UG Team, on july 24, 2003 6 of 9 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1027
Purchased from: Long & McQuade in Windsor Ontario, Canada
Features: This amp is a 50 watt all tube. It has four ecc83 preamp tubes and two el34 power tubes. I believe this amp was made in 2001. It has 2 channels, classic and ultra. Each channel has two modes: classic has clean and crunch and ultra has lead1 and lead2. So it's really 4 channel if you count the two modes in each channel. The Crunch mode in clean has a very light 70's "bluesy" style overdrive which is very nice if you play Hendrix or Vaughan. The Ultra distortion is quite heavy but better suited to hard rock like Aerosmith. For rythm you will probably want to use lead1 and for leads use lead2. The difference is that lead2 is basically lead1 with more fuzz. The distortion is very impressive but it has this "fuzzy/staticy" sound that I don't like much. You may love it. Try it for yourself. The amp also has a reverb effect for both channels which is nice enough for me since I don't use reverb that much but if you really like reverb it's not the greatest and will probably want to use a pedal. It also has a parallel effects loop which I don't use but I plan to if I ever get a delay, chorous or flanger pedal. The EQ has a ton of features but they don't do much to adjust the tone. They just fine-tune it. If you like to change all your EQ settings for each song to get radically different sounds then this amp isn't for you. It has one distinct tone which you can adjust.
The adjustments are Prescence, Treble, Mid, Bass, Deep (switch) and Tone Shift (switch). The Prsence knob seems to adjust your treble and your mid at the same time. It's very hard to explain but the main idea is that you can adjust it for each venue to modify the "attack" of the sound for each unique room. I find it very useful presonally.
Treble, Mid and Bass should be self-explanatory since they exist on every amp I've ever used. The main thing to note here though is that the tone adjustment produces quite different effects from most other amps. I'm used to boosting the treble and the bass and keeping the mid on 0. It doesn't work with this amp. To get the best tone I keep Treble on 5, Bass on 6 and Mid on 0. You will have to play with them yourself to get what you like.
The Tone Shift basically cuts your mids. I always keep this on since I'm not a big fan of high mids. Again this is just my opinion and you will have to experiment to get what you want.
The deep switch basically cuts the mids and the treble and boosts your bass. It's nice but I find on this amp that it has a very high bass "attack" which is why I keep the bass only on 6. With the deep switch on it feels almost like you're playing a bass and not a 6 string when you hit low notes ;) Suffice to say I keep this off.
There are two features that this amp lacks. One is a separate eq for each channel and the other is switching modes with a footswitch. You can switch between channels but you can't switch between clean and "crunch" or "lead1 and lead2". This is why I only give it a 3. All in all this amp has a perfect feature set for me but when it comes down to it you either like it or you don't. It has a very static tone which you can't change. Only fine tune. If you like to play with the knobs and change them for each song to get radically different tones then this amp isn't for you. // 6
Sound: First of all, I hate Marshall amps. They always seem to make amps that sound exactly like what famous guitarists (such as Slash, Hendrix, Paige, Kiss etc.) like and not putting out anything unique. I never liked their clean tones (too high on the mids and not "rich enough"). I was probably going to go with Fender but when I found this amp I decided to give it a shot.
What I was looking for in an amp was a very rich clean tone which I could distort to pure liquid death for heavy stuff. Well this amp has the perfect clean tone for me. It doesn't produce the distortion that I want but that's okay because used in conjunction with a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone I get exactly what I want. It's really unusual for Marshall's to have such a good clean tone but this amp does it. The only problem (which I stated above in the feature list) is that it's a one trick pony. You either love the tone or you don't. You can't change it.
The amp really shines at high volumes. It's most suited for playing live and in a practice room where you can crank it. It's VERY loud. When the familly's home and watching tv I have to keep the volume at 1.5 and they still have to crank the tv to hear it (and there's 2 floors in between us!). When they're out that's when I can put it at 3 and apparently with all the doors and windows shut you can hear me a couple doors down ;)
At very low volumes (below 1) this amps distorts which is why I don't suggest buying it unless you're planning on using it mainly for gigs.
Fully cranked there's zero distortion! I play everything from Hendrix to Metallica. For bluesy stuff I prefer to use my Ibanez Tube Screamer but the Crunch mode on Classic channel really does compare. The ultra distortion just isn't for me which is why I use the Metal Zone.
Anyway I give it a 5 because I really do love the clean sound and I make good use of the reverb even though it's not the greatest reverb you can get. // 10
Reliability & Durability: This thing is pretty reliable. My grandmother helped me pay for it and when we brought it home she decided to try and help out by bringing it to the house for me and dropped it on my drive way! I almost shit my pants but it still works fine. So that's pretty reliable IMO.
I wouldn't ever gig without a backup and spare tubes.
Now since I've only had it for a short while I'm not going to give it a reliability rating since it could blow up on me tommorow for all I know. However, the above tells me that it's built like a tank. // 8
Overall Impression: I've been playing for 10 years but this is my first "serious" amp. I tried out a ton of amps including both stacks and combos before settling on this one. I bought this amp because of it's clean rich tone. The downsides are the single EQ, and un-switchable channel modes. If it were stolen I'd cry, go on a screaming rampage and then call my insurance company. Yes I've insured this amp because I just can't afford to replace it. I would definintely get the same amp though.
Overall I give it a 4 over a 5 because it's quite expensive, it's Marshall and the lack of features listed above. Even though I don't like the distortion it's only my opinion so I'm not considering it a downside. You may love the distortion. The sound quality, loudness, pure tube, EQ, FX loop, dual channel and the fact that you can drop it on cement and not break it are what makes this amp really shine! // 8
unregistered, on december 17, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 800
Purchased from: A Breaking up band
Features: My amp was made in late 2004/Early 2005. I play lead guitar in a pop-punk/post-hardcore band (myspace.com/builtforburning) and I'd say that this amp's tone is pretty versatile for the most part. It is a tube amp. This amp has two channels. Classic and Ultra. Classic is your basic Marshall clean tone. It also offers a "crunch" switch. I don't use that option much, but I really like the clean tone. The Ultra offers a tone shift and a deep Switch. I keep the tone shift off and I keep the deep Switch on. The only thing I wish I would've done was buy a TSL-100. My other guitarist uses a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier and sometimes he overpowers me. I also miss the versatility of having a third channel. This is my workhorse. This amp is my practice amp and gigging amp. I've had a custom made road case built for it with a 7 space rack. The only reason I purchased this amp was because it was a very good deal. Otherwise, I would've purchased the Marshall JCM2000 TSL-100. I am happy with my decision to purchase this amp though. // 8
Sound: I mainly play two guitars through this amplifier. A 2001 Gibson SG and a 2002 Epiphone Les Paul Custom. My SG has stock Gibson pickups and my Epipone LP Custom has a Gibson Burstbucker installed. I use a Sennheiser EW-172 Wireless in my rack and run that through a Korg DTR1000 and a DOD noise gate. The wireless takes some tone from this amp. I still haven't figured out a way to not sacrifice tone. This amp does hiss at high volumes. The clean channel doesn't distort for me at all and that's a huge plus, especially when playing clean melodies and competing with a Mesa Triple Rectifier. Because of my wireless situation, I can't say that my distortion is "brutal", but I am happy with my tone. I am considering purchasing a sonic maximizer and a better noise gate to aid in bringing this amps best out. // 7
Reliability & Durability: I can depend on my amplifier. I never doubt this amps reliability. But, it spends a lot of time being bounced around a trailer and a van, so I did have a custom made road case built, plus it looks pretty cool as well as being protected. For the most part being a touring musician, I have no choice to gig without a backup. I've owned this amp for 2 years and I've never had a problem with it to date. The tubes are in need of replacing soon, but only because I want to bring it to it's best potential. // 10
Overall Impression: I wish before I had bought it that I would've scoped out the TSL series more. If this amp was stolen or broken, I would probably buy a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier or a Marshall TSL-100. I hate this amps hiss in higher distortion volumes. I wish it had a third channel! // 7
xander307, on october 08, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 550
Purchased from: www.gak.co.uk
Features: The DSL's has 2 Channels, Classic Gain with modes Clean and Crunch. And Ultra Gain with modes Lead 1 and Lead 2. The Amps has a master 3 band equalization which is very effective, the amps reverb feature can be controlled over each channel and at low levels sounds preety great. The 50 watt valve amp, has 4 ECC83 in its pre amp section, and 2 EL34 in its power amp section, there are 3 cabinet outputs (1 for 16 ohms and another 2 for 4 or 8 ohms impedence) Like most tube amps the DSL 50 has a standby and a main on an off Switch, standby is useful to keep the tubes warm before a performance. // 10
Sound: I Use my Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster with this amp, the clean mode is a little fat and I often use the bridge pickup here, this mode has headroom although Clean can hardly push gigging volume. I find the amps Crunch Mode is perfect for all aspects of funk and blues, I often use this mode to play Red Hot Chilli Peppers and with a little more gain it can also acheive classic rock tones sutiable for The Beatles.
The Ultra Gain channel has a huge amount of gain and can play most kinds of metal, but at the same time can be toned down to acheive great rock tones, Lead 1 is more suited to ACDC and perhaps Rush, Lead 2 is great for thrash tones as well as modern metal tones, I found Lead 2 Mode needs to be cranked to achieve a clear sound as it seems to have more gain than it can handle and at lower volumes is a little muddy. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I've had the amp 6 months and there have been no problems, I often gig with it and even after being in standby mode for hours on end the tubes will withstand. Replacement Tubes are not to expensive and I will consider changing them before the year is over just to keep the amp sounding as good as new. The amp has a firm structure and has not taken damage, the tubes will rattle away but never crack. // 10
Overall Impression: Playing in a rock band this amp is perfect, Lead 1 offers a great tone for my music, where Lead 2 is good for the heavier stuff I like to play at home, I've been playing a couple of years and this amp was a massive improvement on my Fender frontman. I searched for the right amp for months and the sound I get from my DSL is just right. The only problem with it is the practicality of a half stack, I use a 960A cab with it and I am getting tired of dragging it around, I'd suggest to anyone considering a Marshall Head to buy a 2 X 12 Cab as it would be more than enough, I hope this review was helpful. // 9
maddspoiler, on may 15, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Firehouse Guitars
Features: Bought it used April 2009. Was made in 2003. I play shred/metal mainly but some hard rock/blues. This amp will produce any of those tones very nicely and convincingly. It is a 2 channel amp but it has 4 different "modes" total. I was surprised at how loud 50 watts is. Can keep up with my buddies Krank rev1 120 watt amp, and he spent 2k on his. The reverb is ok but I have a Boss gt6 running on the loop for that. 4-8-16 ohm operation. Did I Mention All Tube (12ax7s and el34s)! I also own a Peavey classic and the Marshall wins... Hands down! // 8
Sound: I use a Jackson DR5 PRO, A 1994 Jackson Rhoads rr-1 concept and a Schecter Hellraiserc1-fr. All of em have EMG active pickups, which help make this thing rip. It does well for metal, sounds really deep, and harmonically rich with good touch dynamics. Back off on the pickups and it has less breakup/ cleans up nice but still has bite for blues/rock licks. Not much noise going on even on high volumes. I use a 535q, and a linear power booster on the front end. Then I run a Boss gt6 for gate/eq/effects on the loop. I can get everything from Slayer to Slipknot with it. As well I can get perfect Satriani or Vai tones. The clean is exactly that clean. But To Do This You Need One Trick From A Pro -- Crank The Volume On Yer Clean Channel, Then Use The Gain As The Volume. This works great and makes it to where there's little or no distortion at gig volume on the clean channel. Deep Switch makes it sound like THOR playing lol. Mid Switch cuts mids for a more old school metal sound. Overall I am pleased with the sound but I'm planning on getting a Tube screamer for leads instead of the power booster. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I have a backup (Peavey classic)so I would bring it just in case. It broke after putting new tubes in it so I put the old ones back in and it worked fine. I guess it was bad tubes so I took those back, and guess what? The store sold me bunk tubes! Now it works just fine. Biasing is easy so that's a plus. You can do it as long as you know how to use a multi meter to test mili-volts. Marshalls are known for being reliable. Cmon lets see a list of endorsers-Slash, Slayer, john5, zack wylde, mark tremonti, Megadeth... Need I go on. Service centers are in england.
Although many people in the states are able to work on them so it really doesnt't matter I guess. // 8
Overall Impression: At first I hated marshalls and wanted either a mesa or a Bogner or something like that. When I played this amp for the first time I fell in love. Works perfect for what I'm doing. I've played for about 15 years. Played it for 15 minutes and knew it was the one! I have owned numerous amps and the only one I love as much as this is my Crate Blue voodoo 60 watt combo. I have too much gear to name, but this is the amp I have set up in my practice space. If it broke or was stolen I'd try to find a new one. My favorite feature is the tone. Just awesome. I hate the cab sitting under it ( wish it said Marshall to match lol). I played the new line six tube amp, a Peavey 6505+, an Ashdown fallen angel 300 watt tube amp, Krank rev1, mesa dual rect and a couple others in my search for MY amp over the years, and the day I played this I wasn't even looking for an amp, But I bought it anyway, because this amp was looking for me! I wish it had an extensive footswitch for switching the channels as well as voicings, the effects loop on and off and verb on and off (Who knows maybe a tech could mod it to do so). Other than that it's a beautiful amp!
The covering is also beautiful, very elegant almost lady like. Nice to look at! Just wish I had a 1960 cab to match. // 9
Gui_Lux, on november 15, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 1040
Features: 50W all tube amp. 4xECC83, 2xEL34. Two channels, 'Classic Gain' and 'Ultra Gain'. Both channels have 2 modes, "Clean/Crunch" for the Classic Gain channel and "Lead 1/Lead 2" for the Ultra Gain channel.
Basically, you have your Clean channel and your Distortion channel with a button to push more gain through it. Each channel has separate volume and gain knobs.
Effects loop with Switch to boost the volume. I don't use the effects loop, so no real opinion on that.
1 EQ for both channels, with an extra button to boost the bass, and a Tone Shift button that cuts out the mids.
2 Switchable reverbs for both channels.
No headphone output.
It's a pretty basic amp, easy to use, which is what I was going for. Single footswitch, single EQ, 2 channels, basic. I do regret not having a separate EQ, and not being able to Switch between the two modes of each channel. For more versatility I put a booster and extra overdrive in front of the amp, otherwise you're kind of stuck. When you want to change modes', you have to physically go to the amp, push the correct button, sometimes adjust your volume. It's a pain in the *ss when you're on stage, that's why I use a booster.
I put this 50W tube head on a Bogner 4x12 w/ V30's. Power's big enough to drown out the drums, I never have to push the amp. I think the highest I played on (except for testing) was at half. I'll say it now, and I'll probably say it again, but 50Watts is more than enough, 100W or more is just useless.
This amp is used for: Jazz / Blues / Classic Rock / Hard rock / Metal // 7
Sound: USED WITH: a PRS SE Custom semi hollow, this is a low output guitar with humbuckers. Used for jazz, blues, classic rock. My other guitar is a Gibson Explorer, immensely hot humbuckers, used for classic rock, hard rock, metal.
I heard the amp was ok with single coils, but can't have an honest opinion about that.
NOISE: there barely is any. Of course, putting the gain at max will create white noise, but every amp does that. No complaints here.
SOUND. The most important part. It's why I chose this amp above every other I tested. It blew me away the first time I heard it. I'll go through each channel and mode:
Classic Gain (Clean): Your basic clean channel. It's not as good as a Twin reverb, but it does a great job. Too much bass for my liking, but you can cut them out. This channel is pretty awesome for jazz, which I did not expect! Sound is clean even at high volume. Pushing the gain to max results in minor breaking, no real crunch or overdrive.
Classic Gain (Crunch): This is the better of both modes. I keep the gain at 3 or 4, for a little crunch. Turning the volume of your guitar down, you'll get a nice clean sound (with less bass than the clean' mode). Pushing it, you'll crunch out! I definitely love this channel. Amazing for blues and even rock. Put a booster or overdrive in front of the amp and you've got a distortion channel. Simply amazing.
Ultra Gain (Lead 1): Classic Marshall distortion. Good for every style. Nothing else to say.A beauty.
Ultra Gain (Lead 2): classic Marshall distortion with a lot of gain. Use the tone switch' to cut the mids out and you've got yourself a metal amp. Keep the mids up and you've got a beautiful distortion.
The Ultra Gain lacks a little definition' or articulation', whatever you want to call it. There are some boutique amps that'll give you a more articulate sound, at of course a very high price. I like this one, no doubt about that, but I do miss that little extra something. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank. I've played without backups, I'll probably do it again, even if it scares me to death. It will definitely outlive me. // 10
Overall Impression: It's better than your average high gain' amp. Even though it only has 2 channels, you can go from jazz to metal. You do need a booster to compensate for the lack of switchability between modes. Sound is pretty great, even if the Ultra Gain channel misses some articulation.
And now the if stolen question. If stolen, would I buy it again? I don't know. It's a great amp, trust me, but I would have liked an extra EQ and an extra channel. You don't really need those, but it would have been nice.
For the coverband' guitarist, this is not what you want. Go buy a line 6. For the allround rocker with a little crush on jazz and blues, this is the One. My precious. // 9
iec950cb, on february 04, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: Craigslist
Features: Made in 2003. Was purchased from the original owner in perfect un-modified condition. Lucky buy. This amp out of all the many Marshall heads I have owned in the past is the best. I have owned two jcm 800s 2203 and 2204 two jcm 800 Slash signatures. all bought brand new way back when.. All of these were great in there own right, but I have to say each one sounded always a little different than the other. Back in the 80's I was kid of playing ozzy / ac dc / dio / george lynch stuff. Hair band balogna. Never realy grew out of it. Never realy cared for various channels because I only needed one. I use this amp in the house and obviously 50 watts is very loud. I think it's all most would ever need. Why pay for the extra tubes? As Marshall matures they always add new flavors to there list of amps. To me all there solid state stuff is junk, but all solid state stuff is junk to me. The amp reflects it's low cost in cheaper electrical components. ie thinner pcb,s which are flimsy but very functional. When you push in the 12ax7's you can feel the springyness in the pcb. The rubber gromets are loose and sloppy around the tubes as well. The intermittant popping of the standby Switch can be an ear popper if you forget to turn the volume down before switching. They could of maybe added some caps / res across the Switch to surpress the intermittant spike maybe comming from the high spot in the sign wave. Knobs feel nice and tight on this head not loose and sloppy like others. The outer construction is and still is consistant with the older models. No cutbacks that I can see there. // 9
Sound: Well my guitars are so various, but the one I like best on this amp would be the one that I slapped together myself some years ago. It's kind of a EVH theme guitar very similar to his first black and white. It has a maple 22 fret neck, floyd rose, tone zone pickup with a popla body. I like doing the EVH thing now its been fun. The amp with a bit of playing with pre amp and the power tubes has given me the desired brown tone very well. I think you can get this tone locked in on most tube marshalls with a little futtzin around. I finaly settled on two JJ EL34's v1, v2, V3 tung-sol 12ax7's and an electro harminox 12ax7 in v4 to remove a minor level of fiz that the tung-sol were producing. Ended up with a very clean rich sustain from the amp that was needed. I also use an old tube screamer because I just like the thing always have (not fizzy). I also use a Boss eq in the loop for some nice additional thump to the 1960A slant. Can't say enough! Use good cables all through your chain. Monsters for me. A bit pricy and thick but tone tone tone and be consistant. The clean channel to me sounds every bit as good as my old Marshalls and quite frankly damn good through my blown ear drums. This amp can be used mostely for any kind of rock with the right tweeking of the knobs tubes pedals etc. As you would do with any new Marshall you just purchased. I think people are nut to buy new magnetics to change the tone. From what I have heared with my own ears, you get more versitility from an eq in the loop than any new xfmr you would ever put into it. anyway,, I could go a mile on that subject.. (freaken useless expensive mods...argh!!!!) // 10
Reliability & Durability: Had it for a year now. Not a single issue.. oops except for the standby pop earlier mentioned. Can be easily fixed with a mod! argh did I say mod! Nahhh no mod. Just always turn the volume down when switching... lol It's built as good as any prior Marshall in my eyes as far as outside construction. // 9
Overall Impression: The amp is a good solid Marshall amp with the use of some cheaper electrical components its still a great amp. I do want to say though, for what you can pick these up for, they are a steal. You get all the same tone as any other Marshall at a fraction of the cost of others. (Vintage my buttt! Just and old crappy looking expensive amp that does no more or less than one of these as far as the tone you are playing at the moment you are playing it. Oh did I forget to say most of the tone is in your FINGERS! Buy this amp if you can find one. They sound great and look as great as any other friggin Marshall with just the right amount of knobs. Good Luck! Paul // 10
Tyler.Allain, on january 20, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Private Seller
Features: This amp was made in 2000. Its a 2 channel amplifier. The first channel is a clean/crunch channel. The second is a lead channel. The Clean/Crunch channel has an independent gain/volume control with a button to switch between clean and crunch modes, but both the clean/crunch channel and the lead channel share an EQ which may be troublesome for some. The lead channel has two modes. Lead 1 and Lead 2. Lead 1 is described by Marshall as a hot-rodded JCM800 2203 with Lead 2 simply adding more gain and a mid boost as well. The amp has a universal "Tone Shift" button and a "Deep Switch" button. The tone shift scoops the mids, and the Deep Switch adds a tuned low-end boost. Each channel has its own reverb.
I wish the amplifier had a resonance knob instead of the deep switch which I find just as useless as the toneshift button. Both remain disengaged for me at all times. The crunch channel is voiced noticeably differently from the lead channel which makes switching between them useless without adjusting the EQ.
This leads me to my next complaint. I wish this amp had a seperate EQ for each channel. The amp really limits you to using one channel per song in a live situation which may or may not be useful for some people. I don't need channel switching. Just one blistering distorted tone for my alt rock/modern punk band. Lead 1 does that mighty fine. // 8
Sound: I play with a Gibson SG Standard. Humbuckers in the guitar. A Burstbucker Pro in the bridge and a 490R in the neck. This amp does distorted tones FANTASTICALLY. Great midrange bite, kinda bright but I like that. The low end is tight but not overly prominent. Tightens up real nice with a tubescreamer. Best of all its a 50w amp with EL34 tubes. The amp will break up relatively early and give you some nice powertube distortion to add to the preamp distortion that this amp heavily relies on.
The clean tones leave a little to be desired. You can get a nice clean tone out of it, but you will be playing with the volume/tone knobs on your guitar and the volume/gain on the amp for quite some time. Certainly no fender. The amp is only noisy if you use an incredible and unusable amount of gain or are using active pups. I have my amp on 4 with a tubescreamer in front and the gain on 6... Except for some expected hiss the amp is pretty quiet. That being said the Lead 2 channel is unusable for the fact that it contains too much gain for my taste and gets very noisy when being boosted. I suppose this mode was meant for those without boosts before the preamp.
The reverb is great. Spring reverb... Good tank in there too. The sounds of the amp are pretty damn good. I just wish you could navigate through them more easily as I discussed in the features section of this review. // 9
Reliability & Durability: The amp has an issue with the grounding of the 4/8 ohm jacks. This is well known by those who own the DSL50 and the DSL100. If you buy one, you will want to have these jacks properly grounded to avoid failure. I use the 16ohm output so I don't worry so much. Amps need to be kept up. I don't see this amp failing on me. With the exception of the ground issue on the 4/8 ohm jacks the amp is pretty solid. // 9
Overall Impression: The amp does what I need it to very well. Distorted tones with a lot of mid range and bite. I've been playing for 8 years. I own a Gibson SG, a Gibson Les Paul, and quite a number of other guitars. If I lose this thing, or it was stolen, I might cry but I would probably buy another if I could get it as cheaply as the first one. I love the distorted tones on it, and that's what Marshall are for. Wish the 2 channels had seperate EQs or were voiced a little more similarly to make channel switching doable.
Overall, I'd say the amp gets an 8. It would be higher but the somewhat lackluster clean channel, and the other issues I have discussed make it fall short of the perfect amp. // 8