Marshall SL5, DSL15C, DSL40C, JTM30?

ryanc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
381
I've been trying to figure out which lower wattage, tube 1x12 combo amp to get for home practice (warm, medium gain, raunchy bluesy rock, driven power tube type tones at home volume). I thought that the SL5 might be the ticket and was looking into buying one when I saw the little DSL combos on the Marshall website.

I'm guessing the DSL5 probably wouldn't sound as good (or 'big') since it has a 10" speaker, so maybe the DSL15C or DSL40C?

Also, for that warm, fat, growling, pushed power tube tone, wouldn't an EL34 based amp be better? Looks like the DSL15C doesn't have EL34's.

But also noticed there's no Gain knob on the 'Clean' channel of the SL5, so wondering if it's possible to get into Crunch territory on it at 'low' volumes, or if it's pretty loud at that point?

And then, there's also always a JTM30.... :huh
 

Luke V

Silver Supporting Member
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2,410
On the sl5 the clean channel volume does not go through the master so you have to get pretty loud to get it to crunch, but if you use input 2 and the od channel you can lower the gain and get a nice crunch at low volume. You can also switch the amp to 1 watt mode for more versatility.
 

ryanc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
381
Ya that's what I was thinking. Does the SL5 have any advantage over the DSL15C or DSL40C? It's definitely more expensive. Better speaker maybe?
 
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StevieShiner

Member
Messages
213
The SL-5 does have a better speaker (Vintage 30). I had a Vintage 30 laying around that I put in my DSL40C and it ROCKS!!!! My only beef with the DSL40C is that it is extremely loud, even at 20 watts. Not really a beef but I bought it for home/bedroom use and it really is too loud for that.

IMHO, the biggest negative of the SL-5 (besides the price) is the lack of an effects loop.

I have heard (no experience with) that the 10" speaker in the DSL5 actually puts out a big sound but I have my suspicions.
 

ryanc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
381
So what about the DSL15C then since it has a 12" speaker? The DSL40C looks cool from what I can see, but might not be a good fit for me for home use. And what about the EL34 tubes? Should I be seeking out an EL 34 amp for the tones I'm looking for?
 

ryanc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
381
Since I won't be able to try these amps out in person before buying, which one should I get? Thanks for the help!
 
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2,629
I've been looking at the same amps, and will probably get the DSL40c. I don't believe I can get the Marshall sound I am looking for, without EL34s. And the lack of a loop kills the SL-5 for me. So, I will buy the DSL40c, and use an attenuator if necessary. I might even change the speaker. But given the low initial price of the DSL40c, and the feature set, I have no problem spending a little extra on a different speaker. I will still have less invested than a typical used JCM800, and have more flexibility.
 

Orm-D

Member
Messages
672
I bought the DSL40C and cant say enough good about it. I can easily get a variety of tones with it.It takes pedals very well,and with the ability to drop it to 20 watts I can KRANK it at gigs to get that molten tube awesomeness and not blow every one off the stage
 

sstweed

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,146
Dsl40c is a great little combo. It's a bit of a stretch to say its a good home bedroom amp. But it's got tons of flexibility. Lots of different sounds and tones. It has a shortcoming or two (no bright defeat button on the red channel) but tough, maybe impossible, to beat for the money.
 

ryanc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
381
Thanks for the replies! Since I'm going to be using it for a home practice rig, would the DSL15C be a better choice, or is the DSL40C going to have more of that legendary Marshall roar due to the EL-34's (in which case I'd have to get the DSL40C :dude )? Not sure if the DSL15C is going to sound the same or different since it has different power tubes.

And again, what about the JTM30 combo compared to these? Thanks!
 

sstweed

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,146
Thanks for the replies! Since I'm going to be using it for a home practice rig, would the DSL15C be a better choice, or is the DSL40C going to have more of that legendary Marshall roar due to the EL-34's (in which case I'd have to get the DSL40C :dude )? Not sure if the DSL15C is going to sound the same or different since it has different power tubes. And again, what about the JTM30 combo compared to these? Thanks!
I only played the 15 in the store for a few minutes. But it did not grab me immediately like the 40 did. I love el-34's but I also love 6v6's so I do to think that was it. What I didn't like was huge jump from the green to red channel. Without the "crunch" setting and the "lead 1" and "lead 2" settings that the 40 has, the changes seemed too big from very clean to very distorted. The 40, albeit with some eq changes, allows you to gradually move through its four settings and less drastic gain changes. The 40 is very versatile. The 15 probably is too when you get used to it. But the 40 makes it easy.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
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13,271
Definately the DSL40C for me. More versatility and an FX loop- which is a deal breaker for me with the DSL15C. Bob
 

ryanc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
381
Awesome info. With that in mind, I'll definitely pass on the DSL15 then. The DSL40C is also less expensive than the SL5! Before I snag a DSL40, is there any other low wattage tube combo that would be an even better fit for me for home practicing? I see that Marshall has several different 1 watt amps now. Sure would be sweet to get into that warm, overdriven tube tone at less than gigging volume!
 

joebor

Member
Messages
109
I use my dsl40c for practicing at home (very low volume and on 20-watt mode), and I use it at shows. It obviously sounds better louder, but it's fine at low volume too. BTW, I borrowed a buddy's Weber Mass attenuator to try with the amp, and found that it really didn't make too much difference that I could hear. I don't think you need an attenuator with this amp.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Straydogg

Member
Messages
38
I got my DSL40c For $499. It has a very little scratch in the tolex so it was "scratch and dent". I guess I was in the right place at the right time. I changed the speaker to a Celestion Creamback. The original Celestion was ok but the new one makes it even better. All told it was still less expensive than the $699 asking price I see everywhere. It can be played at bedroom levels on the 20 watt setting and sound good but it really does need to be pushed to get the great Marshall sound.:)
 

StevieShiner

Member
Messages
213
Have you checked out the new Marshall DSL5C? 5 watts, switchable down to 1 watt. Has the effects loop. My problem is a 10" speaker but I've read that it actually sounds beefy. You might look into that one.
 

Monotremata

Member
Messages
1,338
You guys are dwelling on the power tubes too much. My JCM800 has the loveliest "warm, fat, signature Marshall growl", and there aint no EL-34s in it.
My Laney AOR was a JCM800 on steroids, that ran 6V6 power tubes and did just fine.
My AC15 runs EL84s, and while its not a Marshall, that warm midrange crunch youre looking for is there in spades.. Unless youre going to be turning it up loud enough to get your grind from the power tubes, its a completely moot point whats in the back end. Worry more about the front end of the amp, thats where its 'sound' is..

If anything the only EL-34 amp Ive ever owned was a JCM2000 and that thing was horrid. Power tubes wouldnt have saved that one no way no how..
 

KeyserSoze

Member
Messages
39
I can't believe no one has commented on the JTM30's yet ....they pop up used around here every once and while ...usually around $300-$500.
They're usually priced low because of the bad rep they have, but I use and abuse mine every day (and have for about a decade, which means someone else had it for almost a decade before me), and I haven't had to touch anything other then the tubes! ...and I still have the originals that work fine.

It's a great little amp, I personally have the 2x10" version (but there IS a 1x12" version), 6V6 / 5881 power section, 3x12AX7 preamp section. It has an effects loop! Two foot switchable channels, Amazeballs clean channel, Good dirt channel (Has a master volume, and the gain channel also has both 'input & volume' controls. So you can play it with melt your face OD in your bedroom, or DIME the clean channel and master volume and make your ears bleed ...which sounds ****ing amazing BTW!

Theoretically the SL5 sounds like the amp for you (as this will be played through in your house only), and it has a nice abundance of features ...but then you're limited to playing it in your bedroom!

SL5 > JTM-30 > DSL15C > DSL40C ....for your specific application! Actually I might switch those first two! :tapedshut
 

sstweed

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,146
I had a 1x12 jtm30 back in the 90's. And it had a matching 1x12 extension cabinet. Cool rig. Boring clean tones and had to really push it to get that Marshall cranked tone. But it did have that Marshall tone and sounded good. Don't remember which Celestion speakers it had because I didn't know about such things at that time. I do remember it had el-34 power tubes. It wasn't a bad amp, and I never had a problem with it. Wish I still had the extension cab.
 




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