This week I thought I’d focus on a brand I’m already familiar with. Perhaps you are too. Some guitarists have actually heard of Marshall Amps (just like some people have heard of Fender and Gibson). I’m familiar with the brand because I have a couple of their solid state models. One is small (15 watt) and the other is insanely tiny (1 watt). The all valve amplifier head I’ve decided to focus on today is the DSL15H and I’ve little doubt it would blow my solid state amplifiers away (as awesome as they happen to be).
As usual in this article series I’m providing a link to a handy YouTube video of the amplifier. This video happens to also be embedded on the official amplifier’s web page, but just in case you missed it, you now have options. I’m a giver. I don’t give as much as the DSL15H does though.
With that nice segue let’s look at the amplifier’s feature list.
- 15 watt
- 2 channels (clean and overdriven)
- 3 x ECC83 preamp valves
- 1 x ECC83 and 2 x 6V6 power amp valves
- Pentrode/Triode switch
- Individual volume and gain controls for each channel
- Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble, Deep and Toneshift controls
All that give. All those tubes!
Some of the special features worth mentioning include the Toneshift and the Pentrode/Triode switch. Starting with the Toneshift, this is a simple button that when activated lowers the mids in your EQ allowing you to get some nice metal tones while using your overdriven channel. The Pentrode/Triode switch (located on the back of the amp) allows you to turn your 15 watt amplifier into a 7.5 watt amplifier. Handy for that home practice scenario (or if you respect your neighbours a bit more than you should).
My final little bit of love for this head is the Deep switch. Listening to the video demo (mentioned above) you can see/hear that this button makes the bass sound a lot punchier with both the clean and overdriven channels. For my musical tastes, this effect when added to the overdriven channel makes the tone sound amazing. I have a feeling that with this amplifier there wouldn’t be a need for pedals. That’s not something I’ve done a lot with my current amplifier range. Could this be the perfect tone I’m looking for?
Disclaimer: I’ve not played through this head. I have not experienced the sound or tone of this head other than through video. That doesn’t matter. It looks awesome, it’s obviously played by winners and I want one.