#1
A while back I was close to getting an old 80's JCM 800. Annoyingly, someone else jumped in and bought it just four hours before I would have.

These leaves me in need of an amp and these are the three I've narrowed it down to. Each has some advantages and disadvantages and I'm just after some different perspectives on it so I can make a better decision. My main problem is when it comes to valve types I know nothing.

They're all mostly the same, they all cost the same, none are unusually heavy or anything like that. I.e. there's no clear "well this one costs twice as much and is four times heavier" reason to leave any of them alone.

First up is the DSL 50 watt head. 4xECC83 pre-amp valves, 2xEL34 power amp valves. 2 channels, separate reverb and gain controls for each. I've tried this one out and I do like how it sounds, plus my favourite guitarist, Richie Sambora, is currently running two of these on stage so it's got that "someone I like uses it yay!" factor.

Second is the TSL 60 watt head. 4xECC83 pre-amp valves, 2xEL34 power amp valves. 3 channels, first clean channel has it's own controls, second and third channels (overdrive & lead) share most of their controls so when switching between them EQ, reverb and so on is the same both ways, or at least that's how I've been told this is. The nearest store that has one is several hours drive away and I rarely have the chance to spend that time away so I can't try it out myself immediately. Listening to samples though it sounds pretty good.

Third and finally is the 2266 50 watt head. 4xECC83 pre-amp valves, 2xKT66 power amp valves, single channel. Like the TSL nowhere close to here has one in so it's not easy for me to try this one out. However this seems to get better reviews than either of the other two and so far I am mostly used to single channel amps so while the 2 and 3 channel DSL and TSL heads sound nice in theory, I'm not even sure if I'd actually use the second/third channels. In that instance I think this might be the better amp to go with.


I play mostly straight-up plain rock music. Aerosmith, AC/DC, mid-90's Bon Jovi, GnR, etc. Sometimes I dip into a little metal, a little blues, but core rock 'n' roll tones are the most important to me. I'm a rhythm player so I don't have much need for the amp to drown everything out for huge wailing shred solos, but I do play the occasional little lead piece so it needs to have some power behind it.

Whatever I get it will most likely be paired up with a 2x12 of some kind. Between that and a PA I've never had a need for a 4x12 cab.



I'm also open to any other suggestions for heads. Ideally it needs to be in the 30-50 watt range, and my budget for the head is around £700 and clearly it needs to be something easily available in the UK. As I said before I play mostly standard middle-of-the road rock rhythm so high-gain metal amps or really low-gain amps aren't of much interest to me.


Any opinions are very much appreciated.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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#3
Orange are more Marshall than Marshall nowadays so i'd recommend the Orange AD30HTC head.

http://www.guitar.co.uk/orange/2250-orange_ad30htc_head_guitar_amplifier?page=2

The AD series have been described as a mix of Marshall, Vox and Orange so those tones you want are all on tap!

Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ SD Alnico Pro II's
Fender Aerodyne Telecaster & Stratocaster
Marshall JCM 800 4104 combo


E-Married to Funny_Page
#4
marshall jvm hands down

had a dsl for ages. great amp but switching and tone shapingis very one dimensional. the jvm 2 channel heads have independant eqs, and a memory function that you can assign to the footswitch. the architecture im told is based on a jcm800 2203 ( id love to know the truth of that www.marshallamps.com ), and i can tell you my 50w jvm head on my 1960 AV cab blows it away.

it still has the balls which i loved the dsl50 for, but is much more responsive and versatile, and uses all tube gain stages instead of a solid sate diode like the dsl/tsl series. very nice and natural. it can almost nail a jcm800 and does a decent plexi as well if you eq it right. the independent eq is SO BLOODY USEFUL.

im sorry but i dont see what the fuss is all about with orange amps. they just dont haave that balls to the wall tone in my opinion that a marshall does.

by the way i do own other amps, and i dont work for marshall hahaha.
#5
If you could stretch your budget a bit, you should check out the Laboga Alligator, Orange Rocker, and the Hughes & Kettner Statesman Head. They're really voiced for the sound you described.
If not, then out of the Marshalls I'd choose either the DSL or the Vintage Modern.
Fender MIA Stratocaster (with SD Twang Banger)
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#6
Quote by metaligeologist
marshall jvm hands down

had a dsl for ages. great amp but switching and tone shapingis very one dimensional. the jvm 2 channel heads have independant eqs, and a memory function that you can assign to the footswitch. the architecture im told is based on a jcm800 2203 ( id love to know the truth of that www.marshallamps.com ), and i can tell you my 50w jvm head on my 1960 AV cab blows it away.


The amp, for sure, has a similar circuit to the 2203, which has a similar circuit to a Plexi. Says it right in the manual, my friend
#7
Quote by Diamond Dave
i've heard that the DSL is much better than the TSL

apart from that i dunno


It is, cleans are lovely and a daft amount of gain, makes it pretty versatile
My Gear

Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster
Marshall DSL 50 with 1960A
#8
See if you can't pick up a used 1987 reissue head somewhere, a few simple mods (installing a ppimv, removing that silly bright cap) and it will work best for the types of music you want.

I've always been partial to the DSL heads, they are versatile workhorse amps, but something like a 1987 blows it away.
Last edited by al112987 at Feb 2, 2009,
#9
avoid the tsl if you can. it's not really a bad amp, but it doesn't really do anything really well. i really like the vintage modern, but it needs to be turned up a bit to really come into its own
main rig:
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