DSL100H review by Marshall

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (10 votes)
Marshall: DSL100H

Price paid: € 700

Purchased from: local music store

Sound — 9
I use several different VGS custom shop guitars (LP's and V's with different woods and pickups. The Clean sound is very warm and open, turn up the gain and it starts to break up. The crunch is brilliant, actually I turn the crunch gain down and use it as my clean sound, but that's a matter of taste. NOW, the ULTRA channel: It has Lead 1 & 2, lead 2 is meant to give a modern Hi-Gain sound, but it sounds too spongy to me (the "spongyness" many people dislike about Marshalls, appears at higher gain settings, because it amplifies too much of the low-bass frequencies). Lead 1 sounds like a JCM800 so I don't need to explain it further. I set the Gain at around 7-8, enough gain and a tight sound, Bass 7, Mids 5, treble 6, presence 7, resonance 7-8. I also put an MXR GT-OD in front of it. It adds Gain, compression, sustain and attack, without obvious negative effects. I need an amp that's tight, focused and in conjunction with a good OD the DSL is exactly that. It cuts through the mix like a chainsaw through Butter, it stands on stage and shout's: Here I am! With the right tweaking, there's no sound that can't be achieved. It isn't noisy, even at full volume in my living room (without OD Pedal). It starts to sound good at 1 and gets better and better the higher you go. + The distortion cleans up nicely. Lead 1 gives a perfect JCM800 ROAR. Overall nice and warm Marshall sound. Takes pedals well. Very versatile. - Lead 2 sounds too spongy. The classic channel could be more dynamic.

Overall Impression — 8
I play thrash since six years now and my previous amp was a JCM2000 DSL100, however it was stolen after a gig last year what p-ssed me off. I tried many (amps, Blackstars, Mesas, Engls, Orange, etc), but they just didn't feel right. Then my good friend, a local Music store owner called and asked if I want to try the new DSL100. I grabbed my Screech V and my OD pedal and went to Heaven. It sounds almost exactly like my old JCM2000 did, so I knew what I was buying. If it were stolen, I would run amok, hunt those guys down and get it back! If it were lost, I would simply buy another one. I love the sound, the feeling, but the tone-shift is more like a tone-suck, a low mid boost instead would have been great. Also a choke would add some value.

YouTube preview picture

Reliability & Durability — 9
The build Quality would be ok for German standards, the overall impression is solid. I have it since 8 months now and it didn't failed once. I always let my tech watch over my new amps, and he found out that most of the problems the old JCM2000's had are fixed so there are no problems in sight. The knobs are solid, the wiring is good, the corner protectors are made out of plastic, but they shouldn't crack that easy. It seems like it's build to last. The tolex look's fine but it is not the same as on my cabs and my previous Marshall amps.

Features — 8
It was made in 2012 in Vietnam, this Deja-Vu of a Marshall all-tube amp delivers 100 watts RMS into the cab, as it says Marshall on the front, be sure that is enough Power. In fact, it scored a 127.3 dB through a 1960 Vintage cab! I Play THRASH-Metal and this Amp suits perfect for anything I want to do! I use it at home and in the rehearsal room and I gigged three times with it. It has two footswitchable channels: CLASSIC with CLEAN and CRUNCH, and ULTRA with LEAD 1 & 2. Every mode has its own character, from sparkling cleans to "HI-Gain". As it is the remake of the JCM2000 DSL it offers pretty much the same features, but there are some differences: The footswitchable Reverb is digital, it sounds good, but its passive, so playing an OD or DIST. Pedal will overpower the reverb. The Bottom switch was changed to a Resonance control, giving you even more control over your sound. Also it has a Full-Power Half-Power switch lowering the output to 50 Watts. Everything else is the same: GAIN and VOLUME for each channel, shared passive 3-band EQ, Mid- scoop switch, presence control, effects-loop. The only thing I don't use, is the mid scoop, as it cuts out the nice frequencies.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I had an original DSL JCM2000 as my first amp - probably the best sounding amp I've ever had for it's limited channel options. Though it did melt the whole PCB board when the transformer blew one night and it cost more to repair than to buy from new as so little was left! Almost tempted to buy this re-issue though if it's less likely to 'literally' melt itself.