JCM2000 DSL50 review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.1 (58 votes)
Marshall: JCM2000 DSL50

Price paid: € 1040

Sound — 9
USED WITH: a PRS SE Custom semi hollow, this is a low output guitar with humbuckers. Used for jazz, blues, classic rock. My other guitar is a Gibson Explorer, immensely hot humbuckers, used for classic rock, hard rock, metal. I heard the amp was ok with single coils, but can't have an honest opinion about that. NOISE: there barely is any. Of course, putting the gain at max will create white noise, but every amp does that. No complaints here. SOUND. The most important part. It's why I chose this amp above every other I tested. It blew me away the first time I heard it. I'll go through each channel and mode: Classic Gain (Clean): Your basic clean channel. It's not as good as a Twin reverb, but it does a great job. Too much bass for my liking, but you can cut them out. This channel is pretty awesome for jazz, which I did not expect! Sound is clean even at high volume. Pushing the gain to max results in minor breaking, no real crunch or overdrive. Classic Gain (Crunch): This is the better of both modes. I keep the gain at 3 or 4, for a little crunch. Turning the volume of your guitar down, you'll get a nice clean sound (with less bass than the clean' mode). Pushing it, you'll crunch out! I definitely love this channel. Amazing for blues and even rock. Put a booster or overdrive in front of the amp and you've got a distortion channel. Simply amazing. Ultra Gain (Lead 1): Classic Marshall distortion. Good for every style. Nothing else to say.A beauty. Ultra Gain (Lead 2): classic Marshall distortion with a lot of gain. Use the tone switch' to cut the mids out and you've got yourself a metal amp. Keep the mids up and you've got a beautiful distortion. The Ultra Gain lacks a little definition' or articulation', whatever you want to call it. There are some boutique amps that'll give you a more articulate sound, at of course a very high price. I like this one, no doubt about that, but I do miss that little extra something.

Overall Impression — 9
It's better than your average high gain' amp. Even though it only has 2 channels, you can go from jazz to metal. You do need a booster to compensate for the lack of switchability between modes. Sound is pretty great, even if the Ultra Gain channel misses some articulation. And now the if stolen question. If stolen, would I buy it again? I don't know. It's a great amp, trust me, but I would have liked an extra EQ and an extra channel. You don't really need those, but it would have been nice. For the coverband' guitarist, this is not what you want. Go buy a line 6. For the allround rocker with a little crush on jazz and blues, this is the One. My precious.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Built like a tank. I've played without backups, I'll probably do it again, even if it scares me to death. It will definitely outlive me.

Features — 7
50W all tube amp. 4xECC83, 2xEL34. Two channels, 'Classic Gain' and 'Ultra Gain'. Both channels have 2 modes, "Clean/Crunch" for the Classic Gain channel and "Lead 1/Lead 2" for the Ultra Gain channel. Basically, you have your Clean channel and your Distortion channel with a button to push more gain through it. Each channel has separate volume and gain knobs. Effects loop with Switch to boost the volume. I don't use the effects loop, so no real opinion on that. 1 EQ for both channels, with an extra button to boost the bass, and a Tone Shift button that cuts out the mids. 2 Switchable reverbs for both channels. No headphone output. It's a pretty basic amp, easy to use, which is what I was going for. Single footswitch, single EQ, 2 channels, basic. I do regret not having a separate EQ, and not being able to Switch between the two modes of each channel. For more versatility I put a booster and extra overdrive in front of the amp, otherwise you're kind of stuck. When you want to change modes', you have to physically go to the amp, push the correct button, sometimes adjust your volume. It's a pain in the *ss when you're on stage, that's why I use a booster. I put this 50W tube head on a Bogner 4x12 w/ V30's. Power's big enough to drown out the drums, I never have to push the amp. I think the highest I played on (except for testing) was at half. I'll say it now, and I'll probably say it again, but 50Watts is more than enough, 100W or more is just useless. This amp is used for: Jazz / Blues / Classic Rock / Hard rock / Metal

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