Price paid: $ 299.99
Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 5
I've used an Epiphone les paul and a Squier stratocaster through this amp for a considerable amount of playing time, probably on average 3 hours a day for the past 2 and a half years. Of course, the strat's single coils sound thinner than the humbuckers on the les paul, but other than that there was a very small difference in tone. The sound sure as hell beat my old Behringer starter pak 15 watt amp, but when I started recording this amp and comparing it to professional recordings I immediately realized how subpar this amp is sound-wise. The clean is really boring with single coils, it sounded alright with my lespaul but that was all the work of the humbuckers. Although marshalls are famous for having plenty of mid range, this MG has too much mid and that definitely makes it a lot less crisp sounding. I often described the recorded sound as "mushy", which nobody understood until they heard it. Also, the gain knob only does half the job: it does increase the sound of action on the guitar (hammer ons, slide ups etc) but it does not make the tone more powerful, you still get the same mushy sound. In addition, there's no such thing as light gain on this amp, so open chords don't sound very good, even if you turn the gain down and turn your guitar's volume knob down. However, I've done some research and it turns out that most solid state amps have these same problems, and as far as solid states go the Marshall MG series is actually pretty good. But still, the only times I was impressed with the sound were when I first got it (because it was replacing a really crappy amp) and when I got my les paul (the alnico classic humbuckers work wonders on any amp). Overall a very average sound. If I could compare it to anything, it really sounds like Journey's guitars sound on "Any Way You Want It". If you're happy with that then more power to ya but I play modern pop-punk/alternative rock/indie, which requires a much more crisp modern sound. If you play my stuff get the AVT20X instead as a practice amp.
Overall Impression — 6
It might be fine for some classic rock but for pop-punk the sound was decent at best. I just bought a Marshall AVT valvestate 2000 stack and I'm a hell of a lot more impressed with that. If you're a beginner you won't be unsatisfied but there are a few better options for similar price ranges.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've had this amp for almost 3 years, and haven't had any problems. I've heard a lot of complaints from other people but I'm judging this based on my own experience. I've never gigged it, I mean it's not even loud enough for my band's drummer to hear the chord changes when we practice.
Features — 6
This amp is not spanking new, but relatively modern. There aren't many features, but you wouldn't expect many on a 30 watt solid state, ust the three basic EQ regions, gain, and volume. To be honest, it's not very versatile. No matter how you tweak the EQ, and regardless whether you're using a single coil strat or a lespaul with humbuckers, you get pretty much the same sound, unless you turn the mid up all the way but that will sound like crap on any amp. However, the FX are nice, I really like how you can get delay at several different tempos, and the fdd button can give your guitar a more slashy tone, if you like your gain to cut through the air a bit.