Marshall DSL100H - Yay or nay

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by eightsixboy, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    Hi all,

    Have been thinking of getting on of these as my main head. I have had a DSL40C earlier this year which I returned after 1 day lol, honestly hated the mushy unusable gain of the od2 channel but have been thinking of using an OD pedal on OD1 as my main tone now, looking for a really mid heavy tight crunch sound that I can boot with pedals for lead etc etc.

    Can anyone chime in on these amps? Are they as fizzy as the DSL40's?

    Another option is the JVM but they are double the price and the last time I played a 410 I remember it also being extremely fizzy.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Nitrobattery

    Nitrobattery SS.org Regular

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    I think they're cool The JCM2000 DSL has been on a ton of recordings, and is an all around great amp for the money. The DSL100H is tough to beat if you dig Marshalls. The crunch mode of channel 1 is the real winner. Armed with an overdrive and rolling your guitar's volume down for a clean tone...it's a hell of a rock tone.
     
  3. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Every Marshall post JCM800 series is considered by many as being "fizzy". Less so with the 900's, but that's another story.

    The 40 watt combo you tried isn't the best example of what a modern Marshall can do metal wise.
    A tube, bias, and speaker change would be mandatory IMO.

    Yes, unfortunately to get that modern "tightness" out of any Marshall will require a boost pedal of some kind.

    This all changes with more volume and higher dB's.
    Marshall amps smooth out the gain texture becoming less fizzy and slightly tighten up when run stupid loud.

    That said, I'm not a fan of the DSL range at all.
    And look at my avatar, I'm a Marshall fanboy.

    But the first time I played the newer DSL100H, I was actually very impressed. I felt it was much improved over all the revisions of the past. And it was on a stock new not broken in yet 1960A cab with the dreaded chinese T75 speakers. So...
     
  4. lemeker

    lemeker SS.org Slacker

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    If you're into the Marshall sound they are great amps for the money. They do need to be opened up a bit to sound good.

    I like the one I have, (I got mine in a deal chasing an older Fender Twin head and cab) but don't play it often if ever. It's a solid rocking amp and can't say much bad about it. I'm just not a Marshall guy.
     
  5. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    Awesome, that's what I was hoping to hear.

    I tried tube and speaker swap on the DSL40 but nothing worked, it helped but it was more the od2 was just mushy. I guess I was expecting to much from it though.

    I have read on the Marshall forums that it has the exact same circuit board as the 40 but I guess would have to have different transformers for the power load. The demo's online make the 100 sound better then the 40 demos, more open and less boxy sounding.

    To be fair I never gave the 40 a fair chance, after speaker and tube swap I decided to take it back whilst I could get a refund, probably should have tried using more pedals through it first.

    I might go and check one out tonight and see how it compares to the 40C.

    Well I've had boogies and other brands but I always come back to that midrange bark type of sound, something only a Marshall or maybe some other more expensive brands can do. On a bit of a tight budget now though, so ENGL or Suhr are out of the question unfortunately. From what I have heard the ENGL Morse is perfect for me but so damn expensive its crazy.
     
  6. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    See if a JCM900 will get you there, they're cheaper. I haven't tried the new 100H but I liked the original DSL100 halfstack I borrowed for a while. Based on that I'd go for an original model.

    Also, as much flack as a 2ch JCM800 gets, one of the guitarists from Superheaven got a great tone out of his.
     
  7. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    I have a JCM 900 SLX i think it has the sound you want. Only drawback is its single channel.
     
  8. BadSeed

    BadSeed SS.org Regular

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    I'll weigh in here, as a former multiple Marshall owner, and an owner of a couple higher end Modded Marshall style amps.

    I owned a JCM 900 SLX, JCM 2000 DSL50, DSL100H and 1987X all at the same time. I found myself favoring the DSL50 over them all as it was a nice "In Between" of vintage and Modern Marshall tones. The DSL100H was a close second and it sounded pretty close to the DSL50, but I felt the DSL50's Mid voicing and gain on the lead channel was a little bit clearer and more favorable to my ears.

    I loved the DSL50. It's not a boutique amp, but it is a swiss army knife of Marshall tones. No, it's not going to sound like a cranked plexi, no, it's not going to sound like a JMP/JCM 800 2203, but that doesn't mean it sounds bad at all. It's got it's own, slightly more modern thing going on. But as said above, boost out front with crunch switched on, you're still getting some awesome classic tones with the volume up.

    The lead channel can definitely get spongy, and the deep switch is useless as it either sucks out all the balls, or has way too much low end when engaged. I had mine modded from a switch to an adjustable pot, and it now acts like a resonance pot. The DSL needs a boost out front, or you will not be able to get tight modern tones out of it. It can get muddy if you dial the gain up too high, but that's pretty much any production high gain amp that isn't boutique.

    In the end, I had the OT replaced and a Classic tone Choke installed and was really happy with it. Sadly, I sold it to fund my Friedman JJ100, but I wish I still had the amp.
     
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  9. dongh1217

    dongh1217 SS.org Regular

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    UK made DSL100 head owner here, Channel 1 (green channel) Crunch mode, with a OD or EQ booster, crazy good! This channel worth the price alone.

    BTW, I play anything between old school thrash to Brutal Slam, Green channel boosted does them all very very well.
     
  10. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    Former owner of DSL50 (old one). My biggest beefs with the amp:
    • Has to be turned way too loud to sound great
    • Lots of useless options like the Deep and Tone Shi(f)t buttons. Some of these have been replaced on the newer model
    • Shared EQ means you only ever get either a compromise on both channels or one channel sounds like you want. I found the channels unbalanced enough that if one had enough low end then the other one was too thin.
    • Questionable build quality. You can feel the board heavily flex when changing tubes and mine had some bias drift. They might have fixed some of these on the new one.
    I think they sound good but are just inconvenient. The TSL series did not sound as good.
     
  11. gfactor

    gfactor SS.org Regular

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    I have own a JCM2000 DSL50 for 8 years and have used it for recording and playing live for a bunch of genres. Here's my take on the amp, I think most of this probably translates to the newer models since they are supposed to be the same basic circuit.

    The "Classic Gain" channel is fantastic, definitely my favorite part of the amp. The Clean sound is very clean and warm, good for a full sound which I prefer. It doesn't really do the sparkle fender clean sound, but it has it's own character which I really enjoy.

    The Crunch mode is probably the best sound on the amp, classic Marshall. Does Mid gain sounds very well and can get pretty aggressive with a pedal in front. For general rock gigs I like to treat the DSL like a one channel amp and only use the "crunch" mode, using pedals and guitar volume to clean or dirty it up from the base sound.

    My only beef with the classic channel is that the modes aren't footswitchable and there is a significant volume difference between clean and crunch modes.

    The Ultra gain channel is OK. First thing to note is its sounds like complete fizzy garbage at low volumes. Don't expect this amp to sound good in your bed room, it needs to be opened up to sound like itself.

    OD1 is a solid high gain sound with a lot of clarity. It doesn't have the most gain on tap but with a boost in front is plenty enough for any musical application.

    OD2 is like a slightly higher gain, slightly cloudier version of OD1. It sort of sounds like OD1 with a not so great overdrive added to it. I've used it on and off when I want really high gain tones from the amp but I always end up going back to OD1 and just turning the gain up a bit.

    The main issue with the high gain channel is that it sounds thin in comparison to the classic gain channel. This isn't the worst thing necessarily in a full band context depending on the sound your after, and it can be made up for with EQ (the deep switch on mine is overkill but the reso on the new ones should handle this nicely) but the shared controls means the clean channel gets boomy when you try to compensate.

    Sound wise it think it depends on the type of music you're looking to play. Overall I feel like it does the classic sounds very well and more modern sounds just OK. Doesn't hold a candle to my 6505 for modern metal sound, however the peavey clean channel is butt and the DSL's is amazing.

    As far as build quality (I have the older made in England version so this may not hold) I have hardly had any issues the entire time I've owned it. And it's not like it just sits at home, I've taken it to venues with questionable power quality at best. I blew the fuse once, but only because I used the wrong Ohm setting for the cab I plugged into :/ hardly the amp's fault.

    Hope this was useful.
     
  12. Tisca

    Tisca Big-tube snob

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    Every or most tube amps will sound fizzy unless you're able to turn that master up.
     
  13. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    Varies a lot based on master volume implementation. I felt the Egnater Tourmaster and Diezel Einstein amps I once had did very well turned down.
     
  14. jonsick

    jonsick SS.org Regular

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    Before I go into this, what sort of tones are in your head? While I love Marshall, they may not be what you want.

    The DSL40C combo is a great combo to my mind. I get away plenty fine with the on-board gain boosted with a SiB tube overdrive, though I'm sure any decent overdrive will do.

    The DSL100H has a lot more headroom but a lot more low end and upper mids in my opinion. It's a great head and I happily run it with no boosting whatsoever dependent on what I'm doing with it.

    Don't buy into the TSL100 sounded like crap in comparison spiel. It's rubbish. I have three TSL100s and a DSL100 in my stable currently. To me the TSL100 is every bit as good as the DSL100, you can make both cross over in terms of extremely similar tones with neither really taking the trophy home and the three channels on the TSL100 together with their related effects loops options are the reason I have three of them! Sure they need maintenance to keep them at their best, there's a lot of butchered and abused TSL100s around, but really that could be true of any amplifier and to me the JCM2000 series in general has not been the most reliable across the range. The DSL100s I have owned have all needed a little attention.

    The JCM900 is a great series. I tend to prefer the 4100DR over the SL-X with the caveat that you won't get an instant gratification from it. It's more the amp you have to learn over time and once you do, it will reward you with the best head of your life hahaha.

    But that aside, what's in your head? I've had enough Marshalls to know what they can and can't do. For example, though I love mine, for one of my bands I use a 7 string and will always use the Peavey 6505+ for it. The Marshalls are great, but the 6505+ just handles that low B a bit better.
     
  15. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    The JMP1 is the real Marshall swiss army knife, get that with a 9090power amp. fine for ZZtop *and* Bolt Thrower. ^^
     
  16. Philip Kemp

    Philip Kemp New Member

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    [QUOTE="BadSeed, post:
    In the end, I had the OT replaced and a Classic tone Choke installed and was really happy with it. Sadly, I sold it to fund my Friedman JJ100, but I wish I still had the amp.[/QUOT

    Thanks for your post. I bought a new DSL 100h after hearing it and seeing the price. I was impressed by the thump of the sound from the 4x12 cab. I originally played it through a 1960 cab I bought at Guitar Center. This was my first Marshall amp of this type. I bought a clone jtm45 which I like and is very vintage sounding. After playing it a few times a decided to see if I could make it sound better with vintage tubes. I bought nos Winged =C= el34 quad and nos Siemens and Mazda 12ax7 preamp tubes. I believe I put the Mazda in v1. These tubes made a huge difference in the sound. I really love the sound of the amp but can’t help wonder about the OT and the choke. Also I am intrigued by what you did with switching the tone shift button to a pot. Seems like a real high end thing to do. (Did your dsl have a resonance pot on it). I noticed what you said, it is a big shift when you push the tone shift button.

    Would changing the OT and choke only help the amp and not change the sound in a negative way? Because I like the sound, I just want to know if I can make it even better.

    Thanks
     
  17. op1e

    op1e Spirit Taker

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    I'm curious about the new DSL 100HR, and the 20HR. They really seemed to improve the tone and the resonance knob is standard. I just don't know if they can cover any ground my rm100 SL+ module can't. I already tried an SL-X and it seemed pretty vanilla to me.
     
  18. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Probably not.
     

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