DSL5c - The Ultimate Lo-Power Amp

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Micky, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. smitty_p

    smitty_p New Member

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    Rather than starting a new thread, I decided I'd just add to this one.

    I have one of the earlier DSL5C amplifiers. As I mentioned in my Introductions thread, I play live with this amp. I essentially use it as a head and run to an external speaker in an isolation cabinet that I built. There, the speaker is mic'ed to the PA.

    Currently, I'm using a Celestion G10N-40, But @Micky 's mention of a 12" WGS Green Beret has me interested....I've gotta look into that.

    Anyhoo...I changed my PI valve to a JAN Philips 5751, versus the stock ECC83. Additionally, I changed the stock V1 to an Electro Harmonix 12AX7. I tried a Sylvania 12AX7 valve in the V1 slot, too.

    Results?

    I tried the 5751 swap in the phase inverter first, before changing any valves in V1.

    The difference is very slight. You won't notice a night-and-day difference. There really was no tonal change, per se, that I could detect. However, there was less fizz on the Ultra channel. I want to say that a Stratocaster is more usable with this amp now, as the 5751 takes just a touch off the spikiness of a Strat bridge pickup. I've also done the steel plate mod to the bridge pickup of my Strat, so...there's that.

    As for the V1 swaps, when I swapped in the Sylvania 12AX7 I couldn't hear a meaningful difference between that and the stock ECC83. The Electro-Harmonix 12AX7, however, seemed like it added just the slightest touch more harmonics. Again, it wasn't a super-obvious change, but it help this amp "grow up" a little more. I'm leaving it in.

    My next task is to acquire a 12" speaker and build a new enclosure for it.

    I've been planning on a Greenback, but I'm curious about this Green Beret. What are the positives about that?
     
  2. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    There are a lot of positives about the WGS GB. First it is made in USA and second it costs a lot less to ship it around. Third, that means savings are passed on to you. Plus, if you wanna call it number 4, it sounds incredible. Mind you I only compared it to a Celestion 10" GB, (as well as the OEM Celestion) but I have had the chance to compare it to other 12" speakers and it is much more articulate. Being as this is a 25W speaker you have no worries about overpowering it, I feel it is a perfect match.

    Also, this is exactly what this thread was started for, a place for everyone to post their experiences with this amp. Your post is very informative and helpful, and I hope you can post more as this amp is an awesome platform for not only mods, but live experiences as well. I used mine only a couple times live and it easily cut thru the mix both in a 500-seat auditorium as well as a huge gymnasium.
     
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  3. smitty_p

    smitty_p New Member

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    Thanks, Micky, for the kind words and information.

    The next time I play live, I’ll have to pay close attention to the mix with this setup. While the touch of added harmonics from the EH tube sound great alone, sometimes those things have a way of making the sound disappear in the mix.
     
  4. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    I think that it's pretty cool that you play live with that little guy, kudos to you. I must ask though, is there a live drummer in this performance?
     
  5. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

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    Micky I got one of those WGS GB 16 ohms inside a cab. I use it with my JTM1H and it sounds beautiful. I need to use the cab to try the DSL5C with.
     
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  6. smitty_p

    smitty_p New Member

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    Yes. I cheat though. I run to an external speaker housed in an isolation cabinet. The speaker is mic’ed inside the iso-cab and run to the PA. I’m certainly not trying to rely on the little amp, itself!
     
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  7. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

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    I've been on a Fender amp kick lately but, you guys are forcing me to pull out the DSL5C. I've been swapping between a Champ 12 and JTM1H.
     
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  8. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Funny you mention that - I stack my '57 Champ on top of my DSL5c here in the living room. I run a cable from the hi input on the Champ into the DSL and slave that amp off the Fender. I still have a couple pedals (EQ, Reverb) in the loop of the DSL, and I push the input of the Champ with either a Power Stack or an SD-1.

    When I want some reverb or some extra power, I just turn on the DSL. What an awesome setup, and the footprint of the DSL is slightly bigger than the Champ, so the stack is stable. And it sounds fantastic. Far too loud if I crank it, so I run the Champ thru a PS-1 attenuator.

    I can run different tubes in th Champ, I currently have a big 6L6 in it, but it will take a 6V6 or EL34. I have a couple other odd power tubes yet to try in the setup but it is sounding pretty good...
     
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  9. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

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    If you run a 6L6 or EL34 does it raise the power? My Champ 12 has a 6L6 in it. If I put a 6V6 in it, maybe it might sound like SF VC? Maybe the power would drop to 6 watt also?
     
  10. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I haven't measured output power with different tubes yet, but that is next on the list. Being that it is single-ended Class A I think it just might...
     
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