For players on a budget, there should be no reason to deny yourself a genuine Marshall amplifier – and the Code 25W gives you a huge range of classic Marshall tones in an affordable way, coming in at under $200. This solid-state combo amp offers a huge sound fit for performance, while the flexibility in tone sets the bar very high. Let’s see what’s on offer.
Set on a beige strip on the top of the amp, the Code 25W features the usual suspects in terms of controls on amps of this size – gain, bass, middle, treble and volume, along with a master volume control and seven button controls for the amps and digital effects. These are all easy to use when you get used to them, and feel responsive and rugged, as you’d expect from a Marshall amp in any price category.
The tone-shaping capabilities on offer from the Code 25W is astounding for such an affordable price. You get a choice of 14 much-loved Marshall preamps including classics such as the JCM800, 1962 Bluesbreaker and Silver Jubilee, as well as four power amps and eight speaker cab emulations, all capable of being mixed together to produce your perfect tone. That’s before you add in any of the 24 digital effects that include distortion, compressors, auto wah, pitch shifter, chorus, phaser and flanger, as well as reverb and delay. Further enhancing the flexibility of the Code 25W is the ability to customize any tone via USB or Bluetooth, via the mobile app.
Under the hood, the Code 25W offers 25 watts of power with a single 10” speaker, although there’s also a headphone jack for those practice sessions where you don’t want everyone to share the experience. The amp itself looks great on stage or living room, with a clean, minimalist design that’s all black aside from the Marshall logo in striking white on the front.
For the sub-$200 price tag, the performance on offer from the Code 25W really is something else. Sound-wise it’s incredibly versatile, offering something for everyone – from crystal clear cleans to vintage Britpop crunch, right up to searing-hot high-gain metal. Sure, the output isn’t going to give you the power or detail of a 100-watt cab with four speakers, but this combo amp provides ample power for practice, recording or smaller gigs.
The Code 25W is a steal for the price, with a universe of tones packed into a relatively small package. Despite its size and price, it still offers great power, making it a sensible option for those starting out in a gigging/band setting or simply for players who want the flexibility of any tone at the flick of a switch.