How about a Marshall DSL401?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mims2, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. mims2

    mims2 Member

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    I played one of these today and thought it sounded pretty good. I play in a cover band doing ALL styles from country and pop to rock and heavier metal, and I need something really versatile. I play a Mesa F-50 right now and sometimes I think I wanna try something else. Is this a good amp for what I need or is there something that might be better? I prefer short heads or relatively lightweight combos if that matters.
     
  2. rewog

    rewog Member

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    If it has enough output for you, they're not a bad amp IMO. They're fairly versatile.
    A Vintage 30 speaker and a good set of tubes helps a lot with the tone.
     
  3. mims2

    mims2 Member

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    But doesn't the Classic 30 have a lot less gain? I used to be very interested in the classic 30, I actually wound up getting a Fender HRD, and that prolly wasnt the best choice. But to me, I don't see the Classic 30 being a very versatile amp. I may be wrong, but it doesn't get very modern tone does it? Can anyone tell me any alternatives to the Marshall amp?
     
  4. Darkburst

    Darkburst Member

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    I made the mistake of not bringing my rig to the rehearsal space and was forced to use the DSL401 in the room. The whole time I was distracted by how horrible the amp sounds and was reminded why I sold the one I had years ago. My 5w Crate Palomino practice amp sounds better and it has no EQ, just a 'tone' control.
     
  5. mims2

    mims2 Member

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    ewww well then, I get really bad representation at music stores it seems like. I always have to get it home to see how bad it sounds. Can anyone suggest something that covers what I need?
     
  6. rickc007

    rickc007 Gold Supporting Member

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    I love mine, I was just about to sell it cuz I'm moving
    and haven't been using it.
    But I plugged it in to make sure it works, and I'm keeping
    it. Gives me a diff tone, like the clean channel
    and is a total screamer
     
  7. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I thought the 401 I played last weekend at Sam Ash sounded very nice. Somewhere I thought I read they had reliabilty issues or I might of considered buying it actually. A little screamer IMO. Bob
     
  8. mims2

    mims2 Member

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    well it's hard to tell about amps. I know a lot of people on here seem to hate JCM 900's, but I saw a band last weekend whose guitarist used one and the whole band sounded awesome, everyone was diggin them too. So who knows.
     
  9. keninsyr

    keninsyr Member

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    Had one and it died on me twice at gigs. Very cheezy IMO.
     
  10. pluto

    pluto Member

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    They tend to overheat quite a bit. After playing it for only about 15 minutes or so, I would notice how hot the front and the top got. I'm not sure if it's the lack of ventilation or it just runs really hot, but I think the reliability issue is related to how hot it gets.
     
  11. UMT

    UMT Member

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    I own a 2002 and installed a plastic vent from a MG50 and can run it for hours on end with no overheating issues. I've been told that they cured that issue with the newer models. The problem with the older ones was basically just a ventilation issue. (And no, a fan on the tubes will not CURE the problem. It will help, but it is not the cure)

    That being said, you will probably want to get rid of the factory speaker. I'm currently running my DSL with a Classic Lead and a 2x12 Ext. cab with Vintage 30's... I sounds good with a straight V30 in the combo also. Classic Lead = cleaner sound, doesn't break up as early. Vintage 30 = great sound and breaks up fairly quickly. Kind of depends on the style of music you are playing and how much 'gain' you want. Tried a GT-75 once and didn't care for it as a straight combo speaker.

    Very underated amp if set up properly. I can't think of anything currently in the Marshall line that I would replace my rig with. I dropped mine off the ext. cab once, about 3 ft. and landed face first. Pushed the guitar cord end right into the amp. Pulled the amp, replaced the input jack, fired it up and it worked perfectly.
     
  12. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    I had a DSL401 a while back. Most uneven amp I have ever owned, some days it sounded great, others horrible. A vintage 30 or G12T-75 is a nice upgrade. I also used to run mine with a 112 extension cab which used to help alot.

    I didn't have any issues with mine. But mine did get very warm. After owning 2 marshall combos (6101LE) that were like easy bake ovens, I would not get another combo.

    I think the DSL401 would have been a much better amp had it been a DSL501 and just been the head in a 112 combo using EL34 power tubes. I would take a Mesa F-50 anyday over the DSL401.
     
  13. oldrock

    oldrock Member

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    wow, suprised to hear so many down on the dsl401. I own a dsl 50 watt head and really like it alot for classic rock. I've also played thru a dsl401 many times and thought they were pretty good too. Now to be fair, I have also played thru the classic 30 and think it is a good amp too. The classic 30 is actually a good value since they sell cheap on the used market.
     
  14. rewog

    rewog Member

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    Mmm... me too.
    They obviously doesn't measure up to the boutique amps most here like, but I think they're a decent sounding and performing amp for the dollars.
    Even better with a Vintage 30 speaker, good tubes, and properly biased.

    I'd take one over a Classic 30 any day.
     
  15. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I'd take one over a Classic 30 too. Its just that I heard they had reliability issues so every time I see one in the store I play it,think it sounds pretty darn good and walk away. Is this a rumor or do they have issue's? Bob
     
  16. UMT

    UMT Member

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    Bob, the whole 'reliability issue' is built around the earlier models overheating. And it's true, they did get hotter than hell. They failed alot. But if you have a older one and address the ventilation issue, they are as reliable as anything else out there. I use mine ALOT and as I said in my earlier post, dropped it face first from 3 ft in the air and only needed a minor repair to 'put it back on the road.' I've heard that the overheating issue has been addressed in the newer models but maybe someone more knowledgable about the newer models can talk about it.

    Here is the 'cure' for the overheating issue:
    http://i480.photobucket.com/albums/rr165/TeleHH/DSL401w-Vent.jpg

    I originally bought the DSL401 because I wanted a combo to use in smaller rooms and other places where the portability of the amp would come in handy but I mostly use it with a 2 x 12 ext cab... The ext cab really makes it 'open up.'

    Good speakers, good tubes and a vent makes this amp shine!
     
  17. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    That's the issue is had they made the DSL401 like the DSL50 but in a combo, I think you would have a great amp. People assume because they are both in the JCM2000 DSL series that they sound the same and that is not correct.

    I would rather have a peavey classic 30 and they were half the price of a DSL401 when you could still get one new.
     
  18. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Supporting Member

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    If you want Marshall tone, buy the Marshall. The 401 does need a better speaker in it.
    And WHY didn't Marshall just make a DSL50 into a combo??? They would've sold a TON of them.
     
  19. oldrock

    oldrock Member

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    I have to say my DSL 50 head sounds really really good for classic rock and also does a respectable job on blues. Not crazy about it or cleans but then I didn't get it for clean. For classic rock stuff the DSL 50 head is a great value and I've never had one bit of trouble with mine. No overheating, tubes last a long time and the thing is very sturdy.

    Maybe Marshall should just offer a 1x12 combo version of the DSL50 head. If they were going to do it, I'd suggest they set it up to be switchable between 25 and 50 watts. Would make a really good amp even more versatile.
     
  20. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    I have a DSL201 (20 watt version) that sounds OK.
     

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