MG100HDFX review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 1
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 5 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.2 (290 votes)
Marshall: MG100HDFX

Price paid: $ 379

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
I actually really enjoy playing through this. Every guitar I have likes this amp. I have two MIA strats, an '07 Strat Deluxe, a '90 HM2 strat (HSS) a MIA Tele, a Squier Jagmaster, a Squier Telecaster Custom (HH) and a few others. All of these guitars are stock, and I played every single one of my guitars on this amp. The amp loves humbuckers for the extra "hair" it drives into the signal path, and it really like the single coils of my Strats. It doesn't swallow the tones of guitars, and it leaves room to make each guitar sound the way it should. If you don't care for the ear-piercing icepick scream of a Fender, this amp will suit you well. It is well balanced and with it's onboard EQ you can dial it in for any guitar (that I have plugged into it anyway). This was the sole reason I got this line amp. This is a MASSIVE bang-for-your-buck tone. If I could get Fender's bell tones out of this, I can't see any reason to own another amp. - Unless you read on to my only complaint with this amp.

Overall Impression — 1
I mostly play blues. I do some classic rock stuff and a bit of grunge. This amp, when it works, can handle all of this with room to spare. A neck pickup setting on crunch mode with the gain at noon on the dial loves a strat. Humbuckers sound great dialed back a bit on the guitar. I have a couple other amps that I have to fall back on (thank goodness) or I'd be on my way back to take this thing back right now. Despite the fact that the snow makes this a treacherous endeavor. I'd be a million times more brutally honest about how I really feel if this was my only amp. The moral of the story is this. If Marshall made the best amps in the world, for about $350 but it didn't work after 2 hours of playing it, is it worth it? (to be fair, the average lifespan on mine was 3 weeks) If you buy one despite the fact that I have had such horrible luck with them, for Pete's sake, save the receipt. Fill out and send in the warranty card just to cover you own arsenal. This is the only amp I hate to love. I am going to be getting rid of it as soon as it gets back. I just can't be the battered wife anymore. I have to move on to another amp, even though I'd love to think the next one will be "the one".

Reliability & Durability — 1
The big one. I am on my third MG series amp. I started off with an MG50, it was a display unit, and had some cosmetic issues, but I got it cheap. It ended up with a bad board in it. Things would pop and crack at random intervals. It went back and got traded for an MG250. This was the best of the three I had. This amp worked flawlessly except for a loose input jack. It would make static noises when the cord moved. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have fixed this on my own, and kept it. Instead, I took it back and got the MG100HDFX and a cab. Now I have it boxed up and it's going back. This time I called Korg, they say it's a bad output transformer. It powers on, sometimes works for about 3 minutes then does a 2 second fade to silence. I cannot in good Faith recommend any of the MG line of amps. An amp that doesn't work makes every feature and price line irrelevant. I wish it worked, I like the amp. Anyone wanting a cheap Marshall should try the new Class 5. It's in the same priceline and hopefully much more reliable than the MG series has been for me. There's a reason there are so many MGs are for sale. I don't know why there's not many people complaining about these, but I know all too well that there is a HUGE Quality Control problem on this Vietnamese made amps. The company did the right the thing, just the wrong way by trying to make entry level Marshall amps. If I could rate this a zero, I would because all 3 of mine had at least one issue and two of them were so bad, they were useless.

Features — 8
Surely everyone knows about this by now. This is a solid state, 2 channel, 100 Watt amp. It comes with a footswitch for channel selection and on/off button for the digital Effects. I am grading on a competitor's curve and am going to rate it based on what else is available in it's price range. The effects are pretty good compared to others. Not overwhelmingly good, but certainly respectable. I have no complaints about this part of the Amp. I am quite satisfied with it's range of features, and it's level of quality for them.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Anyone in England interested in buying one of these? 300 with MG412A cab
    Hey, just wanted to say that I found these comments very helpful. I almost bought this amp second-hand, but something didn't seem quite right about it. Couldn't get the sound I wanted, and also there was a weird buzz in the clean channel. I told the guy I'd think about it, then I did some internet research and found these comments and "reviews". Glad I did -- no way would I buy this thing after what I've read here and on the forums. The comments about it being a way oversized, overpriced practice amp (half-stack in your bedroom?!) with a very poor tone are exactly right. Even the wikipedia article points out that it's marketed at kids who want to play the same brand as their idols. The reviews on here are ridiculous, btw. High school kids with Squier guitars and distortion pedals playing along with Lamb of God (omg br00tal!) saying how great and reliable this amp is. "It's just sat in my bedroom, but I can tell it would take a lot to break it. 10/10 for reliability!" Give me a break. Search the internet (not just UG) and you find a lot of stories about buzzing sounds, fan noises, fan failures, overheating, all manner of mechanical problems. The reviews should be scrapped entirely and a new set should be written by experienced musicians.
    Personally i've had one of teh 2009 models of this amp for around 6-7 months now, and i think it sounds gross. The over all sound is it's in a box. The volume pod on it craped out with in the first 2 months. Gigging this amp sounds horrible and it's a bitch to mic. i would not recommend this amp to anyone.