Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 5
I used this amp with a Gibson Les Paul Studio, and an Ibanez Strat copy, but only when a string on my Gibson broke. I used this amp for punk/alternative, but did not choose this amp when I had these influences. It is not a noisy amp, actually very quiet. It also accepts pedals very well on the clean channel. I used it with my Boss OS-2, DS-1 and crybaby. Here's where my complaints with the amp begin. If you pick aggressively on the clean channel, the amp sort of blurts out the note with a clipping sound at the start of the note which is horrible sounding. I did not notice this when I picked out the amp, but as my ear for tone developed, it became unbearable. The distortion on it is definitely not very high gain and it does NOT have crushing overdrive. The distortion was not to my taste, so I outsourced to pedals and only used the clean channel. The internal effects are halfway decent, but if you use them a lot, use a pedal version of them because there is no fast way to turn them on and off. At high volumes, this amp is horrible. The sound of solid state clipping is intolerable. I should also mention that this amp is decently loud, but not enough for a heavy hitting drummer. This amp will work to gig with over a soft drummer, as I have used it in my old band, but with a drummer that hits hard, there is no chance of being heard. Bedroom practice is the only good option of this amp, but there are better amps for the price.
Overall Impression — 5
I feel that this amp is sold based on it's name only. It sells because it says "Marshall" on it but this company is known for it's tube amps which are totally unrelated to the MG series. I could see someone using this amp for bedroom practice, but not much else and there are better options, such as the microcube and similar amps. If it were lost/stolen I wouldn't get another one for sure. I now use an Orange Tiny Terror head and it's amazing. I would definitely recommend going with a tube amp if you are considering this amp. The MG is a midrange amp, one step up from a starter pack amp, but below anything that will sound good tonally. It was a good stepping stone, but it was a waste of money because you grow out of it and can't easily sell it.
Reliability & Durability — 4
I must say, this amp is reliable in the respect that it has never cut out on me, and no volume drops. However, I know someone with the same amp and he experiences volume drops all the time. The back plate of my amp also rattles at louder volumes and is horrible in recordings. The handle also sometimes rattles (another problem for recording).
Features — 7
First off, I would just like to say that I used my MG for a solid year before replacing it, so I believe this is a very unbiased review. I will try to tell you exactly what it is, what it's not, and whether it will be good for you. You probably can read up on what all the knobs are and do, a few to note is that it's a 2 channel amp, clean and distorted, and has 4 inbuilt effects, reverb, tremolo, delay, and chorus. You can buy an optional footswitch to change the channels. It's solid state, and has 30 watts. I have used this amp in my bedroom, band practices, and a small gig (more on this later). Pretty basic amp, not too complicated.