Purchased from: Private Seller
Sound — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 9
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.
Reliability & Durability — 8
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.
Features — 8
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.