When people talk about Marshall amps, the discussion is mostly focused on any of their numerous electric guitar models. However, Marshall also has their acoustic users covered with a line of pretty great amplifiers. One such unit is the Marshall AS50D. In essence, it’s one of the better models you can get in this category, and is definitely the one of that offers a lot of value for the money. Let’s take a look and see what it has to offer.
The control panel on AS50D looks more or less similar to any other Marshall amp. In fact, if it wasn’t for the obvious XLR input, you probably wouldn’t even know it’s an acoustic guitar amp. There are two channels, each with an identical set of controls. These are Volume, Bass, and Treble. Up next comes the FX section where you will find a Chorus and two types of Reverb. Overall, Marshall has taken a slightly different route compared to other brands who make acoustic guitar amps. However, different isn’t necessarily worse. The controls are pretty intuitive and are easy to master. Effects are applied by to channels by simply pushing a corresponding button, allowing you to quickly go from and to a dry signal.
Marshall’s AS50D is a 50 Watt amp that features two 8 inch drivers. That makes it just capable enough to be used on stage as well as frequent gigging. One thing that is interesting about AS50D is how Marshall designed the second channel. Instead of installing a combined XLR/TRS input, they have actually decided to put individual inputs for both instrument and microphone. In case the available 50 Watts of power simply aren’t enough for you, there are D.I. outputs available in the back of the amp as well as a line out. This makes it possible to hook up the AS50D straight to a mixer and run it through the PA system. Lastly, this amp is fairly lightweight and compact, meaning that it is pretty easy to transport on a frequent basis.
Power and features are great, but they don’t necessarily make for a good amp. You still need those values to yield a good performance. Luckily for us, Marshall AS50D packs just the right kind of juice. There is more than enough projection, certainly more than you would expect from a 50 Watt amp. The tone is pretty transparent although it does have a somewhat unique flavor to it. The amp reacts well to all kinds of onboard electronics, which isn’t always the case these days. When you use both channels at the same time, the two signals blend in very nicely. There is no conflict between vocals and instrument voices, even when you apply a thicker layer of effects to the whole thing.
Compact and rather refined, Marshall AS50D may not be the most powerful acoustic guitar amp on the market. However, the power you get is used with incredible efficiency. It feels like every single Watt is utilized to increase both the volume and tone quality of your acoustic guitar. Those who need a solid workhorse on stage definitely have to check out the AS50D.