#1
Hey guys... so, I posted a thread on here a few weeks ago, looking for a small low-wattage tube amp for playing in my apartment with, and was flooded with suggestions to get a Jet City... and after watching tons of videos about them and loving the tone, I was unable to try one out anywhere so I put the suggestion aside and tried some other things out... annoyed the guys at the music store for a full day, tried out a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister, Blackstar HT5, Orange Micro Terror, Vox Night Train... even tried out the Marshall MG that the very friendly, helpful guy there asked me to try out. And after all that...



After playing it, I realised that there was just no comparison between the MG and the rest of the amps that I tried out, so I called over the salesman and immediately handed over my credit card...



...and purchased the Marshall DSL5C I did actually try the MG, but only because some guy brought it in saying it was broken and I had a guitar in my hand so the salesman asked me to test it for him.





Most of the amps were quite nice for what they were, I didn't really dislike any of them... the Night Train just wasn't quite right for my type of music, the Micro Terror was nice but was kinda flat and lacklustre, the HT5 was solid enough but nothing spectacular that screamed 'BUY ME NOW', and the Tubemeister 5 was actually quite good, I enjoyed it a lot, but it lacked the versatility of the DSL5C, no FX loop was a big dealbreaker and that was what really settled it in the end.

Now I've had the DSL5C set up and had a play through it, here's my thoughts on it:

Classic Gain - I plugged my Schecter Synyster Custom into the amp first, with the humbuckers the clean sound is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from plugging in a humbucker-equipped guitar into a DSL - no sparkling cleans, just a slightly crunchy clean tone that breaks up quite nicely, especially on the 0.5W mode. You absolutely could not gig with it if you needed a clean tone unless you miced it up. Takes pedals quite nicely though, got some nice crunch with a TS9 and it sounded cool with the Big Muff plugged in.
I set the Schecter aside and plugged my Fender Stratocaster into it... that was something else. If you are a RHCP fan who needs a little practice amp, go out and buy this now. Buy two of them, in case one gets stolen. You can get some great bluesy/light rock tones out of it, but once I got into playing some RHCP, I was there for hours. I could play the riff from Scar Tissue, Under The Bridge or Snow repeatedly just because of how good it sounds.

Ultra Gain - The Schecter sounded great into the gain channel... the EQ is quite responsive and the deep switch really helps for playing quietly. You can get 80's rock tones quite nicely, some great tones for GnR/Steel Panther type stuff, and anything up to Metallica-ish tones for metal, also handled Green Day/Blink 182/Foo Fighters quite well. Hit the tone shift switch which cuts out a lot of the mids and you get a sound better suited for modern metal, especially with a tubescreamer in front of it. If you want an amp just for metal, you may be better off with a HT-5 Metal or a used 6505 or something, but if you want a rock amp that can do metal if you need it to, it can certainly handle it.
Back to the Strat, the gain channel felt extremely responsive. Some nice, creamy overdriven sounds, turn the gain up a little bit and switch to the bridge pickup and you get some great crunchy rock tones, nice for punk rock etc. Run the Big Muff into the gain channel got some really nice fuzzy distortion, stuff like Fortune Faded/Dani California by RHCP, handled Nirvana quite well too. At the volumes I was playing at (managed to get it up to 5-6ish), it never got to the point where it just became a muddy mess, I was thoroughly surprised.

The audio input/headphone out were both pleasantly surprising too. I plugged my AKG headphones into the amp and while it obviously didn't sound as good as it did through the 10" speaker, it was quite good to practice with, easily better than the JCM/JMP models on Guitar Rig. The audio input is a nice feature too, I plugged my tablet in with some backing tracks and jammed along for a while and it's quite effective. If you wanted to gig, you'd certainly need at least the DSL15 (or the 40 if you need the FX loop), but for a home practice amp... I am certainly glad I got the DSL5.

I try to be objective with my reviews and point out any little flaws I can find, but honestly, the only one I could find was the lack of reverb which leaves the sound a little dry at times. If you were to buy one, you could invest in a little Mooer Shimverb or something, or spend a little more and get a TC Hall of Fame (which I did, and it should be here tomorrow or the day after hopefully). A presence knob would've been nice, but it's a 5w practice amp, that's unrealistic and nothing an EQ pedal can't fix. All in all, if you need a quiet practice amp for rock music, I strongly suggest you give it a demo. I may post clips in the next few days, depending how busy uni is, if anybody is interested. Finally, a family photo:

#2
Cool. Does this have an fx loop?

I honestly thought youd bought the MG at first you tease.

Have you found a use for the toneshift button?
#3
Yeah it does, that's the main reason I got this over the DSL15C... the 15w doesn't have an FX Loop, but the 5w does.

The tone shift button is actually quite handy, you don't notice much difference on the clean channel, but it does give you some heavier tones on the gain channel... I'm not a big fan of mid scooping, but some songs just require it and it's good for that... I clicked it on to play Cowboys From Hell by Pantera and Tears Don't Fall by BFMV, stuff like that.
#4
HNAD cool little amp


I highly recommend you get a 10" Celestion V30 or the 10" Greenback. It will open the amp up much more than the stock speaker
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#5
nice
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#6
You could almost fit the thing on your pedal board
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#7
Happy NAD brother!

But what does the tone shift button even do?
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#8
Quote by Spambot_2
Happy NAD brother!

But what does the tone shift button even do?


Scoops mids.

HNAD.

I'm always screwing with my rig. Muh chilluns:
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#9
Interesting. I played the 15c and hated it compared to my DSL401 that I had brought in. Played them side by side. They didn't have a 5 to compare with.

Cool though, I'll have to check one out.

HNAD!
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.
#10
why the hell would the 5w have an fx loop but not the 15 it seems as that might be the only way they could sell the 5.
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#11
Quote by bluestratplayer
why the hell would the 5w have an fx loop but not the 15 it seems as that might be the only way they could sell the 5.


It does seem odd. Might have to do with the fact the 15w has on board reverb whereas the 5w doesnt, meaning its not quite as necessary.

Youre buggered if you want to use delay though!
#12
??????????? that rediculous. loops should be standard across the line. if anything you would imagine they would put it in thier more gig-friendly amp not the practice one.

nice! i actually like the DSLs. solid amps and fairly affordable.
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#13
Quote by N_J_B_B
You could almost fit the thing on your pedal board


Just about... except there's no room on there now with the reverb pedal and a TC Flashback X4 on the way

Quote by Spambot_2
Happy NAD brother!

But what does the tone shift button even do?


Cuts the mids a fair bit.

Quote by bluestratplayer
why the hell would the 5w have an fx loop but not the 15 it seems as that might be the only way they could sell the 5.


IIRC the 15w was released before the 5w and one of the big complaints about the 15w was that it didn't have an FX loop, so they included one on the newer 5w. Don't quote me on that, though.
#14
I've played the 15 combo and was suitably impressed, I imagine this is just as good. HNAD.
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#17
Cool amp. HNAD!
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#18
I'm thinking about buying a 5C for myself. How is the volume on the clean channel? Can it get some loudness to the cleans before it starts to crunch up?
#19
Quote by Buzz_bee
I'm thinking about buying a 5C for myself. How is the volume on the clean channel? Can it get some loudness to the cleans before it starts to crunch up?

By yourself it should be fine, playing with other people no way.
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
#20
It kinda depends imo.
If you want to shake walls with cleans it's not the right thing.
If you want to overcome someone speaking loudly it will be allright.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#21
I have a Laney Cub10 with a 10" speaker in it. If you get the chance, try it with a 1x12 closed-back cab, it improved the sound of mine immensely!
My Gear:- A guitar, a guitar lead, a guitar amplifier. Or sometimes just an acoustic guitar!