Jul 8 2008

Marshall MG100HDFX/MG412 Half-Stack Review

The Marshall MG100HDFX/MG412 Half-Stack is Marshall’s most affordable half-stack amp. Smaller than a full-stack, it’s still capable of driving that killer tone and legendary Marshall feel. With 100W of power and a cab that handles 120 watts, this Marshall halfstack is fully gig-capable and perfect for practicing at home.

Marshall MG100HDFX/MG412 Half-Stack

The most surprising thing about the Marshall MG100HDFX/MG412 Half-Stack is that, even though it’s a solid state amp, it can still drive that big Marshall tone and Marshall tube feel.

Marshall uses their exclusive FDD (Frequency Dependent Damping) technology to achieve highly accurate tube emulation, resulting in the heavy crunching rhythm and singing lead tone you’ve come to expect from Marshall tube amps. Sure, Marshall tube amps will always be considered the real Marshalls, but when we put this half-stack through the paces, we found it compared very favorably to our Marshall tube rig — and at a fraction of the price.

This emulation also means that you get a great digital effects package built right into the amp, including reverb, delay, chorus, and flange, all footswitch-controllable. That feature alone will save you a small fortune on pedals. And, like most Marshalls, there are two footswitchable channels (clean and overdrive), each with their own controls. You also get Contour knob that lets you easily dial up that ever-popular “scooped” Marshall sound.

The Clean channel has two modes: Clean and Crunch. Crunch mode will get you a nice heavy-blues overdrive, while Clean is crisp and clean, even at high volumes. The Overdrive channel also has two settings: OD1 and OD2. OD1 has that classic Marshall tube amp sound, while OD2 delivers a more modern metal-style overdrive. However, if you’re after that extremely heavy distortion favored by many curent metal bands, then you’ll want to complement this amp with a pedal like the Boss ML-2 Metal Core Distortion Pedal.

To get an idea of how the Marshall MG100HDFX/MG412 Half-Stack sounds, check out this cover of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid using this exact amp:

If you’re looking for that big Marshall tone at a suprisingly affordable price, then the Marshall MG100HDFX/MG412 Half-Stack is an excellent choice. Musician’s Friend is selling them for just $599.99, and it’s currently one of their top-selling amps. No surprise there, because at a price like that, this amp is extremely hard to beat.


1 Comments on this post


  1. ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 Guitar Review wrote:

    […] a devastating crunch and some of the best metal tones we’ve heard. We played ours through a Marshall half-stack and were blown away by both the lead and rhythm tones the EC-1000 and its EMG pickups […]

    July 10th, 2008 at 7:10 pm


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