JCM2000 DSL100 review by Marshall

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (57 votes)
Marshall: JCM2000 DSL100
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Purchased from: Guitar Center (used)

Features — 9
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.

Sound — 9
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).

Reliability & Durability — 10
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.

Overall Impression — 9
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.

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