#1
So I'm considering upgrading from a Marshall MG15CDR to either a DSL40C or DSL5C.

I play at home (blues, rock, no metal) and would like to not piss off my neighbors. The 15W solid state can actually be way too loud, the distorted channel is unusable and even on clean I need to attenuate big time with level outputs on my pedals to let the amp breath at a decent master volume (~3, or above).

I'm going to try a DSL40C in half power mode but I'm already skeptical that it may be overkill. How would the 5W tube amp compare to an MG 15W solid state, volume wise?

Also, I see either very negative or very positive feedback everywhere on the MG amps. What's the real story? Is a DSL really that big an improvement at practice levels?
#3
it depends on exactly how quietly you have to play, and also personal preference.

5 watts tube will be too loud. you'll have to turn it down.

but you already have to turn down your mg.

if you like how it sounds turned down, there's no problem.

using a boost up front can help get more saturation out of a tube amp at low volume levels.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#5
I use both of my amps for home use only. They both have master volumes and I am able to get a very good (to my ears) sound out of both amps.
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#6
SS essentially sound the same at any volume, though they'll sound different turned up because the speakers themselves sound different when driven and pushing more air.

That being said, the DSL is a huge improvement in tone and quality overall.

If you think your 15 watt SS is too loud for bedroom use, you may want to check out something like the Randall RG1 which is just a pedal with a 1 watt SS amp built in.
#7
Have you considered buying a modeler or VST plugin? You can get some very saturated sounds at very low volumes. I've used the Joyo Amp/Cab modelers, Bias FX and now use Helix. They all have done the job to varying degrees, but its a great solution. I can play at 1am and get some killer tone, while not bothering the neighbors. Plus using smaller monitors instead of 10" or 12" cab speakers is naturally going to push less air so your sound wont carry as much.

There's a lot of different options at all kinda of price ranges.
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '95 Fender MIM Strat
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#8
I actually have a Tonelab SE which is pretty close in concept to the Line 6 Helix (floorstanding multiFX). I'm hoping it will play nice with what ever amp I do upgrade to.
#9
To put the wattage in a little bit of perspective, the <1W setting on my Laney IRT-Studio through a pair of V30s will make your ears ring after a bit. That's plenty loud to piss off most neighbors.

For blues and rock at home you may like the Peavey Classic 20MH. I'm not up on all of the features compared to the Laney but it's in the same ballpark. It has a 1W setting as well so that will let you push into some power amp distortion at reasonable levels.

Do you want just an amp or do you want all of the IO / Recording / Speaker Emulation / Headphone types of options?

For silent practice the IRT-Studio combined with Peavey ReValver gives very nice results.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
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Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#10
an MG is stew meat, a DSL is a new york strip. yeah its a big difference.

a DSL 40 will sound fine at low volumes.
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#11
Quote by metalmingee
Do you want just an amp or do you want all of the IO / Recording / Speaker Emulation / Headphone types of options?


I wouldn't be doing any recording and emulation isn't a big deal for me. Extra IOs and headphone out are very nice to have but not necessarily deal breakers.
#12
So, I did get to try out a DSL40C. Some observations:

  • That thing is huge. I mean I'd looked up the measurements but it until you see it in the flesh it's hard to appreciate what a beast it is.
  • It sounds good. Very good. Even to my untrained ears.
  • The clean channel has surprisingly usable volume range. I could stick gain and volume at 12 o'clock and still get a nice 'practice' volume to mess around with.
  • With clean crunch, every position shift and touch of the strings starts to get noisy, even with moderate gain.
  • In overdrive, it felt unusable (too loud to play in a shop even on the lowest of settings). There was a crazy amount of hum too but that could have been due to an old floor model (it was pretty beat up) or maybe even bad shielding in the guitar.
  • The half-power switch seems to make very little difference (to my ears, at least) . Does it literally half the power to the amp or just change the limit?


So I'm still on the fence...
#13
Not saying that the particular unit you tried doesn't have something wrong with it, but you will notice a significant amount of hum/feedback/etc with a tube amp vs SS. One of the Pros of a SS amp. Most people stick a noise gate in the loop if it bothers them too much.
#14
Quote by _CitizenErased_
So, I did get to try out a DSL40C. Some observations:

  • That thing is huge. I mean I'd looked up the measurements but it until you see it in the flesh it's hard to appreciate what a beast it is.
  • It sounds good. Very good. Even to my untrained ears.
  • The clean channel has surprisingly usable volume range. I could stick gain and volume at 12 o'clock and still get a nice 'practice' volume to mess around with.
  • With clean crunch, every position shift and touch of the strings starts to get noisy, even with moderate gain.
  • In overdrive, it felt unusable (too loud to play in a shop even on the lowest of settings). There was a crazy amount of hum too but that could have been due to an old floor model (it was pretty beat up) or maybe even bad shielding in the guitar.
  • The half-power switch seems to make very little difference (to my ears, at least) . Does it literally half the power to the amp or just change the limit?


So I'm still on the fence...


Half a wattage does not equal half the volume. It has more effect on clean headroom when you crank the thing. And why its too loud? Turn the volume down to whisper levels, the knob is there for a reason. The overdrive channel gets most of its tone from the preamp gain knob, you don't need to push the power amp volume hard with amps like this.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#15
^ yeah half power will do very little. it'll be slightly quieter. and the tone might change a little.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Quote by _CitizenErased_
So I'm considering upgrading from a Marshall MG15CDR to either a DSL40C or DSL5C.

I play at home (blues, rock, no metal) and would like to not piss off my neighbors. The 15W solid state can actually be way too loud, the distorted channel is unusable and even on clean I need to attenuate big time with level outputs on my pedals to let the amp breath at a decent master volume (~3, or above).

I'm going to try a DSL40C in half power mode but I'm already skeptical that it may be overkill. How would the 5W tube amp compare to an MG 15W solid state, volume wise?

Also, I see either very negative or very positive feedback everywhere on the MG amps. What's the real story? Is a DSL really that big an improvement at practice levels?


I use the DSL40C for home practise. The half power is more of a different voice to the amp than a low volume setting. Do not go smaller than 40w or you will sacrifice the low end. The amp you tried must be defective. By nature any high gain setting would introduce some noise but it is nothing crazy, really low noise that occurs with any high gain setup. The high gain channel is also usable at low volumes.

The biggest drawback of this amp is the speaker. It is not a great sounding speaker. By replacing it you will reveal the full potential of the amp.
#17
Okay, firstly, thanks every one for the advice and feedback. I've found my new amp and I'm extremely happy.

I went to different store to give the DSL40 another try. Sitting right next to it was was Bugera V22. I switched on the Marshall and as I was waiting for it to warm up, I started testing the Bugera. I pretty much fell in love with the sound. Clean channel sounds great, lots of space to shape the sound on the lead channel. The reverb (DSP based spring reverb model) actually sounds great. 22W is a little more practical for my intended use too. It's also a little smaller, still has the 12" speaker (low end is much improved over my 8" MG), but easier to move around.

While I was testing it, the DSL40 starts malfunctioning (loud sporadic spitting noises). A sales rep ended up taking it off the floor, not a good omen. Made the decision easier at least.

The V22 really does make my old amp sound like crap, in fact I'm now convinced the distorted channel is broken. Might open it up as a repair project, but I really wish I'd make the upgrade sooner.
#18
Quote by _CitizenErased_
Okay, firstly, thanks every one for the advice and feedback. I've found my new amp and I'm extremely happy.

I went to different store to give the DSL40 another try. Sitting right next to it was was Bugera V22. I switched on the Marshall and as I was waiting for it to warm up, I started testing the Bugera. I pretty much fell in love with the sound. Clean channel sounds great, lots of space to shape the sound on the lead channel. The reverb (DSP based spring reverb model) actually sounds great. 22W is a little more practical for my intended use too. It's also a little smaller, still has the 12" speaker (low end is much improved over my 8" MG), but easier to move around.

While I was testing it, the DSL40 starts malfunctioning (loud sporadic spitting noises). A sales rep ended up taking it off the floor, not a good omen. Made the decision easier at least.

The V22 really does make my old amp sound like crap, in fact I'm now convinced the distorted channel is broken. Might open it up as a repair project, but I really wish I'd make the upgrade sooner.


Congrats, hopefully it will serve you well.

Ironically, we usually advise against buying Bugera because they are the ones that tend to break down often (many years ago their first models even caught fire, but that issue is fixed now). But apparently you have a very bad luck when it comes to Marshalls so switching brands may be a good idea indeed.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#19
I'm glad you found something you like the sound of. That's really the most important thing. Bugera's actually sound really good while they're working. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe ALL of their amps are essentially copies of another, and the. They add their "flare" to it. And they do a really good job of making their amp sound like the original.

If it still has the original tubes, I would swap them. You'll notice an increase in tone as the ones that comes in Bugeras are some of the worst.
#20
Quote by Xander_X
I'm glad you found something you like the sound of. That's really the most important thing. Bugera's actually sound really good while they're working. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe ALL of their amps are essentially copies of another, and the. They add their "flare" to it. And they do a really good job of making their amp sound like the original.

If it still has the original tubes, I would swap them. You'll notice an increase in tone as the ones that comes in Bugeras are some of the worst.


Their high gain amps definetly are. But V serie, nobody really knows. V22 may very well be their original design except for the looks which is definetly a Bad Cat inspired.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3