DSL40CR Ultra Channel too compressed

Dave J

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So I have been working with my DSL40 CR for a while, and being stubborn. Trying to get a good classic Marshall rock sounds like Back in Black AC/DC type stuff. Nothing too heavy. Classic Channel Green and Red modes work but I wanted just a little more gain than they gave. I spend a lot of time in the Ultra channel and while the gain is there for days, even lower gain settings on the Green mode of the Ultra just has too much compression and I can't really describe the other qualities of the sound, nasal, too mid focused ? I am sure there is a place for the Ultra channel but not what I am looking for right now. But I am stubborn and refuse to think my 2 channel / 4 mode amp can't get me what I want. In a prior thread I was given some good advice and I headed it with some great results. I thought an amp with this much gain available shouldn't need a dirt box or overdrive. When I dropped that idea I found some great tones on the Classic Channel by turning up the gain all the way on the Green side and using pedals. I have a few nice MIAB and a few other overdrives and they all were usable depending on what I wanted to get.
At first I hated having to use a MIAB on a Marshall but it is what it is and I am happy with what I can get now. The pedal that actually surprised me the most - not because it's not a great pedal but because it worked so well for what I wanted - was a Tone Freak Abuni II. I could set it to a Back in Black Angus level of lead overdrive but just a small back off of the guitar volume and it cleans to a nice lightly overdriven rhythm level of grind and sounded really good. Other pedals can clean up a bit but lose some bite, not the Abuni II. It's not a Marshall in a box but a Tube Screamer variant. The bottom line for me is who cares how you get there, it may not be the obvious option.

Who uses the Ultra side of the amp and for what sounds?
 

SkyMonkey

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I use the Red Ultra for a great thrash sound, and the Green Ultra for a heavy rock tone.
But I keep the gain at just below where it starts to rattle/flub/compress (take your pick) and use a relatively clean OD to boost.
This keeps the flub more at bay for some reason (someone tried to explain that the new DSLs have too much bass gain).
It will compress at different gain levels dependant on your particular pickup set.
Another thing to try is a JJ ECC823 in V1 (if you can find one).
The unequal triodes (x17 & x100) only drop the gain on the Ultras (and possibly Classic red) which get both triodes, but leave the Clean channel alone with just the x100.

I have a pedalboard and a Boss GT-100.
The DSL shines with the GT-100 in 4CM and gives me MIDI switching.
The pedalboard just seems to work better with my VS65R.

But best of all is to route the stereo GT-100 outs to both FX Return jacks so the DSL is the preamp for both amps.
 

Mitchell Pearrow

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So I have been working with my DSL40 CR for a while, and being stubborn. Trying to get a good classic Marshall rock sounds like Back in Black AC/DC type stuff. Nothing too heavy. Classic Channel Green and Red modes work but I wanted just a little more gain than they gave. I spend a lot of time in the Ultra channel and while the gain is there for days, even lower gain settings on the Green mode of the Ultra just has too much compression and I can't really describe the other qualities of the sound, nasal, too mid focused ? I am sure there is a place for the Ultra channel but not what I am looking for right now. But I am stubborn and refuse to think my 2 channel / 4 mode amp can't get me what I want. In a prior thread I was given some good advice and I headed it with some great results. I thought an amp with this much gain available shouldn't need a dirt box or overdrive. When I dropped that idea I found some great tones on the Classic Channel by turning up the gain all the way on the Green side and using pedals. I have a few nice MIAB and a few other overdrives and they all were usable depending on what I wanted to get.
At first I hated having to use a MIAB on a Marshall but it is what it is and I am happy with what I can get now. The pedal that actually surprised me the most - not because it's not a great pedal but because it worked so well for what I wanted - was a Tone Freak Abuni II. I could set it to a Back in Black Angus level of lead overdrive but just a small back off of the guitar volume and it cleans to a nice lightly overdriven rhythm level of grind and sounded really good. Other pedals can clean up a bit but lose some bite, not the Abuni II. It's not a Marshall in a box but a Tube Screamer variant. The bottom line for me is who cares how you get there, it may not be the obvious option.

Who uses the Ultra side of the amp and for what sounds?
I have the older C version.. and I use ultra 2 with gain at 3 ,, but I also changed 2 of my preamp tubes to a lower gain type .. and I still use the SD1 to tighten it up (as a clean boost) but I am also in the early Priest type of tone range.. and for AC/DC I go to green crunch, and I like what I hear from them..

Cheers
Mitch
 

scozz

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Hi @Dave J, The only Dsl I own is a Dsl1hr, and I do think it has bit too much compression, even in the green channel. Imo, the best way to run, (at least this little 1 watt Dsl), is in the green channel with a pedal when needed.
 

purpleplexi

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Never use the red ultra channel. Like green ultra with a pedal - not so much for gain but because I like the pedal.
 

Dave J

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Thats the beauty with the DSL, especially the newer CR/HR models.
With 4 different "levels" of gain, it offers plenty of gain!
No gain pedals needed in my opinion.....
My comments are not based on the amp not having enough gain. It has tons of gain available in the 4 modes. It's more about how the character of the amp changes from the Classic Channel to the Ultra Channel. Classic side is nice and open sounding and goes from clean to early Marshall JTM45 type tones, and the Ultra side kinda skips the Plexi type sounds of AC/DC, ect and goes right to modded JCM800 and beyond. My "issue" is that the amp by itself has a gap between early Marshall and modded JCM800 /JCM900 and my sound lives in that gap. I rocked a Boogie MarkIII for a long time so I get that with a lot of gain comes more and more compression. But even in Ultra Green channel with the gain dialed down it doesn't open up like a nice plexi would. It sounds like a high gain amp with a low gain setting. The Ultra side has sounds I might use at some point, so I am not saying it sucks. Just saying where my sound wants to live right now is in a gap between what the Classic and Ultra channels can cover on it's own. Classic channel with a pedal to get just a little more gain than the amp can by itself on the Classic side is the ticket. Keeps the character in that more open/Vintage Marshall zone.




"Another thing you can do is reduce or remove the bright cap for the ultra channel. This allows you to use low gain settings without it sounding thin."

Interesting idea. I am not too up on what mods can be done on this amp. This sounds like I could reverse it by re-soldering if I just clip it? I thought the amp just had 1 bright cap for both channels. I am sure there is some tradeoff for doing this?

I have a number of MIAB pedals that sound pretty good thru the Classic Channel as well as the Abuni II.
Pedal Pal 800 Gold kills for non-modded JCM800 sort of stuff. That pedal just has a great vibe to it.
WeehboJ CM Drive Anniversary nails early Marshall. It doesn't even feel like you have kicked on a pedal it is so amp like.
Wampler Plexi Drive Deluxe gets a good Plexi tone, but I haven't been able to dial that one in just yet. I could easily use it but not my favorite right now.
Friedman Smallbox is decent but not as amp like as the Weehbo and doesn't have the "it factor" of the Gold 800. A solid pedal but sounds most like a pedal of all of the above.

First world problems for sure. I consider myself lucky to have this stuff.
 

purpleplexi

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My comments are not based on the amp not having enough gain. It has tons of gain available in the 4 modes. It's more about how the character of the amp changes from the Classic Channel to the Ultra Channel. Classic side is nice and open sounding and goes from clean to early Marshall JTM45 type tones, and the Ultra side kinda skips the Plexi type sounds of AC/DC, ect and goes right to modded JCM800 and beyond. My "issue" is that the amp by itself has a gap between early Marshall and modded JCM800 /JCM900 and my sound lives in that gap. I rocked a Boogie MarkIII for a long time so I get that with a lot of gain comes more and more compression. But even in Ultra Green channel with the gain dialed down it doesn't open up like a nice plexi would. It sounds like a high gain amp with a low gain setting. The Ultra side has sounds I might use at some point, so I am not saying it sucks. Just saying where my sound wants to live right now is in a gap between what the Classic and Ultra channels can cover on it's own. Classic channel with a pedal to get just a little more gain than the amp can by itself on the Classic side is the ticket. Keeps the character in that more open/Vintage Marshall zone.




"Another thing you can do is reduce or remove the bright cap for the ultra channel. This allows you to use low gain settings without it sounding thin."

Interesting idea. I am not too up on what mods can be done on this amp. This sounds like I could reverse it by re-soldering if I just clip it? I thought the amp just had 1 bright cap for both channels. I am sure there is some tradeoff for doing this?

I have a number of MIAB pedals that sound pretty good thru the Classic Channel as well as the Abuni II.
Pedal Pal 800 Gold kills for non-modded JCM800 sort of stuff. That pedal just has a great vibe to it.
WeehboJ CM Drive Anniversary nails early Marshall. It doesn't even feel like you have kicked on a pedal it is so amp like.
Wampler Plexi Drive Deluxe gets a good Plexi tone, but I haven't been able to dial that one in just yet. I could easily use it but not my favorite right now.
Friedman Smallbox is decent but not as amp like as the Weehbo and doesn't have the "it factor" of the Gold 800. A solid pedal but sounds most like a pedal of all of the above.

First world problems for sure. I consider myself lucky to have this stuff.
Have you pushed the tone shift button in? That gets it closer to plexi country. Knocks a lot of bass out which to my ears muds things up.
 

Dave J

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Have you pushed the tone shift button in? That gets it closer to plexi country. Knocks a lot of bass out which to my ears muds things up.
As a matter of fact I did and forgot to mention that I did in my OP. I used to avoid that Tone shift thinking it took all the Marshall out of the amp, but really what it was is that I'd push it in then not give it a lot of time to sink in. When you are used to hearing something for a long time then change it the most obvious thing you hear is the difference and not what is still there that you like. At least that is what happened to me.
 

Mitchell Pearrow

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As a matter of fact I did and forgot to mention that I did in my OP. I used to avoid that Tone shift thinking it took all the Marshall out of the amp, but really what it was is that I'd push it in then not give it a lot of time to sink in. When you are used to hearing something for a long time then change it the most obvious thing you hear is the difference and not what is still there that you like. At least that is what happened to me.
I use the tone shift when I play my Strat.. button in, LP’s and my other Gibsons,, it’s out.

Cheers
Mitch
 

Dave J

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I use the tone shift when I play my Strat.. button in, LP’s and my other Gibsons,, it’s out.

Cheers
Mitch
Thanks ! Going to try that when I get some time Wednesday to open it up a bit. I was mostly on my SG with P90's the other day, button in worked by my P90's are fairly low output. Will pull out the humbuckers and see how it works.
 

Geno5150

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So I have been working with my DSL40 CR for a while, and being stubborn. Trying to get a good classic Marshall rock sounds like Back in Black AC/DC type stuff. Nothing too heavy. Classic Channel Green and Red modes work but I wanted just a little more gain than they gave. I spend a lot of time in the Ultra channel and while the gain is there for days, even lower gain settings on the Green mode of the Ultra just has too much compression and I can't really describe the other qualities of the sound, nasal, too mid focused ? I am sure there is a place for the Ultra channel but not what I am looking for right now. But I am stubborn and refuse to think my 2 channel / 4 mode amp can't get me what I want. In a prior thread I was given some good advice and I headed it with some great results. I thought an amp with this much gain available shouldn't need a dirt box or overdrive. When I dropped that idea I found some great tones on the Classic Channel by turning up the gain all the way on the Green side and using pedals. I have a few nice MIAB and a few other overdrives and they all were usable depending on what I wanted to get.
At first I hated having to use a MIAB on a Marshall but it is what it is and I am happy with what I can get now. The pedal that actually surprised me the most - not because it's not a great pedal but because it worked so well for what I wanted - was a Tone Freak Abuni II. I could set it to a Back in Black Angus level of lead overdrive but just a small back off of the guitar volume and it cleans to a nice lightly overdriven rhythm level of grind and sounded really good. Other pedals can clean up a bit but lose some bite, not the Abuni II. It's not a Marshall in a box but a Tube Screamer variant. The bottom line for me is who cares how you get there, it may not be the obvious option.

Who uses the Ultra side of the amp and for what sounds?
I just use the crunch channel with an overdrive. It sounds thicker and less compressed than the overdrive channel.
 

paul-e-mann

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So I have been working with my DSL40 CR for a while, and being stubborn. Trying to get a good classic Marshall rock sounds like Back in Black AC/DC type stuff. Nothing too heavy. Classic Channel Green and Red modes work but I wanted just a little more gain than they gave. I spend a lot of time in the Ultra channel and while the gain is there for days, even lower gain settings on the Green mode of the Ultra just has too much compression and I can't really describe the other qualities of the sound, nasal, too mid focused ? I am sure there is a place for the Ultra channel but not what I am looking for right now. But I am stubborn and refuse to think my 2 channel / 4 mode amp can't get me what I want. In a prior thread I was given some good advice and I headed it with some great results. I thought an amp with this much gain available shouldn't need a dirt box or overdrive. When I dropped that idea I found some great tones on the Classic Channel by turning up the gain all the way on the Green side and using pedals. I have a few nice MIAB and a few other overdrives and they all were usable depending on what I wanted to get.
At first I hated having to use a MIAB on a Marshall but it is what it is and I am happy with what I can get now. The pedal that actually surprised me the most - not because it's not a great pedal but because it worked so well for what I wanted - was a Tone Freak Abuni II. I could set it to a Back in Black Angus level of lead overdrive but just a small back off of the guitar volume and it cleans to a nice lightly overdriven rhythm level of grind and sounded really good. Other pedals can clean up a bit but lose some bite, not the Abuni II. It's not a Marshall in a box but a Tube Screamer variant. The bottom line for me is who cares how you get there, it may not be the obvious option.

Who uses the Ultra side of the amp and for what sounds?
Thats my main complaint about the DSL its too compressed for my liking even with the mids dimed. Maybe a TS9 out front set as a clean boost will add more mids, or an EQ pedal in the loop set appropriately. Good luck with your tone quest! :yesway:
 

Dave J

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Thats my main complaint about the DSL its too compressed for my liking even with the mids dimed. Maybe a TS9 out front set as a clean boost will add more mids, or an EQ pedal in the loop set appropriately. Good luck with your tone quest! :yesway:
My AbuniII is a Tube Screamer based pedal and right now it's my favorite pedal in front of the amp's classic channel green side cranked up to edge of breakup. I have never tried an EQ in the loop on any amp. I should to see what I might be missing. I have an old Boss EQ pedal that has a little hiss so I'd have to dig one up. I do have a Tone Concepts Distillery pedal that is a boost but also has a tone shaping section that I could try, keeping the boost at unity,
 


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