#1
Hello, I just got a used Marshall DSL 100. a 100 watt tube head. but... i just played for like 5min at a low volume and the top of the head was so hot i could barely touch it. (the plastic), is this a problem or is this normal on a tube head? the tubes are 2.5 years old. but the amp sounds great. (i think... this is my first tube head so idk how its supposed to sound) oh and i have a 4ohm 12'' bugera speaker from my solid state combo beneath it. (and yes i have the 4ohm setting on my amp activated)

and the second thing, the standby switch. the guy that sold me it said i have to :

1.turn on power from off to on.
2.wait 2min
3.put standby from off to on.
4.play

this works great but makes no sense to me, isnt the standby supposed to be off when you play, because it is not in standby anymore? (and when i turn it off i get no sound)

EDIT : Oh, and does anyone know the best settings for metallica or megadeth for this amp?
thanks.

EDIT 2: ok i get the standby now, i was doing it right, but it was confusing... still idk if the heating would be a problem... i just dont want my amp to die thats all.
Last edited by holywins183 at Apr 1, 2012,
#3
how the standby switch is named can be very confusing. just don't even worry about the names of the two positions. with the main amp power switch on, the standby switch will let you hear sound in one position (consider the amp to be "ON" at that point) and in the other position the tubes will be warming up but you won't hear any sound (amp will be in "STANDBY" at that point).

tubes get hot but obviously it's hard to tell if yours is normal or not without being in the room with it

(old) metallica and megadeth shouldn't be too hard with a dsl. select the gain channel, don't run the gain too high, maybe hit it with an od pedal as a boost. reasonably sensible settings (everything at 6 or 7, say), maybe a slight dip in the mids but nothing too extreme.
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#4
Some of the earlier DSL's did have an overheating problem. A lot guys add a fan. Can't remember what they did to fix them, better venting I think.

The standby switches the high voltage to the amp. With it off the heaters in the valve will still be running as long as the power is on. The idea is to let the heaters get the cathodes nice and hot before you try to use them. A tube won't work until the cathode is hot.
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#5
Most valve amps don't need a standby switch. Some say it's a relic leftover from when Marshall was copying Fender designs. It's an overblown mute switch, basically.

An argument has been made that powering an amp up that has a DC-Cathode Follower (for you folks who don't know what that is, it's a type of circuit arrangement commonly used to drive signal through your tone controls or sometimes FX loop with minimal loss.) without putting it in standby first is theoretically dangerous to the valve in the cathode-follower because, as theory puts it, until the cathode warms up, it is at 0v-ground potential, and the grid gets hauled up to high voltage reference when the B+ is allowed across the tube plates, thus potentially destroying the tube, since B+ voltage is a couple to a few hundred times typical 12ax7 grid voltage limits.

Now interestingly enough, plenty of amps with DC-Cathode followers get powered up in play mode repeatedly and there is little to no report of preamp tube failure upon powerup. That being said, i'm certain there could be preamp tube failures that happen under these conditions that aren't being reported or diagnosed, so who knows..

So all technical dribble aside, i would advise you to power up the amp in standby first, wait at least 30 seconds before switching it into play mode. When switching the amp off, you can simply turn it directly off by hitting the power switch. There is no need to put it in standby first.
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#6
I can't really help with the heating issue, but I'll add that 2 minutes on standby is ridiculous. 15-30 seconds is fine.

@Cath do you have any idea when they fixed the issue? That would be nice to know so I can get a good one when I get a DSL.
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#7
Sorry, no idea which ones had the issue. If it gets hot stick a fan in it.
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#8
Issue 5 boards had the most problems. I've worked on issue 5 circuit boards that were just absolutely horrendous. Solder pads that refused to stay intact during routine desoldering procedure, boards that had gone conductive, etc.
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#9
Not to hijack the thread or anything, and this is completely unrelated to the OP's questions, but regarding your comment (ConfederateAxe) about not putting standby switch on before turning it off. Is that really perfectly safe? I have no idea what I'm talking about tech wise, but I know if I don't put the standby switch on for about ten to fifteen seconds before I hit the power off, the amp tends to pop quite loudly. I figured this wasn't a good sound, and just started using the standby switch before turning it off.
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#10
Is the pop loud enough to damage the speakers? If not, no harm is being done.


There ya go, issue 5 boards are the problematic ones. Now all we need to know is what serial number range had those boards.
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


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#11
anyone knows how i can find the serial number on my DSL? i dont have manuals and stuff like that because its a i bought it from some other person

EDIT : nvm, my serial is M-2002-23-0359-A, is this bad?
Last edited by holywins183 at Apr 2, 2012,
#12
you could probably bias the tubes a little cooler.

tube amps are supposed to run hot though.
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