#1
A long while ago, a friend of mine received a brand-new MG half stack for his birthday. At the same time, I bought my then-new-but-now-old Digitech RP-155. That night, we decided to jam a bit on our new devices, and not much good came from that.

After a while, he grew tired of the MG and sold it to the br00tz band I was in at the time. I still didn't know what I was doing. I used it at Church some, and one night I was even in a car-wreck (no I'm okay) and the amp head flew out of the car, into the woods. But eventually I completely stopped using the MG. Every now and again I would play on it some, but I never found it to be a good amp. I recorded a song or two from it and quality shows. I'm slightly less ignorant now than I was then.

Since my band broke up (we didn't do much, not enough time, priority and experience really) the MG has been sitting at my Church building for the past few years. I recently acquired the VK and I haven't looked back.

Today, I was hanging out with one of my friends and jokingly offered him the MG and cab for $100, and upon saying it the offer was no longer a joke but real. After service, I demoed the MG to him and what would you know...

I found a decent amp in there.
Yes, I know the MG series is regarded as one of the worst amp lines to exist. I haven't played enough amps or MG's to call myself an authority. I would definitely recommend better amps for the same price. I don't imagine that the lower-watt MG's are any good, though. For a practicing beginner, yeah maybe. But other than that, I wouldn't use one. The higher-wattage amps, they might be okay/useful at a cheap price used.

Today, I tried one with experience enough to know how to get a good tone out of it. I first tried getting a sparkly clean tone. I cranked up the gain, confused myself with the two volume controls, ending up keeping the "master" low and the "volume" at around 9 o' clock. I had to nearly cut all the bass (and the knob's are kinda broken, the levels jump around sometimes) and had to boost the mids and highs. But gosh darn it I got a sparkly clean tone, or at least the best I could do.

I engaged my Soul Food and what do you know, it worked like it should. It was a kinda muddy sparkly clean tone but it would get the job done for $100. I think part of the issue is the cab as well. A 2x12 with better speakers would work nicely I think. An EQ would help very much as well.

However, I tried engaging the crunch channel and I think I heard the reason why the amp gets such a bad rep. The gain structure sounded not so good. It could be fixed with a lot of out-board work, but I'm not going to bother. The buyer would be using it for cleans anyhow, and he seemed to like what I got the MG to do. I'm going to clean the pots and see if I can do any small-scale work to it.

In conclusion, yeah these amps are pretty meh. There are much better options for the price. But I thought I would share my experience with them, and at least give them a purpose if you find them cheap.
Last edited by Will Lane at May 17, 2015,
#2
cleans usually aren't the issue with solid state amps. it's the one thing that many do good. sometime the clean sound is a bit steritle but for things like jazz they work well.

the biggest bitch with the MG is the fact that it just doesn't sound like a marshall when it comes to distortion. marshall wrote the book on distorted rock tones so the expectation is pretty high. well the MG only delivers if you are to high to hear the difference. once you turn it up to band level the amp just farts out and the tone sufferes greatly. for certain death metal tones ok it works but for the rest not so much. obvously the other bitch is the cost vs performance in a good example of paying for the name.
#3
I've never thought they're as bad as people here (including myself at times) say they are.

If Marshall was to sell them under a different Brand name (much like Fender & Gibson do with Squier and Epiphone) and price them accordingly, they would certainly be decent enough as starter amps. Park perhaps?

The biggest problem with them is all the people who buy them thinking they're getting a real Marshall. Actually, an even bigger problem is all the stores who sell them to people by describing them as a real Marshall.
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#4
Quote by GaryBillington
I've never thought they're as bad as people here (including myself at times) say they are.

If Marshall was to sell them under a different Brand name (much like Fender & Gibson do with Squier and Epiphone) and price them accordingly, they would certainly be decent enough as starter amps. Park perhaps?

The biggest problem with them is all the people who buy them thinking they're getting a real Marshall. Actually, an even bigger problem is all the stores who sell them to people by describing them as a real Marshall.


well they are a "real" marshall in the snese that it is a branded product. the lack of "real" marshall tone is the problem. the kid who thinks he'll sound like Slash of Jimi Hendrix gets disappointed. that or the kid who wants that half stack and thinks he the shit only to get buried by some guy with a 20 watt tube 1x12 combo
#5
My input jack ripped out of my amp during a show and another bands guitarist grabbed his 2x12 MG combo for me to use. That was the first and last time I have ever played through one.
It was insanely crappy compared to what I was playing. I have had a big distaste for them ever since
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#6
^ lolstack worthy




I can almost imagine your face as he sets down the amp and you realize it's a Marshall MG...
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#7
Quote by nick.culliton
^ lolstack worthy




I can almost imagine your face as he sets down the amp and you realize it's a Marshall MG...

Well I was grateful he was letting me use something to finish our set. but I swear a Line6 Spider I sounds so much better and people here bitch about them all the time
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#8
Spiders really aren't that bad, but there are definitely better options! If I had to rank the 4 main starter amps I think I'd rank them like this:

1. Vypyr
2. Spider
3. Mustang
4. MG
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#9
I recorded a guitarist that wouldn't play anything but his MG with one of these uber-metal-fart distortions, I think it was something by Digitech. Sounded like nails scratching on a chalkboard, I guess it was kinda like a Dime tone but taken even to a further extreme.
I offered to record him through some really good tube amps, even dialed in his MG to something not so distasteful but the guy was locked in on using that tone and that is what we recorded. Sometimes the customer is always right...
After playing around with that amps for such a long time I came to the conclusion that it is not so awful, it is just that people are trying to squeeze the brootz out of it and with a lack of previous knowledge, fail badly.
#10
Quote by nick.culliton
Spiders really aren't that bad, but there are definitely better options! If I had to rank the 4 main starter amps I think I'd rank them like this:

1. Vypyr
2. Spider
3. Mustang
4. MG
I'd almost think the Vypyr isn't up there so much, not very well known compared to the others. That said, the Mustang is probably the best out of those 3. I've actually considered getting a Spider for the kicks, to do the same thing I did today with the MG.
Quote by diabolical
I recorded a guitarist that wouldn't play anything but his MG with one of these uber-metal-fart distortions, I think it was something by Digitech. Sounded like nails scratching on a chalkboard, I guess it was kinda like a Dime tone but taken even to a further extreme.
That was me back in the day too. Didn't know anything about a metal tone.
Last edited by Will Lane at May 17, 2015,
#11
My only question is what is a muddy sparkly tone?

I usually do NOT defend the MG series at all because I agree - they are not that good for the money. Marshall in general is overpriced here in the States (and probably lots of other countries in the world). Maybe they are a 'better deal' in Britain.

That said, you do have to remember that the MG 'circuit' is probably over 10 years old now. They have tried to make a decent solid state for the masses for quite some time now. A 'little' bit of credit should be thrown their way.

Now. Should the amp sound better for the money? Yes.
Have they spent a lot of time and money on a decent modeling circuit? Maybe. (JMP-1)
Otherwise - not so much
Should they be providing better? Yes.

Could they rule the world? Yes.


Will they ever again? Doubtful.
#12
Whenever I hear really bad tone at a gig it is invariably an MG or a Spider.
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#14
Quote by Will Lane
I opened it up to see if I could do a bit of cleaning or fix anything basic. The whole thing is basic. Components are on the other side of the board, but yeah a lot of empty space in.

That looks like a tone machine
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#16
That really is insane
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#17
About cheap SS practice amps, my opinion is still this:
1. Peavey Bandit
2. the rest
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#18
I have an MG10 I bought when I first started and a Frontman 15, I think the MG sounds a bit better on the distortion channel than the Frontman but they're both really shit sounding
#20
Pffft, I still have a Vox VT30, imo its the best starter amp. But that's just me, I tend to be a bit of a frumpy, cork sniffer with budget starter amps.
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#21
whenever i see a marshall mg, i immediately think of static-X. ****ers recorded with it and with that shit tone, didn't do to bad for themselves .
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#22
Quote by trashedlostfdup
whenever i see a marshall mg, i immediately think of static-X. ****ers recorded with it and with that shit tone, didn't do to bad for themselves .

guy went super saiyan

Good for them. Having a perfect tone isn't all a guitarist must do. Singer is dead apparently, though. :/
#23
Quote by Will Lane

guy went super saiyan

Good for them. Having a perfect tone isn't all a guitarist must do. Singer is dead apparently, though. :/


i saw them at ozzfest in the really early 2000's when i lived in MN. i don't remember much though. it was a long time ago.
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alright "king of the guitar forum"


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youre just being a jerk man.



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#24
Static X is a shit band though
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#25
MGs are pretty wank but at least they arent a Frontman.
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#26
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
MGs are pretty wank but at least they arent a Frontman.


I run my MG and FM in stereo for tonal bliss
#27
totally br00tz
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#29
I loved me some Static-X. Was surprised when Wayne passed...more at his age than anything else. He was about a decade older than I thought he was.
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#30
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I loved me some Static-X. Was surprised when Wayne passed...more at his age than anything else. He was about a decade older than I thought he was.

I never got into those late 90's nu-metal bands very much.

But I do like me some Kings X
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#31
I've seen King's X live 3 times. Great band, cool guys.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#32
I had a gig at a music store today and guess what amp they had... a damn MG100fx

They have loads of ****ing amps the could've at least put on a decent one
Last edited by nico_9550 at May 20, 2015,
#33
Quote by nico_9550
I had a gig at a music store today and guess what amp they had... a damn MG100fx

They have loads of ****ing amps the could've at least put on a decent one

well no offence, but if you play a gig at a music store you probably have little to no experience. And I damn sure wouldn't put a good amp out for those kind of bands if I owned the store either
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#34
Quote by Robbgnarly
well no offence, but if you play a gig at a music store you probably have little to no experience. And I damn sure wouldn't put a good amp out for those kind of bands if I owned the store either
I'd get him a decent tone at least, rather than leaving him to learn a new amp
#35
Quote by Robbgnarly
well no offence, but if you play a gig at a music store you probably have little to no experience. And I damn sure wouldn't put a good amp out for those kind of bands if I owned the store either



Well we've got like 4 years of regular gigging with that band, but I see your point though

I just used my GT100 in anyway
#36
Quote by nico_9550
Well we've got like 4 years of regular gigging with that band, but I see your point though

I just used my GT100 in anyway


Should have brought your own amp.
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