Marshall Code 50 Ultimate Amp Review 2023

Marshall Code 50 Review

The Marshall Code 50 is a DSP based modeling amplifier that can easily emulate over 14 classic Marshall Sounds. This combo amplifier has a 12″ speaker built in, as well as headphone and auxiliary jacks to expand its versatility.

Built in digital power amps, cab emulation and effects make this amp one powerful tool for guitar players!

Specifications

Let’s take a look at some key specs of the Marshall Code 50.

  • 14 Marshall Tube Amp Sounds
  • Combo With one 12″ Speakers
  • 24 Built-In Effects
  • Built-in Power Amp and Cab Emulations
  • Aux and Phone Jacks
  • 50 Watts of Power
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Marshall Gateway Software

PROS

  • Build and Design
  • Good Build/Materials
  • Good sound for price point
  • Great Clean Channel
  • Built-In Effects
  • 50 Watt Output

CONS

  • Not An Exact Representation of Marshall Tube Amps
  • Bluetooth Connectivity Issues At Times
Marshall Code 50 Review

Code 50 External Hardware

The Marshall Code 50 is a 28.6 LB combo amp, measuring 20.8″ wide, 17.3″ high, and 11″ deep. It has one 12-inch speaker in a wooden closed-back enclosure. It’s finished in classic Marshall Tolex and grill cloth.

The controls are right on top of the amplifier and are laid out in an intuitive manner. The buttons feel good, and all controls are of good quality.

Buttons and an LCD screen open up the settings and functions of the Code 50. This allows the user to easily configure the amplifier and adjust it to taste. All hardware feels like quality parts and responds very well when toggled.

The headphone jack and Aux IN jack are both 1/8″ and are located on the top of the amplifier for ease of use.

There is also a USB connector on the top of the amplifier to access the software. All through a computer or other device, as well as record or control the amp with MIDI. The amplifier is quite light for a combo with a 12″ speaker. It’s easy to carry with the top-mounted strap handle.

Marshall Code 50 rear

Channels and Controls

The Code 50 is a modeler and has a similar layout to other popular amplifiers. If you have ever used another modeler, then you will recognize the similarities of a digital amp.

The amplifier comes with a built-in LCD screen. All selections are made with buttons and a rotary edit control. This keeps things pretty simple and clean on top, which is great if lots of controls overwhelm you.

Effects on the Code 50 consist of Modulation effects, Delay, and reverb. Also, Wah plus stomp box distortion emulations.

These can also be controlled and edited using the Marshall gateway app. It can also be used via Bluetooth, which is a really slick control scheme!

The USB connection on the top of the amplifier will allow you to connect to a computer to do a few different things.

This connection will allow you to use the Marshall gateway app. But it will also allow you to connect to a DAW and record direct!

This is a great feature as the amplifier already has a built-in power amp and cab emulations. The USB connection also lets you update the firmware or control with MIDI.

Marshall Code 50 controls

Output Power

The Marshall Code 50 is rated at an output power of 50 watts, and man does it deliver! The power is right on with a heavy-hitting drummer and cuts through the mix very well.

The nice thing about this amp is that there is plenty of power on tap, and you don’t have to crank it. I find that when it is cranked, it gets a bit loose in the bass.

But thanks to the power output, it sounds good in a band setting and has plenty of headroom!

Recording Quality

Our choice of software this time around was Reaper. And to my surprise, we got a pretty good guitar sound when recorded directly from the USB.

To be honest, of all the modelers we review, this is one of the better amps in terms of sound and responsiveness.

I also tried using the headphone jack out to Reaper, but it wasn’t quite as nice sounding as the USB. Overall, this amp records direct really well!

Built In Tuner

The Marshall Code 50 has a built-in tuner, which should be expected in a modeler. Its LCD makes it one of the easier tuners to use.

Simply hold the PRE FX and AMP buttons and the display will change to its tuner. From there, simply pluck a string and the display will let you know if it needs to be adjusted or not. I am also happy to report that the tuner is accurate!

Noise Gate

One of the really cool features of the amp that often gets overlooked is a built-in noise gate! Most of the factory presets have this feature enabled. But depending on the setting, this might make it sound funny.

So make sure to access and set this feature to taste. It can either be a powerful feature, or a dealbreaker if not set right.

Marshall Code 50 Amp

Code 50 Sound

Marshall has been around for a long time, and they know how to keep that Marshall sound intact! The Code 50 is no exception, the sounds are top-notch for an amp at this price point!

When taking it out of the box, it feels like it might not have the goods. But after plugging it in, it has got all the jam you would expect a Marshall to have.

The Models are all popular Marshall preamps and man do they sound good! The 800, the Jubilee, and The JTM45, are all just fantastic!

The ability to essentially build your amp makes this thing a lot of fun. Selecting and matching preamps, to power amps. And cab emulations make this a powerful platform.

It is very easy to use and will potentially deliver no matter what you use it for. The clean sounds are nice, especially with some effects added. And the headroom is perfect thanks to 50 watts of power.

The effects are pretty good on the amplifier. They will satisfy players, especially for what the amp is worth! The sounds from the Code 50 are quite good and are very close to a Marshall tube amp sound!

Conclusion And Final Thoughts

Getting a good sound from the amp right away was promising, and it did impress me overall!

The included Gateway software gives you access to the amp that is not like the front panel. This will allow you to set up the amp truly to taste!

The use of Bluetooth is a huge advantage and makes using this amp easy! So if you are looking for an amplifier that can fill many roles, the Code is what you need.

Marshall has also designed a foot switch to work with their Code line of amplifiers. It is sold separately. Do you need the versatility of switching the amp while performing? Then foot switch is affordable and easy to use!

If 50 watts are not enough, or perhaps too much power, Marshall also makes a Code 25 and a Code 100! You are sure to find what you need in the Code line of amplifiers!