Price paid: £ 550
Purchased from: www.gak.co.uk
Sound — 9
I Use my Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster with this amp, the clean mode is a little fat and I often use the bridge pickup here, this mode has headroom although Clean can hardly push gigging volume. I find the amps Crunch Mode is perfect for all aspects of funk and blues, I often use this mode to play Red Hot Chilli Peppers and with a little more gain it can also acheive classic rock tones sutiable for The Beatles. The Ultra Gain channel has a huge amount of gain and can play most kinds of metal, but at the same time can be toned down to acheive great rock tones, Lead 1 is more suited to ACDC and perhaps Rush, Lead 2 is great for thrash tones as well as modern metal tones, I found Lead 2 Mode needs to be cranked to achieve a clear sound as it seems to have more gain than it can handle and at lower volumes is a little muddy.
Overall Impression — 9
Playing in a rock band this amp is perfect, Lead 1 offers a great tone for my music, where Lead 2 is good for the heavier stuff I like to play at home, I've been playing a couple of years and this amp was a massive improvement on my Fender frontman. I searched for the right amp for months and the sound I get from my DSL is just right. The only problem with it is the practicality of a half stack, I use a 960A cab with it and I am getting tired of dragging it around, I'd suggest to anyone considering a Marshall Head to buy a 2 X 12 Cab as it would be more than enough, I hope this review was helpful.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had the amp 6 months and there have been no problems, I often gig with it and even after being in standby mode for hours on end the tubes will withstand. Replacement Tubes are not to expensive and I will consider changing them before the year is over just to keep the amp sounding as good as new. The amp has a firm structure and has not taken damage, the tubes will rattle away but never crack.
Features — 10
The DSL's has 2 Channels, Classic Gain with modes Clean and Crunch. And Ultra Gain with modes Lead 1 and Lead 2. The Amps has a master 3 band equalization which is very effective, the amps reverb feature can be controlled over each channel and at low levels sounds preety great. The 50 watt valve amp, has 4 ECC83 in its pre amp section, and 2 EL34 in its power amp section, there are 3 cabinet outputs (1 for 16 ohms and another 2 for 4 or 8 ohms impedence) Like most tube amps the DSL 50 has a standby and a main on an off Switch, standby is useful to keep the tubes warm before a performance.