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Review Marshall DSL Series DSL40C Guitar Amplifer

The critically acclaimed Marshall DSL40C shares most of the same great features as the DSL100H: footswitchable classic/ultra gain channels, rear panel pentode/triode switch (40-watt down to 20-watt) and a rear panel series FX loop. The DSL40C is loaded with a single 12″ 40 Watt Celestion Seventy 80 speaker. The Marshall DSL40C is 40 watt (switchable to 20 watt) all-tube combo guitar amplifier featuring footswitchable classic and ultra gain channels, effects loop, and controls for gain, volume, and reverb for each channel, as well as global treble, middle, bass, presence, and resonance controls.

The classic gain is split into 2 settings, clean and crunch. The clean channel, although not a prominent as a fender for example, still gives a nice warm sound, reminiscent of a 59 Plexi super lead head. The crunch sound is pretty versatile allowing for both a slight crunch up to a heavy overdriven sound. The ultra gain channel is also split into 2 settings of lead 1 and lead 2. The lead 1 sound is reminiscent of a JCM 800 and is perfect for getting an 80’s hard rock tone, slash and mick mars esque. The lead 2 setting adds even more gain and gives a tone more fitting of metal players such as Zack Wilde.

EQ settings for this amp include the standard bass, middle and treble, with the additional Resonance and Presence knobs for greater control over tone. The presence knob adds higher frequencies to your sound and creates a more “crispy” tone, while the resonance knob adds low end creating a fatter sound. These extra EQ settings are perfect for slightly altering the tone without having to mess with the bass, mids and treble. The tone switch button is another feature among the DSL 40C, this button lowers the mids and gives a scooped sound which is popular amongst metal guitarists.

For those in need of an extra push, the Lead 2 tone stacks up even more gain and also a boost in the mids. We’re into Zakk Wylde and Kerry King territory, and it’s here that the tone controls come into play.Sonically, the DSL is as great as it’s ever been, if not better. Unfortunately, it’s also got the weight to match, and after a couple of days carting the amp around the houses, we’d give our kingdom for a couple of side handles.The other downside is that, for such a feature-packed amp, the supplied footswitch only manages a channel switch and reverb control.

You can drop it to 20 watts for practice sessions using the Pentode/Triode, so that you can get that natural overdrive from cranking valves without bringing the house down.Anyway this is a serious tone monster that has a good enough transformer and power supply to sound very nice played very very quietly at home or tearing the roof off a stadium. It is capable of delicate cleans but can also do the deepest, heaviest most monsterously bassy power chords. At full volume it would drown out the loudest drummer.The nice thing is that he tones are all so rich and fully of harmonics. The amp is very touch sensitive and reacts very well to picking intensity.

Features:

  • Clean/Crunch Modes for Classic Gain Channel
  • Lead1/Lead2 Modes for Ultra Gain Channel
  • EL34 Valve Power Stage
  • Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence Controls
  • Tone Shift Button
  • Variable Resonance Control
  • Pentode/Triode Switch
  • 2 Custom Voiced Digital Reverb Controls (one for each channel)
  • Footswitch Included (for channel change and reverb on/off)
  • 12” Custom Voiced Celestion 70/80 Speaker

Product specifications:

  • Country of Origin: UK
  • Additional Features: Output switchable to 20W; 4x 12AX7, 2x EL34 valves; 1×12″ Celestion Seventy 80 speaker
  • Audio Output Power: 40
  • Available Controls: 2 x Gain 2 x Volume Bass Middle Presence Resonance Reverb Tone Treble
  • Available Inputs: 1/4 Inch Jack AM In Footswitch input
  • Connectivity: Effects loop Speaker Outputs
  • DescriptionOutput is 40W (switchable to 20W)
  • Device Type: Valve amplifier
  • Dimensions: 621 x 490 x 252
  • Weight: 22.85
  • Channels: 2
  • Valves: 6

Pros:

  • Loud
  • Great tone
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Good power output

Cons:

  • Limited functions
  • Poor sound quality
  • Weak reverb

Final Conclusion:

Overall the Marshall DSL40C is the perfect amp for someone who is looking for a no nonsense good quality amp. The diversity of the amp allows you emulate everyone from Mark Knopfler to Malmsteen and everything in between. In both look and sound this amp lives and breathes Marshall.

I demoed the DSL at GC and I was blown away. The clean channel on this amp is the best that I ever heard. Its not glassy,but more dark and warm. The second voice on channel one is crunch mode,but be warned it sends the volume threw the roof which freaked me out at first. It really does the whole ?Plexi? thing that the old guitar players talk about. The second channel is where I spent most of my time. With the button set to Lead 1 you really can get a good classic rock sound. If you crank the gain on that setting you can pull of that 80’s brown sound perfectly. With the button pressed in to Lead 2 you are able to obtain classic metal tones all the way up to modern death metal. The other features on this amp are usable. The pentode/triode switch drops the output and cuts the volume in half. It doesn’t really effect the tone unless you are on the Lead 2 channel with the gain cranked. The presence and resonance were a surprise, as an amp for this price usually only has one…this one has BOTH!! This can be useful on low bedroom/apartment volumes which is where I will use this thing. The reverb is kind of weak for my tastes,but it is better than most. Some people are bothered by the shared EQ, but I don’t gig so I?m cool with that. I was really surprised with the sound and very pleased at how this thing handles modern heavy metal. It is a warm sound not fizzy like other high gain amps on low volumes and it is quiet when it is cranked. The build on the amp is high quality and for the price this is one of the best amps on the market…can’t wait to get one.


If you want true Marshall sound then this amp is for you. I ordered this amp because I wanted something portable with great tone and I got it sooner than expected. If you think 40 watts is not enough, let me tell you, this thing kicks butt! I use my Boss GT10 with the 4 cable system into the EFX send and return. The cleans are sparkling and the distortions are incredible. It has more power and gain than anyone would ever need. Check out the vids on youtube for more info. I wish I had one like this years ago.

Fender Frontman 10g Guitar Combo Amp Review

The Frontman 10G, Fender’s smallest guitar amp offers all the hallmarks of a great amplifier: quality tones, flexible controls, simple uncluttered operation, and classy looks. The world-class, value-priced Frontman 10G combo amplifier makes practice sessions lots of fun! It’s a 10-watt, solid-state guitar amplifier with a 6″ Special Design speaker and built-in overdrive.

The Frontman 10G is perfect for beginning guitarists, students and teachers and guitarists on a tight budget looking for an “extra” practice amp. Fender Frontman amplifiers have won an army of users by delivering quality tone at a great price. Fender took the time to custom-voice the Frontman’s overdrive for great tone, and this winning formula also features the unmistakable Fender Blackface look.

Wide variety of sounds…from Blues to Metal plus the legendary Fender clean tone

Selectable Gain control allows for a wide range of guitar tones; from tube-emulated overdrive to full-strength, ultra-saturated distortion that feels great under your fingers

What sorts of instruments will work?

Whilst this is sold as a guitar amp, you can definitely use other amps with the Fender Frontman 10G. Keyboards, bass guitar and vocals are the obvious options. However, even other stringed instruments like violins will be fine. Any instrument that can plug into a standard input jack will work. If your instrument doesn’t have a pickup, then a standard mic could be used to amplify the sound.

Sound

So what about the sound? Well, it’s actually louder than you’d think, though at high levels, the small speaker and casing means that you’ll lose a lot of bass and depth to the tone. The 2 band EQ (Treble and Bass) gives a pretty nice ability to alter the tone, so you’ll be able to brighten or dampen the tone, depending on the instrument and the application.

The overdrive button will kick in some distortion that will allow you to get a pretty nice result for more rock and metal styles. It’d be great if there were two channels so that you can switch between a clean and gain tone, without having to alter the amount of crunch. However, that’s too much to ask for this price range. If you need that type of feature, then check out our Ultimate Gift guide, where we look at several mid priced amps that will do the trick.

Durability

Fender is a bestselling brand with a reliable reputation, but you probably already know that. Most sellers will probably recommend you to buy a Fender amp and this Fender Frontman 10g is a reliably good choice.

Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
  • 10 Watts
  • 1-6" Fender Special Design Speaker
  • One Channel
  • Controls: Gain, Over-Drive Select Switch, Volume, Treble, Bass
  • Other Features: 1/4" Instrument Input, 2-Band EQ, 1/8" Auxiliary Input Jack for Jam-Along with Media Player or CD, 1/8" Headphone Output Jack for Silent Practice, Closed-Back Design for Heavier Bass Response

This Fender Frontman Guitar Combo Amp is also cheaper than several other amps and is more long lasting too. Even after years of use, it will most likely look and sound just as the day you first bought it. It is so compact you can conveniently store it in a corner and prevent it from getting damaged. Even if it gets bumped or dropped down a bit, it will probably not get too extremely damaged.

Final thoughts on the Fender Frontman 10g Guitar Combo Amp

If you are a beginner guitarist or you are on a tight budget, then this Fender Guitar Combo Ampwill prove to be ideal, as long as you intend to use it from indoor practicing and/or jamming with friends. In other words, the Fender Frontman 10g Guitar Combo Amp is the perfect guitar amp for beginners with just the right features for a surprisingly affordable and reasonable price.

I wanted one of these for a long long long time……n o w. I have one. I’m using it as a monitor with a line 6 jm4 out the amp connector and my samson mdr624 mixer running into the looper aux out to aux in….an audio technica mic and an lp 100 all also purchased atsweetwater…the mixer is handling multiple synth action with no problems…..the fender frontman 10g plays back and monitors it all crystal clear at 1/2 I can ‘t complain because with that work load I m hardly ever even getting any clipping….self control….the lil amp is my friend now…o wait I hear it calling me even as we speak


It’s the tiniest Fender I’ve ever seen (or played) but it’s still a Fender. I used a twin reverb for over 30 years with my explorer and had the nastiest sound you can imagine without any modern wave shaping doo-dads. This one will never take the place of that twin but it’s a great little practice amp and I can actually carry it alone (by the time I got to be 50 I had to beg my daughters to help me carry the twin – ha, ha). The controls are simple so it’s pretty easy to dial in an acceptable sound and the naughty button roughs up things plenty good enough for practicing. I haven’t tried it with my acoustic yet (I’m not even sure why I would, probably just curious) but it works fine with my electric and also for practicing my bass at low volumes.