1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Anybody else a DSL fan?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Twofingerlou, Jan 12, 2021 at 8:08 AM.

  1. northernguitar

    northernguitar Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    233
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    Hey all, I hope you are well. I started a thread about the DSL1 head, but had no takers. Now that some DSL fans are assembled here, how about a review? The head is used, but in mint condition and about a third off. I know it's not ideal for gigging at 1W, but if I really wanted to I could run it through a Two Notes Torpedo Captor to go direct to the PA. Mostly, I just want to enjoy the 'Marshall experience' at home. Will this get me there?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,716
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Location:
    New York City
    I think if anyone has personal experience with the DSL1 they’ll post up eventually. I don’t have personal experience with that Marshall, but from what I’ve read it mostly does the JCM DSL sound at tame to moderately blistering volume levels. I say mostly because a good part of the tone of big amps is in the big iron and in how they pleasingly distort speakers at air pushing volumes.

    As long as you go in with proper expectations and the price is right for the minty used one, I say go for it.
     
    northernguitar likes this.
  3. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,328
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Just past 11 on the Dial
    I have a DSL1H and a JVM1H.
    The DSL is too gainy for me, I waaaaaay prefer the JVM
    Though for authentic Marshall sound at a low volume they are stellar.
    I have found the bass to be lacking so I now run a fat Boost, bass heavy and that helps.
     
    northernguitar likes this.
  4. northernguitar

    northernguitar Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    233
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    Thanks for the tip, I appreciate it. I don’t think I’ll ever be in front of air moving amps again! However, if I could just get a little taste of Marshall, I’d be pleased.

    I’ve decided to check it out. It’s a great price for mint, and if it doesn’t please, I can flip it for at worst, a modest loss.
     
  5. northernguitar

    northernguitar Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    233
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    I’m hoping to get some ‘junior’ JCM800 goodness. Big plans to play in drop C# if I grab this.
     
  6. bcorig

    bcorig Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,951
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    Location:
    In the 909
    It’s all a matter of taste. I tested a DSL20 vs a Blues Jr head-to-head at Sam Ash. For me Blues Jr won.
     
    Twofingerlou likes this.
  7. graybeard65

    graybeard65 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    302
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    I love the DSL40C - it was my rehearsal go-to for several years. What's not to love? Great tone, fantastic cleans, great gain, and it wasn't all that heavy. I'll echo what wiser folks have already said - it's one of the best bang-for-the-buck amps under $1000 out there!
     
    Middleman, Twofingerlou and RobRiggs like this.
  8. capgun

    capgun TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    59
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2020
    Location:
    USA
    I have owned all the new DSL amps for a period of time over the last few years of also getting back into it.

    DSL 100H. Ridiculously loud and unnecessary.

    DSL 40 Combo. Also super loud, but sounds great.

    DSL 20H perfect through the Marshall 1x12 cab.
    DSL 20 combo. Nope. Sounded bad in combo form.

    DSL 1 combo. Nope. Sounds bad also. Have not tried the head though.

    DSL 5 combo. This was my favorite one. Though the 20 watt head is a very close second.

    And I agree that the cleans on the ones that sound good are actually pretty great. And of course you get all that Marshall distortion when you want it also. I may grab another one sometime.

    Capgun
     
    Twofingerlou likes this.
  9. RobRiggs

    RobRiggs Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    112
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    I picked up a DSL40C on sale from Sweetwater about three years ago. Awesome tones, very durable amp. Sounds very Marshall-y
     
    Twofingerlou likes this.
  10. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Meister

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    213
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Location:
    SoCal
    I have the combo. It was purchased because I now share walls and I’m never home during the day, so I have to be polite. It’s a lot of fun for a little money, and there are a lot of sounds in it. Has a pretty good range gain wise, and both channels are usable. Cleans aren’t too surfy, a bit more “plexi”. The reverb gets good reviews but it’s pretty weak. More of an accent than an effect just about, not going to get you Dick Dale levels of mayhem.

    I traded in a bugera V5 for it, because the V5 only had one sound. It was a good sound, more “plexi” than the Marshall even. Could coax some cool Band of Gypsies tones out of it... but it still was very limited in range. As far as the attenuation goes between them, the bugera would get muddier the more it was attenuated (5w, 1w, .1w). The little Marshall is not as noticeable. However, the max output is only 1 watt, which can be reduced to .1 watt. Definitely enough to wake up the entire house still.

    The little Marshall sounds better than I do, even with the 8” speaker. It’s fairly versatile for what it is, and I’m shocked we are getting even this much for so little these days... There are a bunch of features I haven’t used yet that I’m glad for (cab simulated line out for recording, aux input to play alongside music, etc)

    I’ve been meaning to bring it over to the warehouse where my 4x12 cab is, to see what it does dimed out through a real speaker setup, through both channels.

    I’ve spent a lot more on girls that were less fun, so I can’t complain...

    And you can’t resell the girls to recoup you losses either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 12:02 AM
    RobRiggs and northernguitar like this.
  11. northernguitar

    northernguitar Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    233
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    Thanks, kindly for the review! I'm going to go look at it.
     
  12. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,698
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV

    That's kinda surprising to me. Although I upgraded the speaker to an old Greenback and I think it slays any Deluxe Reverb I've ever used, let alone the Blues Jr!


    I'll agree with all that. Except......the 40 and 100 do a great job at versatility and being able to get your favorite sounds at any volume, but they don't really master the Marshall sound. While they certainly can get very loud, once you get the power section cookin', that's not where they excel, and the power tube overdrive/distortion isn't as pleasing as it could be. Those two models especially seem to have been designed tio get full amp sound in the pre-amp and most well suited to using the power section jsu to amplify.

    I think the DSL20 is the best of the bunch and even the combo can sound great if you upgrade that horrid stock speaker. Maybe that speaker would sound better once broken in, but I couldn't stand it long enough to find out! It can cover a lot of Fender-ish and Marshall territory. It can get a bit loud, without a good attenuator! I own both a DSL40CR and DSL20CR and will be selling the 40! I think the 20 actually sounds much better than the 40, but needs to be well cranked to really give up its goods!

    Just Sayin'
    Gene
     
    Rowdyman and capgun like this.
  13. puddin

    puddin Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    973
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Punta Gorda, florida

    Cool post...I have the 40 cr..I'm biased at 32, running a 75w creamback. I'm gonna try electro harmonix El34's, Question? I got a rca 12ax7 1960 tests like new. Would there be a improvement in any v sections vs the jj's?
     
  14. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,302
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    I've got a DSL100HR, along with A&B 1960s. When you absolutely, positively have to ruin your neighbors' day, it is more than up to the task...
     
    Twofingerlou and swervinbob like this.
  15. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,326
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    MV, CA
    DSL fan here. I have the DSL40C. If you don't get lost in the gimmicky distortion channels, it's a killer amp. The cleans with that slight edge are very Marshall sounding. The channel 1 distortion is very useable but channel 2 distortion sounds cheesy. If I don't want to carry a pedal board, just jamming, it's the amp of choice. If I'm using the pedal board probably would opt for the Fender Vibrolux or Deluxe. If however, the night will turn into a volume competition I take the Bassman LTD but the Marshall could be the ticket as well. These two are for those, "I need to be heard over everyone else" moments.
     
  16. doghouseman

    doghouseman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    372
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Location:
    in your head man....
    The British made 1980s DSL heads are like 500 bucks right now. That is a great deal. I bought one a few years ago and it was great. I highly recommend them. Mine was 100 watts, it was awesome for outdoor gigs.
     
    Twofingerlou and Oldsmobum like this.
  17. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,127
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2018
    Location:
    Texas
    I’ve got the 40cr. I keep the masters dimed and always have it on the ultra green channel with the gain at 9-10 o’clock and the channel volume to however loud I want it. A friend of mine wanted to check it out to see if he wanted to get back into Marshalls. I was sitting in his living room listening to him try to blow the windows out of his spare bedroom. I thought “That tone sounds familiar.” I walked down the hall and looked and he had it set exactly how I set it. He even had the eq straight up with the bass rolled back a hair like I do.

    He wound up getting a new old stock Vintage/Modern combo. After playing Mesas for 20 years he’s loving Marshalls again.
     
    Twofingerlou likes this.
  18. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Meister

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    213
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Location:
    SoCal
    Its funny, it seems like a lot of the higher watt stuff is going for pretty cheap these days... except for certain things. A real Marshall can be had as cheap or cheaper than the sovteks migs and laney AOR’s, which used to be $200 amps...
     
  19. Twofingerlou

    Twofingerlou TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    12
    Joined:
    Sunday
    Location:
    Midwest
    This DSL40CR I got last week will get Obnoxiously loud, I can’t imagine a 100 watt head and cab.
     
  20. 7171551

    7171551 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,203
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Originally West Lothian, Scotland
    I know what you mean and I agree- but you have probably also discovered that this amp is versatile and controllable enough to be perfectly useable at reasonable home volume. Now, if you add a tremolo pedal into the fx loop it sounds pretty close to the handwired 1974X re-issue I used to have- except that one was JUST TOO LOUD for home... :eek::cool:
     
    Twofingerlou likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.