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Rating and Reviews: Marshall DSL40C

Plug into classic Marshall character with the DSL40C. This 40-watt, two-channel combo delivers the goods with two EL34 power tubes and a Celestion speaker.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"THE MAGIC AMP!" submitted September 29, 2013

By Tom F in Lake Elsinore, CA
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Musical Background: Playing more than 30 years.
Music Style: Mostly Christian. Some classic rock and blues.
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Overall: This amp is THE BOMB! There are actually two completely different voices on both the clean and the dirty channels giving you FOUR totally different sounds. The clean channel is crystal clear and so heavenly with beautiful rings and sustain. Throw a switch though and you can muddy it up with some crunch that doesn't forget that it's the clean channel. I love that because there are a lot of tunes that don't have the heavy crunch, but they also don't have the chimey, crystal clear cleans.On the distortion channel though is where the magic begins! Again, two totally different settings but both ROCK! You get that classic sound of the sixties and seventies we grew up on during the British Invasion! The amp just makes your playing sound amazing and you'll just want to take all your stomp boxes, effects pedals, and everything else and throw them in the trash! The distortion is that beautiful! It is so easy to make this amp sound great. All of my other amps require tweaking and fine tuning. Not this one. It's perfect and forgiving no matter where you put the knobs. Very, very easy to get great sounds out of this. I got this to "downsize" from my larger rigs, but forget it! This thing is big and heavy, but it's solid and substantial. It's just not light and easily transportable.40w is VERY loud when you're talking tube amps. I'm in a house and when I put this thing on 2, the cats and dogs are running for cover! Would EASILY fill a small to medium auditorium without going through the PA or putting a mic in front of it.Only complaint would be the footswitch. It works fine, but there are no LEDs or indicators of any sort on it. Otherwise, this amp is INCREDIBLE!!
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"Undeniable Marshall Tone" submitted October 3, 2013

By Tony H in Las Vegas, NV
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Music Style: Hard rock, classic rock and blues
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Sound: EL 34's, 12AX7's. You're standard British tone stack, sounds amamzing...even with the stock tubes Feature: The dual gain features are a strong point here. You can go from plexi type cleans with mild breakup, to crunchy JCM 800 to balls out gain for more modern tones. Ease of Use: Not hard to figure out. You're basic tone controls, the mid-scooping tone switch button, effects loop, etc Quality: Built like a tank. Never had issues with Marshall quality Value: Got this amp as a "scratch n dent", saved about $150 bucks and honestly I don't see a scratch or dent anywhere on it. So for that reason this beast is an even better value for me! The Wow Factor: White lettering that spells Marshall...that's the wow factor. It sounds amazing especially piped through a 4x12 cabinet. Overall: Probably the last combo amp I'll need to buy. Started with a JCM 800 back in the 80's, worked my through a myriad of other amps in the last 20 years and find myself back to the tone I love. Marshall gets it right with the DSL 40C.
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"You'll Love Almost Everything About This Amp!" submitted March 30, 2014

By Rod Venger in Bryan, TX
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Ease of Use
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Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I'm a play at home or in the park type, 40 years or thereabouts
Music Style: I like almost all music except rap or hip-hop. I PLAY only Rock or rock-related music. Most of it is my own. Don't chase Slash's
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: The sound is classic Marshall and with it's two main voices, it accurately captures both the Plexi and the JCM. If there's any weak spot it's in the reverb. There's enough reverb here for me but not everyone is of the same opinion. There's not as much reverb as the HT-40, for instance. I picked the DSL40C over the DSL15C because of the separate reverb controls for each channel. Feature: You're going to love the tone right out of the box! Most people don't feel the need to immediately start swapping out tubes. Stock, this amp is all Marshall and it doesn't NEED any tweaks...though there's certainly a few that can be made. I've gone a month without even cracking open the back and pulling the chassis, which is absolutely a first for me. If you're tweaking the EQ, I'd definitely suggest giving your ears a break between tweaks so you don't suffer from "sonic fatigue". Make a change, if needed, listen, take a break and come back to it with fresh ears. I run the amp in triode (20w) mode. You'll probably get more headroom at the lower wattage and the difference in volume between 20 and 40 watts isn't that noticable. Ease of Use: It's really as easy as flipping the power switch, waiting two minutes and flipping the standby switch. Out of the box if you put the EQ's at noon, you're going to have great tone. Anything after that is just finding the right tone for you and your personal preference. Quality: Some people, most likely those who have never owned the amp or are working for the other guy, like to hammer on the fact that it's made in Vietnam. A plant owned and operated by Marshall is going to produce the same quality product no matter where it's located. The reality is that this amplifier is built like a tank, sounds like it belongs on a stage...and many of them wind up on stages! It looks like a Marshall, sounds like a Marshall, behaves like a Marshall, because it IS one. The stock tubes are not low-bid "get-it-out-the-door-as-cheap-as-we-can" glass. If they were junk glass, it'd sound like junk. It's heavy, even for a 40w combo, more so than the HT-40, I'm pretty sure. And speaking of the HT-40...I had that amp, loved it...but the DSL40C is a far better amp, and for the exact same money, THIS should be your choice! Value: At it's full $699 street price, it's worth every penny. *I* got a $150 discount because of a blemish, which turned out to be two 1/8" scratches in the top-left-rear plastic corner piece. I'm too lazy to take a magic marker to those marks, but that's all it'd take to fix this "blemish" Manufacturer Support: I've not yet had to deal with Marshall. No issues! The Wow Factor: It's a Marshall! How could anyone NOT want it? It does have it's narrow minded detractors, most of which are either working for the other guy or are 12 years old and simply don't know what they're talking about. Or the cork-sniffers, who think that if it doesn't cost $2000, it can't be any good. I've gone through 9 amps in 7 years and I do believe that this will be my last amp purchase. I gotta say that it would be good if Marshall would come out with a new, aftermarket reverb board that we could pop in to replace the current one. I'd spring for $100 to have a new reverb in there that could get all insane like the HT-40's can. Overall: This amp doesn't just say Marshall on the front. Everything about it proves it's a Marshall, even if it was built in Vietnam. In the same way that Gibson builds and markets more economical guitars under the Epiphone name, Marshall builds more economical amps...only it builds them in Vietnam and keeps the Marshall name...and rightfully so! Take any professional musician and give him a true blind test of a UK-made Marshall and a Vietnamese-made Marshall, and I guarantee you that he cannot objectively tell the difference.
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Wow, Why didn't I get this sooner?" submitted January 25, 2014

By Mike M in Chula Vista, CA
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Features
Ease of Use
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Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I have been playing for over 40 years. I play proffesionally.
Music Style: Country/western, folk, Rock & Roll, Blues
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: Awesome sounds. You can make any type of music on this with your guitar. From clean country to heavy metal crunch. I use a Fender Strat and Epi Les Paul. Feature: The 20 to 40amp switch is very nice when you want to practice at lower volumes and not have the wife come out and unplug you. Ease of Use: There was a little getting use to the controls... but with any amp I have had, there is a learning curve. Quality: This has got to be the highest quality amp that I have ever purchased. There wasn't a single flaw in the craftsmanship of the cabinet. Value: Great value for an amp of this caliber. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed it. The Wow Factor: I am blown away by the quality, sound and ease of use. Overall: I was blown away with the sound that comes out of this amp. It is well made. I can see no faults at all with the cabinet. Then I plugged it in and was further impressed. The clean sound is perfect with the band I play with. The added foot pedal works perfect with switch the channels. I'm still exploring the different adjustments and just lovin' this amp. The switching between the 20 and 40 amp is nice and helps with practicing, and the 40amp is nice for playing small indoor venues. The more I played, the better the amp sounded. It does need a little warming up for the tubes and once it does, bam! Perfect sound. There was no buzz or any other unwanted noises that I heard. I highly recommend this amp...thanks zZounds.com and Marshall.
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Big Marshall vintage tone without the vintage price" submitted February 17, 2013

By Jonathan A in Conway, SC
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Musical Background: 28 years of guitar and bass. I am competent at piano, but nothing special.
Music Style: 70-80s metal and blues, with some neoclassical metal
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Overall: When I was set on moving to Europe in 2000, I stupidly sold my early '70s, pre-master volume 50 watt head and mid '80s cabinet. When I got back into guitar a few years ago, I despaired at ever getting that tonal combination again, as to re-purchase that setup would be ~$4,000. But to my amazement, YOU CAN get that tone in all it's glory for an affordable price. This amp is it...and more! It is easy to both get the vintage Marshall, warm distortion, as well as the tougher, ballsier sounds of contemporary metal.
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"All the Growl and Bite!!" submitted March 1, 2014

By Nathan Kawa in Brevard, NC
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Musical Background: 30 years
Music Style: Anything that includes guitar.
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Sound: Too bright out of the box...change the tubes.. Feature: Least most useful is the shared eq for both channels. Most useful is the pentode/triode switch which allows 20 watt or 40 watt operation. Ease of Use: With a tube change it's so awesome. Quality: Very well made. Looks great. Value: It's worth the money for that Marshall tone they are so famous for. Manufacturer Support: Marshall CS was quick to respond to my tube inquiry. The Wow Factor: Yummy looking! Overall: Marshall has succeeded in giving us that true growl and bite we expect from Marshall amps in a combo. Out of the box this was a bright amp. Marshall are known for being that kind of bright that cuts through a mix but this amp is just a little too bright. The cleans are wonderful but the overdrive channel had to much unuseable fizz over 5 on the gain dial. But don't let that stop you....my solution was to change out the stock Marshall tubes (which-according to marshall are all JJ''s) and that's fine but I changed them out. I put Ruby El34BSTRs in the power section. But the true tone changers are the preamp tubes and for those I put a Tungsol in V1, Ruby AC5 HG's in V2 and V3 and the must have Sovtek LPS in V4. WOW, this amp just cam ALIVE. No more harsh brightness and the gain is awesome at any level. This is now a fave amp of mine,
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"Probably the last combo I'll need to buy" submitted September 8, 2013

By Tony Heishman in las vegas, NV
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Musical Background: Playing guitar for 25 years
Music Style: hard rock, classic rock
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Sound: From plexi like cleans to classic crunch and a more modded 800 type gain on the lead 1 and 2, plenty of tone options in this thing. I'll change out the tubes, i haven't cracked open the back yet to see what's in there now, but they sound pretty decent as is Feature: the stock seventy eighty speaker is decent, I play this through my 4x12 with Vet 30s and it sounds awesome Quality: I bought this as scratch and dent and I can't find a scratch or dent anywhere! Knobs are tight, tolex is tight, no blemishes or smudges or anything. Saved $150 over reg price, can't complain! Value: Worth every penny Manufacturer Support: havent needed any support yet The Wow Factor: It's a Marshall...The legend speaks for itself Overall: Classic Marshall, this thing rocks....flat out rocks.I've owned Marshalls before, JCM 800 included, and this combo can do it all. Very versatile, pure EL 34 bliss
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"Really Happy!" submitted September 1, 2014

By Henry M in Dandridge, TN
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Musical Background: Been playing off an on since I was a kid.
Music Style: Rock and Roll, some Blues,
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: I have been wanting a tube amp for some time, I have spent a lot of time listening to, and trying different tube amps. I had it narrowed down to the VOX AC30C2 and this Marshall DSL 40C. Both great amps, but for what I like to play and the sound that I like, I chose this amp and couldn't be happier. I like the fact that you can connect 8 and 16 ohm speaker cabs to it, the VOX does that also but at 30 watts. The price is great, under 700 USD (barely). There's one 12" speaker, but hey it's easier to pack around for practice than the 2X12's, and the speaker rocks. If I need more speaker, then I'll pick me up a 4x12 half stack or two. This is really a sweet little amp that give's me all the options I need. If you're looking for a great tube amp that doesn't break the piggy bank, this is it. Rock the World.
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"Marshall DSL40C Tube Amp" submitted May 9, 2014

By Chris W in Dallas, TX
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Musical Background: Mainly been a weekend warrior for the last 23 years, but this amp has inspired me to become a better guitar player !
Music Style: Rock, Blues, Jazz, & Classical
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Overall: I have been playing guitar for 23 yrs. and have owned several different amps, but this is my 1st Marshall. I couldn't be more pleased with the features and overall tones that are possible with this amp. Chances are, I will never need another amp unless I just want to start collecting them. LOL This amp has that true Marshall tone that so many guitar players won't do without. I find the Pentode/Triode switch quite useful for practice in the home/apt. etc. I don't even feel the need to put an OD/Distortion pedal in front of it. That's how good it sounds ! I'm totally convinced that this is the perfect amp for me and any potentially different musical situation that I may find myself in down the road. I just wish Marshall would make a matching speaker cabinet. *hint hint LOL
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"freaking awesome!!" submitted March 2, 2014

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: played 25 years...some cover bands..mostly jam at home tho
Music Style: blues,rock,metal,country...whatever I feel like that day
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Overall: its so nice to hear that marshal "roar" without losing hearing in the process.
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"My purchase of a Marshall DSL40C" submitted March 24, 2014

By David Hawkins in Harrisburg, PA
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Musical Background: I have played guitar both professionally, I jam and getting back into playing live music after a few years absence.
Music Style: Rock, blues, jazz metal
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Overall: As always a great Marshall product great for in home and small venues live. Sound is amazing and nothing sounds better, with my les Paul's, than a Marshall! Zzounds were great, I bought a les Paul here a year ago with no hassle and the same with this amp!! At my house in 2 days!!!!!
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"Here's the wow factor !" submitted April 24, 2013

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Overall: I have had alot of amps, both SS and tube, and this one has it all. Set all eq at 5, gains at 5, and its perfect. Ch1 crunch, old AC/DC where it responds to guitar volume and pick attack, CH 2 has the George Lynch sound from "under lock and key". Mine stopped working a week after I recieved it, ZZounds was going to replace it and even pay shipping, then I found out it was only a bad preamp tube, and they sent me a replacement right away and I was back in business. Now THAT's customer service.
6 of 7 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Marshall tone in an affordable package!" submitted April 16, 2013

By Patrick G in South Jordan, UT
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Musical Background: Amature
Music Style: Rock, metal, blues
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Overall: I purchased my new DSL40C from Zzounds about two weeks ago (my fifth Zzounds purchase totaling nearly $5k) and I am very pleased. I currently own a early 2000's Marshall JCM2000 DSL 100 so I am familiar with the DSL range. This thing rocks, and is very loud. It is solid, though fit and finish could be improved (most of the dials had smudges or scratches on them, either from manufacturing or packaging/shipping). I replaced the stock Celestion speaker with a WGS Retro30 and it made a huge difference. I really like this combo and plan to keep it for years and years! The Ultra Gain 2 channel is a bit much, but still usable. I would rather just use a Dual Rectifier or 6505+ for high gain sounds than that channel. Overall, I think it's a great product for the price.
10 of 12 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"GREAT AMP" submitted October 4, 2014

By a customer from gmail.com
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Music Style: Folk, Blues, Acoustic, Hard Rock, Classic Heavy Metal, Indie, Punk, Grunge
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Overall: From most comment sections on youtube, this amp receives a lot of criticism, and I really don't understand why. This amp is great, it really delivers that classic marshall tone, anything from clean, to cruch, to high gain. As long as you know how to dial an amp in, you will be happy with it.
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"Better than a BlackStar HT40" submitted February 27, 2013

By Blake K in sainte genevieve, MO
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Musical Background: Bedroom Rock Star
Music Style: Blues, Brit pop, 80's metal
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Sound: Nice british clean tones. Very Hendrix sounding. Don't expect Fender glassy tones.Classic gain nails the old Super Leads from the early 70's. Need to try this channel with a 4x12.. Ultra gain 1 perfect for hair metal and classic rock tones. My favorite for playing Lych style riffs.Ultra gain 2 I hate it! Very muddy and almost useable for my style of playing. Then again I did not buy this amp for that channel. This is a great amp for Brit pop, Blues, Classic rock, and 80'd metal. I would not recommend it for modern metal even with a boost pedal your not going to get tight low end chugging tons. I have not tried it with a external cabinet Feature: Least useful feature would be Ultra gain 2 and the deep switch. The rest of the amp is perfect and the pentode / triode switch is a nice feature for home use. Ease of Use: Very easy to dial in a good tone. Since these amps are bright by design back off on the treble and presence and you will get that killer crunch Marshall was famous for. Quality: Built like a tank and the hard tolex reminds me of the Peavy amps from the 80's. Not a big fan of the new tolex. If your transporting your amp to gigs on a regular basis you will not have to worry about scuffs and rips. Value: Nice amp for the money.. I would have paid a bit more to have a vintage 30 instead of the 70/80. Why buy the DSL 15 for a few bucks less. This amp has tons more features, and better tone options. Manufacturer Support: N/A The Wow Factor: It's a valve powered Marshall for a decent price and nails the tones of the more expensive models. Overall: So you want that Marshall tone but do not have $1,500 to plop down for a JVM. This is your amp. You play Hendrix, The Stones, Ratt, and everything between.. Check out this combo.. Sounds better, more balls, more headroom and easier to dial in a good crunch tone over the BlackStar. You play extreme metal then get a 6505. Otherwise your looking at the right amp.
9 of 11 people (81.82%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"marshall dsl40c. guitar combo amp" submitted April 23, 2014

By percy g in naples, FL
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Musical Background: play at homeo
Music Style: Rock ,country
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Overall: It is nice to plug my firebird into it and play with all the different tones I'm still learning how to use its features ,I will be geting a stomp box soon
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"Marshall DSL40C Guitar Combo Amplifier" submitted March 30, 2014

By Tracy P in Augusta, GA
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Musical Background: 20 Years Guitar Player
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: Nice Amp! Second one I've owned.
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"Oh this is going to hurt a bit......." submitted July 28, 2014

By Brian L in Mount Vernon, IL
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Musical Background: Playing for going on 6 years. Jam at home with friends and practice.
Music Style: Rock N Roll Baby!!!!
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Overall: I titled this because I didn't want to say something negative about this amp, But have to just in case someone else is looking to buy it. First off I must say I have been playing near 6 years pretty much daily between 1-4 hours at a time. Also I must say I made it a point to play this amp for over a year before giving my opinion. I hate when someone gets a new amp and the first day make a review. Anyway zzsounds have been awesome and I pretty much use them exclusive if buying new gear. The payment plan option has made it possible for me to buy great gear at affordable payment installments. Thank you again zzsounds! Ok to the amp. As everything I order from this company it arrived fast and in great shape. I was almost in awe of finally owning a Marshall, Being it is cheaper I knew it was made in Asia. Found out it's made in Vietnam. Still being a Marshall this is what I had seen all my favorite guitarists use. I plugged in and played a while. First thing I noticed was it is very trebley. So I played and adjusted, Played and adjusted but it was to much highs then adjusted and it became muddy sounding. I still wasn't going to give up on it because I always wanted a Marshall. Months went by and I kept going back to my Fender Mustang III amp and playing it because I was pulling better tone out of it. Please because I owned a modeling amp doesn't mean I couldn't dial in a great tone. I explain later. But I would go back to the Marshall and every time it was just a battle to get a good distortion tone. Now I admit the clean channel was always just beautiful sounding and I dialed it in fast. With the lead channel I am not exaggerating I would see 2 hours go by trying to dial in a good tube sound. I got to thinking maybe I play to low? So I cranked this to ear hurting level and still could not hear that good tube break up. Ok 6 months in I located my authorized Marshall repair shop in St.Louis. Asked if a tube swap and bias may help. They recommended groove tubes as most of their gigging friends were using them weekly. So I paid to have it biased and retubed. Power and preamp tubes. I put JJ electronic preamp tubes in and el34 groove tube power tubes. Got it back it seemed to be a little less "Harsh" but still not breaking up to get that warm tube tone we all love. Another month goes by playing the Marshall every time I practiced thinking the tubes needed a break in period and maybe that's just what the speaker needed to so I played the S*%t out of the amp. Still no change. Time for a speaker change maybe that will take the all highs out of the amp and give it some tight lows. So I bought an Eminence Man O War speaker. Seem to somehow make the amp louder at same volumes than the Celestion speaker was but did not change the way to much treble. A year passed and Started playing a Yamaha THRX10 Desktop practice amp. With it I was getting great Marshall like tones, Though the Marshall DSL 40 every time I tried it same scenario, Hours go by with no better tone. I scavenged the internet and found that this was a problem many players were having. I contemplated selling then not selling because it was a Marshall and now paid off. FinallyI decided to sale. I ran it online locally and in no time the calls poured in because this amp is never on the market used. A Long time semi pro musician called and was wanting a Marshall Combo to add to his sound. He was in a 80's Rock/Country band. So he came over and Playing through my Gibson Les Paul he had chops and was ripping on it but I could see he kept trying to adjust the treble out and it went muddy. He switched lead channels with it seeming to get worse. He was still taken back by it being a Marshall and all the good he had heard about the amp that he bought it. Probably thinking he could dial it in at home. Admittedly I did good selling it and got most of my money back. I took the money and bought a used 1990's model Peavey Bandit 112 Transtube amp with the silver stripe under the knobs. It is made in the USA with a Sheffield Speaker and I paid $150. I immediately could and still can dial in any tone I want with a super cool overdriven tube break up saturated sound. It is solid state with trns tube technology. Read the reviews and watch youtube videos. Peavey got it right on this amp and it's a gigging amp. No modeling amp here. I Absolutely love the amp. Looking to buy another in the future in case this one craps out, Or just buy a new one though they are made in China I hear great reviews about them. It's truly a sleeper amp! Look into them zzsounds sells them here new. I can not say enough good about them. So if you are still reading this Look beyond a brand name sometimes. This is what I learned. Not saying all Marshall's are bad but I did not do well with the DSL40C. Make your own choice and may it be good for you. Thanks.
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"wow!!" submitted January 17, 2013

By Greg M in manteno, IL
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Musical Background: 6years
Music Style: Country Classic rock
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Overall: This amp does it all from crisp country to heavy metal.Its all you would need plus extra to spare.
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"Pure rock tone" submitted November 28, 2012

By Keith Van de Gryp in San Diego , CA
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Musical Background: 20 years. Family man who jams at home.
Music Style: Rock, Blues, and Metal, or what ever comes out of my head.
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Overall: First off, this amp delivered the tone I had expected from other amps I bought in the past. I grew up listening to guitarist who installed a pre-expected tone type in my head. I have owned a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (very nice amp), numerous line 6 amps (nice but not my cup of tea), and a BlackStar HT-5 (great tone just, a little bright for me). All these amps I enjoyed but never really satisified me. Then I took delivery of the Marshall DSL 40C, this is what I have been looking for. That rock god guitar tone pre-installed in my head. This amp is very versitile and LOUD. The reverb is not the best and the two types of clean and lead would be nice to switch via footswitch but, thats all I can complain about and the white piping was not perfectly straight (again not a real complaint). I believe this amp will be my go to tone machine for many years and may be passed down to my son. With that said, this amp will allow me to stop spending money on amps (I found my tone), and allow me expand my guitar collection. Only thing I look forward to adding is an extension cabinet and an analog chorus pedal. Highly recommended if a 100watt DSL stack is out of reach.
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"This amp rocks" submitted January 1, 2014

By Phil C in Kaaawa, HI
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Musical Background: 50 years playing many instruments. Guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, keyboards, percussion, etc...
Music Style: Bass player for LA hardcore punk band "Don't No" 1982-1984
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Overall: Very cool tube amp. And I am from the tube amp era.
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