#1
I have a Marshall TSL602, which I enjoy the sound of, but I want a slightly smaller combo amp that is still capable of playing small gigs at bars with clean head room since I play a lot of clean stuff. I am looking at the similar DSL401 or the Mesa Express 5:25 (clean head room?) or 5:50, but I'm not sure the Mesa will handle the style of music I play well. I like the 5 watt switchable option, since I will be in an apartment, but I could get a decent enough tone out of the 602 at low volumes. I use an Ibanez S470 with a crybaby classic and multi-fx pedal, although I will be buying a strat soon. The type of music I play is rock, punk rock/reggae hybrid bands, classic rock, and some metal (not super heavy). Bands such as RHCP, Sublime, various classic rock bands, and metal up to Metallica/Avenged Sevenfold heaviness (I can use a pedal if needed). Getting RHCP type cleans while playing with a drummer is very important. Any thoughts/opinions on these amps would be greatly appreciated!
#2
Look at the Mesa DC-3/5 combos (based on the mark series)
The DSL401 is also a nice amp

what is your actual budget? I am guessing $500-$600 range used
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#3
I would prefer to get something for about the price of a TSL602 when I sell it, but I can spend more if I find something that is a perfect fit. Thanks for the suggestion.
#5
Quote by Robbgnarly
Look at the Mesa DC-3/5 combos (based on the mark series)
The DSL401 is also a nice amp

what is your actual budget? I am guessing $500-$600 range used


x2.


The 40C is not that great. I haven't heard one with good tubes but stock the 401 kills it.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#6
Quote by KingJustinian25
I just found out about the DSL40C and am considering that too.

Deff try it first, I own a JCM DSL100 and the new DSL line pales in comparison
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#7
I played an Express a decent amount and was pretty disappointed. The F series it replaced (IMO) had better cleans and much better distortion. I had an F-100 head which I miss dearly, and I played an F-50 combo which sounded awesome as well.

I was and am a huge metallica fan and that was all I wanted the amp to do at the time and it did a good job with a black album type tone.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#8
I had the older series DSL combo, DSL401 if I recall correctly. It had good cleans, good mellow distortion, nice heavy metal distortion but anything heavier than that was pretty much porridge without a boost. For the price it is a good amplifier, but I wouldn't recommend getting one for the tones that you'd like to nail.

Try getting a Laney VC50, it's an absolutely killer amplifier with tremendously good cleans. Why I know this? I use the head version, VH100R. Watts don't always mean loud volume. My head sounds great with low volume (around 2-3) but even better when louder. Most important thing is, the cleans stay clean a long time.

However, if you can't get hands on one of those, you should go and try the Laney's new Ironheart series. They sound absolutely gorgeous for the price, I've tried one myself. Only thing that made me go for VH100R instead of the IRT120H was that I liked little bit less modern distortion sound and I preferred the cleans on the VH. That was enough to pay almost double the price
However, I'd like to have the boost options and push-pull EQ knobs on my VH for exceptional variety of tones.

The Ironheart series also have the watt reduction option by a simple twist of potentiometer or on the smaller ones a different input.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

Last edited by Sakke at May 27, 2013,
#9
I think a 30 watt Ironheart has been released, I can only find it on Thommann at the moment, but that would be a pretty good size if that's the model you're after. I can second the old DSL 410s. They sound great clean and can really nail the 'almost clean' Chili Peppers tones. You may need a boost or EQ for Avenged sort of stuff. You can get them for about £300 on eBay and they always seem to be being sold
Misha Mansoor:
Uplifting quote disguising failure as something to be proud of.
#10
They do make the 15 watt Iron Heart
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#11
I really like the Express 5:25. I play an S470 through it, too!

The 5:25 isn't as brutal as the Dual Rectifier & other popular Mesa amplifiers, but it will provide a useful range of clean, crunch & classic rock tones, especially if you spend some time tweaking the eq.

I really like the clean tones on this amp. The crunch setting on the clean channel has a good range and is less compressed, brighter and more responsive to picking than the dirty channel.

There's some decent head room on the clean channel on the 25-watt setting, too. It gets too loud for my uses before I get power tube distortion that way. The 5-watt setting breaks up at much lower volume levels (but still too loud, of course, for apartment or bedroom playing).