I gigged my DSL401 (need some advice)

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by jvm210guy, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

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    Hey guys I started gigging again after a long absence due to busy band members. Now, I gigged lots of different amps before and I know a good amp is usually the one that doesn't have to be loud to still cut through the mix.

    I recently picked up a DSL401. Initial thoughts were that the amp was good and had enough versatility that I could gig it confidentially. However at my last gig I got less than stellar results.

    The tone wasn't great, there was an absence of mids even with the EQ dialed in to compensate for that. I had to crank the amp to have a decent presence in the mix, and this resulted in loud but unpleasant mix (not bright but still too trebly).

    So, I'm at a point where I need to make some choices. I haven't changed the tubes in my amp, do you guys think that's going to make enough of a difference to try the amp live again?

    My favorite sounding amp ever was a Tiny Terror. Do you guys think I should buy a 2x12 cab and a Dual Terror head. My reasoning behind this is I'm thinking I'll always get a better overall tone with an enclosed speaker cabinet.

    So ya any advice would be appreciated, thanks! Btw, I plays rock music with occasional heavier tones (no high gain)... Also I'm trying to keep everything as simple and compact as possible, thus the 2x12 as opposed to a 4x12.
     
  2. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

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    This is my band, and I was playing with a Tiny Terror.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTbvQ_aYmTc&sns=em]SPINGOLD Halloween Concert - YouTube[/ame]
     
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  3. Pasloade74

    Pasloade74 Active Member

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    That's why I traded my 401 in for a DSL 40. My 401 just couldn't cut it even with an extension cab. It was harsh and flubby. I found myself needing to run my ocd pedal on full time just to get some clarity while strumming. IMHO the 401 is awesome for playing at home but that's about it. I even replaced all the tubes and had it loaded with a vintage 30. Wanted to like it but just couldn't mesh with it.
     
  4. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

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    No the DSL 40 was an even worse experience entirely. Terrible amp IMO, i gigged it once and cut it loose. The 401 sounded way better but still didn't quite cut it.

    Unless I can get some other insight, my plan is to get a 2x12 and a good head.
     
  5. The Ozzk

    The Ozzk Well-Known Member

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    Would your JVM and a 2x12 be too heavy to carry around?
     
  6. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

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    I thought about that, I just wanted something a bit simpler. That's why I've been trying a lot of different combos.

    I really love the sound of the Class 5. I wish I could have that but with more head room.
     
  7. The Ozzk

    The Ozzk Well-Known Member

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    I know you really don't like'em... but for a compact, great sounding, versatile rig, a JMD combo is as good as it gets.
     
  8. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

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    Never said I don't like them. I'll definitely consider that.
     
  9. The Ozzk

    The Ozzk Well-Known Member

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  10. Mockingbird

    Mockingbird Active Member

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    Absolutley bang on - stick a Bad Monkey in front of JMD Combo and you won't look back.

    This has become my go-to rig.
     
  11. mike sicowitz

    mike sicowitz New Member

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    I have heard the same thing a dozen times. When I got mine, and everyone should have one for a while anyhow, I was at my fav store and hear 'we have a few', sure enough. I lined them up and plug in going down the line and each was different. A local, very fine player was along and would say 'that one's flat'. They were flat, I guess I picked the one the sounded best and was pleased, because get real, it's a freaking Marshall, and it was around $650 to me used. I figure keep one the sounds good because it must be the speaker. Heads don't start to go flat like that. Look at it this way, you're getting a 40 watt Marshall head. I read where other's have used the extension cab -yeah, of course, but hang on to it, models come and go so fast now and gone is gone. That, is a very fine amp. For the money it's a great amp. Try to correct the problem before trading it or you'll be sorry. I sure wish I had mine back. Like I said, it probably is the speaker, even so, when dirty it doesn't make a whole bunch of difference. So it's not the best clean amp--you don't get a Marshall for clean. The 401 has Marshall sound. Keep it.
     
  12. JohnH

    JohnH Well-Known Member

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    There's lots to say about 401's - still got mine after 7 years. I guess you don't want to invest in it if ultimately you would not keep it. But the key points IMO:

    Try setting it tilted back near a wall, if you are using the combo alone. It magnifies the mids and bass
    EQ in the loop - if you don't have an eq box, try a processor set just to do EQ, and any extra reverbs, modulations and delays you might want. Set a high output level from the processor and control with the amp fx
    The stock speaker is very harsh - needs to go
    Try an extension cab under it
     
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  13. Blacque Jacque

    Blacque Jacque Well-Known Member

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    My 401's a keeper for sure, that green channel warm crunch is just to die for.

    When I first got mine, the experience was similar to yours, too trebly, but still not cutting. I persevered with it, messing with all sorts of combinations on the tone controls.

    Finally I followed the crowd & shoved a V30 in it.....BAM !!! There's a great sounding amp. It's still bright, but the whole amp works so much better now. The tone controls are far more usable & with a 3dB increase in speaker efficiency, you need a whole lot less volume on the master, this leads to less flub & better definition.

    I know it must sound like a stuck record, but the factory speaker is the worst choice ever for this amp. Ditch it for a V30, creamback 65 or similar & you will discover what this amp is really all about.

    Like JohnH said, siting it back to a wall helps with low end too, but that goes for any open back cab.
     
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  14. bulldozer1984

    bulldozer1984 Everybody's Favorite Member VIP Member

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    Yeh I would suggest replacing the speaker also. With a 65 Creamy
     
  15. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

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    Ok, that's great advice guys thanks. I don't mind investing a bit more in the amp. I can hear the potential.

    Also guys, I don't think it's too trebly it's just not providing enough mids. Thanks..
     
  16. brp

    brp Well-Known Member

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    Just gigged my JMD 501 for the first time on Saturday and it performed excellent.
    Tons of cut without excessive volume and the switching is a GODSEND!

    The honeymoon period is over and this amp still impresses me every time I play with the band with it. I was very happy to see that in a live gig situation it just got better.
     
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  17. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

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    I'd not care for being sentimental at all, it's about if I can get a good tone out of it. I don't care if it's the last DSL on Earth.

    Anyway, I'm going to try a retube and a speaker swap. Worst case scenario I'll sell it to fund another amp.
     
  18. Coronado

    Coronado Well-Known Member

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    I went back and forth with the DSL 401 and 40 descission. I went with the 40 but hope to pick up a 401 one day (if I can find one local).

    Band sounds good, by the way! I've always liked female singers! I find it adds a whole other element and you can really mix it up.

    Good luck with the amp, whichever you go with.
     
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  19. Pasloade74

    Pasloade74 Active Member

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  20. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Pull one of your V30's from your 4x12 and pop it in the 401 and test it out. That might be the solution.
     
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