Marshall MG102CFX MG Series Guitar Combo Amp Review
If you’re looking into amps for medium to large audiences, check out our review for the Marshall MG102CFX.
Details & Specs
- 2x12 combo amp (100 watts) with 4 programmable channels (clean, crunch, OD1, OD2)
- Critically acclaimed Marshall analog tone technology
- Carbon fiber finish for look and feel
- Digital effects: flanger, vibe, octave, chorus, phaser; digital delay: hi-fi, tape, reverse, multi
- With power amp dampening switch tech and a supplied 2-way channel footswitch
- External FX loop available; mp3/line-in jack and emulated headphone output
- Retailed at $790; 49.4 pounds
Marshall is one of the top-tier brands for amps and the like. One of their most sought-out units is the MG102CFX, an amp combining classic analog amplification tech and current digital innovations. The great thing about most Marshall units, if not all of them, is that they are ideal for both the beginner and the pro.
The power dampening tech behind this amp creates the very realistic, tube amp-like feel that most pedalboard-reliant musicians look for. Compared to the old MG units and based on our tests, we found this one to be a huge improvement. Setting it up within a middle-sized gig, we didn’t have to turn the volume up, so it is quite loud but not too much that it sacrifices tone. The channel stayed crystal clean, and the distortion/crunch just as we liked it.
Think of it as the right amp for some good classic rock, but not the one you would choose to bring with you to a heavy metal session. However, the effects weren’t too over the top, although we feel the reverb effects could’ve used less digitalization since they had the potential to pinch as the volume went up.
You should also know that it doesn’t have a contour knob that you can use to mix or adjust your tone with. Again, this is because this amp is more on analog amplification – don’t rely on this if you need to mix up your sound. Your pedalboard should be your source of that. It’s also not really made of carbon fiber; it just has the look and feel to set it apart from the older units. In terms of durability, however, we trust in Marshall’s years of experience to provide long-term, if not lifelong companions.
We were pleased with the overdriven distortion, even impressed the sound came from such a small footprint. The downside to this is that it still has the common “popping sound” problem, which isn’t that
constant but is enough to become a problem. We’re unsure how to address this one since there are layers of technical solutions involved that only Marshall can perhaps fix.
The MG102CFX undoubtedly has massive power in it; you might not want to crank this up too much during rehearsals if you don’t want complaining neighbors. In general, we found it to be capable of clean and crisp sounds at higher volumes, which is its most noticeable improvement.
Is it for you?
If you want to get started on your band or music, the MG102CFX is one of the amps we can readily recommend you use. It may be a little heavy on the budget, but that’s only because Marshall produces amps intended for very long-term use.