6V6 In DSL 20?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Gene Ballzz, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    I know that some of the newer Marshall models with cathode bias EL34 power tubes claim to accept a wide range of octal tubes and I'm wondering if the DSL20 is one of them? I realize that if safe, the 6V6 will only drop the wattage/apparent volume a tiny bit, if at all, but please bear with me on why I want to try it!

    Given that the DSL20 is one in this series that sounds its best when cranked right up (no master volume, per se) it definitely puts power amp breakup into the overall tonal picture. This makes the amp quite different than its bigger relatives in the series, that appear to have the ability to derive a "full amp sound" out of just the preamp. I'm thinking that the extra clarity of the 6V6 may help bridge the tonal gap between Marshall and Tweed Fender character!

    Just Curious Here?
    Gene
     
  2. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Check the voltage rating of the 6V6. Check the voltage of the amp first.
    As long as the rating isn't exceeded it probably works OK.
     
  3. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    Well my friend, that's kinda what I figured, except the amount of current draw is likely important also. How might I easily/conveniently measure that? From what I stunderand, the 6V6 has a substntially lower current draw than the EL34, but that may depend on a few other factors?

    All Help Appreciated,
    Gene
     
  4. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    If the amp runs EL34s it can easily handle the heater current draw of 6V6s.

    I tried 6V6s in the 2525 briefly. It was muddy cranked up if I recall correctly. My guess is, they would make the DSL20 to have a flabby bottom end. But try it and see. It shouldn't hurt anything.
     
  5. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    If you have one of those current meters that plug into the socket?
    If DSL20 is a class A amp, then it should be 90-100% of the rated plate current.
    I'm not sure I haven't seen the schematic yet but I think it's class A.
     
  6. DonP

    DonP Active Member

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    My 2525H read 250v at 50ma with a pair of EL34's in high power mode.
     
  7. Matt_Krush

    Matt_Krush Well-Known Member

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    DSL20 is a AB push-pull amp.
    If I recall...seemed like plate voltage was low 300's or mid 200's.

    It certainly wasn't in the 450+ voltages the 50 & 100 watters are.
     
  8. Esa Martikainen

    Esa Martikainen New Member

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    I think that when two output valves are used there is no sense to build A-class. AB can be set closer the A which lessen low volume distortion and closer the B which improves efficiency.

    if that 250v is DCL20 anode voltage and 50mA is one tube bias current it comes about 50% of EL34 max 25W power (250V x 0,05A = 12,5W)

    Esa
     
  9. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    I’m a bit confused Gene. I was under the impression that the Dsl line, unlike other Marshalls, is NOT a Marshall amp that would benefit from cooking the power tubes. I’ve read that they get virtually all of their distortion tones from the preamp tubes, not the power tubes. Is this incorrect?
     
  10. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    My good friend @scozz ,
    That is certainly true of the ones with more power and master volumes (DSL40CR & DSL 100HR) and even though they can get their power amps driven and cooking, it's not really much of an improvement over the preamp character, possibly even a slight downgrade. The smaller ones, DSL5CR & DSL1CR/HR can do it all in the preamp and from my perspective that's the best they can do, as the "preamp" tubes used for power tubes just don't give up the real goods when overdriven/distorted! Now, although a really good sound can be achieved in just the preamp, this DSL 20 becomes more "old school" once the power section gets really cookin'! :naughty: It becomes much of what a Fender Deluxe Reverb can only dream of being! :wow:I call mine a Deluxe Reverb Slayer, although it can be pretty damned loud once you get it there. Pretty darned close to the volume of your Studio Series, possibly even a tad louder. IIRC, yours is the Studio Classic? I have/use a JohnH designed attenuator to stay out of trouble! What my sick mind that loves a stock 5E3 Tweed Deluxe is hoping, is that the 6V6 tubes may give this amp a tiny bump down in power, but even more importantly, impart a bit of that Fender clarity (not clean, but clear) to its character!

    While I certainly love having a bunch of different amps that each do their own magical thing (and I have quite a few that are not on my long out dated list) I am still on the quest for that one amp that can do it all, without having to stomp on any switches or twist any knobs! :rock: And yes, I know surely I'm nuts and a raving lunatic, but believe my Holy Grail to be attainable!

    A little (yeah right :rolleyes:) explanation may be in order. I have spent 50+ guitar playing years seeking to ride in that mythical zone between "The Fender Sound" and "That Marshall Sound" and recently discovered that the "Fender Tweed Zone" is much closer to the most classic "Marshall Zone" than most might expect. For me, this gets complicated by my addiction to outrageous use of echo/delay, which necessitates a more modern "effects loop" approach than the older Tweeds can easily provide. But then I'm stuck in the grindy "Marshall, EL34 Zone" that while having similar tone, lacks the dynamic clarity of the Fender stuff. This DSL20 comes pretty close and I'm just hoping to see if the marriage of the more "Fender-ish" 6V6 might help me bridge the gap!

    My sincerest appreciation goes out to all the folks who have shared their patience with me on my lengthy quest for the perfect amp. I must admit that if I ever actually find it, you'll likely never hear from me again, after the lengthy bragging, of course! :dude:
    Thanx 2 Awl!:cheers:
    Gene
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  11. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    Well, well, well! More testing (and maybe minor mods) needed, but the 6V6s seem to lessen the dichotomy between the use of the two channels. The CLASSIC GAIN channel does not drive the 6V6 tubes into distortion quite as easily as it does the EL34s, but now the ULTRA GAIN channel is more tonally similar to the CLASSIC channel and appears to have a bit more clarity than with the EL34s. I'm going to first monkey with some various 12AY7s in V1, in hopes to tame the slight fizziness of the ULTRA channel and may look into finding the cathode bias resistor, to possibly "warm up" the bias of the 6V6 tubes. The Presence and Resonance controls react considerably different with the 6V6s, but in a quite pleasing and useful way. I can see this being a pretty useful tweak to this amp. Yet to be seen if it actually puts it into the "middle" ground I'm looking for, but may be a step in the right direction.
    I'll Keep Y'all Posted,
    Gene
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
    BanditPanda and scozz like this.
  12. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    I wish you the best of luck on your quest buddy! And thank you for so eloquently explaining how the Dsl20 differs from its larger and smaller brothers. I did not know that, but I have in the past wondered why the Dsl5 and the Dsl1 have preamp tubes in the power section. Great info,...thanks Gene! :thumb:
     
  13. Roag Jones

    Roag Jones Member

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  14. tmingle

    tmingle Well-Known Member

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    I got a good deal on a DSL1CR to try out. I plugged it into the speaker on my 40C & with a little tweaking, it does a Rich Little job with the 40C.
     
  15. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    Hey Gene, hows the “lengthy quest” proceeding? I’m curious if you kept the 6V6 tubes in you Dsl20 or moved on to something else? This kind of tube swapping intrigues me.
     
  16. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  17. EC Strat

    EC Strat Member

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    LMK if a 12AY7 tames the fizz.
     

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