Greetings, friends. How was the mid-week? I had some spare time today, headed to Davis GMC to try the new Marshalls there.
What new Marshall, you ask? We know the JCM2000 DSL/ TSL had been laid to rest by the manufacturer, this year, the 'DSL' tag was resurrected but if you are a fan of the superseded models, the new generation of DSL models are quite removed in terms of voicing & features (the JCM2000 tag wasn't resurrected). This brings back fond memories of my DSL401 which was my first tube amp, I was also the first one to buy it at Davis. Back then, the store was half its present size; I had to wait outside before getting a chance to enter because it's crowded, especially so during weekends. Back to the new DSL- I had the chance to try the 15W combo depicted above. You can reduce the wattage to 50% power & this itself provides a tonal variation.The controls are simple & direct- 2 Channels, 2 sets of volume & gain controls, a master 3-band EQ, presence & reverb. These are the tweakable controls on board but adding to these are the DEEP & TONE SHIFT buttons adding bass & midrange influences respectively.
You get the ECC83 (pre-amp) & 6V6 (power amp) valves to get the tones going & a Celestion GE12-60 12" driver to make sure it's not a run-of-the-mill tone to begin with. Getting straight to the tone appraisal, this new DSL is splendid to say the least. Drive-wise, it's removed from the former DSL you might know. The drive coming from the Ultra channel is ferocious at upper settings, this gets more voracious with volume dialed up. With the former DSL, the drive intensity could never appeal the extreme masses (all ye black metal fiends...), there's this 'wooly' voicing if you turn the amp way up but that's somewhat cured with the new generation of DSL. For me, the immediate benefit is that my upper fret notes are more defined this way. It's definitely a plus point, this revision.
However, there isn't a dedicated clean channel. For this to materialize, you have to keep the gain in the Classic channel down. That's not ganna help too much if you have high output pickups in your guitars; a little too much force in your picking & it'll trigger the drive. But that's not to say that there isn't any workable cleans to begin with, in fact, that signature Marshall clean is present & well-defined; Hendrix would be proud. Price check, ladies & gentlemen:
- Davis GMC: $580
- Online MSRP: USD599