Price paid: € 440
Sound — 10
Generally, this amp is hard-rock amp with that great Marshall tone. That crunch is god damn biting. Lot of people said: in DSL 401 isn't that Legend tone, but i have to said: it IS there! Tubes are delivering that pleasant sound and it cannot be compared to solid state (To me, it's like sleeping in nice smooth soft bed (tube) vs sleeping on the ground (solid state)). Clean Channel: To me, it's really thick, dark sound - while clean, I prefer bright and straight tone much more. This kind of sound fits into blues perfectly, though. The reason of darkness could be using humbucker, don't know how does it sound with single coil. Overall, great for blues and jazz as well. Clean channel also provides gain control, so you can get really versatile tones. OverDrive1(OD1): This is typical Marshall overdrive. AC/DC, Sum 41, GN'R, Deep Purple... Definitely! OverDrive2(OD2): +20dB, more overdrive, more gain.... It's definitely more "ferocious", more saturated channel but not hi-gain. There aren't big differences between OD1 and OD2. You can play great blues, jazz, rock'n'roll, rock, punk, hard-rock with this amp. But if you want play death metal, core metal etc, this isn't amp for you (you can use pedals indeed, but much better is to buy some hi-gain amp)
Overall Impression — 10
This is my first tube amp. I'am fascinated by it. It's big and heavy but that tone.. I just love it. I use BaCH Les Paul and they work fine together. When you hit the string, the sound will just punch you. Maybe, I'am going to look for some pedal, that will give more "slicing" character to the sound. I think the combination of that punch crunch and slicing sound will make perfect couple :) If you are rockers, punkers or jazzmans, you will not regret.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I got it yesterday, don't have any experiences with it. Dude, who sold it to me, said, that he doesn't have any problem with it. He used to gig a lot and it never broke down. He changed tubes after 4 years... It looks solid and I hope it will hold on a long time.
Features — 9
I got my Marshall second hand yesterday. It feels pretty solid. 40 watts are almost going to ruin my house while cranked, so I play it on low volume - and it still sounds good. Weigh of this amp is about 20 kg. Compared to my previous amp - Laney LX12 is this Marshall like Hulk. But doesn't matter, it can be moved without problems. Front panel: We can found here 3 channels - Clean, OD1 and OD2. Clean has its own EQ + gain control, ovedrive channels have EQ together + gain and volume controls as well. On front panel are also FX, Reverb and Volume controls. Rear panel: There are two footswitches (Clean -> OD1 -> OD2 | Reverb ). I like them, they make playing much more comfortable. There is effects loop as well. 2 Loudspeakers connections 16 / 8 Ohms make this amp very versatile as you can connect external reprobox. My amp was made in 2004. DSL 401 is famous because of overheating. Mine is cool, even after 2 hours of playing, you can touch front panel without problem, it's warm but not hot.