Marshall DSL Series DSL100H 100-Watt All-Tube Guitar Amplifier Head - Black
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- Two footswitchable channels - Classic Gain & Ultra Gain. Two Modes per channel for extra flexibility
- Footswitchable, studio-quality, digital Reverb with Level control for each channel. Shared 5-way EQ - Treble, Middle, Bass, Presence & Resonance
- Mid-Shift button adds to the amp's tonal flexibility. Pentode/Triode switch to drop power down from 100W to 50W
- Bypassable series FX loop
- 2-way footswitch supplied
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From rehearsal room to live performance, the DSL100H all-valve head is truly versatile. With its classic and ultra gain channels, it can take you from brilliant cleans to high-gain shred, and all places in-between. It’s based on the massively popular JCM2000 DSL100H, and has the same valve complement - four ECC83 in the preamp and four EL34 in the power stage - and the same feature set. There are however some significant upgrades: resonance control replaces the deep switch, allowing you more control of the lower-end chunk; studio quality digital reverb instead of spring; there’s a rear panel pentode/triode switch which will drop power from 100 Watts to 50 Watts, and a rear panel series FX loop. The flexibility of the shared five-way EQ section is increased further by a mid-shift button which scoops the mid frequencies, making it ideal for modern metal styles. The DSL100H, with awesome tone and real flexibility, is incredible value for money. Specifications: Power (RMS): 100 watts Valves: 4 x ECC83 4 x EL34 Channels: 2 Treble/Middle/Bass EQ controls Presence and Resonance controls Mid-Shift button Digital reverb FX loop with true-bypass switch Pentode/Triode switch 2 x 8 ohm and 1 x 16 ohm outputs Weight (kg): 24.2 Dimensions (W x H x D): 741 x 274 x 242 Footswitch included
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Even though I like this amp, I do have a couple criticisms. One is that the speaker it comes with is pretty cheap, though I think it sounds decent and I've heard they get even better after they break-in. In any case swapping the speaker is simple to do. One thing that's not simple is adjusting the bias trim pots for the power tubes, which isn't something that needs to be done often but it does require taking the entire amp apart and that's a bit annoying.
Overall though, this is amp is a lot of fun. It has a wide range of sounds from sparkly British clean to a lead tone with more gain than I'll ever use. Its also bigger than I expected and a little on the heavy side. I don't count that against it though since the large cabinet is a big part of why it doesn't sound boxy or muffled like a lot of other amps with smaller cabinets.
At first I thought the reverb was pretty weak (as others have commented), but after the amp has burned in over a month of daily use, it seems to be coming to life. In fact, I thought the reverb wasn't even working when I first unboxed it, but now I think it's definitely more than enough to get the job done (and save me from buying a pedal). The "Tone Shift" button works great and gives the effect of scooping out the mids and raising the treble and bass with an EQ pedal. The "Deep" button is also pretty great and adds some warm darkness to the dirty tone on the second channel. The clean channel isn't as clean and sparkly as with my Fender amp, but I didn't expect it would be; it's warmer and just slightly more gritty to my ear. "Treble", "Middle", "Bass", and "Presence" controls do their jobs well. It also responds great to pedals (I use a wah, compressor, overdrive, EQ, and delay).
The included foot switch is okay, but it would have been nice if there were some LED's to let you know when they're engaged (there's no light on the amp for Reverb either...). Would also have been cool if Marshall included a cover; they're hard to find and unreasonably expensive ($80) for something that's certainly no more expensive to make than a $20 duffel bag.
Some folks have commented that this model is made in Vietnam so perhaps it's not up to the same quality as those made in the UK. I don't know about that, but what I do know is that the build on the one I received is substantial and perfectly executed. No, it's not made from the same materials as those made in the UK (MDF rather than plywood, perhaps different Tolex, and missing some of the finer details), but it's also a lot less expensive; they did have to do something to keep the price down. It's a substantial feeling amp, far more substantial feeling than the Fender Super Champ X2.