Marshall DSL100H - how's the master volume?

hemmelight

Roadie
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For those of you that have owned them: how does the DSL100 sound at lowish volumes on the 50watt mode?

I’m hankering for a 50 watt Marshall head and my local used gear place has one for a decent price (for Canada).
Curious to see if it will work at home volumes at all? Not expecting it to be 'whisper quiet' as I have other things I can use for that anyway.

It would be my first Marshall ever, so I really have no reference for how their Master volumes are tapered. It’s a 100H to be specific (not a 100HR, and it's not labelled 'JCM2000' either.)
Cheers! :beer
 
Ah, I see now that the HR added a 'Master' knob for each channel on the left-side of the panel that the older model doesn't have.
The one I'm looking at is just Gain and Volume for each channel, nothing labelled 'Master' anywhere.
 
It really does not sound good at low volume (gain channels) really, really fizzy. The non master DSL100H needs the volume to be at 3 or above and that will be about 95db or higher even in 50W mode to start sounding good. Once you get the volume up it sounds great.
 
They're asking $950 CAD, but it's a small shop so they might entertain offers lower than that.
Also, I've seen some more chatter around the older model being sold for around a grand new, so maybe it's not such a deal anyway. :p

I'm interested in this amp thanks to this video. The guy made it sound wicked after some mods, and I'm not adverse to doing the same myself and saving some money vs buying a Friedman or something at twice the price. The fizzyness can be reigned in somewhat, but it still may not be enough for low volumes. Hard to say. Part of the reason I'm interested in a Friedman is the supposedly good masters.



It may just be a waste of time overall since I have other stuff to use anyway, but I'd love to have a proper full-size Marshall and see how I get on with it.
 
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Used, those amps usually go for $500-$550 USD. The 100H (non master) can be made to sound exceptionally well using an SD-1 or other boost in front, especially through a reactive load box. It's a very loud amp otherwise. This is the amp that caused my tinnitus...
 
It really does not sound good at low volume (gain channels) really, really fizzy. The non master DSL100H needs the volume to be at 3 or above and that will be about 95db or higher even in 50W mode to start sounding good. Once you get the volume up it sounds great.

That was my experience with with the DSL40CR. As a workaround at lower volumes you had to crank the master wide open and then use the channel volume to your desired levels. Sounds decent that way but it’s night and day once you give it volume.
 
Interesting, thanks for the info. I'm 100% a fan of the SD-1 method, I love mine.

It's difficult to say if the price is too much because we get a bit screwed for gear prices up here in Canada, especially Marshalls. To buy a new 100HR from a big box store here the list price is $1500. My gut feeling is that this one should probably be like $750 or $800, but covid got things jacked way up so who knows anymore.
 
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Yeah they (H) go for around $600 US used. Maybe gain matters. I've played one at low volume quite a bit and thought it sounded good but the gain was only a tad over 2 or so.

If you want the HR scour the big national distributors and they can also be found used for around $600-$700 US. The HR has more features and sounds a little different, smoother I guess.
 
All personal preference on where sounds best, but the amp definitely changes in tone based on how the master is set and it’s a critical part of getting the tone right on them.

I find them quite like any Marshall - can see the volume settings here roughly match up to the JMP2203. It’s definitely not quiet at that level though.



Likewise with the red channel vs the Friedman. Not THAT cranked. Just depends what tones you like. That said, I’d find an HR if you can. Just improves on everything already there IMO

 
Thanks for the info, everybody!
I probably won't go for this one - I just came across it locally and was curious to hear some impressions. :whistle:
 
They're asking $950 CAD, but it's a small shop so they might entertain offers lower than that.
Also, I've seen some more chatter around the older model being sold for around a grand new, so maybe it's not such a deal anyway. :p

I'm interested in this amp thanks to this video. The guy made it sound wicked after some mods, and I'm not adverse to doing the same myself and saving some money vs buying a Friedman or something at twice the price. The fizzyness can be reigned in somewhat, but it still may not be enough for low volumes. Hard to say. Part of the reason I'm interested in a Friedman is the supposedly good masters.



It may just be a waste of time overall since I have other stuff to use anyway, but I'd love to have a proper full-size Marshall and see how I get on with it.


Jason also has an Origin 20 mod that makes them sound freaking awesome. With the Origin still being pretty cheap and if you're interested in modding one it may be worth looking in to. With a few tweaks the mods likely could be applied to the 50 watt one if you wanted more power. Jason is a super cool dude too so I'm sure he would help you out if you asked.

 
i have a DSL100 and it is a great sound but like all master volumes, it simply doesn't sound the same as cranked up when the master is set low.

that's not just a DSL thing...it's every master volume amp i have ever tried.
 
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