Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Guitar center
Sound — 10
I play a 59 Reissue Les Paul through this head, into a 4X12 loaded with Vintage 30s. (I use this for practice, trying to save tube time on my JVM410H). I play mostly rock and metal - 80s-90s-present. Likes include Ozzy, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Malmsteen, Dio, Europe, Santana, Gary Moore, etc... I've had it for over a month, and here's my opinion of the sound quality. Clean channel: is awesome to say the least. Wonderful tones with a touch of reverb and they seem to have a 3D quality to them. Crunch channel: I've been able to get very dynamic response and awesome bluesy tones from the crunch channel. OD1 channel: Although it did't happen easily, but I managed to get fat and alive tones from this channel. I simply love it now! OD2 channel: I found nice for legato playing and shredding. Gain comes easily on this channel, but it is a little compressed. Still sounds really great, with a bit of delay it is nice for solos and shredding. There's a slight noise on this channel but hardly noticeable even at bedroom levels how I use it. If you scoop the mids, and increase the bass and treble, the OD2 channel sails easily into territories of modern metal. ONE secret: DO NOT dime the gain! I use the gain knob on most of my settings around 1-2O'clock! TWO secret: DO NOT believe dumbasses who simply puke at the name of "MG" series. Trust me, I was shying away from this amp too, but this *new* series MG100HFX simply rocks and sounds fantastic. For the purpose of practice, and avoiding tube time and maintenance, it is a great choice. THREE secret: Switch to manual mode and tweak the knobs. DO NOT dime the treble! I don't understand why some people do that. You'll find the sound in your head! If you are after a tube amp, get a tube amp! If you're after a great sounding versatile head through which you can practice on a 4X12, this is an excellent choice. I have other tube Marshalls, and you can trust my opinion. My rating is based on the fact - this is not a tube amp, and it is no JVM! BUT it is excellent sounding solid state head with nice features reverb, delay and effects.
Overall Impression — 10
Excellent choice for the price, for the purpose of practice thru a 4X12 with intention to reduce tube maintenance. Great sounding amp does clean thru metal, modern metal styles. I've been playing for around 20 years, and have a couple of Les Pauls, one of which is a 59 Reissue, and a truckload of pedals, some Marshall tube amps - JVM410H and AFD100. I did not find a similar great sounding amp which had effects loop, headphone and aux (CD) in. These features are awesome for practice. You can also connect your external effects processors/pedals straight into the effects return of this head - i.e. just using the power-amp section of this head. This makes the processors/pedals sound absolutely stunning. Try it out, you might like what you hear.
Reliability & Durability — 10
No issues so far. Seems well made and superior to the previous MG series. Seems to have a thump reduction circuitry which prevents that sound when you power on/off the amp. Based on the sound quality I can get out of this, I can gig with it without a backup, though I can use my tube Marshalls for this!
Features — 10
This is the *new* MG series head. I was discouraged by several reviews of the MG100HDFX (previous generation) head, and was searching for something to play with thru a 4X12, rather than using my JVM all the time for practice to save tube time. I love the 4X12 cab sound! OK, having seen several YouTube vids, I thought of giving this head a try. After a little research, I found this to be a very versatile head with features such as: - Line in for practice - Headphone out - fxLoop - Commonly used effects - phaser, flanger, chorus - Reverb, and delay - 2 channels - two modes each, covering ground from clean to blues to rock to metal This I found the only head with a CD-line in, and a headphone out, which can be invaluable for practice. Overall a very versatile amp!