Choosing a reliable budget amp isn’t that easy, so I’m not surprised that a lot of people wonder who actually wins the fight called Marshall MG10 vs MG15.
The truth is that both of these amps are great for beginners. MG10 is more than enough for an amateur who starts their musical journey – it’s cheap, functional and it sounds quite good. MG15 is a bit more powerful and it offers more versatility thanks to the 3-band EQ, but it’s a bit more expensive.
Making that choice may seem difficult, but it all depends on what you’re looking for. I tested both of these amps so I feel like I’m in a good spot to help you figure out which one of them will be better for you.
Let’s start with a quick comparison of tones!
I took some time to record a direct sound comparison of these two amps. Feel free to check out the video below!
About Marshall MG10
The MG10 is actually one of the most popular small amps in the world. It has been around for ages and it’s often recommended for people who are just starting out.
And honestly, I’m not surprised that so many people decide to get it. It’s small and cheap, but at the same time it gives you enough power to annoy your neighbours.
The combo features 10 Watts of power, a 6.5″ speaker, two separate channels (clean and overdrive) and a contour channel which is basically a limited version of the EQ. The headphone output allows you to practice quietly and you can even use your own backing tracks through the line out.
That’s a pretty solid set of features! But unfortunately, it has its own disadvantages too – it’s small, so your power is limited. It has no built-in effects and it doesn’t have the 3-band EQ, so although it sounds pretty good, it’s not as versatile as its older brother.
You can check out my full review of MG10 down below.
About Marshall MG15
The MG15 is very similar to MG10, but it’s bigger, more powerful and more versatile. You can basically consider it as an extended version of the amp mentioned earlier.
It has 15 Watts of power and an 8″ speaker, so that already proves that it’s a bit more powerful. And that extra punch is really noticeable – your neighbours won’t be too happy.
The rest is pretty much the same, but instead of the contour control there’s a 3-band EQ which allows you to directly control the lows, mids and treble. That’s a very useful feature, because it gives you more control over shaping your final tone.
Whether you’re into clean tones or playing with overdrive, Marshall MG15 will definitely be a safe choice. Maybe it’s not the best for live gigs or recording, but it’s generally a bit better and more appealing combo than MG10. Don’t get me wrong – the MG10 is still good anyway.
You can watch my full review of MG15 below.
Marshall MG10 vs MG15 – Which One Is Better For You?
You’re probably already aware that both of these combos are very good for home use. They’re ideal for beginners too. So should you choose the MG10 or MG15?
In my opinion, if you’re on a tight budget and you want to get a reliable amp for bedroom practice, choose MG10. You don’t need anything fancier than that if you just want to work on your guitar skills.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to spend a little bit more and you feel like you need a bit more power and versatility, choose MG15. It will cost you more, but that difference isn’t that huge in the end.
Personally, I’d choose the MG15. It definitely gives you more control over shaping your tone – I find it very useful. Even though I wouldn’t use it for anything else than practice, it’s probably one of my favorite amps available at this price level.
Still, don’t forget that this is YOUR decision. Choose the one that will fit your needs. Trust me, you don’t need your combo to be very loud if you just want to chill in your bedroom and practice some basic tunes.
We can’t forget about the fact that the market of budget amps is really saturated these days. Some of these cheap combos are good, but some of them are trash too, so be careful what you’re getting.
However, some of the other cool cheap guitar amplifiers that I can recommend include:
- VOX Pathfinder 10
- Orange Crush 12 (or 20 if you’re looking for more power)
- Harley Benton HB-20R
- Fender Frontman 10G
- Fender Champion 20 (this one is packed with built-in effects)
I think that the MG10 or MG15 will be more than enough for you, but if you want to explore other options too, make sure to check out some of the models mentioned above.
The Pathfinder has great clean tones, while the Orange Crush is awesome for overdrive. The HB-20R has a very cool reverb effect, so that’s a plus too. When it comes to Fenders, they sound slightly different – especially the Frontman. The overdrive on that thing isn’t the best, but it’s definitely a cheap amp.
Alternatively, you can also check out Fender Mini 57 Twin Amp – it’s a very small battery-powered combo. Definitely not the best tone out there, but you can take it pretty much anywhere with you. It’s literally the same size as your palm.
It’s hard to say whether these combos are better than the Marshalls because again – it all depends on what you’re searching for. Personally, I’d probably stick to the ones compared in todays article, but all of these combos will be good for home practice.
Surely, if you’re thinking about getting one of these combos, you’ve already won. You can’t go wrong with either one.
I also want to point out that these amps aren’t necessarily only for beginners – I’m sure that more experienced players will be happy to use them. But as we know, the more advanced you are, the more picky you are.
And once you taste the sweet sound of a classic tube amp like VOX AC30 or Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, there’s no going back. But still, when it comes to bedroom practice, both of these Marshalls will be good enough.
And that’s pretty much it! Hopefully this article was helpful. If you do end up with getting one of these amps, leave a comment under this article and share your thoughts with me and my readers. I wonder if you guys love these amps as much as I do!