Marshall DSL100
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Marshall DSL100

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

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All user reviews for the Marshall DSL100

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Average Score:4.3( 4.3/5 based on 24 reviews )
 10 reviews42 %
 11 reviews46 %
 2 reviews8 %
 1 user review4 %
Value For Money : Excellent
Eroachguitar09/30/2012

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.


UTILIZATION


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.


SOUNDS

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.



OVERALL OPINION

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.
iamqman06/30/2011

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.


UTILIZATION

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

SOUNDS

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.

OVERALL OPINION

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.
Hatsubai05/13/2011

Hatsubai's review"The "standard" new Marshall"

Marshall DSL100
The Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 has been the flagship model for quite awhile. It was basically a replacement or upgraded version of the JCM800 that was so famous throughout the decades. The amplifier features two channels with different voicings, four EL34 tubes, four 12AX7 tubes, two modes per channel, an effects loop, reverb and more.

UTILIZATION

The amp is a great go-to amp for testing various pedals and guitars as it's a straight forward two channel amplifier that's easy to dial in. It takes pedals great, is somewhat versatile and has a good amount of features. The voicings on the channels also help enable this amp to be tailored to your playing style. The loop and the reverb are nice additions that should really be in every Marshall amp, in my opinion.

SOUNDS

The sounds can be a bit hit or miss depending on if you like the Marshall sound or not. The amplifier, while having a decent amount of gain, doesn't have tons of "usable" gain. Once you start really cranking the gain, I find it gets to be a bit buzzy. I prefer backing the gain down and using a boost pedal. Once you do that, you can get some awesome 80s metal tones. The clean tone on this, however, is nothing to write home about. I find it to be fairly bland and not very exciting at all. However, I normally don't expect much from a Marshall when it comes to clean tones simply due to the way they have their tone stack in the circuit. I prefer the Fender/Mesa style tone stack for clean tones.

OVERALL OPINION

These amplifiers go really cheap on the used market, and if you're looking for your first Marshall, this should be one the first amplifiers you check out. It's not quite as organic and huge sounding as the JCM800, but it has its own thing going on. It's also way more versatile than the JCM800, so you take the good with the bad. The features on this amp are great for the used prices, especially since people unload them for as low as $400ish at times. Just keep watching eBay for great deals.
iamqman03/23/2011

iamqman's review"Gerat work horse 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


UTILIZATION

I would usually keep the tone shift and deep switch on at all times. When I disengage them it seemed to loose something. I generally stayed on lead 2 because I think it had a bit more mids in it that sprang up which I liked.

The feel of the amp was really nice and forgiving. It has a nice plexi sag to it but a snappy attack of an JCM 800. I only had to replace the tubes once when I had it but I had GT tubes in there and it was afire breather. Once I put ECC83's and El34 from GT the amp just came to life.

I didn't read the manual since I bought it used. The good thing is if you need the manual you can go on Marshall's website and download it for free.

SOUNDS

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.

OVERALL OPINION

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.

I wouldn't record with it, but I would beat the crap out of it in clubs and bars. 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.
PurposeToMelody03/22/2011

PurposeToMelody's review

Marshall DSL100
* 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


UTILIZATION

Very simple straight forward Marshall amp, its one of the best Marshall amps in years. and is very versatile, its a plug and play amp, just like a Marshall should be!

SOUNDS

Les Paul's and Strats
Cleans: Passable, they can be coaxed out of it, but don't expect pretty pristine shimmery cleans, They can be okay, just takes work, if you put a chorus on the cleans they can be really good, it just takes work like I said.

Crunch: This is where the amps shines in my opinion, Very articulate rock'n'roll Marshall grind. With a strat its pure bliss. I actually ENJOYED playing this amp with a strat on the neck pup, just makes you feel like you're playing with Hendrix, or are Froosh on stage, super super great dirtyish overdrive. With the Les Paul this channel is very much a Rock machine, think JCM800 with a little more gain, put a TS9 in front of it and you have your Hard Rock rhythm channel.

Ultra Gain: This is the weakest channel in my opinion. It has its uses, but is very muddy and shrill if you put the gain too high, it might be better with an EQ and Boost, for leads, but other than that i really just do not like it that much, if you want to play chugga chugga metal it also might be ok, but i prefer the crunch channel/button way more.

OVERALL OPINION

Overall, the good outweighs the bad, but it definitely has its problems, if you want a great crunch amp I'd say go for it, if you want super super high gain, don't.
rockerdad03/21/2011

rockerdad's review"DSL = Drooling Sounds of Love!"

Marshall DSL100
- 100 watts
- all tube
- 4 preamp 12ax7, 4 power EL34
- 2 channel
- green channel - clean/crunch
- red channel - lead
- effects channel
- spring reverb
- classic marshall styling
- classic marshall look
- 1 button footswitch (used for either channel switching or reverb on/off)
- 4, 8, and 16 ohm speaker connections



UTILIZATION

As with most marshall amps and tube amps in general, you really need to pump up the volume on the DSL to find the sweet spot. I find that keeping the master volume about 2 is a priority. If you can get above 4, you will fall in love with the tone.

The look of the amp is classic marshall...no crazy LED lights, no space age looking junk...only the goods that Marshall is known for. Very straightforward and simple operation.

The one thing that I wish that Marshall would have considered or actually implemented when designing this amp would be to have the green channel foot switchable. You either need to be on the clean setting or the crunch setting. I usually will keep it on the crunch and use my guitar's volume knob to roll down for a clean sound.

SOUNDS

Currently, this is my go to, all around amplifier that I use whether it's live on stage or recording in the studio. I'm not really a picky tone chaser. I know what i like and prefer to keep it simple. The DSL does that in spades. Plug in, turn up and you're ready to rock.

I use a few effects with the amp...mainly a Boss SD-1, NS-2 noise gate, CH-2 chorus, and a Rocktron Banshee talk box. All perform very well with the amp. The gate and chorus are run through the effects loop. I play in a Bon Jovi tribute band so the DSL really gets me to where I need to be in terms of 80's, 90's and now rock.

OVERALL OPINION

This is my 3rd time owning a DSL. I previously sold the amp twice thinking I could use something else or go to a modelling setup. Each time I've been proven wrong. I always come back to this amp. I've made a pact with myself to NOT sell this amp again.

For an amp with what some would view as a limited amp in part because of the channel setup/switching, this amp can go from the cleanest of cleans to rip your face off metal (with the added use of overdrive pedals).

I dare anyone to plug straight into one of these with a Les Paul, switch to the green/crunch channel, turn the channel gain up to about 8 or 9, turn the master volume up to 4, hit an open G chord and not feel like you're rocking a 100,000 seat stadium!
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 http://www.musicgearreview.com
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.

Faultless

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

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
dadav12/05/2011

dadav's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Good power amp"

Marshall DSL100
100w lamps
2 channels with a gain classic (clean / crunch) and an ultra gain (lead1/lead2).
an effects loop with level control switch output (pedals / racks)
rverbe one per channel.
Deep switch (bass), and tone shift (dcalage spectrum mdium) acting on the legalization (common to both channels) and a global prsence.
footswitch jack for reverb and channel change.

UTILIZATION

one branch and we play
you can have fun with button deep and ultra low tone shift, but there is a sound faster.
same eq for clean / distortion, shame!

SOUNDS

size for the rock 70's and 80's
it's ACDC and Led Zepplin

OVERALL OPINION

qqs used for years I found trs powerful.
My Les Paul Standard sounds great with my Gibson / Bill Lawrence "The Original"

There are better as Plexi or Mesa Boogie, but it is more expensive.

This is the Marshall's what they say and it stands even with closed eyes. APRS, there are several catgories Marshall sound, and with more dollars I would lean towards the Plexi. Bcp but it too expensive.

The 2000 dsl is a perfect compromise for sound rock bottom and your wallet. As against less like the STL because I'm not Metal but Hard.
Each riffs!
Doctor.Ketzer09/14/2011

Doctor.Ketzer's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Terrible! but the body double was too boring ..."

Marshall DSL100
What kind of amplification (lamp, transistor ,...)?
Lamps
What is the power delivered?
I think 100W
What connection?
remember too ... dsl
What are the settings, the effects? ...
a clear channel / crunch channel Disto / Lead reverb

UTILIZATION

The configuration is it simple?
yep, like all the marshals in general ...
Do you get a good sound easy?
It depends on what branch to him as a guitar, but generally, yeah even when ...^^
The manual is clear and sufficient? ...
Was no manual

SOUNDS

Right for your style of music?
Marshall ca be a while ...
With what (s) guitar (s) / low (s) or effect (s) do you play?
a delay, a gibson standard, and a dean
What kind of sound you get and with what settings ("crystalline", "bold ",....)?
nan ca back there too ...
What are the sounds you prefer, you hate?
Rock, Hard, Heavy, Trash, Metal

OVERALL OPINION

How long have you use it?
I got a year or two ...
What is so special that you like most and least?
The sound dismantled, but the body double was too boring, it takes up too much space, it weighs 10 tons ...
Have you tried many other models before buying it?
Randall Warhead
How would you rate the quality / price?
blah .... always shit to slam € 800 ... even if the stuff is good ...
With experience, you do again this choice? ...
No, I need a config more ... "move"