Marshall Code 50 Review

Marshall Code 50 Review

There are few names as intrinsically tied to the story of rock music as Marshall.

The power behind the huge sound of your favorite rock bands from the ‘60s right up until today, and an icon in the form of the indomitable Marshall stack, when you want to rock a Marshall amp is your first port of call.

Marshall’s range of amplifiers now encompasses options far removed from the classic valve amps that made its name. From solid-state combos to full digital modeling amps, you can now find a Marshall amp that does whatever you need.

The Marshall Code 50 is another great addition to this suite of products, a feature-rich modeling combo that comes preloaded with a huge range of sounds and the ability to craft your own signature tone with ease.

We’re going to take a look at the awesome features and sounds of this great amplifier. Who knows, maybe it could be your next addition to your own rig!

Overview

 
Marshall Code 50-50-watt 1x12' Digital Combo Amp
 

The Marshall Code 50 is a modeling amp combo with a 1×12” speaker, packing a huge range of sounds. There are 100 presets installed so you can instantly plug in your guitar and start playing, but there’s a whole universe of possibilities to explore too.

Not only is this a highly versatile amp for recording and live work, but the Marshall Code 50 also features Bluetooth connectivity for an expanded feature set that works with Android and Apple devices.

The Marshall Code 50 looks the part right from the off.

Featuring the classic Marshall styling of a black vinyl-covered cabinet with black grille cloth and white Marshall logo in the famous script, and the controls mounted on a gold metal plate, there’s no doubt what you’re looking at here!

In line with a lot of modern modeling amplifiers, the controls are mounted on the top face of the cabinet. This gives you easy access to the range of different effects and amplifier models on offer. Marshal Amplifier The controls themselves are laid out in an intuitive fashion, with the standard amp control knobs lined up in a row.

Above them are buttons, which control the various parameters that you can change in your sonic journey, which we will go into more detail on later. These are all labeled clearly to make changing your sound a breeze.

There’s a generously proportioned display that lets you see at a glance which parameters you have selected, and then a range of input and output jacks for your instrument cable, USB, headphones, audio in, and a foot controller.

Marshall Code 50-50-watt 1x12" Digital Combo Amp
  • Power: 50W (solid state) Single input 14 preamp models 4 power-amp models 8 speaker cab models Speaker: 1x12 Marshall Controls: 3-band EQ, gain, volume, pre FX, amp, mod, delay, reverb, power, cab 100 presets 24 FX (five simultaneously) Aux. input Headphone output USB port Bluetooth iOS and Android integration Footswitch sold separately Dimensions: 20.86 in. x 17.32 in. x 11.02 in. Weight: 28.6 lbs.
  • The Marshall CODE 50W 1x12 combo combines the Marshall legacy with state-of-the-art technology, culminating in a potent little amp that taps into all the tones you crave
  • The range offers a choice of digital amp models, power amps, cabinet simulations, FX and more allowing you to dial in every tonal possibility you need
  • Various choices of glistening cleans, vintage crunches and modern high gain options can be mixed and matched with classic Marshall 100W or British Class A power stage for example, and then run through a choice of various 1x12, 2x12 or 4x12 simulations
  • Add from a selection of 24 FX and you have all you need in one complete setup

Sounds

This is where you are spoiled for choice with the Marshall Code 50. The powerful modeling software sports 14 preamps, 4 power amps, and 8 speaker cabinets, plus 24 built-in effects.

This is a massive variety of sonic options, and we’re going to take you through how they are built up. In our experience, there are very few sounds that can’t be achieved with this suite of sounds.

Ready to Rock

The Marshall Code 50 comes pre-loaded with 100 presets, which take you from chiming clean sounds to roaring distortion via the swirly clouds of various modulation and reverb effects.

Rather than running through all of the presets individually, it’s probably better to discuss how these tones are generated. Each is based on a simulated amplifier, drawing from classic British and American tones.

These are then matched with power amps and cabinet models to produce different sounds.

The American preamps are more generic, creating Fender-like tones, but the British models are based on classic Marshall amplifiers. If you’ve ever dreamed of having a collection of vintage Marshall amps in a box, this is about as close as you can get!

You get JCM100, Plexi, and Bluesbreaker presets right out of the gate plus many more, along with an acoustic simulator in the ‘clean’ section.

While this doesn’t fully replicate the sound of an acoustic guitar, it does go a long way to simulating the sound of an electro-acoustic piezo pickup and gives you a great option for rhythm parts onstage.

Further tone shaping is available in the power amp stage, with two classic Marshall power amp models (100W with EL34 tubes and 30W with 5885 tubes) on offer plus British EL84 and American 6L6 options.

Every preset amp sound that comes with the Marshall Code 50 is excellent. Clean tones respond beautifully to playing dynamics, breaking up nicely as you dig in.

Overdrive sounds have a wonderful warmth, and as you head into more distorted territory you’ll find richness and sustain in abundance.

The most extreme settings provide pure metal heaven, with massive distortion and huge tone that we found difficult to imagine coming out of this little 1×12!

So Many Effects

Adding to the frankly incredible bundle of amp sounds available in the Marshall Code 50, there is an array of excellently modeled effects to add extra flavor to your sound.

If you’re after swirling modulation effects, ringing delays, or cavernous reverbs, the Marshall Code 50 has what you need.

From Country To Cathedrals

Reverb is a hugely important tool for guitarists looking to add life to their tone, and the Marshall Code 50 can take you from tight springs to huge stadium reverbs with the flick of a switch.

It’s as easy as selecting the reverb type with the knob on the front plate and dialing in the reverb parameters that you crave.

The reverbs included with the Marshall Code 50 are all high quality, giving you realistic approximations of the sort of spatial sonics you’d find on any great recording.

This is an area where great modeling wins out, as cheap-sounding reverbs only make your tone sound unnatural and unappealing.

The reverbs available with the Marshall Code 50 are some of the best we’ve heard, certainly from a modeling amp, making us wonder whether it’s worth putting that Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail out to pasture for a little bit!

On And On And On

Delay is another foundational guitar effect that’s a pedalboard essential for creating space, texture, and layers. The Marshall Code 50 comes with four different types of delay, perfect for crafting your special sound.

The Studio Delay setting is a high-fidelity digital delay, allowing you to create perfect looped recreations of your playing for up to four seconds at a time or to create shimmering, clean textural sounds.

The Marshall Code 50’s Vintage Delay replicates the warmth and decay of analog delays.

This is where you’ll find classic delay sounds that fold into the background of your playing, and with an editable ‘flutter’ parameter you can adjust how your signal degrades for more control.

The powerful Multi Delay gives you the option to create incredible delay patterns with ease, opening up the possibility to bounce your playing around a set of differently timed delays for real, serious soundscaping.

Rounding out the delay options, Reverse Delay does what it says on the tin. The repeats play backward from your playing, giving you a psychedelic, expansive sound with a cool twist.

All of these awesome delay options can be timed to perfection using the tap tempo feature, and controlled with the Code footswitch. They might even render your existing pedals obsolete!

See You Later, Modulator

So you want to add a little more shimmer to your sound? A little bit of flicker and flutter? Or maybe you’re aiming for that big ‘80s tone or a swirling psychedelic palette?

Modulation effects are your weapon of choice here, and the Marshall Code 50 comes complete with a phaser, flanger, chorus, and tremolo to suit all of your modulating needs.

The chorus effect selector within the Code 50 is actually a chorus/vibrato, so you can have either of the two but not both at once.

You can control the depth and rate of either effect, plus the tone of the effects signal, which gives you some serious sound-crafting power. You’ll be dialing in thick solo tones or indie jangle in no time.

The Marshall Code 50’s phaser has two options too, labeled phaser and vibe. Both work on the classic phasing principle of taking the signal as you play it, replicating it, and moving it out of phase with itself to create cool shifting sounds.

There are two flanger options in the Marshall Code 50’s effects set-up, a regular flanger, and a metallic flanger, the latter of the two adding more of those sharp edges for a more aggressive modulation.

Everything you’d want from a flanger is on offer here, from gentle waves of coruscating sound to full-blown jet-engine whooshes.

The tremolo feature on the Marshall Code 50 is perfect for adding texture to your guitar parts, with everything from a gentle twitch of trem to full-on choppy, rhythmic, How Soon Is Now-style effects available right out of the box.

Distortion And More

As well as the amp models available, there are a range of distortion sounds on offer that emulate the classic Marshall Guv’nor pedal, as well as a classic overdrive and a classic distortion.

These can all be manipulated as you choose to create anything from bluesy crunch to full-blown screaming distortion, and all pair really well with the various amp models.

The Marshall Code 50 also includes an auto-wah for adding a little funk to your playing, a built-in compressor for consistency and smoothness, and a pitch shifter that can double your signal as an octave, create harmonies, or take you into some truly off-piste sonic realms. Amplifier Marshall Code 50

App For Destruction

The truly groundbreaking part of the Marshall Code 50’s editing suite for us is the editing app.

Compatible with Android and Apple devices, the Marshall Gateway app gives you fingertip control over every parameter on your amp from your phone or tablet, making editing and storing presets even easier.

What’s more, you can store your presets at home, then take your phone to another Code series amp anywhere, connect via Bluetooth and have them all available to you right there, without having to edit any of the other amp’s settings at all.

This is a major plus if you have a Code series amp at home and also use one in a studio or rehearsal space, and it’s so user-friendly.

It’s not a challenge to edit sounds on the amp itself, but the app is breathtakingly simple and is our preferred way of making changes.

Wrapping Up

If you’ve read all of this and have come away thinking that you need to try one of these amps, we can’t blame you. Classic Marshall build quality, a huge range of sounds and super-simple editing via a well-made app is quite the package.

If you don’t have access to a studio with a huge range of amps and effects, this is the closest you’re going to get without breaking the bank. The Marshall Code 50 is a definite best-buy, so try one out today!