It’s time for an another comparison! Today I’m having a close look on two very popular cheap amps: Fender Frontman 10G vs Marshall MG10. I had the pleasure to test out both of these combos so I feel like I’m in a good spot to share my thoughts with you.
In my opinion, both Marshall MG10 and Fender Frontman 10G offer a great value for the money. They’re awesome especially for beginners. Out of my experience, the Frontman has slightly better clean tones, while MG10 has a bit nicer overdrive. There’s also a price difference too – usually Marshall tends to be more expensive.
I’ll try to make this review as unbiased as possible, but you have to know that I really like these amps. These pieces of gear are very popular and honestly, it doesn’t surprise me at all. I know that some of you may prefer Fender, while others may prefer the sound of Marshall, so hopefully this guide will help you find out which one is right for YOU.
Let’s start with a quick sound demo.
Here’s the video that I recorded for you – you can directly compare the sounds of these two amps.
If you watched the video, you probably noticed that these combos sound a bit different.
For me, the MG10 has that ‘classic Marshall’ tone that everyone loves, especially on overdrive. I’m not a huge fan of the overdrive of Frontman 10G, but it’s not that bad. But the Fender may actually be better for clean tones.
When it comes to size, these amps are very similar. Same with loudness – both of them can get quite loud, but you can’t expect them to be very loud.
Apart from the actual sound, the main difference also includes the fact that the Marshall has the contour control which kind of works like a limited EQ. The Frontman has individual Treble and Bass controls – and that gives you a bit more versatility.
Which one would I recommend? Well, that’s tough. It’s all up to you! Listen to the demos and figure out which sound you prefer more. I’d probably go with the Marshall because of its overdrive, but it doesn’t mean that the Frontman is bad.
I’m interested to hear which one would you choose for yourself, so feel free to leave a comment under this article – are you #teamMarshall or #teamFender?
About Fender Frontman 10G
This is probably one of the cheapest solid state amps made by Fender. It’s VERY popular all around the world, especially among the amateur guitarists.
The combo features 10 Watts of power, a 6″ Fender Special Design Speaker, two individual channels (clean and overdrive) as well as separate Bass and Treble controls. There’s also a headphone output and AUX in for backing tracks.
What I like about the Frontman is its classic aesthetic – it has the famous Fender look that we all recognize (and often love). There’s something very cool about that and it definitely is a big advantage of that amp.
Great sound, good build quality and cheap price – what’s there not to like?
Here’s my full video review of that combo.
About Marshall MG10
Similarly as the Frontman, the Marshall MG10 is also extremely popular among the aspiring musicians all around the world.
Why do people love it? Well, I’m sure that this brand is recognized even by people who don’t know much about guitars. So when they finally decide to start their journey, they know where to start.
The MG10 is very similar do the Fender mentioned before – it has 10 Watts of power and two individual channels. But the speaker is slightly different here – it has 6.5 inches. On top of that, there’s a contour control instead of individual controls for bass and treble.
Personally, I think that the MG10 looks awesome! It’s slightly more expensive than the Frontman, but that price difference isn’t that huge. It’s only a few dollars, so I’m sure that it won’t make a big difference to you anyway.
Here’s my full video review of that combo.
If you’re thinking about getting the MG10, make sure to check out my other article: Marshall MG10 vs Marshall MG15. The MG15 is like an older brother of MG10 – it’s slightly bigger and more powerful and it has a few extra features, but at the same time, it’s more expensive. Definitely worth checking out though!
Disadvantages Of These Amps
I don’t see the point of complaining about amps that cost less than a hundred bucks – it’s totally understandable that this kind of gear is not ideal.
But when it comes to these two amps, some of the things listed below may be considered as disadvantages:
- limited power
- no built-in effects
- no 3-band EQ
That being said, it’s totally normal. You can’t expect them to be the best in the world. They will never sound as good as some of the high-end tube amps made by Fender and Marshall, but that’s not the point.
These two amps are designed mainly for home practice. You won’t take them with you to play a gig or record in a studio. That’s why most of the time they’re used by those who are not that experienced with guitars.
So in my opinion, complaining about these disadvantages is pretty much pointless. Considering the fact that these combos are extremely cheap, they offer a fantastic value for the money.
As you’re probably aware, the market of cheap combos is VERY saturated. There are a lot of brands that make combos – not only Fender and Marshall, but also VOX, Orange, Blackstar, Harley Benton and many, many more.
Personally, I think that if you’re already thinking about getting one of the amps compared in today’s article, there’s no need to look for anything else. But if you really want to explore your options, here are my recommendations.
Make sure to check out:
- Orange Crush 12
- Harley Benton HB-20R
- Fender Champion 20
- and Fender Mini Twin 57 (this is a battery-powered amp)
All of these combos are slightly different and they have different prices too.
The Crush 12 is quite expensive, but it has an awesome overdrive. The built-in reverb in Harley Benton HB-20R is awesome! The Champion 20 is packed with lots of effects and it offers a fantastic value for the money. And the Mini Twin 57 is ideal for those who are looking for a portable amp.
You can check out the video reviews of these amps on my YouTube channel.
Fender Frontman 10G vs Marshall MG10 – Final Thoughts
I won’t tell you whether you should by the Frontman or the MG10 – it’s all up to you and your own personal preference. I think that the sound difference is easy to notice, so you can make up your mind simply by listening to the demos shared above.
I’d choose the Marshall, but I have to say that the cleans on the Fender are awesome too. The Fender looks cooler in my opinion, but I’m sure that some of you will disagree with me on that.
Summing up, order the one that sounds better for you! And if you’re a complete noob and you’re looking for your first amp, I’m sure that you’ll be satisfied with both of them.
If you do end up with getting one of these combos, leave a comment under this article and let me know what do you think. I’m sure that all of my readers will benefit from reading your thoughts about it!