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What Are the Best Marshall Practice Amps? See the Top 4

If there’s one thing all guitarists have in common, it's the hours of practice invested in honing their skills. It’s the lonely nights spent trying to master those epic licks while everyone else was asleep, the times they locked themselves in their bedrooms trying to train their fingers into creating difficult chord shapes, and the moments they spent prepping for a performance the next day.

Even so, while practice definitely rocks, it can also suck sometimes—more so if you’re using the wrong amp. Nothing quite kills one's practice spirit like an overly loud amp or an amp that’s just not portable enough.

The ideal practice amp will not only inspire you to practice anytime but it will also be portable enough to allow you to practice anywhere—all this while being able to maintain quality sound.

At its onset, Marshall manufactured amps that were more suited for performances than for practice sessions. The iconic Marshall sound was loud and crunchy with epic distortion. This is the reason Marshall amps were popular with some of rock's greatest musicians.

Over the years, Marshall has continued to create a range of amps, each version developing with technology, the demands of guitarists, and the always-changing music styles.

Today, Marshall has a wide variety of amps, with some suited specifically to meet the needs of the practicing guitarist. Below, we’ll review the Marshall line of amps to help you find the ones that best suit you in practicing.

What to Look for When Buying a Practice Amp

While scouring through the various categories of amps to find one that suits your specific needs can be difficult, it can also be very fun and educative. The knowledge of the different features found in each category of amps can be instrumental in ensuring you make an informed purchase.

So then, just before we dive into the list of amps, let's get some knowledge on exactly what to look for in a practice amp.

Wattage and Speaker Sensitivity

How loud an amp is going to be is perhaps the most important information to have when purchasing a practice amp. Most of the practice will be done in isolation and sometimes even late in the night when everyone else might be asleep. For this reason, an amp that can be adjusted to low volumes whilst maintaining a good tone is ideal.

While wattage isn’t a direct indicator of how loud an amp is going to be, it can be used to calculate headroom. Headroom is simply how loud you can turn up an amp before it starts to distort. This can help you in estimating how loud an amp is going to be.

Additional information such as speaker sensitivity and cabinet size can also be used in combination to come to a more accurate estimation. Ideally, the best way to know how loud an amp is going to be is to try it out physically.

Portability

True guitar warriors know that every time is practice time. Having to carry a heavy amp around every time you want to sneak in a practice session can be a major discourager. This also refers to the size; good practice amps are usually designed to be small in size to make them easy to fit in small spaces.

Be sure to compare the different sizes and weights to find an amp that is just the right size and weight for you.

Tone and Effects

So far, a lot of what we have looked at is meant to ensure you have an easy time while you practice. Let's look at a few things you can look for to ensure you also sound good while practicing.

Tone simply refers to the quality of sound, and depending on how your amp is made, it will have its distinct tones. This is pretty subjective, so yeah, the best way would be to try out the amp before purchasing. Alternatively, you could watch reviews of the amp or read customer reviews to get a feel of what the amp will sound like.

Inbuilt effects and additional features such as the availability of a headphone jack can also be the separation factor of what makes one amp stand out from the rest as the better choice.

Price

Generally, an amp that’s meant for practice should not be that expensive. However, depending on the quality and features each amp offers, there could be a huge range in price between each type of amp. More expensive doesn't always mean better, though. A good analysis of what each amp offers compared to others within the same range can help you decide on whether it’s worth its price tag.

Amp Versatility

Although not versatile enough to execute a wide range of musical styles, some amps can execute a single tone well, making them suitable for a single style of music. Others are more balanced out, executing a wide ray of musical styles and tones.

For beginner guitarists yet to discover themselves, a flexible amp would be the best option, as it would give them the ability to experiment with a wide range of tones to discover what style suits them best. More advanced players may prefer amps that can execute their preferred tone sounds well.

Best Marshall Practice Amps

Now that you have a bit of knowledge on how to spot an amp that would be good for practice, let's get to reviewing some of the best ones manufactured by Marshall amps. Here are the best Marshall practice amps.

1. Marshall CODE Amps

For those yet to discover themselves, or simply for those who seek amps that are versatile in both tone and effects, the CODE series amps are the best option.

Although they were late into modeling amp technology, the CODE series is the best glance at what amps will be like in the future: the unique, iconic Marshall sounds in easy-to-carry small packages.

Marshall CODE25

Marshall Practice Amps

Nothing says versatility quite like 100 adjustable presets, the ability to choose between different power amps/preamps, and 24 inbuilt professional effects. This is just the perfect amp for the performing guitarist. Although it has 25-watt output, it can go just low enough to allow you to practice.

Its features include the following:

  • Bluetooth connectivity to both IOS and android
  • 100 editable presets
  • Marshall Gateway app compatibility
  • 1x10" loudspeaker configuration
  • 14 MST preamps, 4 MST power amps, and 8 MST speaker cabinets
  • Control and tone settings
  • 25-watt output wattage
  • Footswitch (sold separately)

Click here for a tutorial on how to use the CODE series amps.

2. Marshall MG Gold Series

From the MG Carbon Fiber series to the now MG gold series, this is a range of amps designed to bring the iconic Marshall sound to every type of player out there. Whether for practice or performance, there is an MG Gold amp for the job.

Marshall MG 10

Marshall Practice Amps

At just 4.8 kg, the MG10 is the smallest in the MG gold series. This compact-sized amp is a good choice for guitarists looking for a shrunken-down amp able to produce the well-known Marshall sounds.

Its features include the following:

  • 2 channels (clean and contour)
  • Emulated headphones and line outputs for practicing and recording
  • Line input for jamming along with tracks
  • Aux input
  • Control and tone settings
  • Classic black & gold Marshall aesthetic
  • 10-watt output power

Marshall MG 15FX

Marshall Practice Amps

With extra features, the MG15FX is sort of an upgrade on the MG10. It comes with an added punch and lower-end to the amp's sound. Although it's slightly larger than the MG10, it’s still easy to carry and would be a good practice tool. It also comes packed with a variety of effects to spice up your practice sessions.

Its features include the following:

  • 1x8" speaker configuration
  • FX (including Reverb, Flanger, Chorus, Delay, Phaser, and Octave)
  • Weight, 7.6kg/16.7 lbs.
  • Footswitch enabled
  • 1 x 3.5mm jack headphone output
  • Classic black & gold Marshall aesthetic

3. Marshall DSL Series

The DSL is a range of tube amps designed to deliver the well-known Marshall tone in a range of environments, whether for practice, studio recording, or even live gigs. The amps have come with a range of features, including power reduction, studio-quality reverb, and foot-switchable channels, among many others.

Marshall DSL 1 CR

Marshall Practice Amps

At just 1 watt, this is one of the smallest tube amps you can get. An emulated output and scaling feature allows one to go even lower in volume. If you’re after that unique tube Marshall tone with smooth distortion and that crunch, all at a manageable small practice package, this is the amp for you.

Its features include the following:

  • 1W with optional power reduction to 0.1W
  • An emulated output and power reduction to 0.1W
  • Studio-grade digital reverb
  • Line input for jamming along with tracks
  • Rear Effects loop
  • 8" speaker configuration
  • Weighs 7.9 kg

Marshall DSL 5 C

Marshall Practice Amps

Equipped with a 10” Celestion Ten-30 speaker, this 5w amp packs a punch. The high technology speaker also allows it to go very low whilst maintaining quality tones. It also comes equipped with 2 channels (classic and ultra-gain), giving one the possibility of switching between a wide variety of tonal possibilities while practicing.

Its features include the following:

  • Valve amp technology
  • 5watt power output
  • 10” Celestion Ten-30 speaker
  • Weighs 12.7 kg/28 lbs.
  • Classic gain channel with volume, an ultra-gain channel with gain and volume control, channel select switch, tone shift switch, treble, middle, bass, reverb, and power reduction option
  • 2 Channels (Classic gain and Ultra gain)
  • Aux-in jack
  • Line input for jamming along with tracks

4. Marshall Micro Amps

As the name suggests, the Marshall Micro amps are the smallest in the Marshall range of amps. This range of amps redefines what portability is. You could sneak in a practice session anywhere or at any time with a Marshall Micro amp.

Marshall MS-2

Marshall Practice Amps

At just 1 lb. in total weight, this is the ideal practice traveling amp. Also, you don't have to worry about the world ending and all the electricity going off, as the MS-2 can be powered with a 9v battery. In addition to its small size, the amp comes in a wide variety of colors, making it a good aesthetic piece to have around the house.

Its features include the following:

  • Solid-state technology circuitry
  • 1-watt power output
  • 2 split channels (overdrive and clean)
  • Belt clip to increase portability
  • Volume and tone controls.
  • 1 x 1/4" jack headphone out
  • Powered by either a 9V battery or detachable power cable (not included)
  • Weighs 1 lbs.
  • 1 x 2' speaker configuration

Marshall MS-4

Marshall Practice Amps

The MS-4 is a full-stack version of the MS-2 that comes with a 2 x 2" speaker setup allowing users to decide how loud or soft the amp gets. You could use the amp for practice or even a little camp jam session because it comes with a belt clip and the ability to utilize a battery. The MS-4, like the MS-2, is distinguished by its excellent mobility capabilities.

Its features include the following:

  • Volume and tone controls
  • Solid-state technology circuitry
  • 2 split channels (overdrive and clean)
  • Belt clip
  • 2-watt power output
  • 1 x 1/4" jack headphone out that also acts as a preamp output
  • Powered by either a 9V battery or detachable power cable (not included)
  • Weighs 1 lbs./0.45 kg

Choosing the Best Marshall Practice Amps for You

We hope you now have enough information to make an informed purchase. Even then, Marshall offers a wide range of amps that, depending on your specific needs, could also qualify as good practice amps. Be sure to check them out also.

Author

  • Marshall Practice Amps

    I have been a singer, songwriter, and guitarist since 2005. I has a bachelor's degree in music and has extensive experience in writing educative music material. In my free time, you can find me eating. Wherever there is music and food, Eugene is probably nearby!

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