AC 15 or DSL40 or Marshall Origin

jonnyblooz

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The Vox may just be what suits your particular needs the best, but man excluding Fenders as an option, I absolutely love the DSL40CR. Keeping in mind it has a 1/2 power switch to get it down to being able to use your inside voice. I did not need another amp, but I saw one in pristine condition with the hang tags for $400 flat and jumped on it. I am so glad I did, that thing is very versatile for a Marshall.
 

turftone

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With those guitars and not being a hard rock guy, definitely the Vox. The DSL is a fine amp, no question about that. But given what you described, I would go for the Vox for sure. It's worth it for the trem alone .
 

Ash Telecaster

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A friend of mine got an Origin 50 and he gets great tones out of it. Plenty of volume too.

Additionally, the guitarist who plays for the Main Squeeze, find them on YouTube (no affiliation), uses an Origin!
 

Telenut62

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I gigged a DSL-40 for 20 years and it always delivered 2 channel, footswitchable sound in spades and never broke or farted out. I love both the AC-15 and Origin amps too. The AC-15 has a great sound, however versatility and a variety of sounds may not be what they're best at. I've played the Origins and like those a lot too. I would give a slight edge to the DSL because it has 2 very good footswitchable channels, an effects loop, onboard reverb and due to my 20 year experience with DSL's giving me great sound and reliability.
20 years?....and you never got struck down with the conductive board blowing up tubes?
 

Dismalhead

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Apples and oranges. I've got an AC15C1 - it's a spectacular amp, great choice, sparkly and warm fuzzies. Well worth more than they charge for them. But, my main amp for 20 years was a Marshall JCM and I miss it. I've been watching videos on the Origin 50 and it's got the whole Plexi thing going on plus attenuation. It has that unique Marshall tone that you've heard on a million recordings. I'm thinking of doing some trading to get one myself.
 

stantheman

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Out of the three My Choice is an Origin
20 Combo.

My definition of "grab & go".

Listen to Brett Kingman on YouTube and
You decide for Yourselves.

With a Barber OD - instant Mayall '66.

That is all.

PS - If You're playing The Carrier Dome
an SM57 will be the Amur Tiger's pajamas.
 

Maguchi

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20 years?....and you never got struck down with the conductive board blowing up tubes?
Nope, the vinyl was a little torn in a coupla spots and the grill cloth had a small rip. One of the little rubber feet came loose and got lost, so I stacked a few little rubbery plastic donut type things from the hardware store that were about the diameter of a quarter, screwed 'em in to replace the missing foit. Other than that it sounded great for 20 years
 
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scelestus

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20 years?....and you never got struck down with the conductive board blowing up tubes?
I think it was a run of heads (50s and 100s) that had runaway bias problems and fried tubes. The old DSL40 (which has to be the one the poster is talking about due to age) was a 4xEL84 combo. I had one and you could burn your hand on the front of the chassis after a half hour of playing loud. They didn't have conductive boards but they did overheat a lot. Some seem to still be kicking around.
 

RobRiggs

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I love my DSL40C. I’ve had it since 2014 (IIRC) It sounds phenomenal and has never let me down. I have a Carvin 100w head with a 2 x 12 cabinet and I prefer the Marshall combo.
 

drmmrr55

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My Carr Rambler does the Fender thing is spades. Great Blackface sound with a killer reverb tank and tremolo. Switch it down to triode mode and it can get pretty tweedy.

But I’m gassin for an AC15, or possibly DSL40 or Origin50, just for some variety. Want to stay in that price range for a different flavor of 1-12 combo. I don’t really want to shell out 2 grand for another boutique hand wired amp.

My guitars are White Falcon w TV Classics, Pro Jet w T Armonds, an SG, and a partscaster Tele. I have a 2018 Am Pro Strat on the way.

Any reason to consider a Marshall offering over An AC15? I want some crunch and chime, lower headroom, but I’m not a hard rock or metal guy. I’ll probably run it wet dry with the Carr at home.
Best amp for use with a Tele is the AC15
 

Maguchi

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I think it was a run of heads (50s and 100s) that had runaway bias problems and fried tubes. The old DSL40 (which has to be the one the poster is talking about due to age) was a 4xEL84 combo. I had one and you could burn your hand on the front of the chassis after a half hour of playing loud. They didn't have conductive boards but they did overheat a lot. Some seem to still be kicking around.
EL84s or EL34s? I believe my 1990s DSL 40 combo had EL34s, but not 100% sure. Never had no overheating problems though. I've included a link about the history of the DSL.

https://marshall.com/live-for-music/history/history-of-dsl-series
 
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arlum

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Note**** The AC15 uses EL84 output tubes.

The original 40 watt version of the Marshall DSL, (DSL401), used four EL84s, (same output tubes as the Vox).
The newer DSL 40 watt, (DSL40C), used two EL34s which changes the tone produced quite a bit. Nobody confuses Marshall EL34 tone and Vox EL84 tone. If you're looking at possibly buying a Marshall 40 watt that has similar tonal qualities to a Vox AC15 you'll want to be looking for the older DSL401 version.
 

0ct0Pr0n

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I'd go with the DSL40 here. Good spectrum of tones available just from the amp controls, and plenty of headroom.
 

scelestus

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Whatizitman

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I have a DSL20CR I bought new, and a AC15C1 I got in a trade. The DSL20 does Marshally tones fairly well. The size of the cab, lack of classic channel, and stock speaker limit it. The DSL40 is a much more versatile amp for home and live use, IMO, compared to the 20.

That said, The DSL combos are designed to get as much Marshally sounds as possible. Not a bad thing. Just not the real thing, if you get my drift. It's not a JCM stack, and will never be. But it will do lots of Marshall tones in a variety of situations.

I favor the AC15. To me the AC15 is an AC15. It's not a vintage or hardwired one. But you still know what you're getting. Despite their lack of mechanical versatility, from a musical standpoint, they are ridiculously versatile. And they look like a VOX AC15. And they sound like an AC15. Period. End of story. They don't try to do something they are not.

I often favor Marshall tones, as a good chunk of my musical tastes bode well with them. But in practice, I find the AC15 just better suited for real life. I just don't play in situations where a marshall with a 4x12 is warranted, even though that is the sound I prefer. And really the music I play in band situations an AC15 fits better than the DSL.

I've played an Origin 20C in a store, and liked it very much. I've been back and forth about getting one for several years now, but haven't. In comparison to a modern AC15, I don't think they are as sturdy, and they take more work to get a classic crunch out of them. AC15s have real spring reverbs, too. Not the best reverbs, but easily upgradeable. I keep the digital reverb on the DSL20 off, as it's horrible. Still, the Origins are Marshally, in a good way.

Something to note. The clean channel on the DSLs can get close to the Origins. With a clean boost, they get big and crunchy. If you want a modern sounding crunch, though, the Origin is not gonna do it.

TLDR: The DSLs and Origins are great for Marshally tones in a variety of situations. But the VOX AC15 is preferable, because it's an actual VOX AC15, which is very versatile in different ways.
 

Maguchi

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It's the DSL401 that I'm talking about. Sorry, I hadn't seen one around for a long time. They were definitely EL84s. The current DSL40 has 34s, but wasn't released until 2012.
The DSL-401 that I had in the late '90s had EL-34s. Marshall made some other models of 18 watt combos (not DSLs) that had EL-84s, but they mostly used EL-34s on the DSL series including the DSL-401 from 1998 to the present day DSL-40, except for the tiny DSL-1 and DSL-5, which use ECC82 and ECC99 power tubes.
 
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Tim S

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I have a DSL20CR I bought new, and a AC15C1 I got in a trade. The DSL20 does Marshally tones fairly well. The size of the cab, lack of classic channel, and stock speaker limit it. The DSL40 is a much more versatile amp for home and live use, IMO, compared to the 20.

That said, The DSL combos are designed to get as much Marshally sounds as possible. Not a bad thing. Just not the real thing, if you get my drift. It's not a JCM stack, and will never be. But it will do lots of Marshall tones in a variety of situations.

I favor the AC15. To me the AC15 is an AC15. It's not a vintage or hardwired one. But you still know what you're getting. Despite their lack of mechanical versatility, from a musical standpoint, they are ridiculously versatile. And they look like a VOX AC15. And they sound like an AC15. Period. End of story. They don't try to do something they are not.

I often favor Marshall tones, as a good chunk of my musical tastes bode well with them. But in practice, I find the AC15 just better suited for real life. I just don't play in situations where a marshall with a 4x12 is warranted, even though that is the sound I prefer. And really the music I play in band situations an AC15 fits better than the DSL.

I've played an Origin 20C in a store, and liked it very much. I've been back and forth about getting one for several years now, but haven't. In comparison to a modern AC15, I don't think they are as sturdy, and they take more work to get a classic crunch out of them. AC15s have real spring reverbs, too. Not the best reverbs, but easily upgradeable. I keep the digital reverb on the DSL20 off, as it's horrible. Still, the Origins are Marshally, in a good way.

Something to note. The clean channel on the DSLs can get close to the Origins. With a clean boost, they get big and crunchy. If you want a modern sounding crunch, though, the Origin is not gonna do it.

TLDR: The DSLs and Origins are great for Marshally tones in a variety of situations. But the VOX AC15 is preferable, because it's an actual VOX AC15, which is very versatile in different ways.
While I continue to love and recommend the DSL40CR, I appreciate your appraisal of the various amps. If I didn’t have too many amps already (yeah, it *is* possible), your post would have me headed to a guitar shop to try an AC15 in person.
 

Telenut62

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I think it was a run of heads (50s and 100s) that had runaway bias problems and fried tubes. The old DSL40 (which has to be the one the poster is talking about due to age) was a 4xEL84 combo. I had one and you could burn your hand on the front of the chassis after a half hour of playing loud. They didn't have conductive boards but they did overheat a lot. Some seem to still be kicking around.
I have one of those on my bench at the moment.....the board is conductive....tried to safe it, put alas a lost cause...
 

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