Marshall DSL100

Marshall DSL100

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DSL100, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Marshall in the JCM2000 DSL series.

24 user reviews

Marshall DSL100 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Marshall
  • Model: DSL100
  • Series: JCM2000 DSL
  • Category: Tube Guitar Amp Heads
  • Added in our database on: 11/25/2006

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Marshall DSL100 user reviews

Average Score:4.3( 4.3/5 based on 24 reviews )
 10 reviews42 %
 11 reviews46 %
 2 reviews8 %
 1 user review4 %
Value For Money :

Eroachguitar's review"Most popular backline Rock amp for a good reason"

Marshall DSL100
The Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 100 is a 100 Watt, EL34 based tube amp head with two channels and a comfortable variety of tones and features. Introduced in 1997, it was hailed as the next step to Marshall's famed JCM 800 and JCM 900 series. It offered clean tones, classic, plexi-style crunch, and searing high gain previously only available in modified JCM models.

The DSL 100 features two channels with two modes each, a mid scoop switch, deep switch, shared 3 band EQ along with a global master volume and presence. The DSL also features an FX loop and footswitchable spring reverb, which is controlled independantly on each channel by Reverb A and Reverb B controls.


Channel 1 offers two modes-clean or classic crunch- at the flip of a switch.
Channel 2 is the Ultra channel, dishing up two savage levels of hotrod Marshall high gain.

In addition to the two channels and mode switches, there's also a Deep switch, which is essentially a pre-set resonance control, to add clean lowend punch. There's also a Mid scoop switch, which does exactly what it says, and creates a huge dip in the midrange curve, perfect for that scooped tone Dimebag enthusiasts love so much.

The channels are switchable via a single Marshall-style footswitch. The channels as well as the reverb can be switched with a Dual footswitch, or two single footswitches.

Obviously, with both channels sharing an EQ, some tweaking is required to get a good tone from both channels if you will be using them both. Otherwise, what might sound great on the clean channel might be too dark or boomy on the lead channel... you get the picture.


Great tones are considerably easy to dial in on the DSL. With all controls at 12 O'clock, the clean channel produces a nice, workable clean that isn't too flat or bright. It's one of the best clean tones Marshall has ever produced, but it's still a Marshall clean, and it won't sparkle and shimmer like a Fender. Turning up the gain pushes the clean tone into low-volume JTM45 territory. Engaging the crunch switch brings about the signature Marshall Plexi crunch, and does it in convincing fashion.

The Ultra Channel aims to produce and surpass levels of gain that players had already getting by hacking up their JCM 800's for years. And in this regard they succeeded quite well, though in more recent years tastes in high gain may have shifted away from what the DSL brings to the table.

That being said, there are a tremendous variety of tones available simply by altering the gain, and using different guitars. An overdrive pedal also helps to cut some of the muddier lowend frequencies and peak the treble response.

The major issue with the DSL was lowend response. It was indeed muddy for a high gain amp, and the deep switch made the lowend very boomy.

Treble response on the high gain channel is also an issue, as it can be a bit tinny and fizzy with most EQ settings.


The DSL 100 can be had on the used market for well under $1000, and for this price point its a great investment.

The tones available in the DSL and many and varied, although its not without its issues, as mentioned above. The FX loop and reverb (which is solid-state driven) also leave something to be desired, though not altogether unusable.

There are some reliability issues with certain runs of the DSL 100, and these are all well documented on various forums, but fortunately there is also a wealth of information on how to address these issues.

Overall the DSL 100 is almost a mandatory piece to have in your collection if you're a hired gun who plays everything. It approximates many classic Marshall tones without hauling out your vintage JMP's or JCM 800's, and it also covers a variety of tonal ground.

I'm very excited to see what the new 2012 Marshall DSL 100H brings to the table.
MGR/The Mr Chris Sven11/01/2005

MGR/The Mr Chris Sven's review"Marshall JCM2000 DSL100"

Marshall DSL100
Been playing in and out of bands for 15 years (wow that long!) mainly metal from Iron maiden to Joe Satriani.

Off e-bay, I bought two, most expensive was £350, needed a few minor repairs (carry handle, tolex, 1 cap blown)

Outstanding warm clean channel, 1st stage overdrive is amazing, the harmonics just reach out at every opportunity, pinched harmonics are almost too easy now, you can over-do it!

Not much really, would be nice if it had a 50/100 watt selector for home use.

Superb, everything is on individual PCBs which simply unplug so you can solder new components if you know what you are doing 9I worked it out with a cheap multimeter, its not rocket science here!), even the PCBs are cheap direct from Marshall, the main one that hold all the valves is only £74 + VAT @ 17.5%. Oh and you can easily swap valves to get you own custom sound, without breaking the bank!

Great amp head, goes one step further than a JCM900 but to be honest I don't have much use for the extra gain over the JCM900 s the extra distortion means you loose some of the intonation of your guitar, (and yes I do play thrash and crave deep distortion), its an amazing piece of kit, well put together and puts out enough volume for any venue.. do what I did, get 2 and run them in stereo off Boss chorus and delay pedels.. it'll blow you away!

This review was originally published on
MGR/Mr muntivater09/09/2003

MGR/Mr muntivater's review"Marshall DSL 100 Head"

Marshall DSL100
At the time i had a valvestate head and saw this in LUKES GUITARS Ramsgate for £300 so i just got it and have never looked back.

This is a no fuss amplifier that can recreate tones going back to when the electric guitar was first born to the more modern sounds of today. Its got great power and the sound (i feel) is alot more convinsing than the mesa's that youll find out there.

Perhaps it could have done with a bit more versitility on the back, ie direct line outs etc like its younger brother Tsl.


Kick ass valve tone in a convincing, no fuss package.

This review was originally published on

iamqman's review"Great low priced amp!"

Marshall DSL100
This amp has been one of my all time favorite amps to play. It is so easy to dial in and works so well for gigs. I got a chance to play one at a buddies house once and I knew once I hit that lead 2 button that I had to have it. I had this amp for the better part of my last bands quick career and it worked hard for me night after night. I never had a problem with it and it stayed true to its tone. I consistently got compliments on my tone all the time. So that encouragement allowed me to keep the amp for some time.

The 2 channels are very usable in both of them sound very good. The clean channel sounds great with pedals in front of it and when you crank up the gain on it you get a very good classic rock tone. Switch over to the high gain channel and click that mid boost/lead 2 button and man does this thing scream. A great lead rock tone that is very fun to play.


Marshall JCM2000 Dual Super Lead 100 Head Features:

* Classic Gain and Ultra Gain channels, each with two modes
* Deep switch adds a resonant bass boost
* Tone Shift scoops the mids
* Reverb controls for each channel
* Two footswitch jacks for changing channels and switching reverb in/out
* 100W of power
* Four ECC83 preamp tubes
* Four EL34 power amp tubes


The sound was perfect for gigging! It stayed true night after night and never failed me. It was pretty consistent and took a beating. For me at the time it was a perfect gigging amp. I have recorded with it several times and never really like the tone I got from it. Could have been mics or placement but I never like how it sounded recorded. I have heard other people get a solid tone from it so maybe it was just me.

Also it seems these amps are somewhat inconsistent. I have heard a lot of terrible sounding ones and I've owned and played several amazing sounding ones. Since this amp is discontinued from Marshall you are only going to get it used so try it out before buying.


I wish they would put a choke in the amp to take pressure off the transformers. I always want to replace the transformers with Mercury but never got the chance. I have read that they sound even better when having proper trannies in there.

The amp is a great amp for just about any purpose. It is priced pretty low so you can find it around $650 used if you take some time and especially in this down market. I recommend anyone who needs a good work horse amp that you can gig nightly and beat,, well this maybe your amp.

Marshall DSL100 images

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Marshall DSL100 manuals and other files

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Other names: dsl 100, jcm2000 dsl100, dsl 100, jcm 2000 - dsl 100, jcm2000 dsl 100

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