5 Best Marshall Combo Amps Review

#ModelRatingDimentionsWeight
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1Marshall DSL Series DSL40C 25.4 x 29.3 x 15.3 inches65 pounds1 Check
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2Marshall DSL15C 21.6 x 21.6 x 12.2 inches31.7 pounds
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3Marshall MG15CF 15 x 8.1 x 14.9 inches16.3 pounds
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price

4Marshall JVM215C 23.8 x 20.1 x 10.4 inches58.3 pounds
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5Marshall Amps DSL1CR 12 x 17 x 18 inches23 pounds
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Marshall DSL Series DSL40C
Rating
Dimentions 25.4 x 29.3 x 15.3 inches
Weight
65 pounds
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price

Marshall DSL15C
Rating
Dimentions21.6 x 21.6 x 12.2 inches
Weight
31.7 pounds
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price

Marshall MG15CF
Rating
Dimentions15 x 8.1 x 14.9 inches
Weight
16.3 pounds
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Marshall JVM215C
Rating
Dimentions23.8 x 20.1 x 10.4 inches
Weight
58.3 pounds
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Marshall Amps DSL1CR
Rating
Dimentions12 x 17 x 18 inches
Weight
23 pounds
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Introduction

As you could have already noticed, all the amplifiers in the list are made by Marshall. It`s because I believe Marshall is making the best combo amps. This list only shows my point of view, and there are certainly some decent amplifiers from the other manufacturers on the market, but here is why I choose Marshall:

  • More than 50 years of international experience

Marshall was founded in 1952. The company started with copying Fender`s production. Although this was not a highly unique production, it was popular because of the price and quality. In several years Marshall hired own engineers, who developed original products, using all the experience. New production was distributed widely and became popular worldwide.

  • Narrow specialization

While some companies produce lots of different equipment, Marshall concentrated exactly on amplifiers. Therefore, there are lots of models, suitable for different types of players, coming at different cost and providing different types of amplification.

So, here are the best of Marshall combo tube amplifiers.

Marshall DSL Series DSL40C

Marshall DSL40C is a classical amplifier. It`s been the best selling product of Marshall for several years.

Main Features

Imagine a big square box with knobs and holes. This is Marshall DSL40C. Like all the solid amplifiers it has minimalistic design. The performance deserves more extended review, so here are some facts.

This is the case, where I can say A LOT of versatility without exaggerating. First of all, DSL 40C is compatible with various equipment, other amps, cabinets and speakers will work with it. Second: there is a lot of sound adjusting options. Third: there is a foot switch, so it can be used hands-free in some situations.

Tip:What`s even more important, is the power and the sound quality this Marshall`s product provides. It delivers qualitative high-end performance. This combo amp is especially popular amongst rockers and metallists.

DSL40C is huge. It has a big body, it weighs a lot. Moreover, it has no convenient handles and no built-in wheels. Transporting such a device is a problem. Not that hard to handle if you move it once, but when you start travelling/touring this becomes almost unbearable.

This Combo Amp in Action

I still believe, that the sound it delivers is worth all the struggle with moving this thing around. Once you have installed and turned it on, you get the clear wave of energy, coming out of the speakers. I, personally, am a huge fan of this exact model.

Short Conclusion

The only reason that may keep you away from purchasing this amplifier is a huge lack of comfort. If you are a member of a small group, which has three performances in different places during a day, this will a problem. On the other hand, one car and two strong men will completely fix all the problems.

Pros
Versatility
Power
Cons
The size

Marshall DSL15C

Every brand has a mini and a medium-sized version of its` successful product. In Marshall`s case it`s DSL 15C, the medium brother in the family.

Main Features

It basically repeats the characteristic pattern of DSL 40C, except it is less powerful, and, what`s important, much smaller. Let us check out the positive and the negative features of this tube combo amp.

DSL15C weighs two times less, than DSL40C. You only need one man now to handle it and carry around. There is a little handle on the top, not the most comfortable one, but it can be used at least.

The performance is worthy as well. There is a switch for high and low, an equalizer and some more regulators, which make the adjustment process super flexible.

Tip:If you devote enough time to practicing, you`ll be able to get pretty much any sound pattern you want.

The amplifier is all black, with black small knobs and dark signs. It looks like a complete mystery for a beginner and has no intuitive clues for making the learning process easier. Nothing overcomplicated though.

The model lacks some comfort features as well. There are still no wheels, one handle only. The size is unique, so you need a specific case. All these little things add up, providing some serious inconvenience.

This Combo Amp in Action

You immediately forget about the inconvenience once you turn it on though. The energy wave is smaller this time, but you still feel the incredible power and potential of this amplifier. The beginners are usually impressed even more.

Short Conclusion

If you want all the classical power of Marshall, but can hardly handle DSL40C, DSL15C will be there to help you. This is a great tube combo amplifier, with a professionally balanced sound and great adjustability. Learning how it works will be challenging for the beginners though.

Pros
Compactness
Balanced sound
Cons
Confusing design
Overall comfort

Marshall MG15CF

The smallest amp in this list. Also the most affordable one. Marshall cared enough, to create amplifiers for all types of players.

Main Features

You`ve probably seen the films, where small guy fights the big guy. Everybody expects big guy to win, as he looks so much more strong and powerful. However, the little guy shows incredible amount of skill and gives a decent fight. Marshall MG15CF would be this small guy.

Transportation difficulty is a common problem for Marshall`s equipment. So, engineers decided to make at least one amplifier, which would be easy to move here and there. MG15CG is so small and light, that every person can carry it around with one hand.

Despite looking more like a toy, than like a serious piece of equipment, this combo amp delivers. The sound is loud and powerful, with some crisp and warmness in it. MG15CF works much better, than you expect it to.

Tip:The trick with simplicity is (ha-ha) simple. The small body doesn`t have enough room for many knobs on the outsider, as well as it has no room for complicated mechanisms inside. Therefore, there are only the necessary adjustment options with no excesses.

What I unluckily experienced myself and what people in internet report as well is the poor work of an overdrive channel. Once you switch to it, it starts making crackling and popping sound. I guess it`s a manufacturer`s problem, so getting a replacement must be easy.

What`s more important, is that this amp is not really suitable for huge performances. MG15CF is an everyday practice model, not a professional one.

This Combo Amp in Action

The action actually made me choose my mind a little. The power level is actually higher than you expect. I guess, it is enough for small halls and little concerts. Still not what you need for the big performance.

Short Conclusion

This is an affordable model, one of the best in the price range. It delivers insane quality. Marshall MG15CF is a perfect choice of an everyday amplifier for practicing.

Pros
The size
The power
The simplicity
Cons
Overdrive channel problems
Lack of potential

Marshall JVM215C

JVM is the professional amplifier. Like super professional, probably one of those you see on the concerts.

Main Features

The developers tried to make this amp both professional and user friendly. Therefore, there is a foot-switch and decent-sized knobs. The technical filling consists of a 12’ Celestial speaker and independent channel speakers.

Well, you could expect anything, but perfect sound quality from this amplifier. All the professional insides make the sound bright, really clean and clear, a bit crispy and very well balanced in general.

The power is outstanding and can not be compared to any other amplifier in this list, and can be compared to very little amount of amplifiers in general. Enough for rocking the crows of 1000 people or so.

Tip:This isn`t an affordable amplifier. The thing is not even the price itself, but that you need to have the whole set of equipment to release its` whole potential.

Another thing is the size. It is as big and uncomfortable as DSL40C is. You`ll again need to either be extra strong or have someone to help you with carrying it around. Transporting will be the problem as well.

This Combo Amp in Action

I don`t have all the necessary equipment myself as well, I don`t even own this amp. The whole test was held at my friend`s studio, so there was no possibility to fully appreciate the power. However, what I experienced was enough to fall in love with this combo amp.

Short Conclusion

If you are planning to go professional, you`d rather save some money and purchase this amplifier. It is worth every cent you invest in it. JVM215C can be considered as a long time investment as well, as it is extremely durable.

Pros
Sound quality
Power
Cons
Affordability
Size

Marshall Amps DSL1CR

Finally, there is a mediocre version of Marshall`s production. A simple amplifier coming at an average price, doing it`s job. It`s here in case you are just wondering what the amps are and want a generally good device.

Main Features

It`s just your average amplifier. It has a decent speaker, several outputs, several inputs, several controllers and a durable body. Nothing special.

This combo amp will live a long life. It has a body made of reliable material and decent technical filling. Once you give it a careful treat, it`ll pay back with doing the job properly.

There is a lot of inputs and outputs, so you can connect your headphones for example, or add another amplifier to make the sound even more powerful.

Tip:DSL1CR is rather compact as well, one person can easily transport it without much effort.

It`s just your casual everyday tube combo amplifier. It will be their to do what it has to do, but it will never do more. This is a good choice for everyday practicing, but a bad one for scenic performances.

This Combo Amp in Action

It`s a very consistent model. Probably it is not the best comparison, but I see this amp as a stable and experienced office employee. He comes to his job every day during multiple years and does his job their. He doesn`t have many ambitions, but completes his duty perfectly.

Short Conclusion

If you need something for regular practicing, this is the way to go. Also a very good choice for the small bands, which don`t have a certain place for rehearsals and meet in a new location every time. A very portable model.

Pros
Durability
Versatility
Cons
Lack of potential

General Conclusion

So, as usual, here are my personal recommendations on choosing a tube combo amp:

  • Find out what wattage you need

The logic behind this is simple. The more watts there are, the more powerful the sound will be. Think of location, where you usually practice. If it is your home, you want something less powerful, preferably with headphones jack. If you have a garage or a basement, go full power. You can of course buy the more powerful amp and use only half of it`s potential, but that type of exploitation want let the device truly shine. It will also consume more electricity.

  • Check the type of tubes out

This topic is a bit complicated. I`d recommend you to google it separately. The general idea is that certain tubes are better for high notes, other provide better lows, and other other are more powerful in general.

  • Choose an amp of a matching price range

If you have a medium-priced guitar, an average head and two cheap pedals, you do not need an expensive professional amplifier. It`s power will be limited a lot by cheaper equipment.

Well, this was it for this article. Thank you for reading and good luck!

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