Upgrade to new DSL40 from older DSL40c?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by cowbellfever, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. cowbellfever

    cowbellfever New Member

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    Hi all - long time forum reader and first-time poster. Lots of informed people here!
    I see many DSL40c threads that focus on speaker upgrade, tube changes and capacitor mods.

    In the 2000's I gigged with a Marshall JCM2000 DSL50 and 1936 2x12 - loved the sound but the amp was loud and took up lots of room on smaller stages. Still have it.
    Around 2015 I picked up a Marshall DSL40c - a great combo amp that became my main gigging amp, but it did have some flaws I had to overcome.
    1. Upgraded the weak stock speaker from the Celestion Seventy 80 to a Vintage 30.
    2. Added a Boss GE7 EQ pedal to my board to engage when switch to CH2 Ultra Gain Lead1 to align with CH1 Crunch EQ voicing.
    3. I bought a Hughes & Kettner Redbox5 DI to send my amp live sound to the FoH mixer.
    4. My DSL40c has an issue of sound cutting out randomly which requires a power cycle to fix, it happens rarely but it is there. A full tube upgrade and bias did not resolve, I read elsewhere this is due to an known IC flaw on the PCB board.

    Question - after all the above changes and updates I did would upgrading to the newer DSL40 model be worth it?
    I can't rent or easily test one locally due to covid store closures. I found one locally for a good price.
    I researched that Marshall did resolve most issues with the newer model:
    - Better stock Celestion V type speaker.
    - Better voiced shared EQ between CH1 and CH2.
    - Added an Emulated line-level output with Softube-designed studio cabinet emulation for F0H mixer
    - Ability to use the amp silently.

    I do gig about 3 times a month (during non-covid times) so I want to make an informed choice that will benefit me.
    Thanks for all your wisdom.
     
  2. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum. The other guitarist in my band uses the 40CR, and it has been great. He uses the 6 button footswitch that allows him to switch between modes for each channel. The only issue he had was that sometimes the 6 button footswitch would cease working. Replacing the stock instrument cable with a stereo instrument cable resolved the issue. I don't know if the newer ones still have the issue, but there is an easy fix.

    As for whether it's worth upgrading, I personally would never gig with an amp that randomly cuts out, so yes, I would definitely replace that amp with the newer 40CR or something else. Tonally, I've briefly had the older 40C and the newer 40CR, and I frankly did not notice a significant tonal difference between the two that can't be attributed to the quality of the speaker. I do believe the 40CR is better, especially for a gigging musician, because it has multiple modes within each channel that is footswitchable and has a second master volume.

    I'm sure others with more knowledge and experience will chime in.
     
  3. fitz288

    fitz288 Well-Known Yinzer Silver Supporting Member

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    :welcome:
    Welcome to (posting on) the forum.
    Upgrading seems logical with an unreliable amp.
    If you still have the Seventy-80, swap it back and keep the Vintage30 if you are unloading the old 40C.

     
  4. cowbellfever

    cowbellfever New Member

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  5. cowbellfever

    cowbellfever New Member

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    I got the newer DSL40 it is a 2018 model last Saturday
    The seller claimed it was not used too often - only a handful of times.
    I've played it for over 2 - 3 hours and compared it to my older DSL40C.
    I put JJ tubes in today and did a V30 speaker install.
    The new DSL40 both channels seem hotter - volume and gain wise.
    The DSL40 Celestion V Type speaker has more lower-end bass thump compared to my V30 - I swapped the speaker to confirm and its true.
    The DSL40 amp has a different EQ curve compared to the older DSL40C - I am still getting used to it and trying to dial it in - I feel like there is a lot higher end frequencies this amp puts out - the extra gain could be a factor.
    While playing the new DSL40 I also noticed there may be a footswitch issue, when trying to turn the effects loop on/off using the Factory footswitch, it turns off and unless you remove the FS jack it won't turn on again - need more time to test this.

    So far I like the extra features but prefer the sound of my older DSL40C amp - but will keep trying to dial it in and see.
    Any one prefer the older DSL40c after buying the newer DSL40?
     
  6. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard new MF’r!!

    I had the 40C and it would cut out just like yours, I posted here many times a out it. I finally got it fixed a real pain in the ass. Yes, its the chip that controls the relays. I would either get it fixed, dump it, trade it what ever and get the new one.
     
  7. wolfpack

    wolfpack Active Member

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    I've had both & kept the older model 40C over the newer 40CR.
    The only mods are tube changes, and it's never had any issues.
    Also, I converted it to a head and use a Bogner 2x12 cab.
    My observations:
    Tone & Feel - Older 40C
    Versatility with footswitch - Newer 40CR
     
  8. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Welcome to the forum
    I have the older 40C,
    I have only briefly played the newer version, but I did not upgrade to it, my only mods so far have been tubes, to lower the gain, I play with the gain of early Priest, UFO, Scorps, Thin Lizzy, and where I am at , I prefer the C to the CR, oh and I still rock the shitty 70/80.
    Cheers to fixing your old one, or dialing in the new one.


    Mitch
     
  9. cowbellfever

    cowbellfever New Member

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    Thanks for posting.
    Did you deal with Marshall Support to fix the Chip issue? Did the repair cost you a lot out of pocket?
    I have a RMA open with a repair center here in Canada, but they want me to ship it to them (expense out of my pocket) to another province and I cover all repair expenses they deem out of warranty - its a 2015 amp so I know it's out of factory warranty, but the Chip issue sounds like a known part failure bug/issue.
     
  10. J.LaGrassa

    J.LaGrassa Well-Known Member

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    I've had the DSL40C a few years ago and really enjoyed the amp and actually my favorite speaker with it was the V-Type back then, only got rid of it to try other gear. I just picked up the DSL40CR and really liking what I hear, nice low end and a tad warmer top end than the 40C plus all the newer features made it a no brainer for me. I'd say go for the new one!!
     
  11. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member

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    Cost me nothing, it was under warranty and my Tech did the work, he actually found the issue.
     
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