Another DSL15 Mod Thread - WOW

grizzlywhite

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I recently came across a DSL15 on my local FB Marketplace. I didn't know anything about it at the time but I'd been chasing affordable Marshall tone at bedroom volume for quite a while (bunch of MIAB pedals bought and sold).

I did a bit of research, saw how much interest it's gotten lately and saw all the mod threads, and immediately knew I had to have it.

It sounded pretty good stock with gain around 2-3, but move it up a hair and it was way too much gain & the sag with heavy chords became severe.

Did the following mods one at a time:
Added 150K to R82 - you can almost get away with doing just this one mod. Really widened up the usability of the gain knob, but still had a lot of overcompression/sag over 12:00 on the gain knob (used to hit above around 10:00 previously).

Added 10K resistor to negative leg of C34 - lowered the gain a bit more, seemed to feel a bit better, got a bit more range on the gain knob but still had the overcompression. I only played with this one for a couple minutes so really can't speak to the tonal differences - seemed subtle but good.

Snipped C75 - the true DSL Lead 1 channel switches a 10M resistor in series with this - my thinking is that resistor only exists to prevent audible popping when effectively bypassing this resistor, so snipping it should give the same result with no ill effects. This mod reduced some of the ridiculous bass that came in when the gain got turned up over halfway, which got rid of all of the overcompression and sag. With this, the gain is actually usable through most of its range!

At this point I was absolutely thrilled. I finally have an amp that provides the sound in my head, and it's incredible!!!

Last mod to polish it off - swapped C76 (bright cap) from 470pf to 220pf - this really only makes a difference at lower gain settings, but reduced the brightness a bit at lower settings so the tonality is much more even as the gain is turned down.

My rig & settings for reference: I have a homemade semi-open back 2x12 cab with an Eminence GB128 (similar to a greenback) and a Celestion Classic Lead 80.

DSL Settings: presence 9:00-9:30, bass 11-12:00 depending on gain, mids 1030, treble 9:00-9:30. Usually have tone shift switch in and deep switch in, sometimes pop out the tone shift when I want that classic sound (I've noticed it reduces the presence at the same time as boosting mids).

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributed to all the information on these mods on this forum, I couldn't be happier and couldn't have gotten here without all of you! (Made an account just to come here and say this!)

Update: Green channel bass mod! R72 is a 1M resistor which is part of a pre-set EQ for the green channel. I put a D500K pot in parallel across this, with a 4.4k resistor in line with one of the leads to the pot to provide a minimum setting that wouldn’t short the original resistor. Now I have a separate bass control for the green channel, which lets me dial in a balanced setting for swapping channels. Highly recommend this last mod!
 
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scozz

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Welcome to the forum!
 

Guitar Rod

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Congrats! I'm not brave enough to dive into those type of mods, but it's really cool you can get a great little Marshall head like that.
 

grizzlywhite

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Update question:

This morning when I turned it on, after a few seconds this high-pitched squeal started. It started at a low frequency and swept higher and higher until becoming inaudible. Turned it off for a while, turned it on again and it did it again.

update 2: hasn’t done it again in a few days, never did figure out the cause. May have been related to my pedal board.
 
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