Dsl100hr Tubes And Tones

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Damaged1, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Damaged1

    Damaged1 New Member

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    Hi all - I am a new tube amp owner, but am also fairly capable middle aged guy who has been playing on and off since the late 80's. I found great info here including the awesome DSL100 signal flow chart (which I can't link yet) and various tube recommendations, but wanted to share what I am seeing and get some advice. I know this is a bit involved, so please bear with me...


    1 - Has there been any real change to what each tube does in the signal path on the new HR models from the previous version (is the old diagram above still valid)?



    2 - Does the factory keep changing what tubes are in these? Bought the amp in early Sept, it had issues (loud pops, crackling, bias drift), and just received a replacement. The tubes in each appear to be different:

    Original:
    Manufactured Nov of 2017
    V1 red letter Marshall ECC83
    V2 mystery tube (no markings)
    V3 white letter Marshall ECC83
    V4 mystery tube (no markings)
    Power tubes are red letter EL34's

    Replacement:
    Manufactured May 2018
    V1 red letter Marshall ECC83
    V2, V3, and V4 all have Marshall white letter ECC83
    Power tubes are gold letter Marchall EL34's.

    The replacement amp was fizzy as hell at lower volumes (original never was). Couldn't dial it out with bias settings (tried from 90 down to 72, and all points in between). If I EQ it out, the distortion is either muffled or dead. I swapped the preamp tubes from original to the replacement, and that solved the fizz. Any idea why these tubes would be so different just a few months apart in a new model?



    3 - Is there a tube swamp to tame the red Ultra channel at lower volumes? Rarely use real clean (just roll volume down a bit), red classic is dark and "dirty" at best (would be useful with a boost pedal, which I don't use), but I can dial in green ultra to be similar to GnR to slightly heavier AC/DC tones by hitting 5.5 on the gain and 81 on the bias (with all else set to around 6). Problem is, when I do that the red ultra is muddy and over distorted. It sounds like I would expect if the gain were on 10 with a big muff or the like in front of it. If I dial back the gain and EQ for the red channel, the green ultra loses all the body and sustain, as if the volume pot was slightly rolled down on the guitar. These go away at high volumes, but I play 30 hours at home for every 1 at a gig, so would like to address if possible. Obviously don't want to kill off the stage volume tone either.

    In short, the green ultra is fantastic (would still prefer to shave some fizz off at lower volumes if I could), but can I use different tubes to bring the red ultra into solo boost territory and is there anything to make the red classic a tad more aggressive and brighter short of a tube screamer)?

    Thanks for your patience and assistance...
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  2. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    Not real familiar with the 100h, but I do have the lil brother 40c’s, first off welcome to the forum, try a Mullard in the v1 slot, make sure bias is in range, on the ultra Chanel my gain is never above 3 in red 1 I will go to 5, but only on low volume, and straight in, when you are in the green channel I take the gain up to7/8 with crunch engaged, hope this can help, be patient, there are more informed members here than me!
     
  3. Damaged1

    Damaged1 New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome, Herbert!

    Different amp settings from the 40c maybe? There's no crunch to engage on my head - it's just green or red on the two channels. While I can pull down the gain on red to make it usable and turn up for green, it's not so effective in a live situation or to use as a lead boost on mine. I plan on getting the switch situation sorted out so I can footswitch green/red - assuming that gets figure dout since the 6 button no longer works on the HR's.

    Part of my issue may just be adjusting to valves from decades of solid state use - this thing sounds amazing at medium and up volumes. Of course the speakers help there too - I have two Celestion Golds and two Creamback H's in a slant 412...add the DSL100HR, plug in an SG, and let 'er rip! It's just damn hard to beat IMO.

    I do hope folks in the know chime in on the tubes - would be interested to see what the consensus is on those being so different from the factory, and also about options for tweaking the tone at lower volumes. If I can't solve the low volume issue without sacrificing the roar at volumes, I can live with that :)
     
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  4. Humanoid

    Humanoid New Member

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    Purchased a dsl100hr 6 months ago from Guitar Center. From what I have read, and experienced, the ultra red channel gain cannot be used above 3 or 4 without mush. I have also tried various bias settings, and ended up with 76mV for a good musical, dynamic, accoustic sound on the classic green Channel. This is so I can use the two button selector switch to change channels with the master volumes balanced.

    However, both red channels had a dark muddy, muffled sound that I could not EQ out without sacrificing other tonal qualities. I believe the preamp V1 position had a rebranded JJ tube which most reviews have mentioned to share that kind of tone. I recently purchased 4 "preferred series" preamp tubes from thetubestore which has greatly improved the tone, and has allowed me to EQ a much wider range. My original preamp tubes were all Marshall branded, with a red letter 90066 in the V1 slot, and 3 white letter 00055's in slots V2-V4.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
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  5. charveldan

    charveldan Well-Known Member

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    The red letter one is a JJ, the other is a Chinese.
     
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  6. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    Why not try lesser gain tubes in V1? Or any position that would tame the gain of the channel you’d like.

    Like a 5751, (70% gain of a 12AX7), or even a 12AT7, (60% gain of a 12AX7).
     
  7. Humanoid

    Humanoid New Member

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    I thought about it, but I wasn't really looking for less gain, I liked the amount of distortion and where it was breaking up, I just didn't care for the tone. There was so much Bass it just turn to Mud when driven. Some people have mentioned the JJ sounds like a blanket thrown over your amp cabinet, and I was getting that same impression. I couldn't EQ the lower frequencies enough without it falling flat. Now, it sounds clear and tight, while still maintaining the same amount of gain.
     
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  8. sjruvolo

    sjruvolo Member

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    You didn't mention what cab you are running the DSL 100HR through. I may be just as simple as switching out speakers/cab. Different speakers will emphasize lows, mids and highs as well as break up/distortion. I have not experienced any of which you have running my 100HR thru a 1960A cab...just FYI
     
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  9. jlinde1973

    jlinde1973 Well-Known Member

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    That's the same problem I had with both the dsl and jvm. They are too compressed and saturated. The gain has to be turned down below 5 to be usable but by doing that the tone thins out too much. Don't think a lower gain tube is what you're after. You may want to look into the dsl mods on the workbench site.
     
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  10. Humanoid

    Humanoid New Member

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    I'm running a Marshall MX412AR with the stock Celestion G12E-60 speakers, which I considered upgrading at first, but I figured I'd try the $100 option first and I'm glad I did. The stock Celestions sound amazing (especially when driven) with the new valves. I've seen some bad reviews for these drivers, but now I'm thinking it may just be the combination of them paired with the muddy stock valves. The stock setup seemed to have the right amount of gain and breakup, it just sounded like I was listening to it with ear-muffs on. The new valves have given me the ability to shape the tone from a tight high gain punch to a warm, clean tone with lots of headroom.

    There's a cover on my profile that I recorded (with my S7 ) and mixed with a backing-track of Pink Floyd's "Time" using the new preamp valves.

    http://www.marshallforum.com/members/humanoid.53294/
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  11. Humanoid

    Humanoid New Member

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    My (humble) opinion is that those mods are good if you're wanting to run tubes with specs that fall outside the working range of the stock board, causing a loss of frequency response, bias adjustment range, etc.

    Since the main shape and tone are formed in the V1 preamp, it seemed logical to start there, with a $15-30 option. I ended up replacing all 4 with matched preamp valves, which also seemed to better balance the channel levels. I haven't put a scope on it yet, but I'd be willing to bet that when I set the bias to the same mV level for each pair of output valves, it will be closer to zero crossover distortion. I'm thinking that the Marshall V4 preamp "should" have been matched, but who knows?

    Many knowledgable people will tell you that you need to use a scope to properly set the bias, because if your phase inverter valve is not matched properly, it's pair of triodes inside will not control the power valve pairs as a true inverse of each other. This means that one of the 2 pairs will "cross over" the zero voltage reference before the other one does, and for a period of time will be driving all power valves, hence crossover distortion.

    I've seen and heard the difference the new preamp tubes made, and I'm just happy to be able to play without stopping every 5 minutes to turn all kind of EQ and effects knobs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  12. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Member

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    Hi folks;
    A few years ago I got a Vintage Modern. I just didn't like it. I sold it pretty quickly. Couldn't keep my hands off the treble and midrange controls, and in keeping with public opinion, I didn't like the sound of the verb. Verb aside I recently got hold of the schematics and I can see the circuit is as they claimed a plexi with mods. But I think I can also see one tiny mod that might have made me keep it: The cathode cap and resistor on v-1a. V1b is like the "normal on a plexi but a has way lower vaues. What if I'd changed them? Any comments?
     
  13. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Member

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    Anyone mod A Vintage Modern? I just got hold of the schematics and I see one tiny mod that might have kept me from selling it. Cathode v-1a. Because of this I might get another one. Anybody?
     
  14. Edubra

    Edubra New Member

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    Hi,

    I have a 100HR. I'm using 2 Jan 12ax7WA NOS on V1 &V2, on V3 an original Marshall with the white logo, on V4 position I'm using the Marshall Red logo from V1.

    I just use the classic Gain channel for 2 drives:

    first one using the clean channel and obtaining the drive with a solodallas Storm pedal. The second using the crunch channel boosted with a Cali76.

    Finally to finetune I use a parametric 4 band equaliser on the loop section. This will bring the low end you want, I suggest a solidstate EQ to keep the original tube vibration intact.

    For cabinet and speaker I'm using a PPC212 with 2 celestion Redback (300W).
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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  15. Michael Roe

    Michael Roe Well-Known Member

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    If you are using a DSL on the Ultra CH and when turning the gain down finding it a bit thin, try this: Drop the gain down where it sounds a bit thin, then hit it with an Exotic EP Booster with the knob all the way down. It will thicken up that thinner sound an allow for an overall more pleasing tone with less fizz. I should note, this works for the DSL 20HR and I am assuming it is like the DSL 100HR?
     
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  16. BftGibson

    BftGibson Well-Known Member

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    gotta get the schematics from my amp guy. he made copies at staples for me. He got mine really dialed in and the gain is usable the whole way..we matched Classic chan to my jmp50 & then Ultra green to a gut punch 800 type rhythm & red to SLX type lead sustain i like and it also can do tight downtune and the bottom stays tight..vol taper pots were put in, a choke and certain caps changed, i wasn't expecting to like an amp this much, but its the main one now cause all the sounds i need are there and you can back gain down and boost this thing any which way you want...that unusable gain after about 5 is now not a factor.

    edit edit...just caught you are on HR mine is previous H
     
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  17. George Marshall

    George Marshall New Member

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    Can some one help me? I have a DSL 100hr. From the back is V1 - V4 left to right? So V1 has the metal cover? V1 - V3 are evenly spaced and V4, the PI tube sits by itself with a wider space?

    thanks much!

    GM
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  18. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    V1 is farthest to the right with a shield over it. The rest follow in order to the left.
     

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