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DSL40CR- Help dialing the amp in - Tone questions

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Whizzinby, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    How are you getting along with the 40CR now?
     
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  2. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Yea man some of us need to know bro.
    Will it stay (Slay) or go (down the road). ??
     
  3. Whizzinby

    Whizzinby Member

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    I decided to return it. GC has the extended Covid return period, but being OCD I returned it before the normal 45 day period ended just to be sure. (Before my kids could do something to void the warranty lol)

    The cool thing is I’m just going to up my budget now and get whatever sounds the best. The bad thing is because of Covid there is absolutely nothing stocked locally. I live in a large city that has about 5 GC’s and not one of them has a 20w plexi, 20w jubilee, Rockerverb 50w, AC30, Fender Twin. There is one 20w JCM 800 across town, but I was sort of hoping to play everything before buying one. There is a local Mesa shop stocked up but I’ve held out on them for the same reason (wanting to play everything first) I dig the Mini Rectifier but I’m trying to use as much patience as possible to not get it waiting for shops to stock back up.

    So in the interim I’m just running an Orange Stamp pedal into my Mesa cab. It’s sad but at least keeping me playing guitar.

    I appreciate all the help. This thread, and forum in general, has really helped me learn a lot about amps. Would like to think I can make a more informed decision as a result of browsing this forum.
     
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  4. Whizzinby

    Whizzinby Member

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    Since you guys are sorta becoming my musical life coaches, lol, here is what I’ve tried and what I want to try...

    Played

    Marshall Origin 50c: Decent clean channel and would probably be a good pedal platform, but I’ve decided that I don’t want to buy a pedal platform amp. I want to get an amp that I love the clean and gain channels and only need to add modulation pedals for effects but want to get out of the 35 drive pedals business.

    Mesa Rectoverb 25 Combo: The best clean channel I’ve played. Would already own this amp except the gain channel was abrasive. It’s weird because this amp is supposedly just a mini rectifier + reverb, but the gain channel sounded different than the mini rec. I was real close to ordering the Rectoverb head thinking maybe it was just the cab combo I didn’t like, but I hate taking a $1400 guess.

    Mini Rectifier: Good clean channel. Good gain channels. Slight in-articulation under heavy gain but maybe a result of my EQ skills with the amp. If I cave it might be with this amp. I did have to fight the urge over the weekend to buy its older brother with an attenuator, but I’m just not going to buy a ridiculous 100w amp. (Famous last words lol)

    Mesa Triple Crown: Best all around amp I played, damn near bought the combo out of amp fatigue, but I can’t get away from the fact that while it does everything good, it has a generic tone and no character. Does everything well but nothing stand out or makes the hair on your arms stand up.

    PRS MT15: Actually did everything well, very articulate under gain. Could not get around it’s thin, generic, sound though. I see why people love this amp, but I think it just lacked a touch of punch.

    Boss Katana: Hard pass. Modeled mess.

    Want to play:

    Marshall 20w (JCM, Plexi, Jubilee)
    : Want to try the next step up from the Marshall DSL.

    Vox AC30: Pretty sure this won’t be my amp but worth playing. Had a small vox a few decades ago that was ok. Not sure it has the gain profile I’m looking for, but would like to see. Would be looking at the head and not combo.

    Fender Twin: Pretty sure this won’t be my amp either, but my uncle had one when I was a kid and the clean channel was spectacular. Would like to hear the SG through it.

    Orange Rockerverb 50w: Forgot about the mid heavy Orange fuzz gain. Figured if any of their amps is worth trying this would be the one. Wouldn’t mind playing some of their other amps too. (Oc15, Rocker15)

    Victory Kraken/Sheriff: Doubt I’ll be able to play any of these. No dealers in my area, which makes it tough to roll the dice.


    Whats really awesome is with the pandemic there is no telling how long I’ll need to wait to try these. Ugh. Get the feeling I’ll end up have to settle for the best of what I can get my hands on, but trying to exercise some patience.
     
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  5. jeffb

    jeffb Well-Known Member

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    Yeah- pickins are slim right now.

    I love the (vintage) Orange Sound, but it can get real tubby- its not as tight as a Marshall. It's a fine line between sounds awesome, and gained out bloated fizz on Orange amps. AD30 and OR15/50 in the modern lineup being my faves. they re a blast to play. Way more touchy feely than the DSLs- which are tight, compressed and un-dynamic in comparison.

    If you've got access to a MESA TC, I'd probably go that route based on your experience with the DSL. I'd love to grab myself one!
     
  6. Whizzinby

    Whizzinby Member

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    Yeah I probably should go back and play the TC again. Overall I was quite impressed with how easy it was to dial in, and it was cool that it had three channels so you go go clean, overdriven, to face melting with perfectly dialed EQ’s for each. And the foot switch actually lets you have one touch access to all three plus each channels two modes. Despite all that though, the tone just seemed generic. Hard to explain, but it sounded like the greatest modeling amp of all time, but not like hair raise on your arm tone. Like it was just missing a bit of character. I need to go back and play again with fresh ears, the day I played I spent about 2hrs going through all the Mesa amps and the TC was the last one of the group I hit.

    Orange does have a unique sound. It’s funny because just with the Stamp pedal I’m using to push my cab I was reminded about their unique tone from many years back when I had played their stuff. Some of the amps are interesting because I’ve seen people pull some unique tones out of them, and frankly they aren’t that expensive. Like the OR15 and Rocker 15, only $600. But, I don’t like that the OR15 is one channel, and while the rocker 15 is two channels the clean channel oddly just has a volume control, the eq for that is preset. I’d be curious though what are the actual differences between those amps, besides the one have a clean channel. I’ve heard lots of good things about the AD30 should look into it. Though it does move price wise into primary amp territory lol. With the OR15 or Rocker15 I rationalize in my head those could just be secondary amps if need be. But in either event I’d like to physically play them first.
     
  7. jeffb

    jeffb Well-Known Member

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    @Whizzinby

    I know what you mean about the MESA- there is some fundamental frequency/mojo missing or something that feels just an bit plain. It sounds great, but...just not over the top. I think careful speaker selection is key.

    Have you looked into a Rivera? Fantastic amps.

    As for the OR15- that is a "you play the amp, amp" i.e. You set up *A* tone and then you use your guitar volumes, tones and picking to get the rest, It's very old school and designed for that. It's like an old JMP/JCM 800 but with EL84s and Orange gain (my understanding is that it does have a 2203 tonestack, IDK for sure though)
     
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  8. Whizzinby

    Whizzinby Member

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    Haven’t looked a Rivera. Will add that to my nightly research. I spend about 2-3 hours a night watching reviews, demos etc. lol

    Interesting about the OR15. I need to take a closer look but am curious what the difference is between it and the Rocker 15, because being basically the same price I’m trying to figure out you wouldn’t just get the Rocker 15 with a dedicated clean channel, even though that clean channel has a set EQ. (Weird they didn’t even add one of their shape knobs for it) What would you say beyond wattage makes the AD30 so good compared to all of those other Oranges beneath it price wise? (Or15, Dual Terror, Rocker15, TH30)
     
  9. jeffb

    jeffb Well-Known Member

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    The OR and the Rocker are different circuits. They sound different. The Rocker is more modern sounding. I was not impressed with the R15, though I love the original R30. I feel the R circuit needs those big bottles. I've owned two OR15s however,and they were designed around the EL84s.

    The AD30 series are very different again, lower gain circuits , more 70s , quad of El84s run at high voltages (rep for destroying tubes) and they also have a tube rectifier which makes for a very different tonality and feel.
     
  10. jwoods986

    jwoods986 Member

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    Just drop the $2700 for the new Soldano SLO-30 and be done with it.

    Good God, is this how your car shopping goes too?? Pick a damn amp! I'm outta this thread...
     
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  11. jeffb

    jeffb Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Peach guitars put up a demo of the SLO30 today on yootoob- sounds righteous. They also did a demo of the new SLO100 too a few weeks back. :hbang:
     
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  12. jwoods986

    jwoods986 Member

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    ^ and if you don't want to pay all $2700 up front, GC and MF have 0% for 48 months going on now. My buddy out in AZ just ordered his on Monday from MF, I can't wait to try that sucker when I (and a few other old pals) are able to visit him for a "guys weekend" later this year (was supposed to be in April, but obviously that didn't happen -lol).

    Whizzinby, based on your thumbs-up, glad to see you have a sense of humor.
     
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  13. Whizzinby

    Whizzinby Member

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    I may or may not use a color coded spreadsheet for new car buying lol

    If I knew the SLO was the answer to my prayers I’d cut the check in a heartbeat.

    Fundamentally the problem is with the Corona crap going on there just isn’t much stocked locally so I cant go have a mega demo session and cover all the manufacturer bases. So I’m sorta forced to half assed look into amps based on online reviews and videos, and it takes a brass set of balls to dump several grand on an amp you haven’t actually played lol

    #firstworldproblems
     
  14. jwoods986

    jwoods986 Member

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    Well my buddy has wanted an SLO-100 since the early 90s, so he knew he wanted the 30 (and he confirmed it after watching the Ola Englund video).

    At first I was going to say, GC and MF have return policies, but you would have to pay the return shipping. And I like Sweetwater, but if you have a return, not only do you pay to send it back, but then they charge the "free" shipping it cost them to send it to you! But....I was looking at zzounds the other week, for something else, and learned that they give you a pre-paid return label! And I just checked, they do have Soldanos. So you could get one to try, and if you don't like it, send it back with no cost to you. Pretty sweet.
     
  15. Whizzinby

    Whizzinby Member

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    I did watch Ola’s chugging match with the amp.

    You’re going to send me down the rabbit hole watching SLO reviews. Hope there are more, though my goodness that price lol
     
  16. Javimart1212

    Javimart1212 Active Member

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    Lower bass like 3-5 range, resonance like 5-6, presence like 5-6, mids 7-8 highs like 4-5. And a must have ts9 in the front to get the articulation. The more speakers you add, less the resonance knob. On my dsl100h, through 4x12, I dont even use the resonance knob because the speakers are already thunking. Yes, the preamp does all the distortion, but the speaker break up is perceived gain, so in my application, I use low gain and get some of the breakup from the cab. The tone shift in the CR series is garbage because I feel it should be cutting out the lower mids not the higher mids for that scooped sound so you get a terrible loss of fidelity; you really need an eq to scoop out the proper mids for harder rock or metal. For what you want, I think you'd get better results with an eq in the loop and closed back cab ( which makes sense because this is the way almost everyone operates a dsl).
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  17. Martin Adams

    Martin Adams Active Member

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    Some of the Amps you mentioned I’ve owned .. some briefly.
    Victory Kraken great metal amp but a bit of a one trick pony but very nice at what it does
    Victory Sheriff 22 great amp but flawed as you cannot put a solo boost in the fx loop.
    PRS MT15 .. very loud 15w head and a great small metal / heavy metal amp with a nice clean channel.
    I now own the DSL40CR and it’s a superb amp for many sounds and uses.
    Youre right about stock as finding amps in stock is tough at present
     
  18. AdrianDSL

    AdrianDSL Active Member

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    I've just decided the other day to experiment with the dials for the ultra gain channel and see how much I can push the gain before it gets unusable. So I've decided to shift the paradigm after reading more about it: instead of using the channel volume at 10 and the master for the overall volume, I've rolled back the channel volume all the way, cranked up the master and gain to 7, set the treble, mid and bass at 5 and rolled back the resonance. Then I started to slowly roll the channel volume up to get to the overall volume I wanted and some magic happened: after rolling the bass back further, not only did the amp sound very beefy and tight in the bass, but I could even take the gain to around 8 on OD2 and 10 on OD1 without the tone becoming mushy or boomy, I can now actually get very good clarity and definition for fast palm muted notes on the low strings, especially using the neck pickup up the neck (7-15 frets) where previously it was all mud. And now I've finally found the distinct voices of OD1 and OD2 channels under high gain, before I couldn't hear the difference because of the muddy tone!
    I'm still using a Maxon OD-9 in front of the amp as clean boost with the tone at noon, that's what my ears love to hear, this pedal has this ability to give a tight bass, round mids and smooth, but here's another change: before I was using a Boss GE-7 in the loop to cut the lows for the tightness I was missing and pump up the high mids a little bit, but now the pedal is switched off, I don't feel like I need it at the moment with the newly found sound.
    Tested the new amp settings with 3 guitars, all with Duncans:
    - Jackson Dinky with Custom Custom in the bridge and Jazz in the neck
    - Charvel San Dimas with JB & '59
    - Jackson Performer PS4 with Distortion in the bridge and Full Shred in the neck.
    All pickups height is set at around 3mm, give or take. For all 3 I can actually get tight bass tone under high gain now, previously I had a really hard time dialing in the tone for the Custom Custom and the '59. The JB now sounds almost like a Distortion in the bridge for riffs and palm muted single notes, but still keeps its juicy wah voice I really dig. The Jazz sounds a tad thinner than before so I might raise the bass side a bit.
    Overall very, very pleased with the new tone :)
     

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  19. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @AdrianDSL, I will have to try shifting my settings closer to yours.
    I don't usually dime the Channel Volumes, but they are all below Noon.

    A couple of questions though:
    Are these your 'Bedroom Volume' settings? (you are in 20W mode)
    Did setting the Master Volumes that high introduce much more hiss?

    I have found that the Classic Clean/Crunch volume discrepancy was lessened by higher Channel Volume settings.
    How was it with CV's set so low?

    BTW my settings are shown on page 1.
     
  20. AdrianDSL

    AdrianDSL Active Member

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    @SkyMonkey yep, bedroom level. I think there is a little bit more hiss than before but I don't hear it cause I literally play more due to having a better tone now.
    The volume discrepancy between clean and crunch on the classic channel is indeed higher now, but I'm only flipping between clean, OD1 and OD2, no crunch so not an issue here. Oh and the popping sound when switching it off is way louder now :)
     
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