Marshall DSL50
Marshall DSL50

DSL50, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Marshall in the JCM2000 DSL series.

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All user reviews for the Marshall DSL50

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Average Score:4.5( 4.5/5 based on 11 reviews )
 7 reviews64 %
 3 reviews27 %
 1 user review9 %
Value For Money : Excellent

SonicPulverizer's review"Working man's live amp"

Marshall DSL50
The Jcm 2000 DSL50 is a 50 watt, el34 driven amplifier that really stood apart from the rest of the 2000 series amps alongside its bigger brother the DSL100. The amp feature 2 foot switchable channels that share a global EQ. The amp has a decent number of tone shaping options including a deep switch 2 modes per channel that can be toggled between on the front panel, as well as separate EQ and gain controls for each channel. Effects loop is present on this amp and works pretty decently considering the era and pricing of this amp. The look is typical marshall, but has much less class than the 800 series and other prior models.


The DSL 50 and DSL 100 were a departure of sorts from the rest of the 2000 series amplifiers. These two offerings have a much more natural sounding tube distortion to them and are perfectly passable in the professional environment. The abundance of these on the used market for such low prices make them easily replaceable when on the road-- and this reduces anxieties greatly in the touring environment. With that said, the DSL50 had no reliability issues at all for me and sounded great when turned up to gigging volumes, everytime.


I played through the DSL 50 with a Gibson SG junior. Mesa boogie 4x12. Carbon copy delay in loop.

The amp's clean sounds are not exactly breathtaking, but when paired with the onboard reverb, does the job fine. The ultra channel seemed to have too much gain available and I found myself rolling back the dial to get a tame sound. The crunch setting on channel 1 is a great straight forward marshall tone and when paired with pedals can deliver a lot for the money.


The Jcm 2000 series has been around the block. Having been the most attainable tube amp to the generation that made pop punk and harcore music a big deal, it's been spotted on a lot of stage and heard in a lot of recordings. It's essentially a working man's solution for getting a useable mid to high gain sound without venturing into the more expensive mesa boogie offerings. When you look at it in this light, the amp is an amazing value. Leave your nitpicks at the door and this could be the perfect amp for you.

tonmazz's review"Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 50 good for the money"

Marshall DSL50
Marshall really took a big step up from the JCM 900 series with the JCM 2000. 50 watts and lots of versatility make this a very nice amp for the money.Two winged C EL34 power tubes came stock and all Marshall preamps. Comes with two channels and allows for shimmering clean, ultra gain and classic gain. Reverb controls for both channels and a deep and tone shift button. Series effects loop and footswitch round out the features.


As soon as you plug into the DSL50, it becomes clear that this thing can be a beast. The tone shift button takes you into compression heaven and the deep layers huge amounts of bass on as well. The ultra gain setting is just over the top metal madness. When you feel a bit more mellow, the classic gain channel is a bit more tame and you can get a very open sound by limiting the compression with the Tone shift and turning off the deep control.


The star of this amp for me is the clean channel. I have had two of these DSLs and the clean just does not get any better than this amp. I also like the classic gain channel for exactly that, classic rock tones. The ultra gain channel definately has lots of gain BUT how much is useable? It has a reputation of being very buzzy sounding and that's somewhat true. The dilemma is that the classic gain doesn't go far enough and the ultra is just too much. You can try and presence the ultra channel down a bit and it helps but still a bit buzzy and harsh. I even went so far as to have that channel modded by VooDoo amps and it helped a bit for sure but still not quite to my liking.


Bottom line is that for the price, you can easily use this as a main amp for gigs to cover just about anything but hardcore metal. Great clean channel, decent classic gain channel and lots of gain in the ultra setting if you can tame it. Very versatile in frequency adjustments with the deep and the tone shift. You can grab one on the used market for around $600 and for that price it's a no brainer. Speaking as a tone snob, a modded JCM 800 has a better gain tone but that's it. This gets you close with many other options, settings, channels and a loop. The price is right for the value it brings.

Fireguy8402's review"Great Sounding Marshall Workhorse!"

Marshall DSL50
The Marshall JCM2000 DSL50 is a Marshall amp head with that trademark Marshall sound. DSL stands for "Dual Super Lead" which makes it the two channel model. (Marshall also put out a TSL with three channels in this same JCM2000 series of amps) The 50 in DSL50 means that this is the 50 watt version. Marshall also put out a 100 watt version named the DSL100 for people who need extra volume and clean headroom. The DSL50 has two footswitchable channels, and each channel has two separate modes (which are not footswitchable). Channel one, also known as the Classic channel, offers a clean and a crunch mode while channel two offers a Lead 1 and a Lead 2 mode. This amp has 4 12ax7 preamp tubes and two EL34's in the power section. The spring reverb on the amp has dual knobs for setting different amounts of reverb on each channel and is footswitchable. The EQ section is shared between the channels. The amp has two tone circuits that are available via buttons on the front panel. One is labeled "Tone shift" which basically is a mid-cut EQ setting and the other is labeled "Deep" and is a bass boost. A standby switch is also included to save tube life. The back panel of the amp allows access to the series effects loop with a loop level pad button, jacks for the channel footswitch and reverb on/off footswitch, and three loudspeaker outputs that allow you to use 4, 8, and 16 ohm cabinets.


This amp is everything I need in an amp and nothing more. I don't need 100 different presets available at the push of a button. What I do need is an amp that has a few QUALITY sounds, and this amp has that. It is very easy to set up a great sound with little tweaking. The shared EQ is both a blessing and a curse depending on the user. I'm not one to want a drastically different EQ setting on different channels, so I usually set my EQ fairly even on amps that have different EQ sections for the clean and dirty channels. The shared EQ does not bother me one bit, but I can see how some users may want to tweak each channel a little bit and it may be lacking for them in that department. The different reverb levels on each channel is really great, but a "spillover" feature allowing the reverb to trail when channels are switched would be nice, even if it meant going to a digital reverb instead of the spring reverb. It's a pretty straight forward amp to set up and is easy to get great tones out of, so the included manual (also available on the Marshall website) was not used.


What does a DSL50 sound like? Answer: A Marshall. You've heard these tones on countless recordings and this amp is widely used as a touring amp and as a standard backline amp at various venues. Two great channels, with the dirty channel being the better of the two. Clean sounds are still very usable, but are a little thin when compared to Fender style amps. Still it's one of the best clean sounds out of a Marshall I've heard. The clean sounds are very Hendrix sounding, even more so with single coils. But who buys a Marshall just for the clean tones? The dirty side of the amp is obviously where this amp shines. The Crunch sounds on channel one are very open sounding and nail that AC/DC heavy, but not overly saturated sound. Channel two on my amp always stays on Lead one mode, and it has the hot-rodded Marshall tones we've all come to love. Channel two, Lead Two may be useful to some, but I find it to be overly saturated and downright fizzy sounding. Different tubes or speakers may change that, but this channel just sounds too compressed and fuzzy in a bad way for me. The tone shift is useless for me as well, but the deep button is nice for use with open back cabinets that lack bottom end. Single coils into the DSL50 sound great for clean to slightly overdriven and up to distorted rock tones, but with a dual humbucker guitar is where this amp shines.


This is my number one amp for a reason. It sounds great on both footswitchable clean and distorted channels and allows me to cover a lot of ground with only a few effects in the series effects loop. While there are a few options I find useless (Lead Two mode and the Tone Shift button) this amp has all the options I can't do without and not a lot of wasted gimmicks in the signal path to mess up the tone of the amp. I've tried several models of amps before landing on this one for my gigging amp and this is the model that just makes sense. Great tone and reliability, with the look and sound of a true Marshall amp. If it were lost or stolen I'd be on the internet ASAP trying to snag a deal on another one. I don't know why Marshall discontinued them. Truly a great amp and I give it two thumbs up!
King Loudness05/01/2011

King Loudness's review"Marshall... where'd you go?"

Marshall DSL50
The Marshall DSL50 is a 2 channel amp that was designed to pick up where the JCM900 series of amps left off. It is a 2 channel amp with 2 modes per channel, as well as well as onboard reverb and an effects loop. The full list of specs is as follows:

100% pure valve signal path using Svetlana EL34 valves [when not using the reverb or effects loop].
Two channels - Classic Gain and Ultra Gain.
Crystal Clean to massive Crunch switching on the Classic Gain channel.
Lead 1 to Lead 2 switching on the Ultra Gain channel.
Tone Shift switch to reconfigure the way the tone section

iamqman's review"hit or miss"

Marshall DSL50
Sometimes Marshall nails it and sometimes they don't. I have owned DSL 100's and have played several as well. The one I owned was fantastic. Some have been awful and some DSL 50's have been as well. So to be fair I will give a similar review as I did with the 100.

I borrowed this amp from my buddy. I wanted to compared his DSL 50 to my 100. Well basically it is the same amp with lower wattage. It has all the same features and sounds pretty much the same. I will say though it had just a slight change in tone in that the sound felt a little more saggy and loose. It didn't have the headroom tone that I was used to in my 100. It was still that classic JCM 2000/ Hot rodded JCM800 tone, but just a hair inferior to my 100.

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
* Two EL34 power amp tubes


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

I believe I was using Sovtek El34's and JJ 12ax7's

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.


The sound was perfect for gigging! It will stay true night after night. It will be pretty consistent and take a beating. For me at the time it is a perfect gigging amp. I haven't recorded with it but a friend of mine has and he got better tone from it then I got from my DSL 100 surprisingly.

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(mostly DSL 100's). 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 have read that they sound even better when having proper trannies in there. This one was made in 2003 and I'm not sure what trannies were in it.

It is priced very well in that 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.
MGR/lemon of pink02/21/2005

MGR/lemon of pink's review"Marshall JCM 2000 50 watt w/1960 A Cabinet"

Marshall DSL50
this head and cabinet were purchased brand new back when the jcm 2ooo unit just hit the market. i scored the head for around 85o bones and the cab for like 5oo or something.

this is a classic example of unparalled marshall tone and versatility. this head features a clean channel (green light) that is literally CRYSTAL clear with a volume and gain knob. there's also a boost that gives it what ill call "classic" overdrive sound (like ac/dc or led zeppelin.)

the overdrive channel (red light) has the same volume and gain features and roars like a mother. it sounds a bit like the jcm 8oo except it has a little more classic crisp and responds warmly to your playing dynamics. the extra boost on the channel is a little bit much for me because i dont like that wack distortion overdose out the ass nu-metal sound. but if thats your bag, than this has it also. it also comes with spring reverb for each individual channel (nice!), bass, treble, middle, presence, and tone shift. in the back you got your effects loops various ohm jacks, extension jacks, foot switch jacks blah blah blah.

the only thing i dont like about the head is how fragile it is. i played out alot and played hard and my spring reverb is busted. it could have been a number of things, but it probably was me being an idiot. the other thing i dont like is the tone shift feature. if you're going to record with this head and the tone shift is on, it will cut all the balls off your amp and give you a half ass solid state sound. it is evil.

the construction of the cab and head are the typical tank style that marshall normally makes. although i ripped a bunch of the tolex over the years the sound is never affected. be careful with the spring reverb and watch your heat because it gets hot inside the head. nice gold paneling on the head and matching gold grill that covers the tubes and guts of the head.

this amp kicks ass 12o% A+++ it's built like a tank and covers every tone marshall has made from the 5o's through today in one head. excellent reverb (when it was alive) and tons of tone to choose from. expensive but guaranteed for life and probably worth good $$$ in 3o years or so.

This review was originally published on
MGR/Lou Ciaccio06/30/2003

MGR/Lou Ciaccio's review"Marshall JCM 2000 DSL50"

Marshall DSL50
I bought this amp in perfect condtion at Guitar Center for $879 used & retailing new at $1050. Not bad eh?
I bought it about a year ago and i wanted to buy a Mesa Boogie Rectifecer and i had only 1100 with me, so I tried the Marshall and the Mesa.

The Marshall sounded superb with its holiness clean channel. The distorion was alright, you had to crank it up to get the good distortion going. I wish it had as much disortion as the Mesa, but the Mesa was difficult to use with too many channels ans shit. Also it had a horrible clean channel. The Marsahll had a more well rounded basis. It still delivered everything thing i needed to play Iron Maiden to Metallica to Jason becker to even the low stuff like Slipknot and Korn. It looks incredible and has brilliant gold finsih to it.

The volume had to be cranked to apprectiae the true Marshall disortion and gain, but i i just use a pedal for lower volumes. I use a Zoom 606 and by the way that is the best $100 for a multi effects pedal EVER!!!! a bit pricy as well, but thats marshall.

Very durable. Its on the heavy side for weight, but there are defintly heavier heads though.

I would say defintly that this is a great amp and Marshall has never made a bad amp ever. If u want a godlike clean and satanlike distortion, here it is. The all tube 50 watts is definlty loud enough for ANY club, gig, show, or venue. if you want a great amp check the DSL50 head out! You won't be disapointed.

This review was originally published on
MGR/goz sus04/08/2002

MGR/goz sus's review"Marshall JCM 2000 Head and Stack"

Marshall DSL50
i went to the shop looked around and bought it. i got it in russles music shop in cork in ireland. i paid £1300 irish pounds for the head and cab.i got it because my other amp packed in.

the tone out of the cab on the clean channel is exceptional. when they say it's clean it really is clean, no fuzz all guitar tone. the power of the stack comes from 4 60 watt celestions if my memory serves me right, there is a choice of speakers but i can't recall them. i liked the reverb on the head itself to the clean channel is quality, it is very rich and deep, but the sound doesnt get lost in it when you turn it up

to be honest i hate the dirty and distorted channels (built in gain lead sound into distorted), they are weak and transparent, and to me a pure waste of time, if i could get a head with just the clean channel i would buy it rather than the whole head. i don't like that all the channels are set under one EQ this is crap, if you like a crisp clean guitar in the clean channel and a heavy EQ'ed sound in the distortion get an external pedal (i have the GT3). i thought i would be getting a distotion with the same charachteristics of slash's sound but i did'nt

the haed is well set. the valves appear to be spring loaded so as not to take all the shock in transit, it is extremely heavy and i advise the hiring of a roadie to lug it around from gig to gig. the cab is just speakers set in what appears to be chip board and is on casters so is easily moveable. the pair are coated in that famous marshall tar that is on every amp they release

if you are looking for am amp that will make you're guitar squeaky clean on clean this is the one for you, if you are like me and like the big motherfuckin metallica distortion dont buy this for the distortion. personally i use the amp for 2 things 1) to get a perfect signal in and out by it beeing the real one(all valve)
2)for sound projection and overall power.
in my opinion this is the motherfucker if you can get a peadl with good distortion i use the boss gt3. it may be a mesa boogie but it is close

This review was originally published on

vintage7's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Footswitch minimalist but not the amp"

Marshall DSL50
Head tube amp 50 watts, 2 x EL34 power, 4 x ECC83 in preamp.
2 channels Clean and Lead with 2 power stages each: 2x2 = 4 types of sounds.
Accutronics Spring Reverb
Full connectivity (effects loop, footswitch x2 ...)
Tolex black, white strap, large logo Marshall, the standard which ...
For my part, I said at the level of the lamps, I've pasted Preamp: V1 = ECC83 Electro Harmonix, JJ ECC803s = V2, V3 and V4 = JJ ECC83 Balanced (hifi quality). 2 EL34 power Svletana russia.
I use it with a power reducer Power Brake Marshall.
My cab is a 1960 Lead with 2 x 2 x Vintage G12T75 and 30, mono 16 Ohm.
So much for the presentation, the test begins ...
For me, it lacks nothing, it's perfect like that, I ask. Note 10/10


The config is pretty simple as all JCM, knobs quite effective, a little hum of transformers connected in standby certainly the quality of electricity at home, which in any case not hear a beast that sends the sound .. .
Manuel interesting, but it could provide the wiring diagram with ... Even if we know anything, it would!
We obtain easily a cool sound in the knobs tampering, however I do not like the tone and deep inter shift, especially the latter who "eats" the sound ...
The reverb is very good, but not to bottom, I remain consistently below 5.
Rating: 9 / 10 because of these two cross that did not convince me ... As you strive to do, ba is in fact too ... The engineers could have made an effort to complete a footswitch more ...


This head is perfect for me, the 4 types of sound are really nice and is close to jmp in lead1 and JCM800 in lead2. The clean1 is excellent, clear and precise sound quite warm and round and the crunch very effective especially with a power brake delivers distortion almost natural.
Marshall is the sound we like it or not, but for me it remains a monument of the Rock.
I play with an Ibanez RG custom (micro DiMarzio Evo) and mainly with an AK MeloDuende Icebreaker equipped Bare Knukle "the mule", the sound is to die for. No effects except for a wha wha ...
The amp has an excellent dynamic especially with my MeloDuende, its sharp, warm and round at a time, a pure pleasure to type a big agreement by separating each note in passing the pick!
I think the choice of lamps is essential with this amp, failing to take a multitude of pedals I preferred playing the card of the natural working of the lamps and the HP config.
I play heavy rock like Guns N 'Roses, zztop ... and down quite often in his more bluesy after I blew eardrums. Frankly, very good to excellent amp.
A friend tried it in Explorer with EMG, although this is not my thing the metal, well here it tore ... Even the neighbors remember (well it was 2 o'clock in the morning ...).


I've had six months, and after the mods qq, this head gives me satisfaction.
I have owned a lot of amp (Fender Hot Rod, DC2 mesa, marshall vintage modern, marshall jmp MKII I regret that I still have sold ...) and this one is perfect. I find that grain Marshallian I always loved, without being either blocked by a single type of sound ..
Most: Versatility, ease of use, look legendary power, dynamic
The -: The inter tone shift that to me is not a success, the footswitch minimalist, I would have preferred to control the foot and two power stages of each channel with ...
However, the price / quality ratio is excellent, OCCAZ below € 500, there's kidney to say.
I would do not have that choice because I'll keep this one a long time ... I complete if funds allow me one day by a head Marshall Hand Wire current or vintage style 1959 or 1987 ... See also the Orange side ...
At least for the moment, I'm thrilled!

Alyvest's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Marshall DSL50
This is a tube amp: 2 EL34 and 4 for amplification for ECC83 preamp.

This is a 50-watt lamps, so it's pretty powerful, without being either too. This allows to push and make the lights work, giving better performance and therefore better sound!

Level connections, it was a 6.35 mm jack on the front which is the input.
At the rear: two 6.35 mm jack input for footswitch (channel and control the reverb), 2 jack 6.35 mm for the effects loop, output jack 6.35 mm for HP.

Setting level, it has the volume and the gain of each channel.
For channel 1 (the clean) was a interuptor to activate the crunch.
For channel 2 (saturation), it was a interuptor to activate saturated fat ^ ^.

2 pots to adjust the reverb for each channel.

Otherwise, set low, medium, treeble common channels and presence.
To dig the sound, there is a button "tone shift" that cuts the mids. This immediately gives a more modern sound. Button remains "deep" that balance of serious slobbering well ^ ^.

I put 8 / 10 as an independent EQ per channel would have been interesting.


This head is extremely easy to use: Marshall is generally very easy to adjust.
It's easy Scult sound, and adjusted aisemment in concert / studio according to the room.

The manual is clear, but hey, at the same time, there is not any need!

Personally, I like the sound of this head. Marshall is very typical, we like it or hate it.


I play rock (progressive metal).

This head (especially with a Marshall cabinet) has not a legendary precision in acute, but it is present in the bass and lower midrange.
For rhythm (chords loose), or palmuting is incredible sounds ca!

As for solos against hyper accurate and fast, it's not ideal.

With my Les Paul Studio is the ideal couple: sounds good lower midrange, which leaves me a dreamer substain 8 years ^ ^. Well a "full".

on the other hand, with my Telecaster, it's a bit different: the skyscraper is under substain. Right now, we feel!
Less serious acute and struggling to be precise.

In addition, the gain setting is really accurate. I like to play through the amp crunch. Depending on the attack of the strings, the lamps will saturate or not.
Finally, the distortion is monstrous!


I think I bought this amp in 1998, hehe it would make 10 years! and I'm very happy, not want to change her.

I especially like the grain Marshall: bass very present and very heavy sound in general.
Also, the reverb is very nice: real spring reverb! (I do not know if it is on other heads).

Before this amp, I've tried a lot:
- Laney 120 watt
- 5150 (combo) 60 watts
- Marshall Valvestate 8080

- Peavey Ultra
- Mesaboogie Single Rectifier

My amp was already before the JCM2000 Marshall Valvestate 8080. That's when I started to like the grain Marshall!

If compared to the head that I could try, it's completely different: it is the heaviness of his marshall. The substain is Marshall.
For cons, the accuracy of the sound, it's Mesa, or otherwise.

Level quality / price, we can say that this head is excellent. I paid 4000 francs in the memory is € 600. She had just come out.
Other heads were much more expensive, or else of dubious quality (I have a grudge against Peavey: many friends around me have had concerns about the different brand products).

With experience, I would definitely do it again this election!
One of my best memories is the first time I plugged back of the store's head with 4x12 cabinet. The spread is amazing! The sound is huge!