Poll: Which amp ?
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View poll results: Which amp ?
Marshall dsl401 1X12
12 30%
Mesa Boogie Express 5:15 1X12
28 70%
Voters: 40.
#1
Ok so its finally time to buy a new amp and I'm down to 2. I play metal, and rock mostly. Hendrix to metallica to Black sabbath. So clasic rock and metal are basically the area the amp is for sonically. I practice at home alot so the 5 watt capabilities of the mesa is really attractive but I love the marshall tone. Anyways it'll be used mostly for practice , jams and recording and EVENTUALLY some gigging. Anyways marshall boasts you can get the overdriven tube sound at lower volumes through playing the the channel volume etc, does this work and which can be high gain better? Think hendrix, motorhead and metallica distortion I guess. Both are all tube and both will use 12 inch speakers. Lets hear your opinions and I do need the amp to be playable for some bedroom practice.

BTW is 25 tube watts enough for gigging without a PA?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Marshall-DSL401-Combo-Amp?sku=483125&src=3SOSWXXA

http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/Express/Express.htm
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#2
i have to say yesterday i played a lone star (along with a beutifull gretsch white penguin) at a music store sounded pretty decent at the low volume i was at, id imagine itd be good cranked
#4
Quote by Highwaytohell
You do know those 2 amps are in 2 completely different priceranges right?


At new prices, they're about the same. The 5:25 is $1299.
Peavey 5150
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-Whitebox OS 1x12
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#5
Quote by Reincaster
At new prices, they're about the same. The 5:25 is $1299.


you're thinking of the JCM2000
not the dsl401
the dsl401 is the combo. It's also discontinued I believe.. and at the time it was NOT discontinued, it was between 700-900...
#6
Quote by Highwaytohell
you're thinking of the JCM2000
not the dsl401
the dsl401 is the combo. It's also discontinued I believe.. and at the time it was NOT discontinued, it was between 700-900...


Okay, here's how it went down. In January, it was $1119 or the DSL401. O course, before they stop stocking it, they drop the price to $899. It spent more than 5 years at the $1119 price point. I haven't been in the amp scene for a few months, but that's what I'm going on, so it's partly my fault for that..

Any place online, other than ebay, that sells it brand new sells it at that same price point.

http://www.interstatemusic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10051&langId=-1&productId=134444

http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Marshall_DSL401_JCM2000_Series_40_Watt_Amplifier_with_1x12_Cabinet_with_Free_DSL401KIT.html

By the way, what does it say on the DSL401?.... JCM2000. That's the series of amps, not a specific amp model.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#8
I'll put my two cents in: The DSL401 does NOT do classic rock well.

If the type of metal you play is usually towards Black Sabbath, rather then Metallica (Or at least, you play early Metallica), I'd aim for a Traynor YCV50. Grab an OD, and it'll do a decent metal tone. Nothing too modern or br00tal, but it'll get early Metallica down with an OD. Definitely can do Sabbath without it, though.
#9
Quote by Highwaytohell
You do know those 2 amps are in 2 completely different priceranges right?



In canada its 1150ish for a marshall dsl401 and 1250ish for a Mesa Express 5:25
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#11
Boogie f30, or a used lonestar special.
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#12
Quote by Highwaytohell
In that case, screw both of those amps get a Rectoverb or an F-50

This.

The DSL's not really a classic rock amp and has a lousy speaker, the Express was muddy and horribly boring when I played it.
#13
I've had both (currently have the Mesa), and the Mesa > the Marshall by far.

In the UK, the DSL401 is £475 new, and the Mesa is £1095 new.
Quote by Highwaytohell
you're thinking of the JCM2000
not the dsl401
the dsl401 is the combo. It's also discontinued I believe.. and at the time it was NOT discontinued, it was between 700-900...

The JCM2000 series includes the DSL401, and it isn't discontinued yet.

Last edited by blue_strat at Jul 9, 2008,
#14
heard that the express has less gain than the discontinued f series...
but if the most (heavy) you go is around old metallica, the f-30 can do, like jimbob78 said. add a pedal and it'll be just sweet. but that's the most the f-30 can do, any more br00talz you'll need something else.
"Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." -Mark Twain
#15
Quote by necrophilic
heard that the express has less gain than the discontinued f series...
but if the most (heavy) you go is around old metallica, the f-30 can do, like jimbob78 said. add a pedal and it'll be just sweet. but that's the most the f-30 can do, any more br00talz you'll need something else.

I disagree... I can get a pretty nice Metalcore/ Melodeath sound out of mine without any trouble. Might not be so great for Deathcore and the like, but otherwise it's got plenty of gain for me.
#16
Quote by hrdcorelaxplaya
I disagree... I can get a pretty nice Metalcore/ Melodeath sound out of mine without any trouble. Might not be so great for Deathcore and the like, but otherwise it's got plenty of gain for me.

what pickups do you use?
"Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." -Mark Twain
#17
Quote by necrophilic
what pickups do you use?

My LP's got the stock 490R and 498T, the SL3 has a Duncan JB in the bridge and Hot Rails in the middle and neck. None of them are all that high- output...
#18
Quote by hrdcorelaxplaya
My LP's got the stock 490R and 498T, the SL3 has a Duncan JB in the bridge and Hot Rails in the middle and neck. None of them are all that high- output...

see what i have and tell me why i don't think it's br00talz enough.
why do people need the dual and triple rec?
"Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." -Mark Twain
#19
Quote by necrophilic
see what i have and tell me why i don't think it's br00talz enough.
why do people need the dual and triple rec?

They can do quite a bit more br00talz than the F30, and they're way more tweakable. Do you leave the contour on normally?
#20
yeah. i still end up craving for more. the gain is no good past noon in my opinion.
"Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." -Mark Twain
#21
Is a used Marshall JTM30 Combo 1995 better than the DSL401? Anyone have any experience with it?
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#23
I listened to the sound clips last night on their site and the distortion sounds really... awkward? I havent heard or seen these ever used well with gain. Check the sound clips on the site for it and you'll see the distortion buzzes in a way. Maybe its just me
1st Schecter 8er? in UG's 7 String Legion
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#25
Quote by forsaknazrael
You can't really judge an amp solely by soundclips or videos on Youtube. Go out and try one, dude. You live in Canada. There's going to be tons of them around.

The clips I've seen on youtube are poor indicators of how it sounds.



Good point I will next time im out. Can the traynor do any high gain?
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#26
I'd say, on its own, the Traynor can do up to Black Sabbath easily. Would need an OD to do any of the higher gain stuff you may want to play. Early Metallica would be doable with an OD.

Here's a link to sum_ugly_man's profile. He's got decent clips of his YCV50.
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/sum_ugly_man/
I think think he gets in distortion territory about 5 minutes in.
#27
The Traynor YCV50 Blue is a great amp -- I came really close to buying that one when I was amp shopping last year.

I bought an Express 5:25 instead. It will get you Sabbath tones on its own, but will struggle to do Metallica without a pedal. If you are into thrash metal tones, you probably would be better off with an F-series amp. If you like chimy el-84 cleans, classic crunch, semi-cleans & old-school metal (Sabbath, old Judas Priest, Iron Maiden), the Express will be fine. Many F-series fans were disappointed when the Express came out because they were hoping it would be a mini-recto or Mark IV -- it is a great amp, but a recto it ain't =^)

I suspect the switch from a 10" to a 12" speaker in the combo will help with the bass, palm muting, etc.

I don't use the 5-watt setting in the way I thought I would when I bought the amp. I use the Class A 5-watt setting for overdriven solos, cleans & almost-cleans and some crunch, but the tone (expecially bass) isn't tight enough for a good 80s metal tone, for eg -- you'll probably be using the 25-watt setting for that.
#28
Quote by Steve BP
The Traynor YCV50 Blue is a great amp -- I came really close to buying that one when I was amp shopping last year.

I bought an Express 5:25 instead. It will get you Sabbath tones on its own, but will struggle to do Metallica without a pedal. If you are into thrash metal tones, you probably would be better off with an F-series amp. If you like chimy el-84 cleans, classic crunch, semi-cleans & old-school metal (Sabbath, old Judas Priest, Iron Maiden), the Express will be fine. Many F-series fans were disappointed when the Express came out because they were hoping it would be a mini-recto or Mark IV -- it is a great amp, but a recto it ain't =^)

I suspect the switch from a 10" to a 12" speaker in the combo will help with the bass, palm muting, etc.

I don't use the 5-watt setting in the way I thought I would when I bought the amp. I use the Class A 5-watt setting for overdriven solos, cleans & almost-cleans and some crunch, but the tone (expecially bass) isn't tight enough for a good 80s metal tone, for eg -- you'll probably be using the 25-watt setting for that.


Thanks really helpful review from a fellow canadian I'm looking at used mesas right now and i see some interest in the Vox CLASSIC PLUS AC50CP2 50W but 2 speakers at 50 watss is alot. Since you have an express would you say the 5 watt setting or even the 25 watt setting is good for bedroom practice and out of curiosity wats the highest you can put the volume for bedroom practice?

Also I love the F series but in canada its hard to find one. And I stil lhavent forgotten about the Trayner but i still have gain issues with it.
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#32
EMG's - Ibanez Tubescreamer and a DSL401 on OD2 channel will give you brutal tone and more gain than you'll ever have use for ! It's tried and tested for me ! Swap the speaker though for a Celestion Vintage 30 and re-valve your power and pre-amp valves. I went for JJ pre-amp valves and EHX power amp valves, the speaker change makes a massive difference.

In the UK its a no-brainer cause the Mesa is ridiculously priced, and majority of the folk who slate the 5:25 probably want a Recto tone, but it aint one !!!
#33
Since you have an express would you say the 5 watt setting or even the 25 watt setting is good for bedroom practice and out of curiosity wats the highest you can put the volume for bedroom practice?


Both the 5 watt and 25 watt settings would be okay for bedroom practice if you keep the volume turned down very low, just above the point where the amp is silent. You can turn up the amp a teensy bit more on the 5 watt setting than the 25 watt setting, but there isn't that much difference in volume -- most of the difference is in tone. The 25 watt setting is drier & tighter, and the 5 watt setting is looser and harmonically richer.

Gain at noon and volume at 830 - 900 gets pretty loud for bedroom practice -- you could go a bit louder if you have tolerant room mates & family. This is loud enough for a rich tone, but of course it sounds better once the volume gets to 10-11 o'clock. I used the amp in my noise-sensitive apartment before I moved into a house last spring and did not receive any noise complaints.

When I crank the amp to 12 - 2 o'clock volume, it gets painfully loud. There's enough volume in the Express for small gigs w/o PA and jamming with most drummers. It doesn't have a lot of clean headroom, though, especially on the 5w setting.

If you would like to read about the experience of other Express users, check out the Grailtone Boogie Board, where there are several people who have used them with different tubes, effects & guitars.

In sum, the Express amps aren't for everybody, but if your ears like what they hear, you aren't alone. If all you play is metal, you could do better, but if you have broader tastes, the Express amps are incredibly versatile, portable and rich in tone. If you feel the need, the cleans are particularly sweet, and take pedals very well.

Happy amp shopping!
#34
Quote by Steve BP
Both the 5 watt and 25 watt settings would be okay for bedroom practice if you keep the volume turned down very low, just above the point where the amp is silent. You can turn up the amp a teensy bit more on the 5 watt setting than the 25 watt setting, but there isn't that much difference in volume -- most of the difference is in tone. The 25 watt setting is drier & tighter, and the 5 watt setting is looser and harmonically richer.

Gain at noon and volume at 830 - 900 gets pretty loud for bedroom practice -- you could go a bit louder if you have tolerant room mates & family. This is loud enough for a rich tone, but of course it sounds better once the volume gets to 10-11 o'clock. I used the amp in my noise-sensitive apartment before I moved into a house last spring and did not receive any noise complaints.

When I crank the amp to 12 - 2 o'clock volume, it gets painfully loud. There's enough volume in the Express for small gigs w/o PA and jamming with most drummers. It doesn't have a lot of clean headroom, though, especially on the 5w setting.

If you would like to read about the experience of other Express users, check out the Grailtone Boogie Board, where there are several people who have used them with different tubes, effects & guitars.

In sum, the Express amps aren't for everybody, but if your ears like what they hear, you aren't alone. If all you play is metal, you could do better, but if you have broader tastes, the Express amps are incredibly versatile, portable and rich in tone. If you feel the need, the cleans are particularly sweet, and take pedals very well.

Happy amp shopping!


Thank you very much you've been very helpful and I will check these forums. I recently got on offer for a Rectoverb in Good condition. This might work. Thanks again.
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#36
Thank you very much all who gave assistance in my decision. I picked an Express 5:25 up today and am completely taken with the mesa boogie tone. And IMO it an do metal wit hthe right pickups. My PAF hell no, My Super distortion hell yes, Not the greatest metal tone ever but good raw and decent. forsaknazrael gets a special thanks for his research on the YCV50 but for crunch the Mesa has it beat by a long shot. (in the price too unfortunately :P)
1st Schecter 8er? in UG's 7 String Legion
Conklin GT-7
Hartke Hydrive 210C
Digitech Screamin' Blues
Bugera 1990 Head
Dunlop wah
Saxon snakeskin 1x12 cab
I Nouni