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Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Ben Decko, Jul 24, 2021.
I would also recommend the Dsl40cr,…
Hard to get a bad sound out of the DSL20cr or hr. The reverb is better on the 20 (vs the 40). While the 40 is amazing cranked a bit, in my opinion it sounds weak with the masters below noon. Just my opinion, but I had both and the 20 got way more playtime than the 40. Just a killer little Marshall. 20 watts is freaking loud. Now, I will say the 40 has more tones due to the 2 gain options on 2 channels compared to the 20 which just has two tones (the cleanest of the clean and the gainiest of the gain). But I with this little 20 watt monster, two is enough. Just another opinion to consider.
How did you find the 20 versus the 40 in terms of gain?
I bought a DSL20 and found it too gainy on channel 2 and not enough on channel 1. Leaving a gaping hole between the two which is where I usually sit....effectively crunchy Plexi tones.
Interested to hear what you think, what type of music you play etc.
Yeah the 40 becomes another amp from 10am up. I run mine at noon.
I don't find Marshall 20 tube watts loud. Moderate is my take and that includes my JCM 800 SC-H into a 412. I get to play loud where I live and really love the sound and feel when the power amp opens up the preamp leaving its fizz behind. I won't play a DSL stuck in its preamp only volume level. And I don't have too. I know many have to manage volume while playing.
I love my Dsl40c’s for the cranked Marshall tones I can get at a low volume.
Of course if you turn it up it gets better..
I can't hear mine at low volume
Is it on? Is it plugged in? Red lights on...
Yeah and let's not forget all those fine geetars you play through it.
You are spot on about the difference in gain being pretty massive. The solution is an overdrive pedal. But that clean channel is so versatile. Here’s how I run mine: clean channel gain all the way up, volume to suit. (Incidentally, with the volume cranked, it nails the plexi tone). Add SD-1 for more gain. Channel 2, I run the gain quite low (9 or 10 o’clock) and volume to suit. Add SD-1 for more ballz. So with your favorite overdrive pedal the 2 channels become 4. But again, I think people overlook how amazing the clean channel is. No disrespect to the 40 water at all, but I can crank the 20’s clean channel and it’s glorious. And the reverb on the 20 is just richer and deeper than the reverb on the 40. I loved my 40CR but it was just too loud for my purposes. Again, the double master volumes are a great idea on that amp, but they suck out the tone until you get them up past noon, and at that point, it’s too loud for me. Not at all the case on the 20.
I love classic rock and heavy metal. Scorpions, Zeppelin, AC/DC, Priest, and of course some Texas boogie thrown in (thank you Mr. Gibbons). My 20 runs though an MX212R loaded with V-Types (stolen from my SV212 to make way for the greenbacks I loaded into it). Through the modded MX or my vintage 1960 4x12, the 20 sounds huge.
Try an 823 in V1.
It tames the ultra and leaves the classic as is.
Might fill that gap you speak of.
Is there a schematic of the DSL20 floating around?
Is the preamp different from that of the DSL15, specifically the voicing of the classic gain channel?
I know most will tell you the 40 (because it feels like you get more amp for your money) but consider this:
Dsl20cr with a 25w greenback in it fits your bill perfectly. Light weight, sounds fantastic and actually its two channels and eq are much better suited to run pedals and play live. Like others have said, there are a run of bad ones. If you have the time to read up on that you’ll know a good one when you see it, your son will be very happy. Keep the pres and res below 12:00, clean channel gain mid way, red channel gain just below 9 and run an o.d. Out front. Huge variety from clean to heavy with everything in between. If he’s in to heavier stuff too then go with the head and closed back cab. Best of luck in your search.
Every once in awhile I have to pop in and sing my praise of my DSL15C(the predecessor of the 20) it has 6V6s like the studio 15.......it took a few simple mods(OD1 conversion, bright cap swap V1B cathode resistor swap and a coupling cap) a speaker swap(Heritage G12-65) and a cocktail of vintage pre amp tubes....but im on the fence of saying it sounds better than my old 2210 head did(which also had vintage pre amp tubes). With a LP Jr and a Boss SD-1 leads sing feedback blooms if you crank it up a hair and it keeps up with a live band(that said I set to the level of the drums and mic it live).
But if you can handle a few minor component swaps inside its a singer and they can be had for in the $350 range used on ebay.
That said the larger models will allready have the OD1/2 switch not requiring the conversion mod and will also have the .02 coupler cap........which means really only a bright cap swap is needed to make them sound right and a cathode resistor if your after more classic tones IMO that is......you may like it stock.
I have dsl40cr and I am quite happy. Clean since i like loads of pedals and OD1 mostly low gain. The OD2 is a bit hard to tame for me. Crunch just haven't warmed up to yet.
Any downsides would be that the reverb does not go very far, but on full it is a nice sound. Wish that happened at before noon though. Using pedals to fix that though.
Fully cranked on 40w, then i have to take it outside. 20w clean at noon and door closed is quiet enough for the rest of the house.
I read a lot that a Marshall must be dimed to sound really good, so I have that to try somehow. Maybe that'll open crunch and od2 for me.
EDIT: I think 40cr has more to "grow in with" but haven't tried any 20 which might be more optimized as far as cost vs functions go.
Driving the output stage on a 20W amp into compression is still very loud. Filling out the tone because of Fletcher Munson is a different issue which can be fixed by using an EQ in the loop.
if a 20-watt combo shootout is what you're after, I like my 20-watt Friedman JJ jr
That said, level up to the DSL 40C (not familiar with 40CR): it has a halfish power switch to 25 watts. After I got one (I eventually upgraded the speaker to a Creamback), the guitar player in my mostly-working band got one a few months later (and this is probably 6 or so years ago now) and plays it stock. The speaker has broken in quite nicely and Strat or LP tones sound fantastic.
I absolutely love my 20w Silver Jubilee combo, but it is a hefty sum…
I remember reading that several Marshallistas with dsl40c were less happy with stock speaker, while on dsl40cr it is a better stock one with less urgency to swap.
@Ben Decko: did you decide/go ahead yet?