New user first days experience's with the Code 25


I have had a chance to spend a few days with the Marshall code 25 and I would like to share with you a few of my findings. I have played guitar professionally for over 30 years and have had all makes and models of guitars and amps in my time, but in general I would have killed for the equipment available to guitarist today.

This is the point where I look at the Code 25 and think “that looks like fun”. I have a few amps kicking about already, mostly gigging volume amps but I also have a Blackstar ID-Core 40, so this would be in reality what I would compare the Code 25 against.

Firstly my experience with the amp and a look around these forums makes one thing apparent. This amp is well named because it is a bit of an enigma.Out of the box I would consider the amplifier not fit for purpose this is really down to a few reasons.

Firstly, some of the presets are just absolutely terrible, I mean some of the worst patches I’ve ever heard on anything, “Small combo” and the “Brit” overdrive amps for instance are shockingly bad. You can make the excuse that all amp and effects units come with bad presets. However this is usually down to strange or weird effects to give bizarre sounds to show off effects but that nobody would ever use in a musical context. However some patches (such as Small Combo) are just basic amp modelling with no effects and are still absolutely terrible. Maybe these sound better on the 50 or 100, but if that’s the case remove them from the 25 it just gives a bad impression.

Secondly, the amp is stupidly loud. I don’t know if this is a marketing decision, but Marshall should look at its target demographic. This thing is a small bedroom practice amp, maybe at a push for some very small live situations, but that is it. Why make the thing so loud? If you need to use this amp near anything over half volume you have bought the wrong amp it’s as simple as that.

Thirdly, some of the modelling is not all it could be with digital artefacts (in the low end in particular), and a fizzy noise gate that for some reason is on patches where there is absolutely no need to have it as the patch is pretty quiet. Once again this is not a professional gigging or recording product and it should be judgged accordingly.

The last bad point I would say against this amp is the tuner, both onboard and on the app are two of the least responsive and wildly inaccurate tuners I have ever seen. Really not even close to tune! Put this down to another marketing tick box.


OK, now the good points.

It seems pretty well made and solid for what it is.

I like the size and weight, ideal for a bedroom practice amp.

I like the complete range of controls on the amp, and how you can do everything on the amp that you can do on the app, and it’s easy to do. Great user interface design work.

I like the Bluetooth features and the app. I know people have had problems with Bluetooth, but both my IOS and Android phones connected right away and are stable. I can stream music no problem from outside the house or in other rooms with no issues.

I like having 100 presets to store all the patches I could want (My Blackstar only had 6, and you can only have 1 for each model).

The headphone socket sounds OK, but if I wanted that as a primary feature I would have just bought headphone amp with effects.

I don’t use the recording over USB feature. If I did I wouldn’t expect something this cheap to be amazing. Once again if you want this you probably have bought the wrong product, and are in the wrong price bracket.

I like the cost, its amazing what it does for the money.

I like the sounds, now that I’ve got rid of the awful ones.

It looks pretty cool.

It’s a Marshall.


To make this amp useable, I basically had to do the following:

  1. Delete all those terrible patches that are just filler and basically just give the user a bad experience. After doing this I was left with around 20 good sounding patches and 20 OK patches, the other 60 I replaced with a patch called “Blank” (which I have put up on this site). That way every patch sound good to me.
  2. I turned the Mater volume up to ¼ (around 9 o’clock)  and went through the remaining patches adjusting the patch volume of each to make it a sensible volume for bedroom levels. This ranged from around 0.3 to 5 for most patches depending on the patch. This means that you have more control over the master volume and can change patches without is suddenly blowing you head off. There is still plent of volume in the amp after doing this. OK I admit if I want to use headphones I have to turn the master up around half way, but that’s no big deal. Likewise as I said I don’t use the USB for recording, but I assume I would have to turn up the volume for that too. I don’t see that as a problem either for a product in this price range.

Overall I like the amp and doing just these 2 thing make it much more of a pleasure to use. The volume level are more what they should be for a product of this type and I don’t ever hear any of the awful patches (there are plenty of good ones).

Maybe other people can share their first experiences or tips with the Code 25?

asked 02 Mar 2021 at 04:07 PM

Joliet Jake (87)
Hi Joilet,
I must say as another CODE 25W user I can only agree with everything you have said here, both your critical and your positive points. This amp requires you to put in some time, along with a massive amount of patience before you will get anything like the best out of it.
It's a shame that it comes out of the box sounding as it does, because I'm positive that it will almost certainly have made some people decide to get shot of the thing before giving it a chance. It's a decision I almost made myself. I'm really pleased I wasn't so rash in the end though. if initially your willing and able to look past the majority of the pre-programmed patches and put a bit of (really frustrating) time in just playing around, I feel that time will be rewarded. I honestly think that for those patient enough to try, there's some decent tones to be dragged out of this amp. Once the insane volume level is brought under control (I carried out the same laborious process as yourself) it makes for a more than adequate bedroom amp.
Pleased you are enjoying yours.
- Simon Coulston 02 Mar 2021 at 05:56 PM
Answers: 2


Fully agreed! I own two Code50‘s, one is the clone of the other - one I use for rehearsing, the other one for gigging (or vice versa). I love these amps!

answered 02 Mar 2021 at 06:20 PM

Mark Lüttger (32)


Yes, got the amp, and sussed that volume issue.

Knocked them all down to 0.5-0.7, via the amp controls.

I suppose I could have done it more accurately with the Phone BT, but it took about 15mins.

Three days into ownership, so lets see how it goes.    

answered 08 Oct 2021 at 04:09 PM

david woodhams (1)
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