JCM2000 DSL Crunch channel alternatives

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by jc1funk, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. jc1funk

    jc1funk New Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Melbourne, Australia
    What else could I buy (new preferably, or used) that would give me the same/similarly thick crunch tone I get from my JCM2000 DSL50 crunch channel?

    (Early/mid-2000s JCM2000 DSL50. I run it at about gain 9, volume 4-6 depending on the room, presence and treble 0-1, mids on 10, bass neutral. No tone switches engaged)

    I just can't find another amp that has the thickness of the JCM2000 DSL green crunch channel.

    So over to you: what amps should I try that have a similarly thick tone? And I mean very similar :)

    (I'm currently in the market for a used JCM2000 DSL100 as a back up/option for playing larger rooms, but I'm wondering what I can buy new that'll do the job?
  2. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada Member

    May 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Calgary, Alberta
    JCM 800 2203
    LRT#1 likes this.
  3. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2019
    Likes Received:
    South of France, Europe, Earth
    I've A/Bed my DSL's Crunch and Lead 1 channels vs my SV20H, and tone is pretty similar (which shows how good the DSL is)...feel on the SV is better though, the DSL is pretty dynamic (much more so that most "modern" channel switchers I've played), but the SV is quite a bit more responsive to pick attack and pickup selection.
    Lead 1 is kinda more reminiscent of a 2203: brighter, leaner, more agressive.
    The DSL's Crunch channel was designed to emulate a Lead/Superlead (hence the name, as DSL stands for "Dual Super Lead"), so this makes sense anyway...

    So, depending on how loud you want to get, and if getting an amp that has the thickness and dynamics of DSL Crunch (only better), I'd say a SV or a 1987x.
  4. headcrash

    headcrash Active Member

    Jun 19, 2015
    Likes Received:
    The preamp circuit of the DSL in clean channel crunch mode differs from the standard 2203 topology (3 gain stages + cathode follower), since there is one more gain stage in line. Signal before one of the stages however is damped down heavily (in the older ones this was where the signal for reverb and fx loop was branched off, as far as I remember).
    The 10k cold clipper stage is missing in both the DSL crunch and lead modes, and it lacks the 2203's second 470p treble peaker. Negative feedback is more in the DSL, in the newer ones even more. Also the newer ones dump some treble to ground somewhere in the gain stages. The DSL lead modes incorporate one more gain stage, more filtering (cutting bass, dumping treble,...).

    What this all does to the sound compared to a classic 2203 circuit, I don't know, but I suspect it will at least feel and maybe sound a little different even after tweaking both to sound equal.

    I had a DSL 50 in the late 90s, and I remember liking it quite a lot. But I never came over that the Lead channel always had too little bass compared to the clean/crunch channels.

    Compared to other higain amps or other modern Marshalls I find the DSL circuit is quite unique.

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