Marshall DSL5C vs Blackstar HT5? Anyone?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by guitarman3001, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 New Member

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    Has anyone here played through both of these? I have a DSL40C and a Blackstar HT5R combo and am very interested in the DSL5C but before I spring for one I want to know how it compares to the Blackstar. I love the Blackstar and have used it for gigs plenty of times with excellent results. It's my go-to amp for small gigs and small stages. Both channels are excellent and while the dirt channel doesn't have that specific Marshall crunch or bite, it is a smoother and somewhat thicker tone than the dirt channel on the DSL40C and I'd say equally as good, just different.

    I'd love to be able to have a tiny Marshall to alternate with the Blackstar but only if it's significantly different. I guess a comparison between the DSL5 and the DSL40 might also help me figure it out.
     
  2. sidvicious

    sidvicious Active Member

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    i don't own the backstar but i've played the single channel 5w combo with the mv. it's a very nice amp.

    to my ears there's a huge difference between class A and A/B amps. hard to compare, in other words. the class A amps tend to be much more sensitive, translated for many into revealing more mistakes at low gain settings.

    the dsl5c sounds like a nice amp for easily jumping into a wide variety of distorted rock tones. micky has one and vin's is on the way. i'll play it when it hits gc.

    you might also consider the sl5 if you can locate it.
     
  3. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 New Member

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    SL5 doesn't have an FX loop. That's a definite deal breaker for me.
     
  4. Sournote

    Sournote Active Member

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    I just need to chime in that you are obviously a highly sophisticated and refined individual.
     
  5. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 New Member

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    Likewise!

    Any updates? I'm sure there are plenty of DSL5C owners by now.
     
  6. Tonton

    Tonton Active Member

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    Me had both!
    and micky has the 40 and the 5, ask him.

    Always played TSL122 at home (25W setting)
    When i saw HT5RC I wanted to have: full feature, tubes, high gain, reverb, fx-loop in a small box.
    Anyway it worked only few weeks for me, then i started to find it boring sound. Clean it is bit dull/dead from start I think, gain was high gain but noizy (lots of hiss). ISF so so. very loud..
    anyway my enthusiasm started to reduce and started playing TSL again.
    So not sure if that helps you but can't describe differently, it was like amp software instead of real deal. (just feeling maybe)

    Then DSL5C is around same in full features but full pre-amp tube distortion (Marshall making claim 'the other famous small amp isn't') and no reverb.
    So had to try that one with a Zoom 70CDR in loop (for reverb delay chorus).
    And this time after a while I sold my TSL!

    The tone much closer to me, much better for 80's rock
    Much more lively sound to my ears and nicely creamy saturated.
    Maybe that is the raw sound you mention that didn't appeal to me.
    I upgraded with a 12" V30 and even sounds better :)
    The deep switch has big effect to give some bottom end at low volume, works nicely have it always on with low volume.

    So not sure if this helps you...
    To me huge difference but that could be just my preference in tone, maybe my ears are too marshalized?
    So how to convince? go to shop and bring your own HT5 for comparison.
     
  7. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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  8. JohnH

    JohnH Well-Known Member

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    Mickys thread is really good, full of great info. My main question, which relates to guitarmans situation, was whether the DSL5c can get a better low volume tone than a DSL40c, used at a low setting. See reply #56.
     
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  9. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    In this respect - no. Maybe on the Ultra channel, and I am still investigating this, but the DSL40c has separate volume and gain controls on BOTH channels, where the DSL5c does NOT. The Classic channel has volume only...

    This instantly turns the Classic channel on the DSL5c into a Plexi-type of crunch-mode only, with very limited clean headroom on the 5W setting and virtually none on the 1W setting. Your volume on the amp on this channel also controls the gain.

    Now, this is not to say if you roll back the guitar volume you can't control the cleans, you can do that easily. In fact this is the ONLY way I can get any decent cleans out of this amp. And boy, do I miss the reverb!

    Having had several Fender amps I am kinda spoiled, sparkly cleans and rich, expansive echo-like reverb are the norm for these tube amps...

    But to compare this 5c to the 40c is like night and day, it is more like comparing my Haze 15 to the 40c. I do miss the gain control on the Classic channel and the reverb...
     
  10. xxx256

    xxx256 New Member

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    I used to have a Blackstar HT5 head. I wasn't at all happy with the tone of it so i changed the tubes. It didn't make much of a difference. Now when you look online there is so much hype surrounding the HT5. I found it to be hollow, cheap sounding and without any real punch or projection. I would go for the DSL.
     
  11. MarshallMark

    MarshallMark New Member

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    I have the new Blackstar HT-5 Metal Series combo and am awaiting delivery of a DSL5C any day now. Also have a DSL15C. As far as comparing tone between the DSL and the HT-5 Metal, the Blackstar is definitely a more modern gain tone. I know this may not be relative to the regular HT-5 combo tone though. As far as volume the Blackstar can keep up with the DSL15 for sure. Neither the Blackstar nor the DSL15 at triode power are really quiet enough for low volume bedroom play but that's mostly how I use them.
     
  12. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I cant comment on either amp, but why get another similar Marshall, isnt one DSL enough? Variety is nice to have, shop for a Fender, Orange, Vox, Mesa, etc.
     
  13. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 New Member

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    I do have a bunch of other amps - Vox, Bugera, Palomino, Fender, etc.. But I love the tone I'm getting from the DSL40C and my aging back would appreciate the same tone in a smaller and lighter package. Not to mention, a lot of the stages we play are tiny and the smaller the amp, the better. I've mostly been using the HT5 for these gigs but if I could find something that size that sounded like my DSL40C, it would be great!
     
  14. Ed Hunter

    Ed Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I like the "rawness" of tone to the DSL5c over the HT5. both are great small amps but the marshall had that raw edge i like so i got that one.
     

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