudos for it.

Marshall Limited Edition DSL5CCW


This all-tube combo amp packs a lot of punch without using a whole lot of power. This limited-edition model features a Ten-30 Celestion speaker and is powered by three ECC83 preamp tubes and an ECC99 power tube—in short, all the interior hardware that you need to really rock out.

The tone-shaping capabilities of this amp are worth noting, too. Not only does it give you the standard 3-band EQ, but it also has a high/low power switch to give you the same rich tone at a variety of volumes.

Suitable as either a performance or a practice amp, the DSL5 has a headphone output jack that can also be used as an emulated line, letting you connect to a recording or PA system. The series FX loop lets you integrate any outboard effects and it has the capability to connect extra cabinets for more power, making it one of the most versatile and best Marshall combo amps on the market.

Marshall MG 15CF MG Series

If your goal is to find the best practice amp for under $100 and therefore the best Marshall for the same price, the MG15F is the one that you’ve been looking for. Once again a part of the renowned MG series, this amp packs a neat total of 15 watts of power delivered through a single 8-inch speaker.

The device features an Mp3 input and a headphones input, something beginner players are bound to appreciate, along with standard two channels for rhythm and solo performance styles.

The amp has a strong and sturdy package, as well as enough knobs for sound adjustments to fit your needs and preferences to a tee. The product’s total weight is around 16 lbs, making it quite easy to transport.

If you happen to be an aspiring rock guitarist yearning to reach the heights of Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen, this is the best starting point we can think of.

Marshall JVM 215C

And in the high end department, we bring you the guitar amplifier that proudly boasts the title of the best Marshall combo amp period in our book – the JVM 215C. It’s a 50 watt all valve tube amp sporting a set of five 12AX7 tubes and a pair of EL34s.

The amp (see full specs) can deliver a tremendous amount of power. When they say that a tube amp can deliver 10 times more power than a solid state model with the same wattage, one could say there’s truth in that.

Anyhow, it’s not all about the raw power, but the sound quality, and boy does this guy have it. The single Celestion 12-inch speaker and two fully independent channel pack a truly impressive amount of sonic authenticity. We’re talking crunchy middles, bright treble, and a bone-crushing low end. When you read about the “iconic Marshall sound” online, those reviewers and audiophiles are referring to amplifiers like this one.

The amp offers a Clean / Crunch channel, and an Overdrive channel, along with a built-in reverb and on-board Resonance and Presence controls. When you add a foot-switch to the mix, the device becomes very user friendly and easy to control.

“So why Marshall?”

One of the top reasons for opting for a Marshall amp is the fact that they didn’t water down their formula for the sake of easy profit over the years. Sure, they have an iconic status, but they also still deliver that same vibe of their most successful products, and even strive to improve it every now and then.

You can always count on them to deliver what they’re known for – the crunchy hard rock vibe that shook the world and helped start a musical revolution. If that’s not your thing, there are other quality manufacturers to suit your needs, but if your heart says you’re a rocker, these amps were made for you.

“Can I use a Marshall combo amp for live gigs?”

Depending on the model, yes, absolutely. If we take a look at the items listed above, a JVM 215C can crush a live gig, and a DSL 40C can also do the job just fine. The DSL5CCW can handle a smaller band practice or a jam session, while an MG 15CF stays what it is – a top-notch practice amp and not a live performance amp.

Hopefully we’ve been of some use to you here, kind reader. If buying the best Marshall combo amp sounds like your thing, we wholeheartedly advise you to get one of these pups now and start rocking ASAP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *