JCM2000 DSL100 Review

manufacturer: Marshall date: 12/18/2015 category: Guitar Amplifiers

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Marshall: JCM2000 DSL100
A head which is packed full of all the classic Marshall valve openness and roar that you could ever want, with more massive gain capability and a clean sound quite unlike any Marshall before.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (12) pictures (2) 26 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: punksucks23, on december 25, 2006
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Features: My amp was made in 2004. It is very versitile for me because I play blues, metal, and classic rock. It has 2 channels but each channel has 2 options so it's basically 4 channels. For example clean channel has clean and clean with a little more gain by pushing the button. also, the gain channel has really heavy distortion or chrunchy kind like the JCM800s. It doesn't have any effects except reverb for each channel but I don't care because I never use effects anyway. there is no headphone jack because this amp is no practice amp. It's built to scream! I use this amp for school assemblies and band practice. It is extremely loud and I've never had the voume past 4 and I play loud! It is fully tube with 4 power tubes and 4 pre-amp tubes. Keep in mind mine has groove tubes and that might make it sound slightly different with different tubes. // 7

Sound: I play with a Gibson sg standerd and an american deluxe Fender strat. It is great for the styles that I play, which I said above. It makes no extra noise, but feedbacks controllably at high volumes (good feedback). It has your typical Marshall tube sound but doesnt't have much more. It's kind of a love-hate thing for most people and Marshall. the clean channel does get a little distorted at high volumes because it is a tube amp and it sounds good. The distortion isnt as heavy as like a mesa but is very heavy and good for metal. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It is very dependable if you give it time to warm up and cool down. I have used it on many gigs and it kicks ass every time with no worries. It has never broken down but sounded bad after I bought it because it needed new tubes so I replaced them. It is a great amp. // 8

Overall Impression: I play metal, blues, and classic rock and this head is a very good match. I have been playen for 4 years and I also own an AVT150H, a Marshall 1960A cab, Fender princeton 65, and too many guitars too list. The only thing I wish I would have asked before buying is about the tubes because I had to replace them because they were worn out when I got it. If it were stolen, I would either buy the same thing or a JCM800 2203. I love the sound and the powere the most and don't hate anything. It's a great product and kicks ass. If you buy it you will love it if you love to play loud heavy or clean rock. // 10

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overall: 8
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: Robbgnarly, on august 06, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: friend

Features: I believe it is a 2003 model. Two channels with two modes for each channel. It has reverb for each Channel and a global presence knob. You can switch between the two channels and reverb with the foot switch. It has a deep switch and a tone shift switch that give even more flexibility. It also has an FX loop. The biggest issue I have with it is the fact that both channels share the same EQ. I play in a Progressive Rock/Metal band and this amp works just fine. It is plenty loud and has a pretty good tone for what I am doing. // 8

Sound: I am using a Epiphone G-400 with a Seymour Duncan SH-4 in the bridge. It works well with the style of music I am doing (Mastadon/Valiant Thor/ASG). I haven't noticed any unnecessary noise coming from it which is a plus. The cleans are not bad, but the Classic Crunch and Ultra Gain settings are pretty good. This amp will do most styles, but may need a boost to reach some types of gain. I actually like the tone of this amp it is deff a good Marshall distortion. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Well it is a Marshall and they seem to be a reliable amp company. The amp is solidly built, and weighs 50+lbs, so it is not exactly light. I would not hesitate to gig or tour with this amp with out a back-up, which is more than I can say about other amps I have played in the past. The amp has never broke down on the previous owner, so I would say it is reliable. // 8

Overall Impression: I think this is a good amp and will work for most people looking for that "British" style gain. I wouldn't recommend it for modern metal that much, but it can get the job done. I have been playing for 18 yrs and this is the first Marshall I have ever bought. I doubt I would replace it unless I could get another one for the same price (which would be kinda hard). I did not compare it to any other amps when I bought it. I bought it because of the price to flip it, but I think I'm gonna keep this one. I also have a Krank 1980 that I love, but the DSL is still a good amp in its own right. I wish it had independent EQ's but it will work fine for most people the way it is. // 8

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overall: 10
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: Y.RiseAgainst.Y, on february 19, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1285.33

Purchased from: GuitarWorks

Features: I believe my DSL 100 was made in 2007. I'm currently in a metalcore band. And don't get me wrong, this amp is actually very great for the sound I want. I play punk as well time to time and this amp meets the is expectations. This amp Has 2 channels. Clean and a distorted channel. And of course there is no headphone jack. It's called a The DSL 100 for a reason. This amp has everything I need. It has the basic gain and volume, with bass, mid, trebble, and presence. It also has Reverb, but I switch those to 0 because I don't need it. I use this amp to play shows, and for band practice of course. Usually when my band plays at practice I set it to 4-5 no louder though. Because that would be ridiculous. This amp has more then enough power to play shows, so it's perfect. This amp has 4 power tubes and 4 pre amp tubes. it's just basicly a very powerful head. // 10

Sound: I'm currently using a Gibson sg 61 re-issue. And I just don't want to stop playing. The sound it gives is amazing, it's the reason why I play. I play usually Metal and Punk, and the sound it gives is perfect. This amp can give quite a bit of feedback, but there is solutions. I like to put the gain to around 8-10. Doing this gives me tons of noise. I use a Boss NS-1 to get rid of the feedback, but the amp still makes a buzzing sound. I can deal with that though. If you don't turn your gain high up like me, this probably won't be as much of an issue for you. This amp can give you Rise Against punk, to a very unique metal sound, to ACDC. And the Clean channel is very well done. I must admit, the clean channel on the DSL 100 suprised me. It's so warm and you can add gain if you want it to be heavier, or take it off to give you the sound you expect from a Marshall. I've put my clean channel on 5-6 witch is real loud, and I was getting a great sound out of it. This amp was ment to go loud, and it sounds great loud on any channel. The distortion on this amp is great. I personally like to use a Ibanez Tubescreamer just to give it an extra punch. It really brings out the great sound. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I can depend on this amp very easily. The only issue I would have with it, which is with every single tube amp. Is the tubes dieing. But that can be easily replaced. I've played with this without a backup easily. I've let another band use it for there set too, and it didn't show any signs of stopping. And of course you want to be careful with the amp. It's pretty sturdy. But I can see how it can get damaged easily if droped. // 10

Overall Impression: Between punk/metal, this amp is my kind of amp. I've been playing close to 2 years now. I own a TSL 60, along with my SG, tubescreamer, and Boss NS-1. I already knew quite well about this amp before I bought it, so no questions were needed. If this got stolen, I would probably buy another one depending on how my band starts to sound. Otherwise I might look into Madison Amps. I love everything about this amp. The sound, the look, and it's Marshall. what's not to love? // 10

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overall: 10
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: tonyd927, on february 08, 2010
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Daddy's Junky Music

Features: Purchased in mint condition from Daddys Junky Music store. Typical Marshall, great tone for what I play and very versatile. Controls are short, sweet and to the point. It has 2 channels, (Lead 1, Lead 2 on channel B and Clean and Crunch on channel A) The only feature I wish it had is..cant say anything it has everything I've looked for. I use this amp for practices and shows, it covers volume very well and always cuts through the mix. Its 100% tube and so far hasn't let me down! // 10

Sound: It sounds very bright and dark at the same time, a tone I've been seeking for years. I play a Gibson SG Special Heritage cherry gloss finish, with a Boss noise suppressor, Carbon Copy delay pedal, and a tuner. My style ranges from Screamo, to pop-punk, to grunge and to metal. This amp covers it all with extreme prejudice. I feel this amp can cover any genre or taste in music. The clean channel is amazing, I used a Peavey 5150 for years and the clean channel was always subpar. The JCM 2000's clean cuts through the mix better and is alot brighter. If you want some bass just turn the bass up or hit the "Deep" button, makes life so much easier. The distortion is amazing, I'm not a fan of very high gain amps because they tend to sound muddy. I never go past 6 or 7 on the gain but the JCM 2000 holds really well for me around 8 // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's Marshall, I don't think they would let an unreliable instrument out of their shops. I trust this one to last me a while. No its holding pretty well, I bought it used and so far so good. So far I've used it at a couple shows and it has been very reliable. No annoying feedback or hiss like most amps do at loud volumes. And its quiet when I'm not playing (which is a good thing for pauses in songs) // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly screamo, rock, hardcore, metal and poppunk. I've been playin through tube amps for about 3 years. I owned a Peavey 5150 Head and sold it to get this monster! I would definitely replace this amp if it was lost, stolen or damaged. I love the versatility and customization of the sound on this amp. It really suits everything I play. I compared it to several other marshalls and mesas. This one really struck me. The mesa Dual Rectifier is too much for me soundwise. It sounded muddy no matter how much I toyed with it. I wish I had another one! // 10

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overall: 9.5
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: mazerfaka, on may 20, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: This is the Marshall I have, I'm not sure when it was made because dad bought it like fiver years ago or something like that. I play a lot of punk, pop-punk, hardcore and easycore, music that is used with gain, and lots of it. It has two channels, Ultra gain, and a clean (that you can crunch) and to be honest I only use the Ultra Gain channel, at least 99% of the time I'm playing. It took a while to get the sound I was aiming for, so it has a lot of options in opinion. I use the amp in our rehearsal spot and its loud, very loud. Crank it up and it's still not noisy. // 9

Sound: I had used it with the Gibson Dirty Fingers pickups, a perfect match in my opinion, I have played some Peavey and Laney stuff before and in comparison to this Marshall they all sound like horse Shit. It suits my style perfect. As I said before, I can crank it up to eleven without getting noise, unbelievable. The clean channel has a push/pull knob that make it crunchy. The Ultra gain distortion is pretty brutal, maybe not as brutal as a Mesa Boogie but for my hardcore stuff it's perfect, I have the gain knob at six. Had it up to about eleven and got some heavy metal stuff. The sound is awesome! // 10

Reliability & Durability: When we practice we practice for about two hours and the tubes seems to get really hot. And I always use this at gigs. If it breaks down I'll use a crappy Laney that I have as a standby, but it seems really solid! Has never broken down, have dropped it twice and never changed tubes! It will last forever! // 10

Overall Impression: I play a lot of punk, pop-punk, hardcore and easycore. It's a perfect match. The most common amp for these types of music is the Mesa Boogie dual rectifier, but that amp is super expensive so I tried this one and I am very happy with it! Not sure if I'm ever gona need that amp now that I have this one! If it was stolen or lost I would probably save up for a dual rectifier. I love the tone, the loudness and the easy settings. I don't use any pedals, just my Polytune. // 9

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overall: 5.3
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: TeekWan, on december 02, 2011
1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Features: Mine was made in 2004. It has two channels with two modes each and a reverb tank. Powerful all-tube design with an FX loop, no fancy bells and whistles. The footswitch enables switching of the channels (clean/dist) and reverb on/off. Too bad they didn't allow switching OD1 to OD2. // 6

Sound: I used a Flying V and Korean made '98 Kramer Barreta (with SD pups fitted). I play metal and rock and this amp was a major letdown for me soundwise. It has kinda Marshall roar to it but it had a totally unfocused and dispersed sound. No technician ever found a fault to it and I've played several other specimens which exhibited the same character. Even new set of JJ/Tesla tubes didn't help. A fair clean channel but the distortion is very rough round the edges, no trace of typical Marshall fullness of the glory days (think MV or JCM800), just bark. An example - during the rehearsals I was constantly struggling to cut through and pushed the volume too high, but when I switched to Engl Blackmore I was instantly sounding clearly, with no higher frequency garbage and all that on LOWER volume than I was playing my DSL. Needless to say I was delighted and sold the damn thing right away. // 3

Reliability & Durability: Although it has a circuit board inside never had any problems with it what'soever, always dependable and never had a backup. The reverb was always functional, no issues there. The only issues I had with it were because of the way it sounded, but in no way related to its reliability. // 10

Overall Impression: This amp was meant for rock and metal, but I'd say it fails in both fields. I've been playing for 20 years and it was my 3rd amp, after my Orange '76 MV which was constantly failing and letting me down but sounded 1000 times better. Another one of "we have a famous name so we're gonna charge you a crap series much more than it deserves". I'd never buy it again, nothing in that amp sounded appealing to me, all JCM800 2203 and 2204 or older Marshalls sound much better. Vintage Modern sounds great, haven't tried JVM but reportedly it's a really great amp. I'd recommend staying away from JCM2000 series if you want a good Marshall. // 2

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overall: 9.3
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: shacknasty101, on december 18, 2015
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: I bought this amp used, so I don't know exactly when it was made (probably mid-2000's) This one is made in England. As with most Marshalls, the features are minimal, which is the way I like it. It has two channels, and reverb. These channels are switchable with buttons on the amp face, or through an available 5-button footswitch, which is the way I would prefer. This amp is 100 watts of all tube power. It has a power switch, and a stand-by switch. Always remember to leave it on stand-by when you first turn it on, and allow your tubes to warm-up for a few minutes, and then let them cool down after playing. // 9

Sound: I play in a hard-rock/metal band, and this amp suits me just fine. We have a crunchy, distorted sound. When my band (Shacknasty Jim) was more active gigging and touring in the late '90s I had a JCM900. The JCM900 maybe didn't have the greatest tone in the world, but I got around that with a variety of stomp boxes. The band broke up and I sold all my gear. Fast forward 15 years and we are back together, so I needed some to into some gear again. I tried a B-52 tube amp, which sounded great, but lasted (literally) only a couple hours before it fried. So I went to a Peavey Valve King (100 watts, tube) but really didn't care for the tone. I tried a Line 6 Spider valve tube amp (100 watts). Sounded great, was very loud, but also very finicky and complicated. After all of that I decided that what I wanted was another basic Marshall 100 watt tube amp. I found this JCM2000 DSL on-line used. I play through Les Paul guitars, and match the head with 1960 a and b cabs. So far I am very happy with this amp. It does what I need it to do. Nothing more (i.e. Line 6) and nothing less (Peavey, B-52). // 9

Reliability & Durability: I haven't had this amp long, but if the reliability/durability is anything like the JCM900 I used to have, than it should be great! One thing about Marshall (at least the ones made in England) is that they are known for their reliability. They make some other models now like the DSL100 made in China, or some of their solid-state amps made in places like Vietnam. Reliability on those models are very shaky at best. But a real-deal (made in England) JCM2000 should be very reliable. I did own a solid-state made in Vietnam Marshall, and although it worked, it didn't sound particularly great. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing guitar for 20 years. I play rhythm guitar with a variety of Les Paul Standards and Studios. In my band we play a hard-rock grunge metal sort of thing, but this amp could be well suited for blues and other genre's as well. It is loud! My only advice is that you make sure to get the footswitch with it. These amps aren't available new anymore, so when looking at used ones you want it to come with the footswitch. What I look for in an amp, is the same as most of you out there: Tone, features, and looks are all about individual taste. But one thing we can all agree on is that we want our gear to work right, all the time. For this, Marshall has a very good reputation. // 9

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overall: 9.5
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: god of gnar123, on january 06, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1300

Purchased from: sam ash

Features: Well this amp is now a discontinued item but not that hard to find. Two channels: classic gain(clean)and ultra gain(dirty). Classic gain is very nice. Very rich tone. I love it. The ultra gain channel is super clean compared to that crap Line 6 distortion. But if you like a vey high distortion, this amp isn't for you. Its all tube, although it could be a pain in the ass sometimes, I've always liked tubes better than solid. They have much cleaner tones. // 9

Sound: I play a Dean with Seymore Duncan "Dime Time" pickups. I'm in a thrash metal band and this amp really gets the job done. Like I said its a tube amp so after several months it starts buzzing. But with fresh tubes, its perfect. Not too much variety like Line 6 but nothing a few pedals can't fix. It doesn't have the most deadly(Boss MT-2)distortion(which in my opinion is much better. At least You hear when you mess up. Hahahaha). But that's one man's opinion. Jim root and Mick Thompson would hate this amp. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Tubes always come and go so I think that's all self explanitory. Although I don't have a backup I don't want/need backup. Its reliable. I haven't had problems yet except tubes. It takes some work to turn on off though(due to the tubes) which if not turned on/off correctly can affect the tubes life. Basically to turn on hit the power(red switch) let the amp sit for about two minutes(to warm tubes). Then hit standby switch. Next step: SHRED! Your going to want to leave the amp on for about an hour. When your done jamming, hit standbye off. Once again let it sit for awhile. Then hit your power and go do whatever you when your not playing. // 9

Overall Impression: To sum it all up, I love this amp. I actually did compare it to some Line 6 tube amp. The distortion in the Marshall was much more open. The Line 6 sounded like a dog trapped in a cage trying to break out as where the dog in the Marshall broke out and was running off into the open. Eventually I plan on adding another cabinet and keep adding on. Thank for reading this review. Now go play your guitar and get somwhere in life with it. =) // 10

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overall: 8
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: redberon2003, on february 19, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Music Power

Features: The Amp i own is a 2009 model, as of 2010 these amplifiers are now discontinued. This is a 100 Watt Marshall, All tube head. The amp's EQ features a "Deep button" which will emphasize the lower frequencies for a much fuller bass, a 4 band Shared EQ consisting of Presence, Bass, Mid, and Treble, and "tone shift" which will scoop the mids for you, emphasizing lead tones. There are two channels: Ultra gain, and Classic gain, as well as two modes for each of these channels, Overdrive one and Two on the Ultra gain, and Clean/Crunch on the Classic gain. The amp also features footswitchable spring reverb. This amp is used primarily as a Practice amp in a Rehearsal studio, as well as for gigs. // 7

Sound: I'm using a Les Paul Studio, with Gibson BurstBucker Pro's in the neck and bridge position. Being a person primarily interested in Classic Rock, Pop Punk, and Alternative rock, this amp suits my needs very well. The amp is quite quiet with the master volume turned up, no humming etc. The DSL 100 is capable of going from Bright chimy cleans, to deeper richer cleans, on the clean channel, depending on EQ setup - If you push the volume or gain up above 7-8 or so you will see it start to get a little bit breakup. With the crunch channel, You can go from bluesy tones, to Classic Rock, to Crunchy pop punk tones. Switching over to the Ultra gain channel OD1 is virtually a boosted High gain version of the Crunch channel. OD2 is its own heavier distortion, which would suit the needs of those playing some of the Classic Metal riffs. This amplifier is great in covering the more classic Marshall range of sound. What it will not suit, is those looking for a modern High gain amplifier. It has a very gritty over-Drive and British tone to it. Smooth Modern High gain styles aren't achievable with this amp. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Reliability wise, I have had no issues with this amplifier. It does run hot, though I have never seen issues caused by the heat. Since it is a tube amp, it does require extra up keep in the form of Tube changes and a Bias once every couple of years. I do not bring a backup when I gig - Just spare fuses. I've yet to have a fuse blow after several shows, and several months of practicing twice a weak at high volumes 2 hours a day, Master set to 4, or 5, gain set to 6 or so. // 7

Overall Impression: As previously stated, as a Classic Rock, Alt Rock, Pop Punk guitarist, I find that this amplifier suits my needs perfectly. I've played for about five years, and this has become my main amp, though I also own a Vox AD15VT, and an Orange Dual Terror. I do dislike that the EQ is shared, and that you can only choose between Ultra gain, or classic Gain with the footswitch. This is negated by the fact that I can simply roll off the Volume on my Les Paul for a good clean sound while on the Crunch channel. I absolutely Love the tone, It has that Marshall Roar and punch once you push it that is sought after. My other consideration at the time was a RockerVerb 50, which is an astounding amplifier. From a cost benefit perspective, the DSL 100 was entirely unbeatable between the two. If it were stolen, I would replace it. Simply because it sounds beautiful, and doesn't break the wallet. // 8

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overall: 8.3
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: Winter Skyes, on december 23, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Marshall DSL50 And DSL100 (My Opinion) - NOTE: I am mainly A Metal guy, I love rock and blues and jazz and stuff, but if anything, its Metal for me. Amplifier: I used this Amplifier To Play In Front Of 2,000 People Including the Owner As the Sound man Who Showed me And Helped it during the show, this is my complete idea on features and sound and I am very detailed on how it will sound. I am a serious musician who plays his music as well. This amplifier is a pretty good deal for the money especially if used now days; This amplifier has an overall equalizer, with channels including ultra gain, crunch and clean with a few leads to add in. The amplifiers reverb is pretty typical aspect quality but good, it also has a footswitch which makes it easy, as well as the buttons you can press to Switch between clean and dirty without the foot pedal which is pretty good for a quick change, it doesn't make a 'Huge' Tone Clean and Dirty change, it fits both channels just right. // 9

Sound: Clean - The Clean was pretty original and very profound in the sound, I was pretty impressed when playing with it, I heard some gain in it but you gotta turn up the gain a little to make it really go out at a decent low volume, The way I wanted it to go out anyway, it can pulls it off with the gain so you don't notice it so trust me you will be fine with the clean it does great. Dirty/Leads - Yes I enjoy leads the most so I am doing this one first. Now this is pretty good for tone, ZZtop all the way down to some serious metal. This is pretty good, but I have to say I found it less likely to be reliable with my soloing, It can do great solo's but, maybe it was cause of the threshold, where was it coming from? I can't say but I do know I turned my presence up and anything else that could of blocked it, still nope; what can put out a good lead and not sound too blurry on the notes, I would recommend putting something in the effects loop for 'desired' sounds cause I wasn't desired with it just right out from the box with the lead channels so to say, I'm a tone freak, but I play more than tweak. Equalizer - This when added (Yes this has a button option) makes everything more respond as if you have the original tone to mess with, so I would always have it on for that matter, but that's just me. Ultra gain - I was satisfied, and very unsatisfied, This tone was great for searing rhythms and great for those aspects but the lead kinda stood dull a tiny bit, with a good pedal you don't got to worry though I guarantee that but... this amp makes me get a vibe, so I am giving it an 8, the tone is pretty good but so much more can be done and tweaked if it could be, Not to mention that the signature idea is that even if you played the same chord and changed the tone, the tone wont change unless you play it again, very unusual but great idea in some levels. Important: Turn the volume up, if you do, the more the strings will respond a little more from your playing, but expect my experience if you want the volume pretty decent and not too loud. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Reliability, I have to say this is pretty decent but the construction I feel here when I held it, anything can possibly happen to it, I will say that this an amplifier , treat it with care as much as possible as any musician should and it should be fine, I don't think this should be an issue, back up or no back up, you will do fine. // 8

Overall Impression: This Amplifier is good for the price now days, and it can still pull off great things don't get me wrong, maybe its just not the amplifier for me and maybe people might think I'm crazy, but the amplifier is pretty legit for sound, quality is not an issue for the sound, its just the sounds you get out of it, this amplifier is top of the line quality and won't get you down anywhere near that; I wouldn't mind to keep this amp if I paid the used price for it to be honest cause it is worth that deal with its reputation. Now people say if this amplifier was stolen or broken, I would have to say if it was broken I would care to fix this thing, if it was stolen, I would just upgrade if I am gonna spend that much, there is used amplifier prices around it that can sound almost as good as this one, I can't say better, but as good, this amplifier is a dream come true, but this amplifier is only a dream to those who have never tried it out. I hope my review helped, I tried not to be so technical, but Straight to the point about the sound and everything! // 8

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overall: 8.5
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: GrizzlyFnAdams6, on november 10, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: The DSL100 is a 100 watt tube amp produced by Marshall as somewhat a modern successor to the JCM800 line of amps from the 80's. The amp features two foot-switchable channels and a built in spring reverb unit with separate and adjustable reverb settings for each channel. The first channel consist of a depress-able button that allows you to switch between "Clean" and "Classic Gain" on channel one and the second channel also has a depress-able button that takes it from "Lead 1" to "Lead 2". It has a 16ohm mono output and selectable 4ohm and 8ohm stereo output along with a pretty standard effects loop. It has a shared EQ between the channels but each channels volume and gain is independent as well as their reverb levels as I mentioned earlier. It also has a presence knob, "tone shift" button and a "deep" button which changes the overall character of the sound. It draws it's power from four 12ax7 preamp tubes and four El34s giving it a massive power output and gain options. // 8

Sound: This DSL100 has a great versatility to it's sound. Most people do not realize that the DSL and TSL DO have different voicing and are not simply a difference in the amount of channels. The DSL has a unique Marshall tone with a modern twist. The EQ is comprehensive and tweaking one way or another will allow a player with a good cab to go from the weekend indy/prog band to the daily country/blues gig. The "tone shift" button while depressed gives you a mid scooped type sound. I do not ever like to scoop my mids so I have no use for that but if your style of music calls for that, it's an option on this head. The deep button while depressed gives a nice bassy boost and more thump than usual and this is one button I actually use quite often. Between the two channels, the clean is actually better than most modern Marshalls I have played (JVM, 900, TSL) and sounds very warm and articulate. The classic gain (crunch) can be used to give your clean more punch or full on classic crunchy, Marshall gain. I LOVE the classic channel and use it %80 of the time and overdrive it with a Fulltone Plimsoul to get into distortion range if need be. But that in no way discounts the lead channel on this amp at all. The gain has a very impressive array of milder gain to full on high gain with the Lead 2 button depressed. You can easily do classic rock to metal with this one versatile amp. That for me, is the main selling point, it's versatility. Yes it may not be the greatest amp for cleans, the greatest high gain, the greatest etc. But it does well in every respect without sacrificing in another. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I always allow my amps proper time to warm up before playing and cool down after playing and before moving. By doing that I have never had my amp so much as "hiccup" on me. I gig every weekend and haul it wherever I have to go and it's never gave me a reason to be concerned. It's a quality product and you can expect it's life expectancy, if treated properly, to be decades. // 8

Overall Impression: The amp in my opinion is a great choice if you're a studio musician or a touring musician who does more than just one genre. It has everything you need to get a wide variety of tones out of a single head with all the available buttons and on board EQ. I've played and owned a bunch of various amps and equipment since I've started gigging and touring and I have not owned a head that has satisfied whatever musical whim I might be on like this head has. I mainly use this in conjunction with a Marshall 1960A Lead cab and it produces some very iconic tones if needed. If you're looking for the best at a certain something, maybe look elsewhere, but for sheer versatility that maintains great tone throughout, this is the best choice. // 9

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overall: 8.3
JCM2000 DSL100 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 23, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Guitar Center (used)

Features: I bought this head from Guitar Center about a year ago used, one owner previously. It is a 2004 100w all tube amplifier that has essentially two speaker outs at 4 & 8 ohms and a single 16 ohm. It has an effects loop with a push in boost. It has a clean channel with a single gain knob that creates a more "natural" overdrive, a second lead/higher gain channel that includes an extra gain stage to push the amp into metal territory. The EQ section has presense, high, mid, and bass controls. The accutronics reverb has independent knobs for each of the two main channels. The back panel has the three speakers outs, the effect loop, and inputs for channel and reverb footswitches. The 100 watt power section has more than enough power for any instance. I'm running it into a 1960A with Celestions and I can't imagine any scenario where this wouldn't be enough power. I can't even turn the amp up past 3 in the basement without seriously injuring my hearing! I play a variety of different music styles and I like to experiment with different sounds. This amp can do it all very well. You can go from country clean to high gain scream with a stomp of a button. // 9

Sound: I'm currently playing a 2004 Gibson Les Paul Studio and a 1996 American Telecaster Standard. Both guitars sound very good through this amp. The classic Marshall lead sound is especially applicable with the Les Paul's humbuckers. The Telecaster enables a better clean sound with a higher end bite. The DSL tends to pick up extra noise where I practice probably due to the older electrical wiring in my basement. I simply turn off the lights when I'm playing and that gets rid of that. I'm running the amp out to the 1960 in stereo and it sounds great. This is probably the best amp you can own that can nail a wide variety of music styles. One of the complaints that I do have is that it would be nice to have independent EQs for each channel. The independent reverb is very handy however. Both gain stages are brutal and you can certainly play any type of harder rock/metal. I don't really prefer shredding but it is nice to have that option. I typically play with the lead channel's gain up to about four; this is perfect for a more AC/DC-like crunch. The clean channel is one the best sounding cleans that Marshall has ever created: something that the brand is not known for at all. With a chorus pedal and some compression, it sounds great. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is where the DSL starts to go downhill. As mentioned before, I purchased this amp second hand from Guitar Center so I immediately changed the tubes to Groove Tubes in the power section and Mesa Boogies in the pre-amp. This was not cheap. I also had to take it in to be re-biased and have all the pots cleaned. After about a month, I noticed that the reverb was shorting out. After taking off the back panel, I found that the RCAs had come loose. When I changed the cord, the problem was fixed but I'm not sure for how long. The amp also gives off a lot of heat which is usually paired with that HOT tube smell. Although I know this is typical for the model, it does leave me uneasy about the future. I've never had to change the fuses. // 6

Overall Impression: I like to play all styles of music from punk, country, and hard rock and I've found that this amp can do it all. I've been playing for about ten years so I'd like to think I know something about tone. For a modestly priced Marshall tube 100 watter, I'm impressed with the sounds but not so impressed with the upkeep and potential disaster. From a strictly sound perspective, I would replace this amp in a heartbeat if it were stolen. After purchasing it for $650 I've put a lot more money into getting it up to it's true potential so maybe if it were still made I should have bought it new. I own several Marshalls (1985 Lead 12, Zakk Wylde mini stack, the smaller acoustic model) and this is the British high gain sound that I've always thought that gives the brand its reputation. It's not a Plexi or handwired model but for what I spent, I'm pleased with the half stack. The neighbors might disagree. // 9

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