Price paid: $ 249
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 3
The sound is ABSOLUTELY awful. I could NOT make this amp sound as good as my older MG100HDFX. I noticed that unless I was using a guitar with really HOT pickups, the sound was even worse and the footswitch guitar tuner had difficulty picking up enough signal to tune the guitar! I can only guess that the pre-amp stage is weak. I don't know if this is by design or if the Asian manufacturer who put this thing together just used inferior parts. The difference between the HFX series and the HDFX series is like "daylight and dark." I can't give this amp the worst rating, because I've heard worse pieces of junk out there. But it is NOT worthy of the Marshall logo it has on the front.
Overall Impression — 3
I play mostly classic rock, contemporary rock, blues, and some newer types of music. I have been playing music for a LONG time. Ever since I was a kid. I own several amps, most notably a Marshall JCM2000TSL, a Marshall JCM900, and of course the Marsahll MG100HDFX solid state stack. I have the MG100HDFX because the sound greatly emulates my 900 and my TSL and doesn't weigh NEARLY as much! It's certainly NOT as good as the tube types, but it's OK for small gigs. I liked my HDFX but it is only capable of a two button footswitch (channel and effects). The HFX was supposed to be the replacement with more features. I would STRONGLY advise against buying the Marshall MG100HFX, even if they offer you a great price! It's a waste of money and if you know what ANY other Marshall amps sound like, you'll be disappointed with the MG100HFX; to say the least. If you MUST buy a solid state Marshall, get the older MG100HDFX (there's a lot of used ones and NOS floating around) and avoid the newer HFX! (And from what I've heard the HCFX is no better.) The features are really great, but what good is that if your amp sounds bad?
Reliability & Durability — 7
I didn't keep this amp long so I honestly don't know enough about the dependability to give it a fair rating; so I am going to give it above average based on what I know about my other MG. I was greatly displeased with this amp so I contacted the company I bought it from. They had a "satisfaction guarantee" policy but I had to pay the shipping back. Fortunately, I got it on sale. Most stores don't take items back that are restock, used, or anything that is on clearance. It was on SALE but it wasn't on clearance. My guess is they will be on clearance very soon. After all the poor reviews I've read about this amp, I'd say they're having difficulty getting people to keep them after the purchase; even at a lower price.
Features — 7
The Marshall MG100HFX is the "REPLACEMENT amp for the older MG100HDFX and the related sub series. It has four channels, it is capable of the newer programable "Stompware" four button foot switch and even though it is technically only a two channel amp with two modes to each channel, it can be used as a "four channel" amp if you program the footswitch to change channels and modes. The knobs have two settings via a front pannel button, one setting is for memory settings and the other is manual mode. But when you adjust each knob, that knob kicks in to manual mode so you can adjust it and program it in to the memory. Being that it is a solid state amp, it needs to be powerful enough to NOT have to turn it up all the way, and the 100 watt amp is.