Calling DSL401 owners

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ricorico Frets: 199
What amp settings do you use for the clean and dirty channels when using with drive pedals into the front?

Currently using the clean channel with and OCD with the follow settings:

Gain: 10 o'clock 
T: 8 o'clock 
M: 9 o'clock 
B 9 o'clock 

OCD set as follows:

Vol: 10 o'clock  
Tone: 11 o'clock  
Drive: 1 o'clock 

Interested to hear yours!

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Comments

  • FezFez Frets: 158
    Clean channel - gain around 3 to 4  Treble 5 to 6 Mid 4 Bass 9.
    Mad prof LGW Vol 9 o'clock  Drive 1 o'clock, body  9 o'clock
    I have a Mini spark boost after the LGW for a solo boost.
    I also have a Fallout cloud in front of the LGW for fuzzy stuff
    I find a compressor useful with a strat.

    While the Overdrive channel is good the problem I had was that the boost gave more gain but not more volume and isn't much use as a solo boost because the sound washes out.
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • ricorico Frets: 199
    Interesting @Fez ;are your settings out of 10 or 'oclock'?

    have you tried a boost pedal in the loop? 
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  • FezFez Frets: 158
    On the amp out of 10 the LGW doesn't have markings so they are O'clock.
    I haven't tried a clean boost in the loop. The trouble is it's a parallel loop. Perhaps @ICBM can comment on whether its a good idea to use a clean boost in the loop.
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 23710
    I don't see a particular reason why not - the loop circuit already has more than unity gain, which is why it makes the amp sound better if you jumper the loop and turn the mix right up. But it may still not be very effective as a solo boost because the loop is relatively early in the circuit. Try it and see...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FezFez Frets: 158
    Sounds like an experiment for thisafterlunch.
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • FezFez Frets: 158
    Well I put a clean boost in the loop of my 401 and it didn't give any boost. There was a slight change in the sound but that was all.
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 23710
    Fez said:
    Well I put a clean boost in the loop of my 401 and it didn't give any boost. There was a slight change in the sound but that was all.
    I wasn't sure, but that does make sense - the loop is quite early in the circuit, before the last stage of preamp overdrive - so boosting in the loop will really just make it more overdriven rather than louder.

    You can't always tell, it depends on the exact gain structure, so it was worth trying - useful to know.

    I'm still not sure why companies design amps with loops like that. The right place for them is always after all the preamp distortion, so you can put delays etc after it rather than in the middle of it.

    Look on the bright side, at least it isn't as crap as the loop in the TSL100, which actually makes the amp quieter when engaged...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ricorico Frets: 199
    @ICBM how hard is it to mod it to a series loop after the preamp?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 23710
    rico said:
    @ICBM how hard is it to mod it to a series loop after the preamp?
    Very, bordering on impossible. It would involve very major work to the PCB if it's even feasible at all.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ricorico Frets: 199
    Bugger. 
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  • PlectrumPlectrum Frets: 184
    rico said:
    Bugger. 
    Just get a DSL 40C instead. They're a lot better.
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1515
    edited January 9
    Plectrum said:
    rico said:
    Bugger. 
    Just get a DSL 40C instead. They're a lot better.
    I don't agree.  Before buying my 401 I tried a DSL40C and was disappointed, which is why I opted for the DSL401.  Tonally, I thought the 40C was more 'refined' which didn't suit me - and although the 40C had a couple of interesting extra switches and knobs like presence & resonance.I much preferred the ballsier/rawer tone of the DSL401 (I jump the fx loop) which felt more 'Marshally' to me.  I did like the 40C's pentode/triode switch, & its digital reverb options per channel, but whilst the 401 spring reverb is less 'in your face' it is a little more 'natural'. 

    The 40C has buttons similar to my Valvestate 8080 (Clean/Crunch, Lead1/Lead2), plus it has a tone-shift button. But you only have two foot-switch options fo channel changes.  For gigging, you really need floor control for these extra options.  

    So, in terms of extra buttons buttons & knobs to push, you'd think on paper that the 40C was automatically the better option.

    But, the real killer for me was that I really disliked the restrictions of a shared EQ in the 40C - trying to get the right EQ balance between channels was awkward & you have to compromise.  This layout might be OK for home users, but the DSL401's dedicated EQ per channel is much more flexible for gigging.  I also preferred the 401's more versatile channel & foot-switching options, where you can easily move between the green clean channel, to the amber gain channel & then the red channel (technically a 'gain boost' & not a 3rd channel, but for practical purposes it is like having a third channel).  

    The 40C is still a good amp, but for a gigging versatility & for the Marshall 'balls' I want, I preferred the 401.  The 40C is more modern, & has more buttons/knobs - but is it actually 'better'?  That depends what you want & how you're going to use it.  But not for me - I'd merely suggest prospective buyers try both first.  
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • ricorico Frets: 199
    I've tried the DSL40C a few times in Guitarguitar when trying out guitars. It seemed too clinical and bright - perhaps just the 'new speaker' phenomenon. 

    Since jumping the FX loop on my DSL401 I am loving it all over again and it makes a big. difference which I was pleasantly surprised about. 
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1515
    I always assumed that the DSL40C had a similar valve complement to the DSL401 but I've now learned that they are somewhat different.  

    Whereas both amps utilise 4 x 12AX7 ('ECC83') pre-amp valves, it seems that in the DSL40C one of these is used in the power amp section.  The DSL40C has 2 x (matched) EL34's in the power-amp section whereas the DSL401 uses 4 x (matched) EL84's in the power section.  

    Probably goes towards why these two amps sound and feel quite different and why I thought the DSL401 was ballsier & more Marshallesque.  
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 23710
    Voxman said:
    I always assumed that the DSL40C had a similar valve complement to the DSL401 but I've now learned that they are somewhat different.  

    Whereas both amps utilise 4 x 12AX7 ('ECC83') pre-amp valves, it seems that in the DSL40C one of these is used in the power amp section.  The DSL40C has 2 x (matched) EL34's in the power-amp section whereas the DSL401 uses 4 x (matched) EL84's in the power section.  

    Probably goes towards why these two amps sound and feel quite different and why I thought the DSL401 was ballsier & more Marshallesque.  
    I would think that the EL34s would make the new one more Marshallesque… since traditionally Marshalls use EL34s (at least apart from the 18/20-watters).

    Which is exactly what it sounds like to me. The new one sounds chunkier and more open, the old one sounds more driven and compressed - or at least I think so, I haven't compared them directly side-by-side.

    Both amps use one of the ECC83s in the power section, as do almost all valve amps - it's the phase inverter.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1515
    edited January 12
    ICBM said:
    Voxman said:
    I always assumed that the DSL40C had a similar valve complement to the DSL401 but I've now learned that they are somewhat different.  

    Whereas both amps utilise 4 x 12AX7 ('ECC83') pre-amp valves, it seems that in the DSL40C one of these is used in the power amp section.  The DSL40C has 2 x (matched) EL34's in the power-amp section whereas the DSL401 uses 4 x (matched) EL84's in the power section.  

    Probably goes towards why these two amps sound and feel quite different and why I thought the DSL401 was ballsier & more Marshallesque.  
    I would think that the EL34s would make the new one more Marshallesque… since traditionally Marshalls use EL34s (at least apart from the 18/20-watters).

    Which is exactly what it sounds like to me. The new one sounds chunkier and more open, the old one sounds more driven and compressed - or at least I think so, I haven't compared them directly side-by-side.

    Both amps use one of the ECC83s in the power section, as do almost all valve amps - it's the phase inverter.
    Of course - silly me. I forgot about the phase inverter - it was just how the spec was laid out for the DSL40C.  

    It's funny that we all hear different things - for me it was entirely the other way round i.e. the DSL401 sounded chunkier & more open & 'ballsier' and more Marshally, and it was the DSL40C that sounded more compressed.  Remember though that I do jump the FX loop in my DSL401, which makes a big difference.  

    But I was surprised that the DSL40C only ran with 2 power tubes rather than 4 as in the DSL401.   
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 23710
    Voxman said:

    But I was surprised that the DSL40C only ran with 2 power tubes rather than 4 as in the DSL401.   
    Each EL34 can produce more than twice the power of an EL84 - it's not just the rated maximum plate dissipation (25W vs 12W) but that the EL34 can run at much higher voltage, so it can create a bigger voltage and current swing which is where the output power really comes from. 40W is close to the limit for even four EL84s, whereas just two EL34s can produce up to 80W if run in the most efficient way - although for guitar amps it's more common to find 50-60W.

    The reason EL84s are used is cost - an EL84 costs less than half what an EL34 does, and the associated components are cheaper too, so 4xEL84 costs less to build than 2xEL34. Not a big difference, but it adds up when you're making thousands of amps.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • longjawlongjaw Frets: 107
    rico said:
    I've tried the DSL40C a few times in Guitarguitar when trying out guitars. It seemed too clinical and bright - perhaps just the 'new speaker' phenomenon. 

    Since jumping the FX loop on my DSL401 I am loving it all over again and it makes a big. difference which I was pleasantly surprised about. 
    I was lucky enough to win a DSL40C and was thoroughly disappointed with the tone when I got it - a change of speaker to a Celestion G12M-65 improved it no end. Sounds great now.
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1515
    edited January 12
    ICBM said:
    Voxman said:

    But I was surprised that the DSL40C only ran with 2 power tubes rather than 4 as in the DSL401.   
    Each EL34 can produce more than twice the power of an EL84 - it's not just the rated maximum plate dissipation (25W vs 12W) but that the EL34 can run at much higher voltage, so it can create a bigger voltage and current swing which is where the output power really comes from. 40W is close to the limit for even four EL84s, whereas just two EL34s can produce up to 80W if run in the most efficient way - although for guitar amps it's more common to find 50-60W.

    The reason EL84s are used is cost - an EL84 costs less than half what an EL34 does, and the associated components are cheaper too, so 4xEL84 costs less to build than 2xEL34. Not a big difference, but it adds up when you're making thousands of amps.
    Interesting, didn't know about the power differential - thanks for that ICBM .  

    However, your reply suggests that 2 x EL34 design would be more expensive than 4 x EL84s which I couldn't see Marshall doing - they'd want to cut their costs.  I just checked the prices of EL34 and EL84 valves, and they seem to be about the same (e.g. JJ EL84 £11,JJ EL34 £13.50).  Clearly 2 valves are cheaper than 4 so it would make sense that Marshall uses 2 EL34's in the DSL40C to reduce its build costs.   
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 23710
    Voxman said:

    Interesting, didn't know about the power differential - thanks for that ICBM .  

    However, your reply suggests that 2 x EL34 design would be more expensive than 4 x EL84s which I couldn't see Marshall doing - they'd want to cut their costs.  I just checked the prices of EL34 and EL84 valves, and they seem to be about the same (e.g. JJ EL84 £11,JJ EL34 £13.50).  Clearly 2 valves are cheaper than 4 so it would make sense that Marshall uses 2 EL34's in the DSL40C to reduce its build costs.   
    I'm pretty sure that at factory prices EL34s are a lot more expensive than EL84s. Certainly historically it was always so, hence the rarity of lower-powered 2-EL34 designs than about 50W, since it was cheaper to do that with four EL84s.

    In fact, the way Marshall have cut costs is to move the production from the UK to Vietnam. More interestingly, the quality seems to have improved...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1515
    ICBM said:
    Voxman said:

    Interesting, didn't know about the power differential - thanks for that ICBM .  

    However, your reply suggests that 2 x EL34 design would be more expensive than 4 x EL84s which I couldn't see Marshall doing - they'd want to cut their costs.  I just checked the prices of EL34 and EL84 valves, and they seem to be about the same (e.g. JJ EL84 £11,JJ EL34 £13.50).  Clearly 2 valves are cheaper than 4 so it would make sense that Marshall uses 2 EL34's in the DSL40C to reduce its build costs.   
    I'm pretty sure that at factory prices EL34s are a lot more expensive than EL84s. Certainly historically it was always so, hence the rarity of lower-powered 2-EL34 designs than about 50W, since it was cheaper to do that with four EL84s.

    In fact, the way Marshall have cut costs is to move the production from the UK to Vietnam. More interestingly, the quality seems to have improved...
    I think prices on EL84 & EL34 must have levelled out a bit.  EL34's are a little more expensive but nowhere near double the price.  I looked on the Karltone site (the suppliers you recommended to me) and for example a matched pair of JJ EL84's is £21, a matched pair of JJ EL34's is £26.  For Electroharmonix, these prices are £22.00 and £26.50, and Tungsol £25.80 and £35 respectively.  So on average EL34's are only around 25% more than EL84's.  
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 23710
    Voxman said:

    I think prices on EL84 & EL34 must have levelled out a bit.  EL34's are a little more expensive but nowhere near double the price.  I looked on the Karltone site (the suppliers you recommended to me) and for example a matched pair of JJ EL84's is £21, a matched pair of JJ EL34's is £26.  For Electroharmonix, these prices are £22.00 and £26.50, and Tungsol £25.80 and £35 respectively.  So on average EL34's are only around 25% more than EL84's.  
    Remember that's retail prices for tested valves - a lot of the cost you see is in the testing, labelling, postage etc which is the same regardless of valve type, so it will even out the price difference a lot. To take an extreme (deliberately unrealistic for illustration!) case, if all that lot costs £20 per pair, then a pair of EL34s could be between three and six times more expensive than a pair of EL84s.

    The actual figure will be somewhere in between, but the prevalence of 4-EL84 amps where you would normally expect to find 2-EL34 or 2-6L6 on the basis of power output does tend to show that there's a cost advantage.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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