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Do you recommend a DSL 50 or DSL 100?...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Madison, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    ...for my 16 year old son (I may use it some too!). I'm looking at both, and having never played a Marshall really don't know which would be the better fit. He's using a 2x12 or 4x12 cabinet, playing mostly hard rock...no metal.

    Each one is used, in new condition and both owners are asking $750.00

    All advice appreciated
     
  2. 908SSP

    908SSP Supporting Member

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    There really isn't all that much difference. At the volumes he should be playing there isn't enough difference to mater. The 100 will have better bass thump but man it has to be loud to hear that difference and you need to make sure he saves his ears. I think I would opt for the 50 for my son and even that is silly loud. If he has enough self control it simply won't mater get the one in better condition.
     
  3. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    He's using a Crate 100w solid state head now. I'm assuming the 50w Marshall will be considerably louder?
     
  4. SFW

    SFW Member

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    The 50 watter will be plenty loud, although I would not recommend either amp. In my experiences with the DSL/TSL series (and yes, I have owned both) they are muddy amps, and not one of Marshall’s better offerings. If he is after the Marshall sound, I’d go with either a JCM 900 or a 2550- if you can find one. You can pick up a Rivera off eBay for $500 to $700. Riveras are better build and they have that “British” flavor. There are a lot of really nice amps that are in the range of $$$ that you are looking to spend. Most of them are far better amps than the DSL/TSL. However, if your son likes the way the DSL sounds, then by all means get it. I just think that you’d be better off looking for something else. Just my two cents...
     
  5. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    Actually I think it's more about the way it looks.:D
     
  6. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    The used Rivera suggestion is a good one.

    But I know about the "looks" deal. I have a seven year old nephew who loves Marshalls - until he plugs into them. We had him into my Germino HR-100 and it wasn't too exciting for him. He actually best likes a hard driven Fender sound when he plays them, but those words do not come out of his mouth.

    What he really wants is to put a DRRI in a Marshall combo case.
     
  7. MusicGearGuys

    MusicGearGuys Member

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    Huge difference actually.
    I used to be a Marshall dealer. I comparred these 2 side by side many times.
    The 50 watter has much less gain and is better for blues and rock. Even at lower volumes.
    The 100 watt can do the same but, also gets more saturation for hard rock , metal, and punk.

    Both have a cool feature that most dont know about.
    Use the clean channel with the boost on and gain up.
    It is a Plexi amp.

    50 watts = Jeff Beck
    100 watts= Slipknot

    Of course the 100 watter is louder, but not a huge usable difference.

    Gregory
     
  8. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    Aside from the tone differences, how about feel & dynamics (not that he will care)? Are they comparable in that regard? Thanks for all the comments.
     
  9. dave s

    dave s Member

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    I owned and played both a DSL50 and 100 for about a year. Many of the gigs were on larger stages, many outdoors as well.

    The 50 watter broke up a bit more quickly (on the clean channel) than I prefered, so I went to the DSL100. The DSL100 was like driving a formula 1 car to the corner store for a loaf of bread. I just couldn't open it up at any gig.

    Those who mention the difference in perceived loudness between the 50 and 100 models are correct. But there is a huge difference between the two in terms of how they behave in practical application.

    The DSL50 was pretty linear when it came to turning the volume knob. It never got overly loud before the sponginess set in. OTOH, the 100 watter opened up very quickly and with the subtleness of a 20 lb sledge hammer. Too much horse power for me.

    IMHO, the DSL heads are in my top 3 marshall products for everyday gigging amps. But I'd agree with others and stick with the 50w version.

    dave
     
  10. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    from previously owning both and both giving me reliability issues from hell, id recommend you try another amp, seriously.

    jimmy
     
  11. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    Issues, like a blown tranny?
     
  12. ungarn

    ungarn Member

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    Go with the DSL50 if it has to be a Marshall.

    If not, there are others in the price range: Rivera, Laney, etc.

    Good luck!


    -Thad
     
  13. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    had the DSL100 for 4 months and it had meltdown , fixed under warranty and sold immediately.

    had the DSL50 for 11 hours and it clapped out big time as well , I will never buy any marshall in the future that is built after vert input jcm800 2203 or 2204, the last REAL marshall.
     
  14. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    in your position , the Laney GHL50 offers incredible value for money providing it is treated well.
     
  15. ExtraStrength

    ExtraStrength Member

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    I gotta chime in hear. Based on my experience with a Marshall DSL 401 combo and the TSL 122 you are better off spending your money elsewhere.

    The DSL has failed me numerous (3) times in gig situations. It has intermittent problems. The bridge rectifier builds up too much heat near the printed circuit board and melts the traces. My understanding is this is a frequent and common problem on both TSL and DSL.

    I did not have reliability issue over the month that I had the TSL, but I believe it has the same construction issues as the DSL. The TSL just sounds plain honky to me and went back. I know other people have other opinions of the sound of this amp, YMMV.

    IMHO, until Marshall redesigns their circuit, to take the dissipation of heat from the bridge rectifier away from the circuit board in the DSL and TSL , nobody should buy these products. They are too unreliable.
     
  16. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. The reliability talk is reminding me of the AC30 CCH I bought and returned...two of 'em!
     
  17. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    +1

    in my opinion if you buy marshall start at 1984 and work backwards, those amps are what Marshall is all about.
     
  18. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    I bought a DSL50 new in 1998, still have it, would never sell it.

    Most of the problems with the DSL50 has to do with the current sent to the tubes being set too high. The good news is the DSL series have test pins in the back that enable the owner to easily set the current to suit himself.

    From the factory my DSL50 had current settings of 62mV and 67mV for the tubes. The recommended factory setting is 45mV, but that's still too much current. At a current setting of 40mV or less for each tube, these amps are transformed. Silky cleans, plenty of warmth, or lots of crunch if desired.

    With overcurrent to the tubes, the tone was harsh, and it ran hotter than hell. I had to set the presence and treble very low and boost the mid and bass controls to get any warmth out of it. Now I set all of the tone controls to 12:00 and get nothing but great sounds.

    I'll bet most of the failures in the DSL series is due to overheating. I had one bad solder connection in mine that was repaired for $60, and other than that I've had no problems at all. I run SED Winged-C EL34 and EH 12AX7 tubes.
     
  19. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I test drove a DSL 100 for the first time this week ... boring! Try an eighty something JCM800 for the same price, I think you'll see the light (as I did).
     
  20. pluto

    pluto Member

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    My 98 superlead and 05 1959HW work and sound as well as my vintage Marshalls. IMO, having a pre-84 Marshall means nothing-I've played both good AND horrible pre-84 Marshalls. Just my opinion and I'm not discounting yours either.
     

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