NMD: DSL40C Vintage

Maggot Brain

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So I've been selling and trading, wheelin' and dealin' and couldn't pass this up. I've said over the past year or so I'd like to pick up a DSL40C or CR and when I saw a post featuring these retro styling DSLs here on the MF I knew if I got one it would be one of these.

I actually really love this thing! While indeed it has a modern voicing, you can hear and feel ALL of the previous itterations of Marshall DNA in this baby. I stick to the Green classic channel and switch between crunch and clean... Oh yeah, the cleans actually REALLY impress me! I didn't expect it to have such beautiful and vintage sound Marshall cleans (my biggest disappointment in the SV20).

While I must be CRAZY or have bad hearing because I actually really dig the stock Seventy/80. I first experimented with a Vtype and V30 but to my ears I preferred the 70/80 hands down. I ended up getting a good deal on a G12M65 Creamback and settled on that BUT I would be 100% content with the 70/80 😄.

The Ultra channel is alright, I don't play with much gain so this channel is kinda just extra for me. I will say it can definitely sound fizzy if you don't take the time to dial it in just right, not as easy to dial as the Green channel.

The reverb is fantastic, I read so much hate for the reverb in these but I think it's just right. I don't want nor expect Fender style reverb in a Marshall, just enough to add some cushion in a dry room.

Solid and versatile that 100% captures the Marshall sound.
 

Yamariv

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Congrats brother!! As you can tell by my Avatar I have the same amp and love the styling too. Plus, it's a great all around gigging amp, lots of power and does everything you need. I put in a Creamback 75 and love the way it sounds. I find the 75 is more pleasing to my ears than the 65 which sounds too modern to me.

Enjoy!
 

dbf909

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Nice, I love the vintage look. I just picked up another DSL40c a few weeks ago after selling my previous one in a fit of delirium...

Mine has standard cosmetics and was the LE version that Sweetwater offered with the G12M Creamback 65. I put a Neo Creamback 60 in it and dropped about 4.5 lbs (every bit helps) and although it only has about 20-25 hours on it, sounds great.
 

wangchung

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I spent a lot of time rolling tubes, biasing and speaker change-outs trying to get a "C" to sound like a first release
DSL50 I was running through a 1960A cab loaded with old V30's and Greenbacks. I had given up, but heard about the newer "CR" model that had a reworked circuit, and consensus on the boards was that it was "fixed". I picked one up, and it had something going on that wasn't quite right. I brought it back to GC, and they agreed and gave me a different one. What a difference. I did mod the bright cap, but even before that, it sounded great, like a Marshall should. It's very responsive to tube and bias changes, and speaker changes as well. It takes pedals well, before and
in the loop, totally different than the "C" I had. It's a great
amp. I run "winged C" 34's biased soft, a mix of TungSol
Mullard reissue 12AX7's and a Weber G12H. I put it on top of a 1x12 cab with an old V30 and it's a "classic rock" machine. But it sounds good with the stock tubes
in it even. Didn't care for the V spkr though. Hated the "C", love the "CR".
 

Mitchell Pearrow

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Congrats on your Dsl40c , I had one just like yours ,, and I still have 2 of the white ones.
I think they are great amps, and I am still enjoying the 70/80’s that came stock with it.
I still have the cab that my vintage came with but not the amp or chassis.
Congratulations and rock the hell out of it.

Cheers
Mitch
 

scozz

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So I've been selling and trading, wheelin' and dealin' and couldn't pass this up. I've said over the past year or so I'd like to pick up a DSL40C or CR and when I saw a post featuring these retro styling DSLs here on the MF I knew if I got one it would be one of these.

I actually really love this thing! While indeed it has a modern voicing, you can hear and feel ALL of the previous itterations of Marshall DNA in this baby. I stick to the Green classic channel and switch between crunch and clean... Oh yeah, the cleans actually REALLY impress me! I didn't expect it to have such beautiful and vintage sound Marshall cleans (my biggest disappointment in the SV20).

While I must be CRAZY or have bad hearing because I actually really dig the stock Seventy/80. I first experimented with a Vtype and V30 but to my ears I preferred the 70/80 hands down. I ended up getting a good deal on a G12M65 Creamback and settled on that BUT I would be 100% content with the 70/80 😄.

The Ultra channel is alright, I don't play with much gain so this channel is kinda just extra for me. I will say it can definitely sound fizzy if you don't take the time to dial it in just right, not as easy to dial as the Green channel.

The reverb is fantastic, I read so much hate for the reverb in these but I think it's just right. I don't want nor expect Fender style reverb in a Marshall, just enough to add some cushion in a dry room.

Solid and versatile that 100% captures the Marshall sound.
Congrats buddy, looks great man!
:cheers:
I’m with you on the Dsl green channel, some really great tones there. Really nice cleans and when you dig in it breaks up nicely, and like you, I’m not a fan of the red channel, the way comes.

Too compressed and fizzy to my ears, although you can improve that by keeping the gain down,… and some targeted tube value changing.

Like using 12at7or 5751, or others, in place of a 12ax7, in the position that sounds best, likely V1 I would guess.

Our bud @Mitchell Pearrow eq gets some great tones from his Dsl40cs’ red channel by keeping the gain on the low side. He also switched out a preamp tube, (or tubes), to help tame the red channel a bit more.

I’ve done the same with my little Dsl1hr, I changed out the V1 position 12ax7 with a 12at7.

It helps a lot imo, it tames some of that buzzy, kind of fizzy tone, enough to make the red channel useable, or close to it.

Of course tone is subjective so YMMV.

Once again congrats! :applause:
 

Maggot Brain

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Thanks guys! I'm really enjoying this one!

A box of Marshall tones in a fairly portable size. I'm finding between my amps I go for the DSL40c 80% of the time and then my Super Sonic 60 the rest. I have fallen out of love with the SV20 now that I've been playing "bigger iron" amps... Oddly I prefer the DSL, heck even the SS60 over the SV20. I feel the SV20 does only 1 thing well and that's a "cranked" Plexi at a more manageable volume but it still a loud af amp... It's missing a lot of character outside of the "sweet spot", cleans are decent but after playing the big amps I can really see what's missing imo.
Not to mention I can almost get the same tone from the DSL, close enough that I don't really bother plugging into the SV. I think I finally understand the "big iron" guys.

The DSL40c is definitely a good amp and while I'm not a fan of the red channel I have a feeling it sounds better in a mix than just playing solo... One thing I've noticed from listening to isolated tracks is the guitar tone usually sounds pretty sharp and thin but in the mix it sounds perfect... I am curious if that's kinda how the DSL red channel can play out.


The DSL40C is and always will be the proper to answer to "What amp should I get?" - What a stellar release those beasts were! I always wanted that vintage looking model! I have two of the regular C models.
YES,
If you dig Marshall tone of any era you'll be set with a DSL. Plus it actually sounds good at lower volumes, maybe not night time quiet but I can creep into the sweet spot on the MV where it fattens up and comes alive and I'm definitely not blasting the neighborhood out... But it can definitely get big and loud like a Marshall should!


Congrats buddy, looks great man!
:cheers:
I’m with you on the Dsl green channel, some really great tones there. Really nice cleans and when you dig in it breaks up nicely, and like you, I’m not a fan of the red channel, the way comes.

Too compressed and fizzy to my ears, although you can improve that by keeping the gain down,… and some targeted tube value changing.

Like using 12at7or 5751, or others, in place of a 12ax7, in the position that sounds best, likely V1 I would guess.

Our bud @Mitchell Pearrow eq gets some great tones from his Dsl40cs’ red channel by keeping the gain on the low side. He also switched out a preamp tube, (or tubes), to help tame the red channel a bit more.

I’ve done the same with my little Dsl1hr, I changed out the V1 position 12ax7 with a 12at7.

It helps a lot imo, it tames some of that buzzy, kind of fizzy tone, enough to make the red channel useable, or close to it.

Of course tone is subjective so YMMV.

Once again congrats! :applause:

Thanks man!
Mitchell has always been proof of great tone with DSLs and Origins. I'll end up rolling around some tubes just for fun but I'm pretty happy with how I can dial in the green channel, both clean and crunch but I always love to tinker around and experiment.
 

fitz

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HNAD!
That Vintage DSL40C is definitely cool looking.
It was the inspiration for a cosmetic makeover on my 6101.
Recently moved the large check to my 20HR & MX112 cabs
I love my 20, but I know the 40's are a different amp.
Always thought the Seventy/80's in the MX cabs were a good match for the DSL.
Until I A/B compared them to anything else...
 

Lespaul48

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So I've been selling and trading, wheelin' and dealin' and couldn't pass this up. I've said over the past year or so I'd like to pick up a DSL40C or CR and when I saw a post featuring these retro styling DSLs here on the MF I knew if I got one it would be one of these.

I actually really love this thing! While indeed it has a modern voicing, you can hear and feel ALL of the previous itterations of Marshall DNA in this baby. I stick to the Green classic channel and switch between crunch and clean... Oh yeah, the cleans actually REALLY impress me! I didn't expect it to have such beautiful and vintage sound Marshall cleans (my biggest disappointment in the SV20).

While I must be CRAZY or have bad hearing because I actually really dig the stock Seventy/80. I first experimented with a Vtype and V30 but to my ears I preferred the 70/80 hands down. I ended up getting a good deal on a G12M65 Creamback and settled on that BUT I would be 100% content with the 70/80 😄.

The Ultra channel is alright, I don't play with much gain so this channel is kinda just extra for me. I will say it can definitely sound fizzy if you don't take the time to dial it in just right, not as easy to dial as the Green channel.

The reverb is fantastic, I read so much hate for the reverb in these but I think it's just right. I don't want nor expect Fender style reverb in a Marshall, just enough to add some cushion in a dry room.

Solid and versatile that 100% captures the Marshall sound.



Before I got my Silver Jubilee I had a DSL40 Combo. I to prefered the Seventy/80 over the $150 Vintage 30 I bought for it.
 

scozz

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Before I got my Silver Jubilee I had a DSL40 Combo. I to prefered the Seventy/80 over the $150 Vintage 30 I bought for it.
I not a fan of either of those speakers, 70/80 are too stringent and spiky to my ears, and V30s sound a bit harsh to my ears. I prefer Creambacks and Greenbacks.
 

bobpick68

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So I've been selling and trading, wheelin' and dealin' and couldn't pass this up. I've said over the past year or so I'd like to pick up a DSL40C or CR and when I saw a post featuring these retro styling DSLs here on the MF I knew if I got one it would be one of these.

I actually really love this thing! While indeed it has a modern voicing, you can hear and feel ALL of the previous itterations of Marshall DNA in this baby. I stick to the Green classic channel and switch between crunch and clean... Oh yeah, the cleans actually REALLY impress me! I didn't expect it to have such beautiful and vintage sound Marshall cleans (my biggest disappointment in the SV20).

While I must be CRAZY or have bad hearing because I actually really dig the stock Seventy/80. I first experimented with a Vtype and V30 but to my ears I preferred the 70/80 hands down. I ended up getting a good deal on a G12M65 Creamback and settled on that BUT I would be 100% content with the 70/80 😄.

The Ultra channel is alright, I don't play with much gain so this channel is kinda just extra for me. I will say it can definitely sound fizzy if you don't take the time to dial it in just right, not as easy to dial as the Green channel.

The reverb is fantastic, I read so much hate for the reverb in these but I think it's just right. I don't want nor expect Fender style reverb in a Marshall, just enough to add some cushion in a dry room.

Solid and versatile that 100% captures the Marshall sound.

Yeah I think the 70/80 get's a bad rap because it's easy to make it sound raspy but it's also just as easy to make it sound good, especially if it's broken in. I agree with you on this post 100%
 

Maggot Brain

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I ended up with a G12M65 Creamback but have gone back and fourth with the 70/80 just for fun and still stand by my opinion of them. I almost prefer the 70/80 for Fuzz as it takes it so well without getting thick or mushy, it stays defined so I may go back to the 70/80 from time to time especially if I'm recording.

Call me crazy but I've grown to prefer the DSL40c over my SV20, I can get a very similar sound out of the DSL but the DSL wins hands down for clean tones imo, way more punch, pop, shimmer. I also really love the resonance knob as I can ballpark a bottom heavy JTM style tone along with the bass control, the DSL is just a jack of all Marshall tones.

You can approximate just about any era of Marshall.


Oh yeah and I personally love the reverb!
 

bobpick68

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I ended up with a G12M65 Creamback but have gone back and fourth with the 70/80 just for fun and still stand by my opinion of them. I almost prefer the 70/80 for Fuzz as it takes it so well without getting thick or mushy, it stays defined so I may go back to the 70/80 from time to time especially if I'm recording.

Call me crazy but I've grown to prefer the DSL40c over my SV20, I can get a very similar sound out of the DSL but the DSL wins hands down for clean tones imo, way more punch, pop, shimmer. I also really love the resonance knob as I can ballpark a bottom heavy JTM style tone along with the bass control, the DSL is just a jack of all Marshall tones.

You can approximate just about any era of Marshall.


Oh yeah and I personally love the reverb!

Yep, as I dig and dial more and more with mine I am finding so many different types of Marshall tones in there. From warm cleans to edge of breakup to medium gain back in black type stuff to all out Slayer tones. Again the red channel is my least favorite but I did figure out how to make it sound good while at the same time being able to hop over to green and have a majority of what I want from an amp. I have owned a few of the iconic Marshalls through the years and even tried their Code series and the JMD, which I didn't really like either of those at all. The JMD a little more than the Code but I digress.

Definitely the most versatile Marshall (that also has great tone and feel) I have ever owned, and I see no need to keep looking for as long as this one stays working. As I said in another thread I do plan on transplanting it into one of those Stagecraft head boxes but I will keep the combo cab intact so that I can swap it back if needed/wanted. I had the 100H at one time and though I liked it, It's complete overkill for anything I do. The 40c is plenty loud with plenty of thump through the right cab. The 20HR I had was weak sauce. Reminds me of the porridge that was too hot or cold. The 40c is just right.
 

Maggot Brain

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Little update,
I was playing lastnight at a fairly low volume on the clean channel and dimed the gain and noticed pretty bad crossover distortion. The amp was retubed by the previous owner so I figured I better check the bias... I usually do with used amps but hadn't gotten around to it yet, found it was biased at 29mv 🤦‍♂️. That explains my crossover, so I biased it up to a solid 38mv and... wow, like a new amp! I thought it sounded good to begin with so to my surprise the DSL40c sounds great 👍. The clean channel is pretty damn amazing imo, I can hear all those wonderful nuances and harmonics, I'm beyond impressed. Granted I've been kinda skewed on the DSLs from reading online, I did open my mind after playing some about a year ago in GC.

DSL40C sounds great, is it a legendary 1959? or 2203? No but that doesn't make it any less amazing, those are pretty high benchmarks so I don't think that's a knock on the DSLs by any means. The DSL40c can definitely hang out with those amps tho, it sounds every bit a Marshall and honestly a great execution on Marshall's part minus the build quality.

I'll forever attest the DSL can capture convincing vibes of all decades of Marshalls. You can dial in a JTM flavor, JMP flavor and JCM flavor all in one amp... Extremely versatile. (For the technical individuals) of course it doesn't sound EXACT, if you want EXACT then buy whatever model you want to replicate EXACTLY, it definitely can do imitations of all those eras of Marshall with it's own flavor.


Lastly.... WTF is up with the potentiometers? They definitely cheaped out on those 🤮
 


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