Price paid: € 745
Purchased from: Pejxa Music Shop
Features — 10
The Marshall DSL40C is a workhorse amplifier full of features and sounds. The Amplifier is a 2 channel amplifier with separate digital reverb controls for each channel. Each channel has 2 modes. The classic gain has a clean mode and a crunch mode. The ultra gain channel has lead 1 and lead 2 settings that are set at different gain levels.
The amp also features a shared 5 knob EQ. The EQ consists of the regular bass, middle and treble controls. Furthermore it allows control over resonance and presence. Marshall even included a tone shift button that scoops the mids and produces a modern heavy sound.
On the back of the amp there is a Pentode-Triode switch that cuts the power from 40W to 20W. This saturates the power tubes earlier in order to achieve power amp distortion. The Marshall DSL40C also features a switchable effects loop between the pre-amp and the power-amp.
At 40W it has enough clean headroom for a band situation making this amp a versatile amp.
Sound — 7
The amp is capable of a vast range of tones. From classic cleans on the classic gain channel to some rock crunch. The ultra gain channel is capable of sounds from classic hard rock and metal sounds. Modern scooped tones are achieved with the tone shift engaged.
The biggest drawback of this amp is the speaker. The Celestion seventy 80 speaker is a mid-range guitar speaker. It delivers decent tones but with a speaker change, the amp is capable of far superior tones. If you are hesitant to modify the amp, an extension cabinet can be connected with a better speaker.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The amp looks solid. It is well built. The solid state rectifier reduces reliability issue. To eliminate any noise or problems related the effects loop, Marshall have implemented a bypass switch to the effects loop. I connected the amp is stereo mode to a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe without isolation transformer and no ground loop hum was present.
The amp is nicely finished and with plastic corners and a decent coated covers, it should keep a nice clean finish through the years. This amp seems like it is capable of years of use for a gigging musician.
Overall Impression — 8
The amp is a great amp. It is ideal as the first tube amp as it is a budget tube amp. With 40W of power there is enough clean headroom to play with a drummer. The amp is capable of sounds from clean to crunch to a metal distortion making it ideal as it offers a vast range of tones. My favourite tone is the classic gain in crunch mode with the gain set around 4. This delivers a dirty clean tone with low output single coil pickups.
The biggest weakness of this amp is the speaker which can be fixed quite easily and cheaply. The number of features of this amp make it a valuable possession for the gigging guitarist.