The 4 Best Marshall Combo Amps – Reviews 2024

best marshall combo amp

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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, 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.

Guitar Center's Blues Masters 2013 with Joe Bonamassa: Marshall DSL40C Demo

Marshall Amps M-MG30GFX-U Guitar Combo Amplifier

Marshall amps can be pretty expensive. But the MG30 is a great way to get a Marshall combo amp if you’re on a budget. With 30 watts of power and a 10” custom speaker, it’s versatile enough to work as either a practice amp or a performance amp for smaller venues.

As a practice amp, the MG30 has a lot of impressive features. It has a headphone jack for silent practice, with an emulated output so you’ll still hear your amp settings. There’s also a line in so you can play along with your favorite tracks.

For performance, sound is key. The Marshall MG30 has you covered there, too. It has a full range of EQ controls and an array of digital effects. With four independent channels (clean, crunch, and two overdrives) you’ll be guaranteed to find the sound you’re looking for from this compact amp. This is one of the most versatile and best Marshall combo amps on the market.

Marshall MG Gold Amplifiers

Marshall MG15GFX Combo Amp

If you’re looking for the best Marshall combo amp on a budget, check out the Marshall MG15GFX combo amplifier. It’s a tiny but mighty amplifier that comes with a custom 8” speaker installed, along with built-in digital effects.

The Marshall MG15GFX is an excellent practice amp. There’s a line in for playing with tracks, as well as a headphone output with amp emulation. You can practice in silence without having to alter your sound. When you’re ready to go to a jam session, the Marshall MG15GFX is super portable, weighing right around 16 pounds.

Sound wise, the Marshall MG15GFX delivers, as well. It’s from the company’s MG series, which offers amps in a range of power and speaker sizes. It gives you 4 channels (clean, crunch, and two overdrives) in addition to the modern effects mentioned above.

Now this is a 15-watt amp with an 8” speaker, so you won’t get a big output with the Marshall MG15GFX. If you’re playing gigs in large venues, you’ll need a bigger (and more expensive) amp. For small gigs, jam sessions, and home practice, though, the Marshall MG15GFX is a convenient and affordable choice.

Marshall MG15GFX Gold 15W Guitar Combo | Gear4music demo

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.

Marshall JVM 215c combo tone testing

“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?”

The short answer is yes, absolutely. Looking at the models above, the JVM 215C can crush a live gig, and so can the DSL40C. Smaller amps like the MG15GFX MG30 won’t fill an auditorium, but they’ll work great for jam session and gigs in small venues.

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.

Written and Reviewed By

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

  • Marko is the senior editor and writer on Ultimate Guitar, the No. 1 guitar spot on the web, since early 2013. His work was also featured on a variety of other notable gear spots such as Guitar Fella, Consordini, and, of course, Song Simian. His musical journey began at a very young age, and he finally opted to pick up an instrument in his early teenage years. A fan of King Crimson. A travel enthusiast.

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