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more... ReviewsMay 2009DanelectroFenderMarshallOrangeSmokey

Measuring Up Micro Amps

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Marshall MS-2 $40–$50
Marshall actually has two very similar micros, the MS-2 and the MS-4. We checked out the 1W MS-2, with Volume, Tone and On/Off/OD knobs and a single speaker. The MS-4 adds a second speaker and Gain control, but is still 1W. This amp does a great job of visually replicating a Marshall half-stack, with gold control panel and knobs, and that famous script logo on the cabinet. The plastic is molded to look like tolex, and there’s a strangely non-functional handle on the “head.” This amp also has a belt clip, so the handle isn’t really necessary.

While the “clean” setting is nothing to write home about, this tiny half-stack has a surprisingly authentic, good Marshall-sounding OD with a tight, compressed crunch that’s great for rock riffs, bluesy runs, and pinch harmonics—and it’s perfect for power chords. If you’re jamming out classic rock deskside, from Humble Pie to The Hold Steady, this one’s got you covered.

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