Sound — 10
I am mainly a rhythm player with the occasional lead Harmony, so all the extra ability to beef up my gain and OD is most excellent. Plus the added control of the solo button (which I use for boosting certain rhythm sections usually to make them punch more) and reverb. I also use BC Rich guitars and EMG pickups exclusively (mostly emg81/85), so my low-ends chug nicely, especially with the MF350's lean toward low-end power. The amp selection and tone matrix of the MF350 are exactly what I need in Court Jester, as our music is quite versatile. We go from hard rock styling to heavy metal, so when I can utilize a more traditional rock guitar crunch and in a matter of seconds be rockin' out my gallops and palm mute with a chug that you can feel, all out of the same amp and no array of pedals (so you don't lose tone), it makes for a great show. The other beauty of this baby is that it actually kicks more the louder you get! Sound guys hate you (but there is an emulated line out if they were trained to use it), but the louder you get, you lose nothing; doesn't effect tone, doesn't add more distortion over anything (even cleans), and even feedback isn't an issue generally...obviously, the further away you stand the better off you are on that...white noise is also not been a problem while sitting on a distortion. The distortion and crunch can be as brutal as you want really. This amp is versatile enough to be able to play a Buddy Guy tune back-to-back with a Napalm Death tune.
Overall Impression — 10
This is the perfect gigging amp for me and Court Jester's live sound. I have not yet taken it into the studio, but I may still be partial to using the JCM800 and JCM2000TSL in the studio as quick amp changes aren't needed and I have time to make all my settings just perfect. We'll see though. The only thing I hate about it is the weight...it's not too heavy, just unevenly balanced. One side weighs more than the other so when you lift it, it angles down and is just annoying to carry. But hey, that's what roadies are for right! I would also like more valve influence...it's not quite as warm and full as a traditional valve-state, but to get the amount of OD and tonality that this thing has, I don't see it happening. Overall, I'm quite happy and love to hear the MF350 roar on stage behind me.
Features — 8
Well, I haven't had it more than a couple months, so longevity I'm not able to answer. I can, however, say that I use it regularly gigging on the road and would depend on it fully without a back up (because even though I have a back up, I really don't want to have to use that piece of junk Laney). It's been through a lot so far...dropped by a venue roadie, bounced around in transportation, day-in & day-out use on stage...no problems. Marshall has also fixed their footswitch problem (I know the JCM2000TSL had the issue of the footswitch cable breaking/going bad) with the new footswitch for the MF350. They use a male/male serial-cable (like on a computer) that screws in to both the head and the footswitch. It keeps it tight in both and should something go wrong, you only need to replace a cable instead of a $150 footswitch. I will give it a good rating though as I have had no issues thus far, but haven't had it long enough to say it's completely reliable and durable.