DMC-80 review by Dean Markley

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (2 votes)
Dean Markley: DMC-80

Purchased from: Murphy Music

Features — 9
Review on Dean Markley DMC-80 Solid State Stereo/Chorus Amp. This amp is no longer in production, last run was 1996. Made in Korea, 100 watt output (50 watts/Channel X2 @ 4 Ohms) through 2x10 Celestion (Rock Series) speakers, its a true stereo/chorus amplifier. It has a great (Tank) spring reverb, Stereo Effects Loop and Drive Voicing Module with a possible 256 different tone variations. This is NOT a practice amp, it can be very loud! It's 16 1/2 X 23 3/8 X 10 3/4 and weights 52 Lbs. 

I do not want to start up something with tube guys out there... I traded in a tube amp that was giving me problems on this SS DMC-80 in 1995 and have owned it ever since. This amp has been pulled off stages, dropped/pulled/kicked in the road case, frozen in aircraft hauls... And has never... I mean never failed me. Last time it was to the tech it received a clear bill of health, and that was 10 years ago. IMO... This amp sounds really close to a tube... And many people who have heard it ask me if its a Mesa. The DMC-80 amp came out around the same time Fender came out with their Hot Rod Series, and I feel this amp was seriously under rated in early reviews. It's one of the Best Amps that I've ever owned.

Sound — 8
This amp about covers it, and can be used in many styles of music. I use mine for rock/blues/and a lil country. This amp can stand on its own, without a lot of digital/analog stuff thrown in. The amp is very quite, no buzz/60 cycle humm... Nothing. I only use a Ibanez Tube Screamer to get a little more out on the blues side, and leave it on the factory pre-set on the Drive Voicing Module. But this amp can/will produce many more tones out of it. It all depends on the style that you play and what you want to get out of the amp. It's not a tube... but pretty darn close.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Strong. Built like a tank. With all its been through its Never let me down! Had a back up amp... Never used it! YES... This amp will withstand live playing... and then some! Lasted me since I bought mine new in 1995! I have a back up amp that I have never used. And I do expect this amp to outlive me! Only complaint is - the amp has 2 plugs for footswitch, one for channel select, one for chorus on/off. But it does not come with a footswitch! Seems a little strange to me! Only had the pots cleaned several years ago. Otherwise its still good to go!

Overall Impression — 9
My 3 main guitars are: Fender American Strat, Gibson 137, Charvel (86) model #3. This amp brings out the Best in these guitars. Information is very scarce on the DMC-80, and reviews are few. These amps were distributed by Kaman. From 1996-2010 Dean Markley did not produce any amps. But in 2011 DM bought out Ultrasound and their are some models available today under the DM name. For more reviews -

I wold rate this amp a 10 (does it for me). But I will give it a 9 since it is not a tube! I traded in a original 68 Vibrolux Reverb on this amp. Not only because if fit in the flight case. Because just how damn good the amp sounds. And I bought two! This is an "amazing amp."

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