NAD - Marshall DSL100H

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by wbm68, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. wbm68

    wbm68 Member

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    I finally got myself a Marshall again. Last time I had Marshalls were JCM800 amps 25 years ago.
    After trying out a bunch of new and used Marshalls I settled on a new DSL100H I got with a nice 20% off coupon.

    I looked at and played the TSL100, used JCM2000 DSL100 and DSL50s, Vintage Modern, 6100 Anniversary, JVM and a few others.

    In the end, for around $750 a brand new DSL100H with 5 year warranty was hard to beat. Mind you this is the newer Vietnam made amp.

    So I had it now for a week and I must say I like it very much. Can't wait to take it to the first gig this weekend.
    To me it sounds awesome right out of the box and takes fuzz pedals very well on the classic gain / crunch channel.

    To me the sound of the amp, a trend which probably started with the JCM900 series comes mainly from the pre-amp where as old NMV Marshall tone came from the power amp. The JCM800, I had a few of those way back when, also had their tone coming from the power amp even though it had Gain and Volume pots.
    What I mean to say by that is, that new amps definitely sound and feel different than old amps, and I would argue one of the main benefits of this new design if done well is, that they sound good at low(er) volume too. The JCM800's I had, had to really be cranked to sound good.
    This new DSL100H sounds good at moderate volume and really good once it moves some air.

    A couple of questions answered that I had before I bought the amp:

    1. Quality - it seems to be well made and as proof I point to the condition the shipping box was in after it shipped half way across the US to me via UPS. Looking at the holes and dents in the box I did not expect the amp to be working, but so far zero issues.

    2. Compared to the JCM2000 DSL100 and DSL50 - I prefer the newer DSL100H as it has that Resonance knob which replaced the Deep switch. I also like the "half power" switch and the "auto sensing" effects loop.
    Side by side through the same cab the JCM2000 DSL100 could sound exactly the same as the new DSL100H. With knob settings being the same the amps sounded different, but could be adjusted to sound the same. I actually had the opportunity to test 2 used JCM2000 DSL100 and a used JCM2000 DSL50 side by side. With the same settings they all sounded a little different.
    My point, in my opinion I don't think one can say that a new DSL100H sounds better or worse than the old JCM2000 DSL100. There are too may factors that play into the overall sound. They can be set to sound the same though.

    3. Effects loop - seems to be serial and buffered. I placed various buffered and True Bypass boost pedals in the loop and all worked for volume boosting without popping. I also had a buffered delay and a buffered Reverb in the loop.

    4. Half Power Switch - it changes the tone of the amp a little and reduces the volume a little. Neither is very drastic. I tried it with my Hotplate on 100 Watt and it sounded to me better than no Hotplate on half power.

    5. Tolex, to me it looks shinier, blacker and thinner than on the old JCM2000 amps. But, it might actually be stronger. Only time will tell

    6. The "wood" - compared to other Marshall heads I have access to, my only concern is the thin bottom wood panel under the knobs on the front. It seems thinner and more fragile than other Marshall heads. Might just be my imagination - only time will tell

    7. Why the DSL100H vs. ...
    first of all you can't beat the price with the generous warranty.

    vs. Vintage Modern - the DSL100H is more versatile and with the resonance knob I can dial it in to sound very very similar to my favorite tone on the VM. Which is mid boost on and slight break up on the VM.

    vs. used JCM2000 - I like the new features and warranty on the new DSL100H

    vs. TSL100 - I don't like the footswitch on the TSL, and again pricing played a big role here. New with warranty vs. used

    vs. the 6100 Anniversary - I love that amp, but spare parts are next to impossible to come by unfortunately. Seems risky

    vs. JVM410 - as much as I like that amp, and the fact that I can get one any day almost new for around $1200, I actually prefer the simplicity of the DSL100H in a live situation

    vs. JCM900 - I prefer the DSL

    vs. JCM800 - had those and prefer the DSL

    vs. NMV - not very practical

    8. Pedals - I spent an afternoon and ran all my fuzz pedals and OD pedals through the amp.
    All fuzz pedals sounded great through classic gain / crunch. I used various Fulltone, MJM, EQD, Solid Gold, Wampler, Walrus Audio ...
    OD pedals were interesting. My favorite on both channels was the Visual Sound Double Trouble, which is 2 TubeScreamers in one pedal. It had more oomph than the Ibanez TS9, KOT, OCD and any "transparent" OD like my Timmy.
    The VS Double Trouble with its' mid hump typical for a TS type pedal compliments the Marshall well.
    My Maxon SD9 also sounded great through the Classic gain /crunch channel.
    I'd say the DSL100H takes pedals very well.

    All was done through cabs with v30s using Strats with Single Coils. Amp Volume 6 and Gain 5 on both channels. For Ultra Gain I stayed mostly on Lead 1 and for Classic Gain I stayed mostly on Crunch mode.

    Anyways, I hope this helps if you are pondering buying this amp.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  2. minerman

    minerman Member

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    Oct 5, 2013
    Congrats on the new amp!!!

    Good review of the DSL100H, I have it too, going on a year now, & it's been trouble-free for me, but, I only play/record at home, although I did drag it out a couple times to jam with some buddies...

    I agree with you that this amp can sound just as good at low volume as loud too, the power tubes do come into play when it's louder, but it still sounds really good (to me) at low volumes too...

    The only od pedals I have are a JOYO Hot Plexi, a Boss SD-1, & a Bogner Ecstasy Red...I like the Joyo the least, (but that's with all my amps too, but I really didn't expect much from it for what I paid)...

    The SD-1 works great on the crunch channel, it pretty much gets the DSL100 into JCM territory, with a slightly different voicing than the red/od channel on the amp...

    I love the Bogner Red through the clean channel, it's like having another channel on the amp....

    Haven't used the loop very much, I did try a POD X3L with it, but the POD sucked the tone pretty bad, & ended up trading it (the POD) off....

    While I do like what the amp sounds like on the 50w setting (it smooths out the top end a little), & prefer it in 100w mode, not just for the headroom, but it's got much better clarity (to me) in full-on 100w mode...

    The one thing I don't like about the DSL100H is the shared eq, it could be a problem for a gig, but for me, it's not an issue...

    Myself I don't know (and honestly don't care) how this amp compares to other Marshall amps, but I personally think it's really good....
     
  3. ken374

    ken374 Member

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    Great amps! even better with some NOS preamp tubes:)
     
  4. wbm68

    wbm68 Member

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    What did you put in there?
    Thanks !
     
  5. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    They are great amps for sure! I like how the DSL100H/DSL40C addressed some issues with the previous generation of DSL amps: PCB mounted tubes, lots of ribbon cable and multiple PCB construction. Seems that the new generation DSL will be quite reliable.
     
  6. ken374

    ken374 Member

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    Hi I had some email issues but fixed now. I was using a Tungsol as the v1 but it started making noises so I used a GE Jan 12ax7WA and it works excellent and warms the red channel some. V2 RFT another warmer tube and the v3 old Mullard Groove tube RI and v4 Sylvania and good tube for that spot. Since I have the combo and stock speaker I chose these and worked out well. Bought the used ones for 35.00 a few years ago.
     
  7. Holzar88

    Holzar88 Silver Supporting Member

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    Terrific review. Thanks!
     

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