Marshall DSL50
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Marshall DSL50

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

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All user reviews of 4/5 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
SonicPulverizer10/05/2012

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.

UTILIZATION

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.

SOUNDS

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.

OVERALL OPINION

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.
tonmazz08/06/2012

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.

UTILIZATION

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.

SOUNDS

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.

OVERALL OPINION

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.
iamqman03/23/2011

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

UTILIZATION

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.

SOUNDS

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.

OVERALL OPINION

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.