Marshall DSL20CR Volume (too loud, but only paid $350. Worth keeping?)

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by phase27, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. phase27

    phase27 New Member

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    Hey all,

    I picked up a Marshall DSL20CR (used for $350, in great shape. Pretty stoked about the price!). I love it, but I’m finding with young kids and wife in the house, and close neighbors, I can’t turn it up very loud, very often. I can play it on 10w mode with the volume BARELY opened up, with no issues (0.5-1). Bedroom level, can talk over it. That’s barely past the pure fizz, but playable. I can also play at 1-2 without too much issue, but get it up to 2.5 and 3, and it’s really too loud. I can maybe let it rip at a 4 for a bit on the weekends, but not on a regular basis.

    Trying to decide what my options are, and if I should keep it or resell it. I also have a Roland Cube 60, which honestly sounds good at extremely low volumes. The thing is a pretty well rounded work horse, so I don’t NEED the Marshall. Just loved the idea of having a tube combo amp after years of only playing solid state (used to playing a 100w JCM2000 half stack at shows for a number of years, and miss it). But, if I can’t turn the DSL20 up loud enough to get good tones, maybe it’s not reasonable to own. Here are some options I came across…

    1) Carl’s Custom Speaker Soak.
    https://carlscustomguitars.com/carl...amp-power-tube-speaker-line-volume-attenuator
    Sits in between the amp and the speaker and I can dial volume to the speaker up and down. Has anyone had any luck with those? For $50 it seems like a pretty good deal if I can turn the DSL20 up louder without sacrificing too much tone. And I’m not trying to turn the channel volume up to 10. Not going for that tube distortion tone you achieve when turned up to like a 6 or 7 - just trying to get it closer to like 4 tone, but with the volume of 1-2. I understand there may be some tone loss.

    2) Carls Custom Passive Volume Box.
    https://carlscustomguitars.com/carl...effects-loop-insertable-master-volume-control
    This is $24. It goes in the effects loop. As I understand this tames the preamp volume before it hits the power amp? How is this different than an attenuator going between the amp output and speaker? Does this act as a Master Volume like the 40CR has? Better/worse option for me? Here's a discussion from this forum on this box.
    https://www.marshallforum.com/threa...0-owners-for-ultra-low-volume-playing.104373/

    3) Changing the speaker. It has the stock 70/80. I’ve heard that a better speaker may help with playing at low volumes. Is that true? I probably won’t spend more than $100 on a new speaker right now, but would a used V-type or V30 help? I honestly don’t mind the 70/80 at louder playing volumes, but wondering if a better speaker helps it sound better in the 1-2 volume range.

    Any tips are appreciated!
     
  2. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I am the worst person to ask this question, because I say keep it you never know when it’s power can and will be necessary.
    Cheers
     
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  3. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Well an attenuator is a great idea imo. The Carls Power Soak is a good idea, better than Carls Volume Box,....which is really just another master volume. I use a Weber Minimass 50 Attenuator with my SC20, works great. I can turn the volume up as much as I like and play at reasonable volumes and it sounds great!

    And yes, a less efficient speaker would help lower the overall volume, a 70/80 is rated at 98db sensitivity, so anything lower than than that would be lower in volume,...a bit. To me though I would change out that 70/80 stock speaker anyway if I was gonna keep the amp. It's not a very good sounding speaker imo.

    Do yourself a favor and check the Weber Minimass 50 before you buy anything, and read some of the reviews too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  4. gkterry

    gkterry Member

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    I have a Weber Minimass 50 also. Excellent piece of kit and is priced very reasonably too. I picked one up used in like new shape for about $125. The cool thing about the Minimass is that it has a real speaker motor (the magnet, pole piece, the gap and the voice coil-all the parts that produce the motion in a real speaker). So you get the effect on the sound produced by those parts much like a real speaker. The Weber folks recommend not using their attenuators on amps that produce more than 70% of the attenuator's rating in order to account for the peaks in the volume. Can't over recommend the Minimass - it is excellent.
     
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  5. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    If you don't mind me asking, why did you inquire about Carls Volume Box if you already have a Weber Minimass? Your Dsl20 is well with the range you quoted that Weber recommends, I recall talking to someone from the Weber Co about using the Minimass with my SC20,...I was told it was absolutely no problem at all. They were right too, my Weber Minimass 50 hardly gets warm at all.
     
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  6. MaskingApathy

    MaskingApathy Well-Known Member

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    Where do you live that you can't turn up your amp a little?
     
  7. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I think you have confused posts by two different people there @scozz.
    The OP has only got a DSL20CR.

    I have a JHS LBAB volume box in the loop of my Non-MV amp and it works fine.
    It just depends on what you can afford and how authentically overdriven you NEED the amp tone to be at bedroom levels.
    An EQ pedal with it's own level control in the loop might be a better solution.
    I am personally not in need of power tube distortion, and can't afford an attenuator, but I'm happy :fever:
     
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  8. phase27

    phase27 New Member

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    I don’t mind this answer!

    Good info on the speaker, and the Weber looks cool! Yeah, may upgrade the speaker eventually anyway.

    In a house with young kids. Mostly only jam when they’re asleep and their rooms are right over the garage.

    Yeah this is essentially where I am. Torn between it I need the Carl Attenuator or the Carl Volume Box (the other options listed here look cool but out of my budget for the moment). The DSL20CR doesn’t have master volume but from what I can gather, adding the volume box to the effects loop would give me that, so it ends up being a little more like the 40CR with master volume. I don’t have to have power tube distortion like if you were turning up to 6 or 7.

    Anyways, thanks all, appreciate the help! Loving the amp.
     
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  9. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you need a modeling amp or at least an amp with a headphone jack. Grab yourself a Marshall MG30GFX and a good pair of headphones. :yesway:
     
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  10. phase27

    phase27 New Member

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    Probably fair and logical. But I’m having a lot of fun with the DSL20 so far! Even at lower volume. Figuring I’ll keep it for at least a few months and if it’s not getting used I’ll just sell it and keep playing the Roland.
     
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  11. Musicmaniac

    Musicmaniac Well-Known Member

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    I have no experience with attenuators but if you love it keep it. You can figure something out I'm sure.
     
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  12. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Oh man, thanks Sky, I do that on occasion, :erk: sorry.
     
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  13. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Sorry about that @gkterry, as @SkyMonkey rightfully pointed out, I confused you with someone else!


    Not totally unheard of for me! :D
     
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  14. gkterry

    gkterry Member

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    No worries. Happens to all of us.
     
  15. ch324434

    ch324434 New Member

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    I'm in a similar situation with the DSL40CR. I ordered a Bugera PS1 power soak for about 115 bucks. I'll let you know how it sounds when I get it.
     
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  16. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    where do you have the presence set?

    You know that presence is volume related, in that, when you run the power amp at low levels, the presence is more pronounced, & when you turn the power up, it's almost not noticeable?

    You can try turning the presence off, & see if that solves the fizz. Use the treble to add whatever tone you think is missing.

    Oppositely, you can turn the treble off, or almost off & crank the presence.

    Whatever tonal combo works for you...

    Another thing is to run a graphic EQ & use it as a notch filter to cut down the offending fizz frequency...

    An attenuator, can also get you there, as they do cut some treble, as well as volume. Just have to make sure that it shapes the sound the way you want. It should be more full bodied, which might be what you're missing at lower volume.
     

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