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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been tossing around the idea of a new Amplifier for a bit. Much more seriously lately after the Marshall Origin series came out. Went to get some picks and strings at L&M and brought a 2018 Marshall DSL 20HR home a for weeks rental. After messing around for a bit on it, I'm now going to do a side by side test for the next 4 or 5 days....time permitting.

I'm just going to put this as a preamble without giving any feedback on anything right now. But I AM going to try to do a good side by side with all the same settings. Here's how it's setup:

Guitars:

- '79 LP Deluxe with SD SH5 Custom bridge (DCJ) and Duncan SM-2N neck. Both PUPS are setup to coil split as well
- 2016 Squier Classic Vibe Custom Tele with SD Lil 59 Tele bridge and stock PUP neck

Pedal board

- Boss TU-3
- Visual Sound VS/XO
- TC Flashback Mini
- TC HOF reverb
- Radial Bigshot ABY.
I may add my old '86 Boss DS-1 later

Amps - See title + their footswitches

Cab: BS HTV212 160W w/ 2 x Celestion V30
- For the A/B/Y, each Amps 16 Ohm out is in the 2 x 16 Ohm stereo in of Cab
- I'll also be switching between each Amp's 8 Ohm Out to the 8 Ohm Cab input individually
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm going to write out a couple of sheets of settings used, pedals etc for each amp in some fashion. Maybe some of you guys can throw in some ideas for me to check out. What I know I will cover is all EQ response, volume and gain settings, FX Loop, Outputs, all switches and sundries involved in each amp. It's going to be a few days until I actually post this....I'm thinking Monday or Tuesday. Thought I try to put a little more thought and listening into a possible rework of my sound. The DSL won't be the first amp through this I have a feeling
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did a pretty quick and dirty test yesterday between the 2 amps. I'm not even going to waste my time with this. The Blackstar sounds dead and muddy in both channels compared to the Marshall. I had been using my MXR 10 band EQ in the FX loop of the BS to take out the muffled tone...so even a quick comparison without EQ kicked my ass into the reality that I'd been fooling myself with the Blackstar. I don't know if all the HT20's are like this, but I'm going to do a clean out of a couple amps and get something proper.

I actually feel kind of stupid for putting up with the BS for this long......I'd recently been relying more on my Fender BJ anyways. The BS is going up for sale soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Having said the above, I'll still do a writeup of sorts for the Marshall DSL 20HR here, in cse anyone is interested in my POV as a Hard Rock guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Came here to post BUY THE MARSHALL. Guess you figured that out already...LOL
Heh. Took me 10 minutes after powering it up to come to that conclusion. Made sure to A/B them after and like I said above, there's no real point at all. I've had the BS for about 2 1/2 years now . I'm not going to run it down because it 's still a really nice Amp. Just isn't the sound I'm after. Way too generic and wooly for my taste. Only way to lift the wool is an EQ and the ISF in the "American" position, but since I have a Fender BJ I have that sound pretty much covered for my needs anyway. It's the first time I've run a MArshall in close to 20 years, so I kind of forgot what I was missing in the room. That DSL makes it perfectly clear. Now it'll be between that and the new Origin when I get a chance to check one of those baby's out.h
 

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It will be interesting to hear your feedback about the DSL 20HR after you've played it for a little while.

I'm guessing there MUST be some things about it that are not absolutely perfect.

I've been looking at that amp too. Seems like a neat little package for not too much money.
 

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Heh. Took me 10 minutes after powering it up to come to that conclusion. Made sure to A/B them after and like I said above, there's no real point at all. I've had the BS for about 2 1/2 years now . I'm not going to run it down because it 's still a really nice Amp. Just isn't the sound I'm after. Way too generic and wooly for my taste. Only way to lift the wool is an EQ and the ISF in the "American" position, but since I have a Fender BJ I have that sound pretty much covered for my needs anyway. It's the first time I've run a MArshall in close to 20 years, so I kind of forgot what I was missing in the room. That DSL makes it perfectly clear. Now it'll be between that and the new Origin when I get a chance to check one of those baby's out.h
I will take a dsl over an orgin every single day of teh week and twice on sunday!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It will be interesting to hear your feedback about the DSL 20HR after you've played it for a little while.

I'm guessing there MUST be some things about it that are not absolutely perfect.

I've been looking at that amp too. Seems like a neat little package for not too much money.
SO far I've found that the switching between the 2 channels isn't as transparent as I'd like. It's totally seemless from Classic Gain to Ultra Gain. But going back to Classic from Ultra you get a pretty loud switching sound from the Amp. I haven't played with it enough to really get a good grip on taming that, but I did manage to do it a couple of times. I'll make more specific notes when I do the full deal. But so far it sound fantastic on both channels through both the 16 and 8 ohm out on the amp to speaker(s). I have a pretty good feeling that anyone who's used the previous DSL's are going to love these units from what I've seen. And probably a few folks who didn't like the DSL's as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Can you that classic Marshall tube tone.. and back to clean..
The Marshall tube tone is all over this one. Switching from the Ultra to Classic gave me a bit of a Gritty Marshall clean. as opposed to a Fender or other type of Amps clean. I'll add that to my list of things to take notes on.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
So here is my experience with this Marshall guys n gals. Remember it's coming from a guy who played an early 80's JCM 800 50W 2204 (I think) over 20 years ago. Also, much of my testing was done at room level so take that into account as well.

Output (10/20w): No discernible difference in the tone going from 20W to 10W. Doesn't sound like it's been attenuated in the slightest, but 10W is a bit thinner sounding. I'll assume due to Volume difference. WIN

Reverb: Digital reverb that doesn't seem to kick in till about 4. It's a very slight Reverb but is of course much more apparent as you get louder. MEH for Reverb fans I'd think. Alright for drier sounding tones.

EQ section comes with the regular Marshall controls. Resonance, Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble. This is a really nicely tweakable section for myself compared to the BS. Doesn't seem to take a lot of movement to shift the sound around. WIN

Classic Gain: Is a nice clean grit or crunch for the most part. I attempted to get a really clean tone but the is still some lingering grittiness behind it due to the fact you have to use the Gain switch to get it louder. It's also a bit Muddy sounding if the gain is waaay low. Meh on good clean, WIN on the gritty crunchy Marshall tone.

Ultra Gain: More of a Modern Gain here. Tons on tap with room to spare. ANother WIN IMO.

Tone shift: Pretty cool and allows for a lot of different sounds in your settings. Seems to be a Mid boost/scoop button, but I didn't play with it enough to gave a good response. Seems to work really nicely with single coils and hummers alike. .WIN

Both channels have a really clear sound, even when gainy. The notes in chords are quite distinguishable from one another. I'm not so sure if a newer player would get along well with this amp straight in from guitar if they are a bit sloppy or messy. Both channels are extremely responsive to what you are playing and will not hide mistakes because it's so clear sounding.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
.....continued.....

Footpedal (2 button): nice long and thick chord with a very well made tank of a switcher. It controls the Channel selection and the FX Loop as an On/Off. The FX loop sound fantastic to my ears, but I'm comparing it to the much noisier BS FX loop. The one issue I have with the foot control is switching from UltraGain channel back to Classic. There's a discernible click or switching sound when you do this. Maybe the experience Marshall users can shine some light here. Going from Classic to Ultra Gain is fully transparent though. Win on Classic to Ultra. FAIL from Ultra to Classic.

FX Loop: Sounds fantastic with the Reverb and Delay. Nice and clear with no noise that I could tell. Seems like a really good FX Loop in my limited experience with multiple amps with FX Loops. I forgot to mention that the Reverb and Delay at front of amo is also really good sound, so win/win. WIN

Emulated Out: takes a 1/8" jack out to whatever your running as a mixer or sound device. I didn't have a 1/8" to 1/4" instrument cable so I had to use an adapter. I'm not crazy about the 1/8" size, but I don't have some of the gear that this type of jack might be used for more. You need to use a Mono jack/cable, and you still have to keep the Cabinet connected to the Amp out. The volumes on the channels don't work in this case, on;y the gain knobs. I'll assume it's using wholly the Preamp 12AX7's. The Cab emulation is done by Softtube. I believe I read it emulates the 1964 Cabinet. Sounding pretty damn good through my studio Monitors, except it felt a bit cold....unlike the 2 V30's in the cab. I don't believe there's really a way around that unless t's engineered by someone who know WTF they are doing. Not me...lol. WIN

Audio In: never tried it but it's a 1/8" jack and you can connect your Iphone/Android/ stereo reciever to it to play along with a tune or whatever else you want. Great feature IMO.

That's about it. I should mention it has 2 EL34 Poer tubes and 3 12AX7's in the Preamp section. This amp should be able to keep up with a pretty loud Rock drummer wwith room to move in the 20W section. I haven't tested this as I do not have a drummer. All in all it's a great Marshall amp of this type which will appeal to a number of players....both in bands and in home. I really like it a lot, but I'm still going to be looking at other options coming out.

Hope you found this helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I forgot to mention. The new DSL is REALLY light. I'm not sure how that will affect road worthiness to the guys playing out, but it's fine for home use. I'd think a few people on other guitar and amp sites who are actually gigging quite a bit may have something to say about this. Might even be a really good thing for the guys gigging.
 

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Emulated Out... you still have to keep the Cabinet connected to the Amp out. The volumes on the channels don't work in this case, on;y the gain knobs.
Is it possible to reduce the output of the speaker cabinet to zero using the master volume, and still get a signal from the preamp out of the emulated out?

I'm imagining plugging the emulated out into a mixer, then the mixer into headphones, for silent rehearsing in the middle of the night.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Is it possible to reduce the output of the speaker cabinet to zero using the master volume, and still get a signal from the preamp out of the emulated out?

I'm imagining plugging the emulated out into a mixer, then the mixer into headphones, for silent rehearsing in the middle of the night.
You can use the Emulated out for phones. And yes indeed, you can totally cut the Volume and use the Gain for the Emulated out. The Volume controls the Cabinet (in the Head's case) volume and the Phones, Mixer. or Audio Interface going to the Monitors is controlled by the Gain. WHat I did was set the Gain the way I wanted it, set the Volume on the Monitors to get a good room volume, then turned the volume on the MArshall channel to set the 2x12 cab Volume. Worked great. I'm also thinking a couple of good IR's would REALLY make it sound good, though the one that is the Marshall Emulation sounds pretty good as well.
 
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