Apologies for posting this in Gear & Customising by accident :P

I'm considering getting a Marshall dsl 401 combo, because it's the cheapest all valve Marshall I can find, but I've just got some questions:

First of all: is it any good? (I use a Epi Les Paul with Duncan Distortion in the neck, for Guns N' Roses, Green Day (So what?), Muse and other hard rock)

Am I right in saying that the gain knob is pretty useless unless your cranking the volume? I usually play at very low volumes to avoid annoying housemates. If so, would a tubescreamer or similar allow me to get distortion at more modest volumes? I don't need super-duper high gain just hard rock type stuff as I said above?

How long will the valves last, and can I put different valves in it to make it better when the stock ones wear out?
- Dan

Epi. Les Paul /w Duncan Pups
Marshall 30MGDFX
Digitech Hot Head Distortion
Whammy Pedal :P
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
Tubes can last for a few years if treated right (ie, turn standby off first, then wait, then turn of mains supply), but for the best performance replace 'em every 2 years.

It's a good amp, and is quite popular. You can tame it with the master volume, and it won't kill your neighbours if you're careful. The gain does make a difference. Although valve amps are said to sound best at full power, you can still get distortion with the 2nd channel and gain controls. A tubescreamer won't be bad either.
Well, the DSL401 is a good amp. And the gain knob is not useless unless you crank the volume. Low volume + High gain = lower volume high gain tones. It won't sound as good as a cranked amp, but it'll sound good. And the life of valves depends on how much you use the amp and how hard you push it. 1 - 2 years, usually. And yes, you can put in different brands of tubes to tweak the tone.

Feel free to call me Kyle.

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