MH-500 Metalhead review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.7 (33 votes)
Fender: MH-500 Metalhead
3

Price paid: $ 1600

Sound — 9
I bought both the cab and the head and I play through a Jackson DK2M pro with a Di Marzio X2N in the bridge and a D-Activator neck in the neck. I play metal for the most part. The amp can give you a bit of a buzz, especially when using a lot of gain on the loose Drive, but the noise gate takes care of that no problem. I play mostly metal, but this amp can give you any sound you want. The clean setting isn't spectacular, but it works for me. I don't use the tight Drive very much, but it will give you a great classic rock/blues sound. The loose Drive is awesome. This amp really does deliver on giving you a metal sound. The low end for rhythms has a deep full sound that is second to none. and when soloing with the boost on you can cut through anything.

Overall Impression — 9
This amp is great. It gives me the sound I want at a decent price, and it's easy to use. I try to keep my set up, especially for live shows, as simple as possible. And this amp is pretty much an all in one deal. It will give you any sound you want. If it was lost or stolen I would definitely replace it. I love the full metal distortion you get out of it, and I'm happy that Fender finally made a solid metal amp. I'm not too pleased moving it around as much as I do. But that's the price you pay for the sound it gives you. I would easily let this amp stand against a Marshall for distortion, and would never plug a pedal into it unless I got an equalizer to tweak my sound a little more.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is built like a tank. It's a 500 solid state amp and will never break down. I have only had the amp for about 5 months, but I have played several shows with it and have never had a problem with it, you just plug in and go. I tend not to baby my equipment overly much. But this amp can stand up to pretty much anything.

Features — 8
The features on this amp are awesome. It's a 500 watt solid state, and I'd say you would get the best range of sounds out it without having to deal with pedals. It has 3 channels: clean/dirty, tight drive, and loose drive. It has a few cool effects built into it including phaser, delay, reverb, chorus, flange, vibrato, and a noise gate. Which I thought was a really cool addition. You can select from 16 different combinations and variations (ex. using chorus + reverb + delay). As far as power goes this amp has oodles of it. The settings are basic and easy to understand. Gain, presence, volume, bass, mid, and treble are all there. The only qualm I have with it is that you can't get the exact sound out of it if you are picky like I am. I practice at home, with my band, I play live and in the studio. and this amp has been great for all of the above. It comes with a foot pedal that allows you to Switch channels, turn on your affects, and put boost on for solo's. The only other problem I really seem to have with it. is it's kind of hard to move around, but there's nothing you can do about that

57 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Plan009
    Love how so many people are saying that Metal and Fender don't mix... Slipknot anyone? Jim Root? Or even John5? Fender may specialize with their clears and cleans, but when they do something, they make sure they do it right. I got faith this amp has some great potential, despite being solid state. Hope to play one sometime soon.
    cloud041089
    Nihil wrote: CLIFF_BURTON wrote: High_o, you're very ignorant. not really, hes just saying that fender probably doesn't make as good of a metal amp as brands geared towards that, just cause it says Fender on it does not make it good, making you the ignoramus
    and just because it says Fender on it does not make it not good, either.. people should try it before they say shit.
    Scum_PunkRocker
    BTW, it is 500W RMS. But that still wouldn't be much louder than a 100W tube amp, and a Marshall Mode 350 would blow that thing away! But even still...never buy an amp just because it has a ton of power.
    Cpt. Chaos
    All the Metalhead bashing has to be coming from guys who have never heard it or played on it, tsk tsk. Yes its a corny ass name for an amp but it actually sounds pretty damn good for SS. And whatever you do don't judge it by any clips, I think the only good amp clips I ever heard were of 5150/6505.
    Guitarguy310 wrote: I need a little assistance...I am stuck between buying a B-52 AT100 or a Fender Metalhead. Personally, I think the B-52 sounds better, but I'll need to buy a noise gate, case, etc. The Fender MH has a noise gate, but you can only use one effect at a time, including the fact that the head itself IS a case. So, with all that, I'll be spending Please gimme some feedback.
    I have never heard a B-52 AT100 but If you're playing metal and you aint a tube snob the Fender MH with its noise gate is awsome especially for palm mutes. If you use a lot of effects, yeah your probably gonna have to spend a few extra bucks on outboard stuff.
    GS LEAD 5
    binjajer wrote: It sucks, believe me. I already hate malmsteen, but when I heard him play it in some video, I wanted to kill the designer of the amp. It's terrible, somewhat like a Marshall MG.
    Have you ever heard an MG?
    losing battle
    petrucci_owns86 wrote: cukd7x-a2- wrote: fender and metalhead in the same sentence is like jesus loving satan... hahaha
    Jesus does love Satan
    Nihil
    CLIFF_BURTON wrote: High_o, you're very ignorant.
    not really, hes just saying that fender probably doesn't make as good of a metal amp as brands geared towards that, just cause it says Fender on it does not make it good, making you the ignoramus
    mikejelinek1
    To the guy that said he never heard of Fender in the same sentence with Marshall. Fender's EVH series blows any Marshall being produced in the last 20 years out of the water.
    LeeSmellyFinger
    OO suprising it doesnt have a good clean, usually fenders are known for the clean channel, since its a "metal" amp the prob let their jazz hair down LOL. good review =]
    guitaringsailor
    fender metalamp haha sounds cool surprised at the Dirty clean channel though I play thriugh a FM fender head and for a lot of distorsion a pedal is nessesary
    binjajer
    It sucks, believe me. I already hate malmsteen, but when I heard him play it in some video, I wanted to kill the designer of the amp. It's terrible, somewhat like a Marshall MG.
    kradamek
    wow i have never heard "metal" and "fender" in the same sentence. lol, jk, i love fender and this sound like a great amp!
    mondaymonkey
    500 watts. That would be SICK to jam at home wit Never played anything that big, but thats gotta be sick
    Chevelle454
    doesnt fender make eddies new EVH series amps? i think that they can make metal amps just fine. but anyway, for $1600 you got ****ed. you coulda got a 5150 head or sumthin and a cab for that
    crystaldragon75
    oh, its 500 watts alright. i own one of these baby's and they are bloody sweet. ive tried crate, randall, peavey, mesa, marshall, laney, only to find the best heavy tone through the metalhead. thought having and eq pedal in front of it helps a lot, just to clean up the edges of the tone. my only beef with this amp, is that theres not enough on the tight channel.
    rgkghosthorse
    confused? about metal head? trying to decide! thanks for all the comments! rgkghosthorse what to dooooo!
    High_o
    High_o, you're very ignorant.
    your oppinion dude, but my point i think (and so do other people here) is very valid; that you should buy amps from brands that specialise in the kind of amp it is (ie: for blues go to fender or perhaps vox, but for metal go to ENGL or Peavey). I mean, you wouldn't go to Porsche if you wanted a family friendly people mover
    Scum_PunkRocker
    This amp wouldn't be such a bad idea if it isn't SS. I'd rather go for a Marshall, or a mesa, or even a red-knob Fender Twin or Blackface Bassman head, just because there's much better tone and still plenty of power, and for the same price or less. I dunno if this amp itself is good. It seems like it's got good ideas. It just needs tubes and to lose the effects. To Fender: the "sh!tty metal amp" market is monopolized by Line 6!!
    the.spine.surfs
    mondaymonkey wrote: 500 watts. That would be SICK to jam at home wit Never played anything that big, but thats gotta be sick
    If by "sick" you mean "disgusting", then yes. I feel sorry for your band mates.
    High_o
    i dont see why you'd buy a metal amp from a brand that specialises in blues etc amps. if i wanted a metal amp, i'd buy one from a metal brand (randall, mesa etc)
    x_trivium_x
    i wouldnt go for a fender amp for metal. id go for something more suited to metal as someone said above
    Shredmaster999
    metal jello : Should I get this, or save longer and get a Marshall TSL100 JCM2000 I assume, based on the fact you are looking at the MH, that you want metal tones. DO NOT GET THE TSL!!! If you like AC/DC or plan on running pedals, it is not what you want. I had one for a year (giving time for it to grow on me), sold it, and bought the MH. MUCH closer to the tone I like than the TSL. Grew on me my first run.
    Rifferx
    I was curious to see what the reviews would be like and as I assumed, there's alot of ignorant,immature comments to be found! I haven't played one yet but my buddy's been in bands for years, owns and has played through almost every rock amp there is and he loves his. I trust his knowledge of good tones to be sure this is a killer metal amp. Those of you who slagged it without ever even trying it like to advertise your ignorance!
    scrambler_66
    It is 500 watts, but I'm pretty sure it's not RMS, it's peak, and I think it is at 2 ohms, like Neloangelo818 said. Wattage at RMS is volume BEFORE distortion; that's what most guitar amps are rated at. Peak power is the most power you can get, period. I'm not sure what the peak power of most amplifiers are anyway, so I have nothing to compare it to. Though really, why would you need 500 watts of solid state power? Solid state doesn't need mass amounts of volume to sound better, unlike tubes. For the price, you could get a used mesa or 5150 (as said by glamdring22) or even a Peavey Windsor or Valveking, though with the those, you may want a pedal for really heavy metal.
    scrambler_66
    Correction, 2nd sentence: I meant to say, I'm not sure what the peak power is for most guitar amps.
    burn the stars
    losing battle wrote: petrucci_owns86 wrote: cukd7x-a2- wrote: fender and metalhead in the same sentence is like jesus loving satan... hahaha Jesus does love Satan
    +1
    MrDURPEEDURP
    kradamek wrote: wow i have never heard "metal" and "fender" in the same sentence. lol, jk, i love fender and this sound like a great amp!
    a fender twin reverb can give you some pretty damn good distortion for metal but it's not like anyone goes out to buy one just for it, that's why it's not used for it.
    Guitarguy310
    I need a little assistance...I am stuck between buying a B-52 AT100 or a Fender Metalhead. Personally, I think the B-52 sounds better, but I'll need to buy a noise gate, case, etc. The Fender MH has a noise gate, but you can only use one effect at a time, including the fact that the head itself IS a case. So, with all that, I'll be spending Please gimme some feedback.
    Ishiga
    500W Peak RMS. Doesn't mean it uses even half of that. && on another subject. Just cuz it's fender doesn't mean it even works, just because it's a fender doesn't mean it doesn't. imho it's a hit and miss with fender, their g-decs have always sucked. their frontmans have always sucked. their higher up "pro" grade amps, on the other hand, have worked out quite decently. but the distortion still sucked without an external drive, such as a preamp or properly suited pedal. don't hate, don't glorify. not till you try it anyway.
    1frmtx
    I have this amp and am pretty satisfied. I like to keep it simple and with the footswitch i'm not tap-dancing. I run a Line6 PODXT through it when I'm just messing around and seeing what I can come up with, but it has an EQ on it so you can tweak the sound. All in all, a great amp.
    Thread_of_Light
    I played this amp at a gig once, and it is more than decent. For the money, however, you can find something just as good, if not, better than this. I was more than satisfied with this beasts ability to deliver. If you're looking for something that will rip your face off from the palm mutes, this is it. The leads are amazing as well.
    Meebles_1
    I think this amp is great. My friend owned one and it was LOUD! i played around with it when he had it and its a really nice amp. If you really want to shrug it off because it's a Fender product then cool, but i think you should try it out.
    DrFrosto
    I ended up buying this amp, but only really because of the price, 600 (about $1200 at the moment I think) for the full stack. If it was full price, which I wouldn't be able to afford anyway, it'd easily be a 6505 over it, but yeah it's not a bad amp
    Multiplayerjon
    cukd7x-a2- wrote: and 10 bucks says its 50 not 500, look at the size of that thing! it would have to be 5 feet deep. GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE!
    It's a stack i got a Catalog like 4 years ago when this premeried! it's 7 feet tall with the full stack! yeah be jealous