Frostithe, on february 17, 2006 10 of 15 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 346.5
Features: I got this amp today second hand, and it is incredible! 40 watts of pure Marshall tube. It has 3 channels, 1 clean and 2 overdrive. It also has a reverb control and full EQ for the clean and overdrive effects. The amp has inputs for cabs and other speakers so you can use it at gigs. I havn't cranked it up yet but as soon as my dad is out of the house. Granted, it doesn't have as many special effects as other amps (infact it only has reverb) but I don't need them as I already have an RP80 and its superb sound more than makes up for it. // 9
Sound: I use this with an SSS Fender Strat and it sounds amazing! I also use my RP80 and Boss Metal Zone pedals with the amp and they just make it sound even better. It's a damn good amp for blues (sounds great on overdrive 1), classic rock, has good cleans and with a bit of a boost, has enough distortion for even death metal. You can play normal metal through it quite well using the overdrive 2 channel. Just a very nice sounding amp all around. // 10
Reliability & Durability: As I said, I only got the amp today so I can't really comment on its reliability. However, the guy I bought it from said that in a year he has never had any problems with it. // 9
Overall Impression: Just a very good amp overall. // 10
info2new, on july 06, 2006 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Features: This all-valve amp has three channels (clean, overdrive 1 and overdrive 2), but there's not a ton of difference between the two overdrives. The second adds a little more gain, but don't expect to get any ultra metal sounds from this amp without some help from a pedal. There's an effects loop and reverb, neither of which I use. You can also plug the amp into a speaker cabinet. There's Switch to choose 8 or 16 Ohm speakers. I'm a basic straight-forward heavy rock, blues punk Who just wants to plug a guitar into an amp, turn it up and go. No effects, no pedals, no racks. So, while this amp doesn't have a lot of features, it has more than I'll use. There's something to be said for simplicity. // 7
Sound: Took a while before I figured it out, but the tone is incredible delivering that Marshall sound. The trick is get the master vol past 12oclock and that's when it sings. Bottomline, I can get all sound I need for the music I play from classic rock, Hard Rock, Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, etc. The clean sound can use a bit of headroom. It does still sound great though, good thing we don't generally play that loud on the clean portions. Probably not good for squeaky clean jazz. Distortion is classic Marshall and that's all I need. They added this OD2 quasi-channel which I seem to never use. Instead, I have a Keely DS-1 which I use as a clean boost (0-3 gain, max level). With the OD1 gain at 5, the tubes start to harmonize those electrons and sing. Cool harmonics and musical feedbacks. It can do classic Metallica but no scooped metals for the NuMetal types. Since it's a combo, the overall sound is limited though but for what it is, it clearly rocks. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I would definately depend on this Amp, I always use it at a great gig, I don't take it to places where it's not worth it, because I love the amp and I won't let it down and give a boring show with it. I have never given it a service, thank god, but the sound still seems to be solid and in a good condition. // 10
Overall Impression: Generally this Amp is perfect for Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, Metallica, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and some other likely songs. I've been playing for 6 years now, v'been using it for the past year or so, and I have some DigiTech effect pedals: Hot Head, DigiDelay, Crybaby & Compressor which make a great combination with the Amp. If it was stolen, I would definately buy another one if I could afford another one. I love everything about it an I compared it to my Fender Champion 30 DSP, but the Marshall's always way better than the Fender, for me, because the Marshall amp fits right with my Effects, Gibson Les Paul, Style of Music, and gives me a great sound. I'm a Big Fan of Slash and learned alot from HIM, listen to HIM and get the picture of the sound. // 10
False_God, on october 30, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 756
Purchased from: GAK
Features: The Marshall Dsl401 was made in 2006. This amp feature 2 channels with a gain boost for the break away solos/lead, seperate gain, treble, mids and bass for each channel. It also has reverb which is nothing special these days on a amp but it's nice. It has a fx loop which I don't use. This amp is powered by 2 ECC83 preamp valves, and 4 EL84 output valves, this puts out a warm rock sound and smoothe cleans. For a 40watt amp it's plenty loud for gigs, Practise and studio Work // 10
Sound: I use this amp with a single coiled guitar [Godin Radiator] and a emg 81 active pup guitar [Jackson KE1]. With the single coiled I get a mid heavy sound which was what I'm after as I play a lot of chilis and punk stuff, but If I want to play metal I use the Jackson as the pick ups get a razor sharp sound from the amp. Their is a slight hum from the actives which is to be expected as of high output. This amps can handle anything you throw at it, blues, hard rock, metal you name it. As of every valve/tube amp it sounds and plays best at high volumes, the clean [if you want] can develope a beautiful tweed sound which is better that a crystal clean sound, but it also can do crystal clear cleans. The distortion is nice a warm, crunchy and responsive tone with clarity as with a lot of tube amps. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Well I have not yet gigged it, but I have it at high volumes for practise. I believe this amp could do a gig without a backup (I don't use a back-up either way). The amp is too new to judge on reliability. But I believe it will hold up for a few years to come. // 10
Overall Impression: This amp suits me too the ground and for the price it made everything better, If this amp was stolen I difinally would buy it again. The only other amp I compare it to was the Laney VC30 212 and this won because it was more of a high gain amp, I'm gonna buy a 2x12 cab to maximise it's quality and loudness. the only thing I wish it had was a gain control for the boost channel but it's nothing to dock marks for. // 10
unregistered, on january 08, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Features: 40w all tube combo. Fairly small, I was surprised. Made in 2006, in England. Quality piece of kit. 2 channels plus boost on the Drive channel. Great Marshall crunch, if youve never owned a valve Marshall, you will be amazed. Really fills a room. Comes with a 2 button footswitch clean/drive, boost on/off with LEDs. None of the footswitch reliability issues you get with some other marshalls. Plenty of power for me, doesnt't have one of those crap deceptive volume controls that gives you all the volume between 0 and 3. I did want a TSL for it's extra features but I've come to love this amp for it's simplicity and pure great tone. Everything you need and nothing else. // 9
Sound: I use a Strat (S/S/S) and this amp has great tone with it. I've played an Epiphone Les Paul through it too and that sounded great, real raw Marshall crunch. Drive can be harsh and crunchy, to warm and crunchy to really warm and smooth for lead. it's a valve amp, so the clean channel distorts at higher gain levels. This is a good thing for classic rock tones, as you get a real superlead style crunch. The best sounding amp I have ever used, other than a Marshall valve stack. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Marshalls UK products are quality bits of kit. Not sure about their indian MG series, but this is quality made and feels damn solid. No rattles, buzzes, anything of the sort. Gets seriously hot after 1hr of intensive use, I have almost burned myself on the front plate, but it sounds better the hotter it gets. Stick a fan behind it if you want to be safe, but it's never given up on me, and I've never had to use one. I'll give it a 9, because it could overheat (I can't believe the put a cooling fan in a solid state MG and not in this). // 9
Overall Impression: I play classic rock and blues, and I love Fender amp tone. Unfortunately, the great Fender amp tone that you hear is only produced if you spend over 600, their mexican hotrod series have great clean tone, but poor reliability, shit Drive tone, and not as much "valve magic" as you get from the Marshall. Plus for their 40watt, it costs about 75 more. I have been playing guitar about two years, and I have played through many amps, valve, solid state, you name it, however this is the first valve amp I have owned. All I can say is, if you use solid state and you are thinking of upgrading to valve, it's the best decision you will ever make. Fantastic amp. I would definitely buy it again if it were stolen. // 10
jqworle, on november 02, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 711.87
Purchased from: MB music Ltd
Features: Purchased brand new 4 weeks ago. This amp is as described previously all tube 2.5 channel (1 clean 1 overdrive plus switchable OD2 20db gain). Channels are footswitchable. Built in spring reverb that can also be footswitched but switch is an optional extra, why they couldnt make a 3 way footswitch is beyond me. This amp does exactly what you expect from a Marshall tube amp, Has a pretty nice clean channel that sounds very warm through the neck pickup of my Gibson SG Standard or very clean and bright through my Sg copy double neck 12/6 string in 12 string mode. Overdrive is what made me buy this amp clasic Marshall crunch. Effects loop has it's own mix control and reverb is controllable from hardly there to cave like. One thing this could do with is a headphone socket as it is a practice amp. // 9
Sound: I play mainly classic rock (AC/DC, Thin Lizzy etc) but like to play around with the other tones this amp can give out. Set low gain on clean channel and turn up the volume and Angus clean crunch is there, or turn up gain on OD1 channel and turn volume down to a suitable level with the master volume and a very close proximation to angus's sound is there as well. Clean channel with my 12 string and Hotel California, Stairway all sound bright and melodic. Haven't really found a use for OD2. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Brand new and came with 3 year extended warranty from Marshall, so things should be ok. It is built solidly and is fairly heavy. // 10
Overall Impression: As a late starter (40 something) I bought this as I was looking for an upgrade to a MG15DFX that was my first amp, and though I did look at other makes of tube amp, in the end the deal of 389 inc delivery and the fact that as someone once said the wall behind the great artists doesn't say Fender it screams Marshall did sway me. // 10
AdamDK, on june 23, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 480
Purchased from: Sounds Live
Features: My DSL401 is a 2008 model. It has two channels, Clean and Overdrive. The OD channel has two modes. OD1 and OD2. OD2 is a 20Db boost. The DSL401 is a 40 watt 1x12 valve combo amp. Both channels have their own EQ (treble, mids, bass), there is a master volume, master reverb, FX mix, and the OD channel has it's own volume, whilst the clean channel has a gain knob. On the back of the amplifier, there is two footswitch slots. You can use the provided footswitch (PEDL 10013)to change channels and the OD/OD 2 modes (however, if you use the pedal for this, you cannot use the buttons on the amplifier), and the second footswitch slot is to turn the reverb on/off. There is also an FX loop, speaker emulated D.I Output, two slots to connect a cabinet, a switch to choose either 8/16 RMS, two fuse slots and the mains input. // 9
Sound: First, the clean channel on the DSL is great. Compared to older Marshalls, such as the JCM 800's and the JTM's, etc, the cleans are very bright. They aren't as bright as Fender cleans, but for a Marshall, they are indeed bright. With the right EQ'ing, you can get a range of clean sounds from mellow to bright. Also, if you crank the master volume, and turn up the gain on the clean amp, the valves start to break up, producing a nice fat overdrive, very good for blues. Now, the overdrive channel. OD1 is fantastic for classic rock and blues. It has a fair amount of gain and volume, and sounds great. I currently run an Epiphone Les Paul Standard (Plus-Top) into the amplifier, and with the neck pickup, I get a very fat rhythm sound. The bridge pickup is very bright, and works well for the sounds of bands such as Status Quo. Over to OD2, this channel has a 20Db volume boost, which helps the channel distort more. This channel is fantastic for leads, and is great for metal rhythm playing. I can get a nice chugging-riff style voicing from this channel (I.e. Battery, Master of Puppets, etc). The amp is a very modern voiced amplifier, so if you buy it, I wouldn't expect it to have the same lead sounds from bands such as Guns N' Roses. I play a lot of GN'R and can get a nice lead sound, but it isn't a patch on a Marshall JCM800 or Jubilee. Also, I find OD1 to be very thin when playing leads. For me to get a nice thick, yet not too distorted lead sound from this channel, I need to boost it with my Boss SD-1. // 9
Reliability & Durability: So far the DSL has been very reliable. I have saw no problems with, and I would have no bother gigging with it without backup. I reccommend that to keep the valves life-span longer, let the valves warm up for a good 2-3 minutes (as with my valve amps). Also, the footswitch functions well, and is easy to use. I have no problem switching between channel or modes. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, I have to say this amplifier is fantastic for a modern hard rock/metal voicing, and nice sparkling cleans. I play a lot of hard rock and metal, with some classic rock and blues, and I have to admit, I am delighted that I choose this over a Peavey ValveKing. If this amp were stolen, I would track down whoever stole it in no time. Trying to run away with this beast would be harsh, it is a fairly heavy amp (about 20KG/3.2 stones). // 9
dan_g_, on september 25, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: A$ 700
Purchased from: Ebay
Features: Mine is 2005 modal. This amp is awesome, Heres the main features.
- Clean channal (gain, treble, middle, bass)
- Od1 and Od2 (gain, volume, treble, middle , bass)
- Master (fx mix, reverb, volume)
- And on the back, (reverb footswitch, channel footswitch, fx send recieve, 8ohm -16ohm switch)
You guys can look up the internal specs. This amp will be a step up from a SS amp for many people I expect, be happy that this isnt filled up with poor sounding effect and all the bells and whistles, this has everything you need to get a good rock sound. This is a tube amp, it is louder than you will ever need (And if you do you can buy an extension cab and hook it up. 40w IS plenty, but you can also play this in a small room if you need to. 16 Ohm's sound much better than the 8 especially at lower volumes. // 10
The sound on the clean channel shocked me, I expected a very thin unpleasent sound from this acclaimed "Rock machine". It is a very good sound. Plenty of bass too despite what I have read in some reviews. With the gain at about 6 the sound gets crunchy.
This channal gets a lot of gain, sound good for most rock and older metal. Although I prefer the Od2 channal if I am going to play on a dirty channal, that's just me however, Od1 does a very nice rock sound but isnt quite metal.
This is a true metal chanel. Think Iron Maiden, Anthrax or high voltage AC/DC too. It puts od1 20db higher so is great for getting a solo through the mix, or even if you want a heavy rythem sound. The amp is not brutal, you may be able to get that sound with a decent pedal.
These sounds I am getting mostly from a Gibson SG 61 Reissue with 57 PAF humbuckers, and to a lesser extent a HM strat. // 10
Reliability & Durability: It's true, by itself this amp does get VERY hot, but if you stick a fan behind it this is not an issue. The tubes in mine are about 2 years old, they are still the stock tubes and are starting to sound a little tired, I will change them over soon. Before 2003 models are supposed to have a more serious overheating problem. // 7
Overall Impression: I've played for about 8 years and have gone from rock to metal to shred to metal. The gain is plentiful. It sounds fantastic to me. But slight Fizzy because of the old tubes. Would be nice if they put a better speaker in their. Make sure you play this before you buy it to see if it suites your sound. If this were stolen I couldnt afford another but It would be on my list of things to look at. // 9
slashfan189, on july 28, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 390
Purchased from: Private Seller
Features: Has 3 channels, Clean, OD1 and OD2 which are all foot switchable. Made in 2000 (I think). I Only really tend to play classic rock and hard rock n'roll but this amp will handle things like Iron Maiden. Has an effects loop, an input for the channel footswitch and even an input for a reverb footswitch. Both channel's have: Gain, Treble, Middle and Bass but the Overdrive also has a channel volume knob, Then on the master side there is an Fx loop volume control, reverb level and master volume. All tube! 4 EL84's which were replaced before I got this amp 2nd hand. Mint condition. // 9
Sound: I use an Epiphone Les Paul Standard with this, suit's perfectly, hard rock 'n roll, in your face, classic Marshall sound. Not noisy except when a Tv nearby is on. Clean channel is nice actuly, not as nice as my Fender but none the less quite good. Overdrive is just in your face, raw rock tone, can't beat it. I do mostly ACDC, Cult, Guns N Roses, Zeppelin, Lizzy, U2 stuff with this and suit's perfectly, also loud enough to be heard miles away! Only 40 watts but it's still insanely loud.Love when the clean channel starts getting overdriven. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Had it about a month, so far no problems, considering it's 9 years old, only new valves so sounds fresh. Hope I don't have any problems in the future. The tubes should last maybe for the net 2 years or so and shouldn't cost to much being EL84's. It's a Marshall so I don't expect any major problems but if I do come across something bad well I'll get it fixed asap to make sure I have it back to be able to play it Haha. // 10
Overall Impression: As I said I play classic rock and hard rock n' roll and it's a perfect match with my les paul, I hope to had another soon too. I'm playing nearly 5 years. This amp is great with the band and will also gig it. The guy I bought it from didn't have a footswitch but I don't really need one tbh. If it were stolen I would hit the guy who stole it with my les paul in the face, that should sort it out. I love the raw Vintage tone, overdrive with face melting capability's and the only bad thing is that I don't have a footswitch! it's about x10 million times better than my solid state Fender frontman 2x12, You really can't beat tube, specially when it's a real MarshallJCM at a bargain price! Love this amp. // 10
unregistered, on april 05, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 440
Features: I got my Marshall second hand yesterday. It feels pretty solid. 40 watts are almost going to ruin my house while cranked, so I play it on low volume - and it still sounds good. Weigh of this amp is about 20 kg. Compared to my previous amp - Laney LX12 is this Marshall like Hulk. But doesn't matter, it can be moved without problems.
We can found here 3 channels - Clean, OD1 and OD2. Clean has its own EQ + gain control, ovedrive channels have EQ together + gain and volume controls as well. On front panel are also FX, Reverb and Volume controls.
There are two footswitches (Clean -> OD1 -> OD2 | Reverb ). I like them, they make playing much more comfortable. There is effects loop as well. 2 Loudspeakers connections 16 / 8 Ohms make this amp very versatile as you can connect external reprobox.
My amp was made in 2004. DSL 401 is famous because of overheating. Mine is cool, even after 2 hours of playing, you can touch front panel without problem, it's warm but not hot. // 9
Sound: Generally, this amp is hard-rock amp with that great Marshall tone. That crunch is god damn biting. Lot of people said: in DSL 401 isn't that Legend tone, but i have to said: it IS there! Tubes are delivering that pleasant sound and it cannot be compared to solid state (To me, it's like sleeping in nice smooth soft bed (tube) vs sleeping on the ground (solid state)).
To me, it's really thick, dark sound - while clean, I prefer bright and straight tone much more. This kind of sound fits into blues perfectly, though. The reason of darkness could be using humbucker, don't know how does it sound with single coil. Overall, great for blues and jazz as well. Clean channel also provides gain control, so you can get really versatile tones.
This is typical Marshall overdrive. AC/DC, Sum 41, GN'R, Deep Purple... Definitely!
+20dB, more overdrive, more gain.... It's definitely more "ferocious", more saturated channel but not hi-gain. There aren't big differences between OD1 and OD2.
You can play great blues, jazz, rock'n'roll, rock, punk, hard-rock with this amp. But if you want play death metal, core metal etc, this isn't amp for you (you can use pedals indeed, but much better is to buy some hi-gain amp) // 10
Reliability & Durability: I got it yesterday, don't have any experiences with it. Dude, who sold it to me, said, that he doesn't have any problem with it. He used to gig a lot and it never broke down. He changed tubes after 4 years... It looks solid and I hope it will hold on a long time. // 10
Overall Impression: This is my first tube amp. I'am fascinated by it. It's big and heavy but that tone.. I just love it. I use BaCH Les Paul and they work fine together. When you hit the string, the sound will just punch you. Maybe, I'am going to look for some pedal, that will give more "slicing" character to the sound. I think the combination of that punch crunch and slicing sound will make perfect couple :) If you are rockers, punkers or jazzmans, you will not regret. // 10
Bizz, on may 18, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 400
Purchased from: Reverb
Features: This tube combo features three different channels; Clean, Overdrive 1 and Overdrive 2 which are foot switchable. It also has built-in reverb and an effects loop. The clean and overdrive channels consist of there own EQs which are made up of treble, middle and bass. I have played with this amp live in a variety of venues and it is probably loud enough for most pubs/clubs however It definitely needs mic'ing up if you don't want to get lost on stage and depending on what kind of music you are playing. I often use the combo alongside a 4x12 Marshall cabinet which does sound a lot bigger, perhaps better and helps with projection. I don't really think this amp needs any other features as I am not an effects junkie but just seeking fine tone. This amp is also part of the special edition green series which is a nice touch in my opinion. // 7
Sound: I use the amp alongside a Fender Telecaster which is kitted out with two Seymour Duncan Humbuckers. The amp is quite versatile and is able to deliver sparkly cleans, to a dirty ragged clean sound when pushing the gain up on the clean channel. While the clean sound is quite versatile it lacks any real 'vibe' or magic that you could expect from a more expensive tube amp. The overdrive channels can get you by, with OD1 providing a crunchy ac/dc sound at best and OD2 a fizzy mess. For me the overdrive channels are a big let down, lacking in tone and any real bite. I find myself continually cranking the amp up to get more out of it tonally and in terms of distortion but I am left unsatisfied. There are however moments of rock n'roll glory in which solo's do raw through the amp in the style of some of Marshall's most iconic users, this amp is able to provide some sweet creamy tones which is great for Classic Rock/Blues but if you play Punk/hardcore players should be weary because it's hard to get spiky brutal riffs out of this. There are no real noise issues with the amp. // 6
Reliability & Durability: One great thing with this amp is that it is completely dependable I've played many shows with it and done quite a bit of recording with it, It isn't fragile and is relatively durable. The amp has never needed servicing and so is relatively low-maintenance compared to more expensive valve amps which seem to be in constant need of servicing. // 10
Overall Impression: I play all types of music including blues, hard rock, jazz, pop etc. But I found that this amp doesn't work with punk/metal music and have been tempted to look to Orange for the answer in a similar price range or a hi-gain specialist such as ENGL. I have been playing for five years and so I've 'been around' gear wise, this was my first tube amp and I got it relatively cheap so it is not a bad move for first-time tube amp buyers because of it's low-maintenance. If it was stolen/lost I would definitely not buy another one because since buying it I have been subject too many other amps which give me the kind of tone I am looking for such as the aforementioned Orange, or Engl or even Mesa Boogie if you have the cash. I love the cool green finish because you can stand out from the crowd but amp-to-amp in comparison with a tube amp a little more expensive it stands no chance. // 6
SteveTone3000, on february 15, 2012 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 300
Purchased from: Private ad
Features: The DSL has some good features. The 3 channels might be useful for some (not me), there's reverb, an FX loop and a decent speaker. The FX loop is parallel though, not series (see Sound). A welcome stripped-down version of the DSL head without the useless "Tone Shift" and "Deep" silly buttons. // 6
Sound: This amp is in the medium-price range and this is reflected in the sound. It has more clarity and punch than cheaper valve combos, but really doesn't compare well to my old Marshall JMP; A-B ing the two reveals the DSL to be lacking in sparkle and punch, with an unpleasant gritty overdrive character which does NOT sound natural and loses a lot of treble when the guitar volume is backed off to clean. The high gain third channel is too saturated to maintain any note definition at volume.
That said, it is a useable amp for most gigs, rock bands in particular. If this is your second or third amp, you shouldn't be disappointed. Where this amp really fails is the crap FX loop. The parallel design is becoming more popular among amp designers, but it's COMPLETELY USELESS! You can't put a tremolo pedal in the loop because the amp puts a dry signal over the top, meaning that when the tremolo cuts off, you can still hear the guitar. Phaser was weak and there were odd phasing issues with other pedals. I couldn't even mod it like I did on a Laney L5T, because of the cramped and complicated PCB inside. Bad design alert! // 4
Reliability & Durability: Sold it soon after buying, so I'm not sure about the reliability. I haven't heard good things. // 5
Overall Impression: A decent amp with some fairly major flaws, the main ones for me being the effects loop and the uninspiring, raspy unpleasant overdrive. Not the worst amp I've used, but lacking in important areas. Buy one if you are upgrading from a practice amp and can find a cheap deal. // 4
unregistered, on july 18, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 479
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: I really like this amp. I used play on a family member's Mesa Boogie F100 usually, but found this for sale used at a GC. I liked the gain it had on low volume with the PRS I tried it though, and bought it on the spot. I've had it for a few days now and plugged a 2000 Vintage Les Paul Classic, and a Fender Deluxe American Start through it. I let family try it out in worship environment. It does cover a lot of genres pretty well and loud enough to draw attention from the law.
It has a DI and has two channels that are footswitchable and the reverb is foot switchable, but on an independent reverb footswitch. The Amp is openbacked with a mesh/grill covering the openings on the back. Amp has two speaker outlets, and a switch for 8 and 16ohms. My music tastes vary from Five Finger Death Punch, to Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd, Led Zep, AC/DC, Pantera, Metallica, Clapton, SRV, etc. Uses 4x EL84's in the power section and 4x 12AX7's in the preamp section. // 8
Sound: Nice and meaty gain dimed, reverb is clear even when the gain is up. I played a Les Paul on it with the gain dimed on red with only a Morley Tremonti Wah/Boost in the signal chain. Very nice tone with and with out the wah/boost. Cleans where nice with the Paul but it wasn't meant to be clean (that model guitar). The cleans where nice and bright with the Strat ESP on the neck. Put the gain on the clean channel at 1 o' clock and you can nail some bluesy tones. Channel changing with the foot switch was fairly noiseless, no pops, no hiss.
Reverb works like most amps with built in spring reverb. The amp is semi-open back. Meaning it is open backed, but the openings are covered with a metal mesh/grill. This amp is calling me for one of those Eminence Reignmaker speakers. That said, making it closed back would be really simple too. // 9
Reliability & Durability: The construction is solid but I have an old 90's Vintage Crate stack that is better built. The amp corners are weak plastic and not very rugged by the looks of it. The wood isn't as solid either in comparison, but better compared to present Chinese production amps.
The hardware around the tubes look solid still, and my amp is 6 years old with what appears to be original tubes (all are Marshall marked still). Even though I say it's not that beefy, it weighs a ton. About 44 pounds. Too much for more than a flight of stairs. Get a little hand truck off amazon for cheap if you intend to gig with it. Your back will thank me. // 7
Overall Impression: I really like this amp. I'll like it more once my new tubes arrive for it. I play a wide variety of tunes, and this covers the ones I play the most rather well. Considering that present British made Marshall's cost as much as a good Les Paul, this JCM2000 DSL 401 is a very nice buy at the moment if you find one. I found mine in 9/10 condition (very nice-excellent), and there where 2 of them. I really like this amp as I don't need a lot of effects(presently just the wah) in my signal chain, and the tone with the one Les Paul made me feel 10 feet tall and bullet proof.
I A/B'd this against a Mesa-Boogie F100 and while the Mesa dominates it in gain, this purely sings in it's own tone. And it's not emulated, synthed, fake, it's all 100% Marshall tube tone. If you want meaty 5FDP dominating gain, you will need to run something in front to push it some. AC/DC, pre-"Black Album" Metallica this amp can deliver on it's own. // 8