New preamp tubes for a JCM2K DSL 100... suggestions?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by GuitarIV, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

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    A few days ago I went to our rehearsal space and picked up my DSL 100. Corona and life has pretty much killed the band as the bassist and the drummer quit... but that's not the point.

    My DSL 100 is from 2004 and has been reliable so far *knockonwood*, I already replaced the power tubes and rebiased it. However the sound is quite weak (distortion wise) when I consider the output level of my pickups, especially on the red channels.

    Now the amp has never had the tubes replaced (and is 17 years old) and I'm wondering if it's time to treat it to some new preamp glass.

    I love the sound of the green channel, the red modes are a bit too grainy and spikey on the high end and weak, so I'm looking for something that's gonna be balanced and give it some more juice. I know about the EQ discrepancy between green and red, I just want a smoother high end when I play red mode 1.

    Any ideas guys? Suggestions are welcome. Cheers!
     
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  2. FleshOnGear

    FleshOnGear Well-Known Member

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    I suggest an NOS RFT for V1. If you don’t want to pay for an NOS tube, the JJ ECC83 has a rolled-off high end and might be a good choice.

    For V2 and V3 I would normally suggest the Chinese 7025, but they’ve been out of production for months. You might be able to find the TAD 7025S or the Preferred Series 7025, which are the Chinese 7025.

    If you can’t find those, I think the Tung-Sol 12AX7 is fine for V2 and V3. I like the Sovtek 12AX7LPS for V4.

    Edit: I’ve read that Tung-sol 12AX7s don’t do well in the cathode follower position of Marshall amps, which is V3 on the DSL. Maybe another JJ there if you can’t find a Chinese tube for V3.
     
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  3. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, it’s probably time to change them.

    I’m a bit surprised you haven’t done that yet after all those years. If you like the sound of your Dsl100 before, just get the same tubes.

    If you want to experiment a bit, be aware you could be going down an infamous, and expensive rabbit-hole, lol. :(

    If I were you I’d do some research and not take the advice of a one person, there’s a lot of info out there to read and learn about tubes. That would be my advice. :cool:
     
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  4. Michael Roe

    Michael Roe Well-Known Member

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    I would 2nd that JJ ECC83 in that amp to smooth the highs.
     
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  5. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Looking for something I don't remember what.
    When I had one I had a NOS RFT in V1, a vintage Blackburn Mullard in V2 and JJ ECC83's in V3 & V4....sounded great.
     
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  6. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    For old DSLs I think the best tubes are JJ, normally I dont like JJ but to tame the brightness of those amp they are good. I also recommend KT77's for the power tubes they help balance the tone. :yesway:
     
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  7. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys! Seems like the JJs are the preferred candidate to smooth out the amp. I'll order a set of those and then some additional ones as well, maybe Tung Sol, an EH and a chinese one to experiment, will see. I'll keep you posted, cheers! :)
     
  8. adew1

    adew1 Active Member

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    I like Tung Sols in mine.
     
  9. jsw2k

    jsw2k New Member

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    May I suggest a Mullard CV4004 in V1 and EH7025 in V2? Works great for me using red 1. I prefer a more classic rock tone and the red channel is normally a bit too buzzy/fizzy, hence the 7025.

    I also have Shuguangs in V3 and V4 and JJ’s in the power section of my DSL50.

    Sounds quite good to my ears. Scorpions-esque; fat and ballsy. For leads I push it a bit with a boost pedal set to low gain.
     
  10. Vesperado

    Vesperado Active Member

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    Probably gonna need more than just a new set of valves...
     

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