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Cornford MK50 II Review

Is it time to forget about Cornford and move on to another amp?

Wednesday, 25. September 2013  -  by  Michael Baugh

If you know anything about amps you’ll remember that Cornford was once in every guitar magazine, won every award, received more 5 star ratings and praise than any other amp company, they attracted the attention of some of the worlds most incredible guitarists and they are built in the UK.

Times have changed since then though, new amps are now on the market with many new modern features and quite a bit cheaper too, look at the Blackstar and Orange range for example. So, should we forget about Cornford and move on?

Let me tell you why that would be quite possibly the biggest mistake you could ever make as a guitar player: In my opinion and indeed many of the worlds top players will agree with this: Cornford still to this day build the best amps in the world. When you compare the Cornford MK50 II to other amps such as the Peavey 6505+, the Mesa Boogie range, the top Marshall’s, the Blackstar’s and the high end Orange amps you quickly come to the realization that Cornford are in a league of their own. Lets break down the pros...

Build quality

These amps are insanely well built, the MK50 II for example is made out of maple, the valves are shielded by tube covers with shock absorbent springs inside, the handle feels solid and the components are all high quality.


I would argue that this is the best looking amp there is, it’s finished beautifully well and it looks classy! And because of the quality of the materials it’s very hardwearing, mines been thrown about a lot and it still looks as new!

Sound quality

I cannot tell you how good this sounds, you need to hear it. All I can say is the clean sound is beautiful, I much prefer it to the Fender clean sound and it’s light years ahead of the best Marshall clean sound. The crunch is fantastic, it’s good enough for lead, it sings beautifully and sustains really nicely. The tone would keep any blues or rock player happy! The lead channel is  monstrous, it’s silky, smooth, fat, and with a little tweaking of the knobs you can get a great metal tone too. I must make you aware that this amp has more gain than anything I’ve played before, but more importantly, it is pleasant to the ears, it really does sound incredible and it certainly beats the competition on every level.


Okay, I want to tell you about how easy it is to use: There are no complicated features, it’s dead simple, the only thing that is slightly complicated is the fact that it has two FX loops, but lets be realistic, that isn’t complicated is it? If anything that makes our lives easier, right? When I first plugged in the MK50 II it sounded incredible out of the box, I didn’t even fiddle with the settings, it is a naturally good sounding amp, of course when you tweak it to your preferred tone you’ll be floored by the fact that you have finally found that sound in your head!

Value for money

Is it cheap? No. Do you get what you pay for? Yes. So in the words of a wise man “It isn’t expensive, it’s valuable.” Is there anything out there that is cheaper but close in comparison? No.

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