Dialing in my DSL100HR

Kvltrokkr

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Hey, everyone!

New member here. I’ve been a fan of the forums for quite some time now. I finally decided to pull the trigger and sign up. I’m looking forward to being an active member of the community and learning more about my own Marshalls and others that are on my bucket list.

This post is going to be a bit long-winded, but I’d like to provide readers with as much detail as possible, so I can try to tackle and resolve this issue as effectively as possible.

Onto the matter at hand...

I’ve been the proud owner of a DSL100HR for a little over a year now, and I’m overall very, very impressed with the amp. Marshall have really outdone themselves with this one. I love the versatility and more modern features of this amp (dual MV’s and MIDI capability, to name a few). It sounds fantastic, with tone and texture for days, it’s a great pedal platform and is very responsive to your pick attack, articulation and volume and tone knob manipulations. You’re not just playing the guitar; you’re playing the amp, too. Love it!

I use the DSL for live performances with my band (an old school heavy metal band, writing original material heavily influenced by the NWOBHM and Swedish scenes of the late 70’s and early 80’s, with some nods to the U.S./Canadian power metal scene of the mid 80’s), and we record with my singer’s ‘85 2203, our friend & engineer’s ‘77 2203 and my Vintage Modern 2466.

While I understand that, since the original 2k line, the DSL series has always had a bit more of a modern sound, I’ve always been able to get just about any sort of sound that I’m looking for out of it. There’s only one small issue that I’m having: the low end, namely on OD1.

I do enjoy a fair amount of bass (there’s nothing like hitting a low E5 and feeling that thump hit the floor from the 4x12 behind you), but I’ve definitely noticed a difference between the low end of my singer’s 2203 and my DSL.

The 2203’s low end is certainly there, but it seems more transparent and “breath”-like, giving more room for the mids to punch through the mix. The DSL’s low end on the Ultra Gain channel seems a bit more bold and present, especially when a more generous amount of gain is used. This does present a bit of an issue, as a few songs in our set list have lower register artificial harmonics. I’d like to have enough gain to be able to audibly produce them, while still maintaining a tight, punchy and articulate rhythm tone.

While it won’t be the end of the world if I can’t get 100% of what I’m looking for out of my live amp, I’d certainly like to try resolving this anyway, as I take great pride in my tone (as I’m sure we all do - that’s why we use Marshalls!).

I have a few theories as to what the issue may be and how to solve it, but I’d like to ask for other fellow Marshall users’ input. I’m sure there are a few of you out there that have been plugging into them since before I even popped-out. So, any advice that could help me out and potentially save me some hard earned cash would be fantastic!

My settings on the EQ board are:
Master 1: 2 o’clock
Master 2: 3 o’clock
Reverbs: None; pedal
Resonance: 11 o’clock
Presence: 1 o’clock
Bass: 9 o’clock
Middle: 1 o’clock
Treble: Noon

Ultra Gain
Volume: Dimed
Gain: Just past 1 o’clock

Classic Gain
Volume: Dimed
Gain: 3 o’clock

I’m currently running my DSL through a 1960A loaded with G12t-75’s. Despite their bad reputation, I actually don’t hate the speakers at all, I think they’re overall good speakers with plenty of texture and harmonic content. But, it doesn’t quite match up with the sound I’m shooting for with my band. With the slight mid-scoop and low-end hump, I feel that it’s definitely contributing to the issue. My singer’s own 1960A (also loaded with 75’s) actually pairs very well with his 2203 - the mids from the amp fill in the “pocket” perfectly. I’m thinking of upgrading to either a 1960AV or a 1960AX, at some point.

I purchased an MXR 10-Band a few weeks ago to see if I could shave-off some of the lower end frequencies and give the mids and low-highs a light boost. It definitely made a noticeable difference, but so far I’ve only been able to try this at my place with my drummer’s Ampeg V-4 4x12 (100 watt speakers - MASSIVE sound!).

Again, apologies for the megapost haha! Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, whether it’s simply tweaking my settings, a biasing issue, new tubes, or looking to invest in some new gear.

I’m glad I finally joined, and I look forward to becoming a regular poster here.

Cheers!
 

LPMarshall hack

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Welcome!

I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not get a dsl100hr. I’m gassing hard!

I don’t have an answer for your issue, but I’d just have to imagine the 2203 just has more balls than the dsl100hr, or any Marshall!
 

Mitchell Pearrow

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Hey, everyone!

New member here. I’ve been a fan of the forums for quite some time now. I finally decided to pull the trigger and sign up. I’m looking forward to being an active member of the community and learning more about my own Marshalls and others that are on my bucket list.

This post is going to be a bit long-winded, but I’d like to provide readers with as much detail as possible, so I can try to tackle and resolve this issue as effectively as possible.

Onto the matter at hand...

I’ve been the proud owner of a DSL100HR for a little over a year now, and I’m overall very, very impressed with the amp. Marshall have really outdone themselves with this one. I love the versatility and more modern features of this amp (dual MV’s and MIDI capability, to name a few). It sounds fantastic, with tone and texture for days, it’s a great pedal platform and is very responsive to your pick attack, articulation and volume and tone knob manipulations. You’re not just playing the guitar; you’re playing the amp, too. Love it!

I use the DSL for live performances with my band (an old school heavy metal band, writing original material heavily influenced by the NWOBHM and Swedish scenes of the late 70’s and early 80’s, with some nods to the U.S./Canadian power metal scene of the mid 80’s), and we record with my singer’s ‘85 2203, our friend & engineer’s ‘77 2203 and my Vintage Modern 2466.

While I understand that, since the original 2k line, the DSL series has always had a bit more of a modern sound, I’ve always been able to get just about any sort of sound that I’m looking for out of it. There’s only one small issue that I’m having: the low end, namely on OD1.

I do enjoy a fair amount of bass (there’s nothing like hitting a low E5 and feeling that thump hit the floor from the 4x12 behind you), but I’ve definitely noticed a difference between the low end of my singer’s 2203 and my DSL.

The 2203’s low end is certainly there, but it seems more transparent and “breath”-like, giving more room for the mids to punch through the mix. The DSL’s low end on the Ultra Gain channel seems a bit more bold and present, especially when a more generous amount of gain is used. This does present a bit of an issue, as a few songs in our set list have lower register artificial harmonics. I’d like to have enough gain to be able to audibly produce them, while still maintaining a tight, punchy and articulate rhythm tone.

While it won’t be the end of the world if I can’t get 100% of what I’m looking for out of my live amp, I’d certainly like to try resolving this anyway, as I take great pride in my tone (as I’m sure we all do - that’s why we use Marshalls!).

I have a few theories as to what the issue may be and how to solve it, but I’d like to ask for other fellow Marshall users’ input. I’m sure there are a few of you out there that have been plugging into them since before I even popped-out. So, any advice that could help me out and potentially save me some hard earned cash would be fantastic!

My settings on the EQ board are:
Master 1: 2 o’clock
Master 2: 3 o’clock
Reverbs: None; pedal
Resonance: 11 o’clock
Presence: 1 o’clock
Bass: 9 o’clock
Middle: 1 o’clock
Treble: Noon

Ultra Gain
Volume: Dimed
Gain: Just past 1 o’clock

Classic Gain
Volume: Dimed
Gain: 3 o’clock

I’m currently running my DSL through a 1960A loaded with G12t-75’s. Despite their bad reputation, I actually don’t hate the speakers at all, I think they’re overall good speakers with plenty of texture and harmonic content. But, it doesn’t quite match up with the sound I’m shooting for with my band. With the slight mid-scoop and low-end hump, I feel that it’s definitely contributing to the issue. My singer’s own 1960A (also loaded with 75’s) actually pairs very well with his 2203 - the mids from the amp fill in the “pocket” perfectly. I’m thinking of upgrading to either a 1960AV or a 1960AX, at some point.

I purchased an MXR 10-Band a few weeks ago to see if I could shave-off some of the lower end frequencies and give the mids and low-highs a light boost. It definitely made a noticeable difference, but so far I’ve only been able to try this at my place with my drummer’s Ampeg V-4 4x12 (100 watt speakers - MASSIVE sound!).

Again, apologies for the megapost haha! Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, whether it’s simply tweaking my settings, a biasing issue, new tubes, or looking to invest in some new gear.

I’m glad I finally joined, and I look forward to becoming a regular poster here.

Cheers!
Welcome to the forum.
Once you have had a chance to gel with your mxr 10 band eq, (with your live amp Dsl) you are going to be very impressed, that is a secret weapon for the dsl amps!
Cheers Mitch
 

Kvltrokkr

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Welcome!

I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not get a dsl100hr. I’m gassing hard!

I don’t have an answer for your issue, but I’d just have to imagine the 2203 just has more balls than the dsl100hr, or any Marshall!

Jump on it - it’s a great amp! Whole lotta Marshall for under a grand!

My DSL doesn't do the same kick-in-the-chest that the 2203 does either.

Not many amps do, IME

Thanks for the welcomes, guys! Much appreciated.

Well, the issue isn’t a lack of nuts; the DSL has plenty. I can get that “thump” with no issue whatsoever. Perhaps not as much as a 2203, but still a very satisfying thump that can be heard and felt (by the first several rows in the audience!).

The issue I’m having is trying to tame the low end a bit, so it’s not so bold when I have a significant amount of gain dialed in. I don’t need a ton of gain for what I play with my band, but enough to be able to fully produce the sounds I need to during a set (namely, lower register pinches) without sacrificing cut. I’m trying to eliminate flub and boldness in the low end.

I’ve heard demos of 100HR’s that sound just about exactly what I’m looking for. Plenty of gain (more than I would normally use for rhythm playing), but still tight and punchy and with a present but more transparent low end. So, I know it can be done. It’s just a matter of figuring out what the issue is.

Welcome to the forum.
Once you have had a chance to gel with your mxr 10 band eq, (with your live amp Dsl) you are going to be very impressed, that is a secret weapon for the dsl amps!
Cheers Mitch

Thank you very much for the welcoming words, Mitch.

Yes, I was told to grab one by several friends who all said that they can really help carve a DSL and bring out the best in them. Looking forward to seeing if it can help tame both the amp and speakers in my 1960.
 

Bogmonster

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Hey, everyone!

New member here. I’ve been a fan of the forums for quite some time now. I finally decided to pull the trigger and sign up. I’m looking forward to being an active member of the community and learning more about my own Marshalls and others that are on my bucket list.

This post is going to be a bit long-winded, but I’d like to provide readers with as much detail as possible, so I can try to tackle and resolve this issue as effectively as possible.

Onto the matter at hand...

I’ve been the proud owner of a DSL100HR for a little over a year now, and I’m overall very, very impressed with the amp. Marshall have really outdone themselves with this one. I love the versatility and more modern features of this amp (dual MV’s and MIDI capability, to name a few). It sounds fantastic, with tone and texture for days, it’s a great pedal platform and is very responsive to your pick attack, articulation and volume and tone knob manipulations. You’re not just playing the guitar; you’re playing the amp, too. Love it!

I use the DSL for live performances with my band (an old school heavy metal band, writing original material heavily influenced by the NWOBHM and Swedish scenes of the late 70’s and early 80’s, with some nods to the U.S./Canadian power metal scene of the mid 80’s), and we record with my singer’s ‘85 2203, our friend & engineer’s ‘77 2203 and my Vintage Modern 2466.

While I understand that, since the original 2k line, the DSL series has always had a bit more of a modern sound, I’ve always been able to get just about any sort of sound that I’m looking for out of it. There’s only one small issue that I’m having: the low end, namely on OD1.

I do enjoy a fair amount of bass (there’s nothing like hitting a low E5 and feeling that thump hit the floor from the 4x12 behind you), but I’ve definitely noticed a difference between the low end of my singer’s 2203 and my DSL.

The 2203’s low end is certainly there, but it seems more transparent and “breath”-like, giving more room for the mids to punch through the mix. The DSL’s low end on the Ultra Gain channel seems a bit more bold and present, especially when a more generous amount of gain is used. This does present a bit of an issue, as a few songs in our set list have lower register artificial harmonics. I’d like to have enough gain to be able to audibly produce them, while still maintaining a tight, punchy and articulate rhythm tone.

While it won’t be the end of the world if I can’t get 100% of what I’m looking for out of my live amp, I’d certainly like to try resolving this anyway, as I take great pride in my tone (as I’m sure we all do - that’s why we use Marshalls!).

I have a few theories as to what the issue may be and how to solve it, but I’d like to ask for other fellow Marshall users’ input. I’m sure there are a few of you out there that have been plugging into them since before I even popped-out. So, any advice that could help me out and potentially save me some hard earned cash would be fantastic!

My settings on the EQ board are:
Master 1: 2 o’clock
Master 2: 3 o’clock
Reverbs: None; pedal
Resonance: 11 o’clock
Presence: 1 o’clock
Bass: 9 o’clock
Middle: 1 o’clock
Treble: Noon

Ultra Gain
Volume: Dimed
Gain: Just past 1 o’clock

Classic Gain
Volume: Dimed
Gain: 3 o’clock

I’m currently running my DSL through a 1960A loaded with G12t-75’s. Despite their bad reputation, I actually don’t hate the speakers at all, I think they’re overall good speakers with plenty of texture and harmonic content. But, it doesn’t quite match up with the sound I’m shooting for with my band. With the slight mid-scoop and low-end hump, I feel that it’s definitely contributing to the issue. My singer’s own 1960A (also loaded with 75’s) actually pairs very well with his 2203 - the mids from the amp fill in the “pocket” perfectly. I’m thinking of upgrading to either a 1960AV or a 1960AX, at some point.

I purchased an MXR 10-Band a few weeks ago to see if I could shave-off some of the lower end frequencies and give the mids and low-highs a light boost. It definitely made a noticeable difference, but so far I’ve only been able to try this at my place with my drummer’s Ampeg V-4 4x12 (100 watt speakers - MASSIVE sound!).

Again, apologies for the megapost haha! Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, whether it’s simply tweaking my settings, a biasing issue, new tubes, or looking to invest in some new gear.

I’m glad I finally joined, and I look forward to becoming a regular poster here.

Cheers!

Welcome to the forum! :welcome:

I'm going to throw my 2 cents in here. I own a JCM2000 DSL so hopefully this will help some. I found myself that these amps can sound a bit boomy. Especially the resonance knob on the newer models. I also own a JVM with this feature and I apply the same logic to that as well.

Your EQ settings seem pretty spot on for a band situation. I always swear by pushing mids and highs and having just enough bass. It can sound a little thin by itself but it really sounds massive when the band kicks in.

My main tip here would be turn the resonance off. I do this with my JVM and I leave the deep switch off on my DSL. I found this gave me a bit more definition and clarity in the low end. I'd also bump up the bass on the amp to 12:00. For the DSL, the settings I liked myself were Pres: 11:00, Bass: 12:00. Mid: 2-3:00. Treb: 2:00. I found these worked well for my situation and may be worth a shot for yourself. But firstly I would try turning off the resonance and bring the bass up a touch.

See if this gets you closer. Hopefully it'll be of some help.
 

Michael Roe

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I used to use T75s but over the last few years have been liking the Greenbacks best for the DSL. They have a little more upper mid bite and the bottom end has a sharper roll off then the T75s. The T75s can be a bit too much boomy sounding. The Greenies just seem to cut more. When using a 4x12 with the T75s I noticed they have a sweet spot which is about a 45 degree angle from cab. Out front they can be a little harsh sounding. The greenbacks at the same amp setting and angle can be darker sounding but out front of cab, in that larger area of coverage, sound great. The Greenbacks can be a little what I call "woody" sounding. Some guys won't like that. Another way to do it is replace two of the T75s with Greenbacks in an X pattern. Just my opinion but I think every Marshall amp sounds good with a greenback cab. Some more so than others. With the DSL, it just depends on what you are going for tone wise. The AV/BV cabs do handle the bottom end better but the upper mids can be a bit more spikey, this would be a good choice for a very Modern sounding DSL tone. Need more vintage tone then add the Greenies.
 

MarshallGuySC

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Hey there. The HR has been in my live rig for about a dozen shows now and I find it to be surprisingly kick ass considering I've used many amps previous that cost magnitudes more: Bogner Shiva EL34, Bogner Shiva Anniv. KT88, Carol-Ann Triptik-2, Friedman Runt 50, Friedman Dirty Shirley, Mesa TC-50...it wasn't until I got the relatively cheap HR that I said "THATS IT! THAT'S THE SOUND I NEED" (for my. Classic & hard rock cover band).

I use a Helix floor unit with the HX only for effects (replacing a huge & cumbersome pedalboard) as well as letting me have a backup rig to go straight to the board if the amp ever goes down (like my Friedman has). But... I'm mentioning because I've noticed the same thing as you with the low end on the Ultra channels.

I also use the Helix to switch channels via MIDI as well as pull in any effects needed... For the ultra channels, one of those is a 10 band EQ. Depending on the guitar (which I have different snapshots for) I might completely shave off the 1st one or two bands... It has IMMENSELY helped remedy it. Now I just dial in a preset and it does all the channel switching, effects, volume 1 & 2, etc..... And the Marshall goodness. I keep resonance around 9:00 or if playing outdoors, I may nudge it up to 11 or so. I use a 1936 2x12 with a WGS Vet 30 & WGS Invader which is a higher watt greenback.

Another bonus of the Helix is that it's dead silent... No hiss whatsoever, which wasn't the case with my pedalboard despite the many precautions taken. The Helix's noise gate is f'n stellar.
 
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