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June 2017 Giveaway

Marshall DSL40C 40/20-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp Reviews

4.5 stars based on 70 customer reviews
Questions about the Marshall DSL40C 40/20-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp?

Questions about the Marshall DSL40C 40/20-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Ashton Vaudt

    As a guitarist in both a rock band and a blues band, when the DSL40C is behind me, the least of my worries is my amp tone. Four different channel modes gives me everything from a great clean sound to that classic Marshall crunch, so I can focus on playing, rather than turning knobs or relying on pedals to reel in the tone I want.

  • from California April 6, 2017Music Background:

    Couldn't be happier

    This amp is really great, the Marshall sound and its affordability makes it an 11 in my book. I must also say my Sweetwater rep, Ashton was just as awesome, thanks Sweetwater you've again came through with a great product at a great price with great customer serbice.

  • from Ohio February 13, 2017Music Background:
    Guitar player, blues & rock, known to write a song or two

    Amp for the pro to novice

    This Marshall is the best amplifier I have ever used. Shocked by the clean channel and the bite it has while maintaining a creamy tone is not matched. No need to have 100 watt stacks or multiple amp's to move around, plenty of power and tone and works great w/ pedals if you need that too. You can get your SRV Lenny sound to Hendrix to Page to Van Halen with this, just may need the guitars to help of course. My Country Gentleman sounds amazing on the clean and with a little bite through this Marshall. Super pleased, was thinking of buying a Twin for a clean amp & continuing to use my other amps for crunch. Glad I didn't. Never thought I could have a Marshall at this price point, with the classic sound from clean to rock to metal w/ power of the larger equipment at larger dollars. Its a partner for life. Must have for any guitar player, time to go Marshall. Sweetwater as always was the best.

  • from Louisiana February 9, 2017Music Background:
    Jamming strong for over 20 years

    Marshall DSL40C

    I've been playing Marshall for over 20 years and they continue to impress. The DSL40C arrived completely flawless and played the exact same. Thanks to Sean and crew from Sweetwater. I'm not sure why anyone would choose to shop anywhere else.

  • from cumming, GA April 13, 2016Music Background:
    45+ years semi-pro lead guitarist & teacher

    Great amp & tone

    Simply said, best of both worlds. You get the great Marshall sound from the DSL40CST, and a great speaker, too. I have heard these combos with the regular Celestion and the Celestion Creamback 65. Night and day, Creamback wins! Plenty of headroom for most outings. Does the bedroom levels really well, thanks to the 1/2 power switch. Built like a tank, and I feel comfortable knowing I will not need a backup at the show. I believe the tubes are Marshall branded "JJ's", which are fantastic for this amp. Give this combo sometime to break in well, and the Creamback 65, too. The character of this amp gets better and better with time after the break in period. I have read reviews of people saying this amp has too much treble, but I am sure they did not give it time to breakin, and they don't have the Creamback. I have not experienced this, and I play a single coiled Stratocaster and a Les Paul. No issues!
    I would like to mention the Sweetwater team, and my sales engineer, Patrick Weaver. In my humble opinion, Patrick has been there for me with all my purchases, from point A to point B, and I would strongly urge anyone reading this, and considering this pedal to deal with Patrick. Very professional minded and is product smart to answer any questions.
    I am very pleased with making my purchase of this product through Sweetwater, and will continue to make more purchases in the not so distant future. Thank you Sweetwater!

  • from February 23, 2016Music Background:
    Hard rock classic rock pop country jazz blues

    Great amp Try C19 mod

    Great amp! Most people dog the stock speaker before they give it a chance to break in also try the C19 mod. I use this amp at small gigs (bars restaurants, Daiquiri shops) etc etc. No problem playing an outside gig if you plan on micing. I turn up between 4-5 when practicing with my band which includes a loud drummer. Both channels are very usable. When I got this amp new I found it too bright harsh sounding, so I tried the C19 mod and wow what a difference. If you want sweet Marshall EL 34 tube tone?? Check out this amp !!!!

  • from Los Angeles, Ca February 18, 2016Music Background:
    Pro player of 40 years

    Marshall DSL40C

    Got this amp last week from Sweetwater, and it's a great sounding amp for the money! I love that it's not too treble sounding! Didn't take long to dial this in, and with the cream back speaker, the sound is very full! Never owned a Marshall, but I've had Mesa Boogie stacks, and several other Fender amps and such! This combo amp really kicks butt! And being able to knock it down to 20 watts is way cool! Both channels sound great, and when these tubes get warmed up, look out! Thanks to Nick LaMendola for always helping me at Sweetwater!

  • from Rock and Roll city January 23, 2016Music Background:
    Professional musician and studio owner

    finally real big Marshall tone in a portable package

    Nothing sounds like a Marshall.....it's so recognizable and iconic?
    I had the 100 Dsl head and 4x12 cab and it was the definitive Marshall but it was like hauling
    120 pounds every gig we did...and they usually asked us to dial it down.
    I bought this 40 anticipating some loss in dynamic range and maybe a little less ballsy.
    I was way wrong.....its retains the soul and tonal power of its bigger brother.with the same combination of
    EL34"s for that genuine British power.
    The clean channel is full and harmonically rich...head into the crunch and the over drives and bam
    You have nailed it. The speaker choice really makes this box sing. Same controls as the 100 head so
    You can really dial in....with the 20w/40w switch it's great for bedroom practice as well as fairly large gigs.
    Completely portable and equipped with valve powered serial loop section gives this perfect amp 5 stars

  • from St. Ann, St. Louis, MO November 11, 2015Music Background:

    Marshall DSL40C

    Typical, classic Marshall! I love this amp! More than enough tone, crunch and volume for everything I want. And also typical Marshall..EXTREMELY well-built. Works great for home or in clubs and bars. Plenty of power to compete with just about anything!

  • from Ashville, AL October 22, 2015Music Background:
    I play for my own pleasure, friends and family. I have been a church musician for several churches over the years.

    Awesome Amp

    This Marshall. with the speaker upgrade, has the sound I've ben looking for. There is no comparison to my solid state amps, they are all being sold, except for my Fender practice amp. The Marshall is worth every penny I paid for it!

  • from Watertown, MA October 10, 2015Music Background:

    This Tube Amp is Way better than Any Solid State Amp

    Like the rest of the commenters - this also is my first affordable Marshall Tube Amplifier (DSL40C).
    Excellent clarity , dynamite tone, the two channel selections are both excellent. I would recommend to get a Reverb pedal to improve the reverb sounding - I use a MSR Reverb pedal does the job.

    I had played both amplifiers at the same location but what I notice between my Crates 212-120 Watts Solid State and My new Marshall DSL40C 40 Watts Tube Amplifiers - that my Marshall Tube Amp sounded outstanding over my Crates Solid State Amplifiers.

    I even realize hardly any noise interference on my Marshall Tube Amplifier where my Crate Solid State Amplifiers had really bad noise interference (thank god I had the ISP G-String Noise Reduction Foot Pedal - excellent noise reduction pedal!) Thanks to Marshall my DSL40C Tube Amplifier sounds way better than my Crate Solid State Amplifiers. I strongly recommend any serious guitar players to get this amplifier- its just totally awesome!

  • from Breeze July 7, 2015

    Tube Virgin here

    Ok so I'm now in my 40's and have been playing guitar for the past 25 years. Now I've seen and heard other tube amps before and yes been blown away by their sheer tone. But I've finally sold my POS Line6 solid state amp and dove in to the realm of Tone Heaven. I had Orange Dark Terror with 212, Vox AC30C2X, Blackstar HT50, Fender Twin Deluxe and a Blues Jr. Mesa Mini Rec. all in the back of my mind thinking I was set on one of these. Well I tried each and everyone of them, while I loved the tone they all produced I saw this Marshall all tube combo sitting just begging me to plug in. So I gave it a go and was sold on that first strum of the chords. I play everything from Classical to blues and even some Metal here and their and none of the other amps besides the BS HT series and Mesa Mini are really meant for Metal. So this is a do it all amp for me.

    This amp has a lot of clean headroom, good crunch and JCM800 like distortion on the lead channels to make this a must own for me. I don't have the need for a 412 stack and head so this was a no brainier.

    Now the Reverb is very minimal and quickly purchased a Spring Reverb pedal for it. IMO that I tried about 20 different Reverb pedals and was wowed by the Topenga Spring Reverb but that's a review all in it's own. With combining the two and a Tube Screamer for some extra omph I'm in tone Heaven with my new Marshall DSL40C amplifier. Now only if they would make a white tolex 112 Cabinet to go along with this amp I would be in complete heaven.

  • from Hanover, Pa June 16, 2015Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior

    Marshall DSL40C

    What a great amp. If you want that Marshall sound just get this amp and be done with it. Trust me. I've tried to get this sound with other amps and it's not going to happen. If you play in a band like me you'll catch yourself zoning everything else out and just listening to the sweet tone of this amp. Pair it up with a Les Paul with burstbucker 3 pickups and your search is over

  • from Maryland April 3, 2015

    Great Amp That Can Be Made Even Better

    Like many, this was my first tube amp. I was torn between this and the Blackstar HT Club 40. Tried both. In the end, what I really wanted was Marshall tone. The Marshall also seemed to have a warmth that I really liked. This has a GREAT clean channel. In fact, for the first week I had it, I don't think I left the classic gain channel, it was just so good. If you want to take this from a 5 star amp to a 10 star amp, also consider upgrading the speaker. It's just fine with the stock speaker, but to make it better, I added a 65 watt Celestion Creamback. It really brought it to life and added punch that the 70/80 was missing. I'm playing a Gibson SG with P-90s and a Les Paul and both work with this Marshall to create THE sound we all know and love.

  • from Anchorage, AK March 29, 2015Music Background:
    Non-professional; hobby


    Love this AMP. It's my first tube amp following many solid state amps. 40 watts is more than I really need, and is PLENTY loud. Awesome sound and versatility.

  • from Del Rio, TX March 13, 2015Music Background:

    Outstanding Amplifier!

    I've never owned a tube amp but if this is what they sound like I'm addicted. I just got my amp a few days ago and it sounds fantastic. I'm using a single coil and another humbucker Fender strat and both guitars sound great. This amp plays anything from, Floyd, Zepellin, Hendrix, and even Metallica, Sabbath, etc. Beautiful cleans and great British/Heavy Metal gain. I upgraded from a solid state to this and there's no comparison, this Marshall blows my solid state amp away. The only complaint I have is the very weak reverb but it's nothing that a reverb pedal can't take care of. All in all this a great tube amp at a very reasonable price range. Highly recommended!

  • from WICHITA, KS March 3, 2015Music Background:

    Love it.

    The clean channel really shines with this one. Sounds very even and smooth. Great amp really. The great thing about a amp with a solid clean channel is, that it takes pedals well. The size of the amp also gives the tone nice depth. From my Stratocaster to my Les Paul the sound is excellent. I am running a delay, tremolo, and a 'Surf Rider" reverb pedal through the effects loop, and a vintage overdrive pedal though the front end, and it is hard to put my guitar down. Kind of strange to buy a Marshall Amp and get hooked on the clean channel, but that is what has happened. Overdrive channels are either loved or hated, so I will hold my opinion on this one, but with a solid clean channel due to the quality of the signal path, you can put your favorite pedal in the loop and the sky is the limit. Lastly, the 20 watt setting is still very usable in a bedroom and or apartment setting. Still able to get a great tone without the noise complaints. I have tried some 40 watt amps that were way to loud in an apartment at 3, not this one. Would buy again.

  • from Lexington, NC January 10, 2015Music Background:
    25+ yr of guitar based knowledge, classic rock, hard rock, blues, heavy metal.

    Marshall DSL 40C with upgraded speaker

    I've had this amp for almost 6 months now, I really liked the amp with the stock Celestion 70/80 for the clean and crunch, but felt that the OD1 and OD2 did not portray the Marshall sounds I know and love. Plus the use of pedals with the stock speaker proved that it was very unexcepting, to my ears... Also having to turn down the treble and presence to get descent tones that where not so harsh. So I decided to take a chance and replace that stock speaker with a 16 ohm Celestion Vintage 30 (made in England). Let me tell ya the difference was completely jaw dropping! The classic gain clean/ crunch channel is so warm and complex using a Gibson Les Paul with Burstbuckers. The Ultra gain 1 & 2 are now tight and articulate with a killer midrange and low end punch! The use of pedals are except able as any pedal put in front of it sound great! In my opinion the Vintage 30 is overall a better sounding speaker than the Creamback. So do yourself a favor, spend the extra and buy a DSL and a Vintage 30. You will not be disappointed!

  • from West Virginia September 5, 2014Music Background:
    Home studio, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, gear fanatic.

    Goodness Gracious Man!!!

    So there I was, wanting to add a Marshall to my amp collection for that epic, classic Marshall crunch. Well, it has every classic Marshall crunch tone you can think of from slightly dirty to take your head off. But what I DIDN'T expect was for the CLEAN channel to be so epic!!! As much as I love the overdrive of a Marshall, the clean channel is truly astonishing on this beast!!! Hands down one of the very best amps I've ever owned. I FRICKIN' LOVE THIS THING!!!

  • from Cedarburg, WI July 26, 2014Music Background:
    Occasionally plays at hamburger stands for food

    Amazingly great amp

    Been acquiring great musical equipment for my midlife crisis instead of a German sports car. So I have been playing a Les Paul special, a Mexican Strat(from Sweetwater, love it) and most recently a Rick 620 6 string through this amp. Pretty much just using the classic clean and crunch channels. Even at the 20 watt setting which I use at home, this thing has power to spare. It makes all these guitars just come alive. Paul Allen has been my sales advisor on this and other purchases, he is great to work with!

  • from Owasso, OK July 19, 2014Music Background:
    20+ year hobbyist, 3 kids, no time to go pro.

    This thing has feel

    Drew Foster helped me with my order and I was more than satisfied, he was great and very helpful. Drew told me that the Gibson Les Paul Junior Special and Marshall DSL-40C i ordered was a straight up rock machine. He couldn't be more right.

    I'm no pro, and I've owned a Marshall before, it was a ValveState. It was a fun amp but the DSL-40C is a whole different animal.

    When you turn it up on the "Classic" channel, engage the crunch button, turn the volume up to 6 or so, and play a E major chord, you feel that E major in you chest. The Classic channel could be an entire amp all by itself. Turn the midrange up and you will instantly see what all the fuss about Marshall is. The resonance knob is so much more useful than the low boost switch.

    The " Modern" channel is very heavy. OD1 is great, I actually back the gain off to about 3-5 and turn the volume up to be just ahead of classic channel and use it for higher gain songs or solos. I don't really use OD2 much or the mid shift button, more for metal. Nice that if I need it, it's already there, but don't use it much now.

    The only problem I see, and it's not a big enough problem to drop it from a 5 star rating, is each channel should have a switch on the foot switch to change the classic channel from clean to crunch and the modern channel from OD1 to OD2. That would be nice, so Marshall, if you read this please do that. Other than that, AMAZING.

    Never understood the big deal about Marshall, until now.

  • from Longview, TX April 30, 2014Music Background:
    Studio Engineer, Producer, Songwriter, Band Member Live

    Awsome Amp!

    There's not much to say about the Marshall DSL 40 watt tube amp except' that it's totally AWESOME!
    This amp has the TRUE rock sound everyone has desired for years.
    And you won't find it's tone, and power in an amp simulator

    Don't let the 40 watts fool ya'. You can practice, or gig with this amp with no problems. You can easily hear it over an over bearing, hard hitting drummer. LOL! the drummer "will not" drown you out. And there's NO mistaking that true tube saturation, Marshall Style.

    Call Sweetwater and talk to Bob Mondok today and grab one of these. You "will not" be dissapointed!

    I've been buying from Sweetwater for 10 years now using the same sales rep. ( Bob Mondok)

    So, Call Bob. He is the greatest Sweetwater sales engineer, hands down. Unlike other sales people, Bob "does not" make the customer feel like they are stupid. He is there to serve "you", the customer, and does it constantly.

  • from Victorville, CA April 28, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, fan

    Marshall DSL40C

    This amp rocks. I got the Marshall tone I know and love at an affordable price. I am literally blown away.

  • from Kentucky,USA March 31, 2014Music Background:
    Amateur musician

    Perfect sound?

    This amp is just about perfect. I absolutely love the clean crunch mode. My only real complaint is that I wish the foot pedal controlled the channel boost instead of reverb. But that is a minor issue.

  • from Jackson, KY March 17, 2014Music Background:
    Amateur Musician

    Oh man, this thing rocks!

    I don't know how else to say it- this amp rocks. Good warm clean tones, mild crunchy up to searing rock distortion. I guess the reverb isn't that great, but really that is not a big deal. I could not be happier with the sound coming out of this amp.

  • from Stow, OH March 7, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar fanatic and songwriter

    Marshall Tone - from classic to modern

    I put off getting this amp for a quite a long time. I was worried about it being made in Vietnam and was the quality up to par. After months of reading and watching reviews, I decided to go for it. I AM SO GLAD I DID. This amp is well built and solid but most importantly.....IT SOUNDS GREAT. Classic Marshall all the way. My favorite Marshall tones are from Jimmy Page to Gary Moore and this baby gets me there and beyond in a reasonably sized and weighted combo. It is a bit big and heavy but way better than lugging around a head and cab.
    Some people do not really like the stock Celestion 70 / 80 speaker, claiming it is bright and raspy. I was expecting that I would have to replace it but after spending some time with the amp I really like it just as it is. With the treble and presence right around half the amp is just what I want from a Marshall.
    I AM SO GLAD I GOT THIS AMP. Did I say that already?

  • from Alabama December 19, 2013Music Background:
    My hobby

    Marshall ROCKS!!

    Came in one day late due to snow in Memphis, but got here the next day. Came in with new Les Paul Traditional, at the lowest price on the 'net, and when I hooked it up, watch out! This is what a Marshall amp is supposed to sound like. Simply amazing. Thanks to Aric and the staff at Sweetwater.

  • from Milford, PA December 16, 2013Music Background:
    Perennial guitar student for 50 yrs.

    Marshall DSL40C

    Awesome amp for the price, this one does it all. My thanks to my customer service rep "AJ", super helpful as always!

  • from strongsville, OH November 22, 2013Music Background:


    STOP...quit shopping around/looking at other amps...go to Sweetwater and get it- if you're wanting that tone you've been looking for and all the distortion you'll need and then some....than this is your last stop....I 've been playing for 30+ yrs. and it's simply the best amp you can buy at $700...I am blown away by the power, tone and overall value...I can't say enough about this amp...I also have to say that Katie S. is an outstanding rep. to deal with- as are all the folks at Sweetwater-sincerely, Todd

  • from Venice Fl. September 8, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Guitarist

    If you want to Rock,Get this One!

    I just couldn't get the rock sound I wanted with the 3 amps I had so I thought I'd give this amp a try. I figured it was affordable, tube , and a Marshall. I just hoped it would get me close to sound I wanted. When it arrived I couldn't wait to get into my studio and fire it up. When I did the smile on my face was so huge I thought my face would crack. There it was the sound I had been searching for. It not only met my expectations it exceeded them! If you want an amp that rocks and won't break the bank I would highly recommend DSL40C, you won't be disappointed.

  • from United States August 5, 2013


    God this is expensive but it sounds amazing and looks gorgeous. Just looking at this amp make me want to play guitar more. I love this. If you have the money buy this.

  • from Miami, FL July 11, 2013

    Marshall great, affordable tone.

    This amp does a lot more than what it's $700 price tag suggests. I'm the former user of a 2004 DSL 100 Head and bought this amp for practicing and warm up. For my surprise, I ended up storing the 100 watts monster because this "tiny box" sounded much better and provided all the volume I needed for small/medium venue performances for a fraction of the weight.

    I boost the signal with an Ibanez TS808 modded by Keeley while keeping the gain knob on channel 2 at around 10 o'clock, getting a very articulated and dynamic tone. Adding the Keeley compressor to a clean channel adds a nice sparkle to the guitar's attack that simply sounds amazing with the Marshall tone. Pulling gain up at channel 1 provides a wonderful break up that feels powerful and percussive.

    I was not disappointed, I was impressed. Recomended.

  • from Petal, MS USA April 18, 2013Music Background:
    guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, interpid recording novice, overall gear monkey

    Excellent Tone!!!

    I don't think I have ever written a review before but this amplifier justifies the effort. I have been playing for over thirty years... been through literally dozens of amplifiers of all stripes; Mesa, Fender, Peavey. Additionally I don't think I am one of those guys that can talk about "my" tone...I will reserve that for folks who sell millions of albums. But for a working class/journeyman guitarist like myself a few things are critical; #1-build quality (you want your hard earned dollars to hang around for years if possible), #2 ease of use -especially on the gig, #3 responsiveness from your guitar, #4 truly good tone that keeps you focused on playing versus thinking about your equipment. This amp has all these qualities in spades! I have a few effects between my guitar ( a 2004 Gibson Custom 195 7Les Paul Goldtop Reissue ) and the Dsl40c--but for the first time in my life I don't want any!!! the TONE of this amp is just that GREAT. Very repsonsive to changes in Volume and Tone from my Les Paul; more than one overdrive voice --the clean channel stays clean at volumes to compete with a loud drummer. I really can't say enough. Hands down the best overall playing experience I have had with an amp since I started playng live. The amp just seems to breathe. The tone is woody with just enough hair on the drive channel---and when I go from say 4 to 5 on my volume control on my Paul to full on 10, there seems to be just enough umpff to get over the drummer for solos. Then I'll just back it back down for dirty rhythm parts; yes you can actually hear the amp clean up a little on quieter volume settings.

    Plus, Excellent customer service from my Sweetwater rep Tony Dayton! My advice, for what thats worth, let Tony or one of the other awesome folks at Sweetwater help you choose a great guitar then take the DSL40c for spin BEFORE you buy anything else. It might serve to keep the G.A.S. away!!!

  • from Oakland, NJ USA April 9, 2013Music Background:
    Guitar Player

    Less is More

    I'm impressed in the variety of tones you can get out of this amp without having to force it. Marshall has done a great job creating a complete package at this price. I'm even more impressed with the service I received from Phil Schwan and Sweetwater. Thanks guys!

  • from Chicago, IL March 22, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    I've had Marshalls in the past, but this one is now my go to amp. Just like an old plexi, It cleans up really nice when you back off the volume on you guitar. There really isn't and need for an overdrive pedal with this one, unless you need it for a little more boost in volume. The reverb is a little weak, but I really don't use it that often. Now if I just had a cover for it....I just use a little compression on it and it's ON!!!

  • from far away March 18, 2013Music Background:
    Live Sound / festival & bar gigs

    DSL40C is a FANTASTIC Amp!!

    Fast delivery from Sweetwater. The amp's green channel is magnificent. Removed the Seventy-80 speaker and replaced it : )
    The amp is heavy but so easy to set up.
    I opted to do the C19 mod; great choice which makes for smooth transition between green and red channels.
    Footswitch works to change between red/green channels only; does not a/b or switch modes within single (red/green) channels.
    Tone, volume, cut really are both user-friendly and audience friendly.
    A lot of really good el34 goodness with a musician-friendly price.
    Ryan M. (sales engineer) is always supremely helpful.

  • from FL USA February 16, 2013Music Background:
    Jazz Guitarist/Rock Guitarist

    Great Tone !

    I Bought this amp today and i must say i am blown away by the remarkable Clean Crunch and Lead Tones you can get from this amp, and don't be fooled by its size because it can get pretty loud. If you are considering buying this amp do it! it has a great build and is perfect for smaller gigs, Jazz gigs, rock, anything. You will not be disappointed. I hope this helps you make your decision.

  • from Lake,Ms February 4, 2013Music Background:
    13 years, singer, songwriter

    OMG, MY EARS ARE HURTING!....in a good way


    I also have a Peavey Classic 50 4x10 combo and while I love Peavey Mississippi products, there is simply no comparison.

  • from January 1, 2013


    This purchase is my first ever tube amplifier. I couldn't have asked for a better amp. I knew the sound i wanted and this amp delivers that and then some. I know people usually say fenders have better cleans, but i absolutely love the clean on this amplifier. I play alot of rock, hard rock type music and its perfect for those. Has a great marshall punch and for a good price. Great support from sweetwater too as always.

  • from Las Veagas, NV. December 26, 2012Music Background:
    Blues Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal.

    Marshall DSL40C

    I have been looking for a compact amp that can delivery tons of tone. I play Blues, Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. The DSL40C continuously delivers for me. I was a little concern as this amp is made in Vietnam, but all that went away as soon as I started playing. It is tough build, rock solid. The clean channel is a thing of beauty, clear well rounded. Hard to OD with my 57 equipped SG. But with the crunch on, it is a new little beast. Fun OD at low gain and very classic rock at higher gain. I have found my self using the guitar volume knob to clean the sound more often that I am used to. On the super lead channels is where the beast come unleashed you cab get tones from classic rock to heavy metal and everything in the middle. I have spend a lot of time tweaking with all the knobs to produce more and more tones. The presence and resonance controls are simply amazing. They allow you to tweak your high/lows frequencies by boosting them as you dial. This give additional flexibility ans you are shaping your tone without changing your EQ. Hey and you can do all that at 40 watts and at a more neighborhood friendly 20 watts at a flick of a switch. Last and not least, the reverb is mild, nothing as noticeable as a Fender amp, but it those a great job of adding to the tone. This amps like to be played loud and will cut through the loudest drums, you can't go wrong with it. I have been playing guitar for 34 years and I have gone from big heavy stacks set ups to much smaller and manageable equipment. I am glad I have bought DSL40C and I will strongly recommend it.

  • from Deltona, Florida November 7, 2012Music Background:
    Playing on and off for year's

    Marshall Quality At A Good Price

    Marshall has come back, Right out of the box you have a very good sounding Combo and priced better than anything i have seen for many year's,Over look the fact that it's made in vietnam,I took mine apart to put some side handles and caster wheels on it, And to be honest
    everything is built just as if were to come out of england,In a way you have best of both world's here,I had a DSL 401 and they also had a DSL 201,and my DSL back in 2000 cost $1150.00, Now you have the DSL401 and the DSL201 in one amp By a flick of a switch and this combo has more features,Sweetwater are great and understanding people to work with,The only thing i can see changing is the speaker down the road,It's celestion's low end line,But still sounds good.

  • from Texas City, TX USA October 15, 2012Music Background:
    Semi Pro

    Awesome Mrshall!

    This amp has that great, beefy marshall oomph! Clean is truly clean, crunch is very touch sensitive - strum light and it stays clean, strum hard, it breaks up beutifully. Ultra 1 is very nice heavy distortion without being too much. Ultra 2 is the metal realm for sure. EQ is easy to dial in, and makes a big difference in the overall sound. Reverb is good. Not excessive like Fenders can be.

  • from N.W. Ohio March 9, 2017

    Killer amp

    I own 2 Marshall DSL 40 combo style amplifiers. Both amps have Celestian creamback speakers. I was so pleased with the stock version that upgrading them made perfect sense. Here's where it gets interesting...........I added LED's to the foot switches so I can tell what's going on at a glance. I added 3 Mercury Magnetics transformers (power, output, and choke). Yes they made a dramatic improvement. I use all JJ tubes with fat silicone vibration rings (a must!).
    I have chased the perfect tone in my 30-plus years of professional playing and I can honestly say that I can not find a better sounding amp than this one. I know that this amp is a "budget" Chinese made product. The cabinet is made of cheap particle board. It has circuit boards. On paper this amp should not be this good but it IS! It's quiet and dependable. It just kicks a_ _. I have giged with this amp for the last 3 years. There is probably a better amp out there somewhere but It will probably cost 3 times the price. Sweetwater sold them to me. They were delivered to my door in 3 days. Perfect transaction! The best customer care in the business. Try one yourself and see.

  • from VA March 1, 2017Music Background:
    30+ years playing guitar, bass.


    Have had this amp about 3-4 weeks now, and so far it's looking like a keeper. I must say, after reading the comments on this and other sites I wasn't sure what to expect; my guess was that this would be a great amp for playing some serious rock/metal, but would be just okay for the cleaner stuff. And then there was that reverb - seems every other review complains about the weak reverb. Well, I must say my experience so for has been pretty much the exact opposite of what I had guessed. I actually find the clean channel to be my favorite, and for those complaining about the reverb all I can say is "are you kidding?". Before I go further with the praise, I will point out what I see as its faults.

    First, while it effectively has 4 channels, for live playing you really have to pick one and work with it. This is not unique to this amp, in fact every amp I've ever owned (both Fender & Peavey) have had this same problem. It seems to be impossible to build a tube amp that can go from clean to over-driven channels without needing some EQ adjustment, and this is no exception. Switching from the clean to the ultra channel changes the tone characteristics so noticeably... well, you get the idea. I don't know why amp makers haven't figured out that 2 channels need 2 EQ sections. Even on the same channel you can't switch without re-setting; going from clean to crunch on the classic gain channel changes the volume so dramatically that you can't just push a button and go.

    The only other gripes so far are that the ultra gain channels are so driven that they are all but useless for anything other than full-on death metal with the gain set much past 9:00 (about 2-3 on a scale of 10). Even then, it is hard for me to get a great "Marshall" tone on either Lead 1 or 2. I have found that by far the best Marshall sound I can get from the amp is by running my Rockett Animal into the clean channel.

    So, that brings me to the good, which for me is the clean tone. IMO this is a fantastic sounding clean amp, and from my experience so far the clean channel just loves pedals of all types. My favorite amp to date is my Peavey Classic 30 (with a Celestion G12H), and so far I think I like the DSL40 even more. Also, while not Fender-like, the reverb is more than enough for my (and therefore anyone else's ;-)) needs; I find that setting it between 12:00-1:00 gives me all the reverb I could ever want.

    I will continue to experiment with it, but I must say that for the price I would be perfectly happy with this amp if it never sounded any better than it does now.

  • from Horseheads, NY August 12, 2016

    An amp with balls

    Wonderful amp, it really is. I sold mine 6 months ago because I moved into a tiny home, but if you have space or want to gig? This is a solid amp, don't think twice about getting it. I'd encourage you to look at Blackstar first though (I think Blackstar is an awesome company.) but you will never lose a penny on a Marshall, never. I traded mine for a $1,000 guitar, their resale value is legit. Wish the reverb was more prevalent but the clean channels were ideall for blues & pop punk. The overdrive channel was a lot of fun heh heh. Probably lost half my hearing but man was it fun!

  • from Colorado, USA December 29, 2015Music Background:
    Semipro player for the past 40 years

    Awesome affordable amp for the gigging player

    I've been a Fender guy for my entire career (with a very brief detour to Peavy in the '90's), and most recently have been playing a customized Hot Rod Deluxe in a solid pine cab w/a Tone Tubby speaker.
    My band decided to add some heavier sounding stuff to our set list, and I wasn't prepared to get the super gain, scooped mid sounds that I needed. I looked at a variety of pedals, and finally concluded that I needed a different amp, not another pedal.
    I checked out a number of amps from a variety of builders including Carvin, Mesa, Dr. Z, etc. I found the DSL40C w/the creamback Celestion at Sweetwater and based on video demos and other users reviews took the plunge.
    At rehearsals, with the amp running in the triode mode, I'm getting EVERY tone I need with this amp and NO distortion/OD pedals. Wow. I can pull those pedals off my board and make room for some new modulation units! Happy, happy!
    This is an awesome unit, and the only knock I have is the weak reverb. I have a great reverb pedal, so it's not an issue, but it would be something for Marshall to improve if they want to capture more Fender players. Just sayin'...

  • from Canoga Park July 28, 2015Music Background:
    Guitarists for 37 years

    Incredible Sounding Tube Amp!

    Well, been reading and looking at all the video reviews on this amp finally bit the bullet to buy one. I ordered the the model that already had the Celestion Creamback speaker upgrade and I was not disappointed indeed. It was delivered today and been playing it for a good 5 hours. All the clean, crunch and the two lead channels were very usable and the tone is pure Marshall.

    The REVERB was the only weak link on this amp, you could barely hear it, even with the reverb controls at full. The reverb for both clean and lead channels are USELESS, But then again Marshall is not know for their reverbs, Fender is the king in that area.

    Overall, the Marshall DSL40C is an awesome sounding rock amp for the money. If you are looking for surf sounding amp with great reverb, look elsewhere

  • from March 30, 2015Music Background:
    lead voice & guitarist in my Bands (Nagorik ).


    This amp is truely rock . U can do anything for this amp . Vintage to modern u feel perfectly.

  • from Morgantown,WV March 13, 2015

    Great Amp

    This amp is great. Only thing that could use a little tweaking is the reverb(I don't mind but others might). The tone is classic & the clean is as good as I've heard from a Marshall. For the price, this amp can fit all your needs. Set it to Triode(20w) & turn it up to get that rich full sound for practice. Set it to Pentode(40W) & your ready to play gigs of just about any size.

  • from Orrville, Ohio March 11, 2015Music Background:
    40+ yrs musician, etc, etc,etc...

    Great amp! No one-trick pony!

    Truly a great amp! Once you dial in you r tone settings, you have that great Marshall tone!
    The "only" reason I didn't give it 5 starts is due to the speaker. I'm sure this speaker keeps cost down.
    The Seventy-80 is, in my opinion, not for this amp. I have read where it 'is' great for other amps though.
    Highly recommended is The Creamback, or 'older' Vintage 30...both made in England. Celestion does own the factory in China and I'm sure the quality control is excellent, so...even a Chinese V30 I'm sure would be fine.
    However, very pleased with this purchase!

  • from November 26, 2014

    Marshall just rocks

    Marshall just rocks. breed it with a Les Paul and the spawn is incredible! That's all I have to say...

  • from Maine July 3, 2014

    Marshall Tube Tone

    I am really loving my Les Paul through this amp. The cleans are crisp and warm and the crunch is tight. More than enough muscle for any situation. I'd buy it again In a second.

  • from United States January 27, 2014Music Background:
    Audio Engineer/Guitar.

    Solid Amp.

    I started playing Marshall back on the older MG100 - 200 series and sold them before I went to college. after that I've been out of the tube amp game for awhile. If you're new to tubes, just remember that you do have to turn them up a bit to break them up and let them shine! Especially on the Overdrive Channels. But does this amp does sound amazing and it does get LOUD! I've never had amazing tone like this before and I highly recommend it!

  • from Alexandria,VA ,USA May 2, 2013Music Background:

    Marshall DSL 40C 1X12 Combo Amp

    This is the first Marshal tube amp I've ever owned and I must say I'm really impressed. The clean /crunch channel is really super sounding as are the lead channels. And this amp is LOUD. Don't let the 40 watt rating fool you. I can only run it in triode mode (20 watts) in my smsll music room but even then it still is killer. Also the resonance control for dialing in the right amount of bass responce is a great feature. The only thing I'm not pleased with is the reverb.There's just not enough of it. But all things considered I can live with it.
    In my opinion Marshall struck gold with this amp. I have a Carvin V3Micro Head with a 2X12 cab ,an early '80s Laney Pro Tube Lead AOR Series and a Jet City 333 Combo and this Mashal is just as good if not better than all of them. The price is right and if you're looking for a great mid powered all tube combo buy this one.

  • from Chapel Hill, Nc April 25, 2013Music Background:
    flamenco bluesman

    Excellent Marshall Tone

    EL34 powered valve amp!!!! Need I say more? very cool World renown Marshall "crunch" sound and shimmering cleans are in this amp. Very affordable and the ability to go half power will save your ears. The only thing stopping me from giving this amp 5 stars is the reverb...When I first got it, the reverb was so "delicate" I thought it was broken. So, if your expecting reverb with this amp, keep looking.

  • from Roanoke, VA USA March 29, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyest player, 50-year music & guitar enthusiast

    Great Flexible Tone

    Capable, flexible, and powerful amp! I am having a blast dialing in the sounds I want. Pretty much got the Classic Gain set, still working on the Ultra Gain channel.

    Strong, solid, well-made piece of equipment. Expected no less from Marshall.

  • from Rochester, MN March 12, 2013Music Background:
    Professional musician

    Marshall DSL40C

    Just a wonderful little amp. My other amp is a JVM410H half-stack, and it's too big and cumbersome for some of my gigs.
    The DSL40C also has a brighter Super Lead type of sound which works really well in large and noisy bands. It cuts through and is not muddy.

  • from Rockford, IL February 19, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician Classic Rock.

    This Amp Kicks

    This amp just kicks major Butt. Ive owned a lot Marshalls and I have to say this thing keeps right up with them, I did end up putting a Celestion Vintage 30 in it which took all the harshness out of the Gain Channels which I thought the Stock Celstion 70/80 was a little too bright for my liking. I tell ya the Vintage 30 took this amp over the top. If your thinking about getting this amp, what are you waiting for? Buy it!

  • from So. Cal. January 24, 2013Music Background:
    long time wanna be

    Nice sound, mostly happy...

    Big warm sound. Beautiful machine, well made and all that. Reverb and Presence are very subtle. To the extent that it's almost hard to tell if they are doing anything at all. Wish it had a headphone output.

  • from NOVA December 24, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist/student/garage band guitar player

    Its a "real" Marshall

    I bought this amp because I wanted a tighter rock tone than I could get with my Peavey Classic 30 which does a great job with blues to classic rock tone. I play a lot of 70's metal (Sabbath, Judas Priest, etc) though and the PV fell a bit short of those sounds.

    The DSL40 turns out to be a perfect complement to the Classic 30. It actually has better cleans since the C30 gets some grit pretty early while the DSL stays quite clean even at pretty high volume (though not as bright as a Fender clean.) On clean in crunch mode with the gain turned up, you can find great classic rock tones and that AC/DC sound.

    Where some folks find a problem is when you switch to the gain channel. The DSL40C has a LOT of gain on tap and WILL sound fizzy with the gain cranked and the volume low. Crank the volume though and it blossoms into that wonderful Marshall roar though. Keep in mind this is a loud amp even on the 1/2 power mode and for the best sound you need a bit of volume. It doen't have to be ear bleeding loud but louder than some might consider suitable for bedroom use.

    With so much gain on tap you'll have to keep if fairly low if you are looking for classic Marshall tone. Its easy to dial in more gain than you want for Classic rock and it even goes well beyond 70's metal into more modern high gain voicings. I'm not a super high gain player, so I haven't really worked to find good tones with the gain really cranked. I find the heavy rock tone (again we're talking Sabbath not modern stuff) I want on lead one with the gain fairly low (like around 2-3, the number not clock position). The gain on lead 2 goes well into modern metal, which is not my thing. I've read comments that the open back combo design is too loose for the tight, almost clipped kind of base sound modern metal players are looking for, so if that's your thing, this amp would probably do it for you if you use a closed back extension cab instead of the combo speaker.

    All in all I think this is a great offering from Marshall that is much better sounding than the previous offerings in this price range. It would make a great amp for gigging in small to medium venues.

  • from Santa Fe, NM June 4, 2017Music Background:

    Bang for the Buck

    I needed a swiss army knife and thought this was the one. I don't play out enough to justify multiple amps.

    It has a switch to half the power to 20w for home practice and recording, an FX loop, and is powerful and portable enough to gig with.

    I got the upgraded Cream Back, and love the tone. This amp has some great sounds in it, but EQing both channels (single EQ, 2 channels) can be tricky. I run an EQ through the FX loop to provide more control. The Green and Red channels are voiced similarly, just with different gain, so experiment. You can get some pretty gnarly distortion from the Green (Crunch) channel.

    Takes pedals well, especially fuzz and distortion. Cleans are fantastic, and with a bit of compression this amp can twang with the best of them.

    I think if you need one amp that can record, play out, go clean, go dirty, then this is the one. I recommend replacing the foot switch right away. Because the reverb in this amp is only passable when maxed (and it does provide slight ambiance for rock music), I swapped the switch with a single button and forget the reverb altogether.

  • from Gilbert, AZ April 15, 2015Music Background:
    Gigging musician

    Many Marshalls in One Combo

    This combo is fantastic. The build quality and material quality are top notch. The clean setting on the classic gain channel is exactly what I needed: tons of clean headroom with that vintage Marshall clean tone (think Marshall Major abd JTM45). The settings I use here with my Strat are gain at 3 o'clock, volume to taste, treble at 10-11 o'clock, mids at 1-2 o'clock, bass maxed out, presence at 1 o'clock, resonance at 3 o'clock, and reverb at 1-3 o'clock depending on taste. The crunch setting on the classic gain channel takes you from a very mild breakup to a super crunchy, but still tamed creamy overdrive sound (think AC/DC). The ultra gain channel delivers warm, smooth distortion ranging from JCM800 to modern high gain, with the ability to scoop the mods via the tone shift button for a more modern sound. There are three issues I found with this amp: first, the stock speaker isn't very good sounding and is 80% of the reason the distortion can sound buzzy or fizzy in this amp. I replaced it with a Celestion Creamback 65M and it sounds soooooooooooo good. Second, EQ settings do not translate well between classic and ultra gain. Switching from classic gain to ultra gain yields an extreme volume jump, a lot of fizzy distortion, and way too much treble. I solved this by clipping the C19 capacitor out of the circuit and now all fizz is gone, the volume jump between channels is almost non-existent, and the EQ settings work very well on both channels now. Third and last, the digital reverb is subtle to a fault. It is really only usable from 1-2 o'clock to maxed out... But, through this range, it sounds like what most other amps' onboard reverb sounds like from minimum to 10-11 o'clock. It's also worth mentioning that mine arrived with all 4 stock preamp tubes bad and the amp was unplayable because of the static. However, Sweetwater immediately sent me 4 replacement preamp tubes. I'm sure I was just unlucky as I know a few people who own this amp and they've had no problems with preamp tubes at all.

  • from binghamton, ny August 31, 2014Music Background:

    Great amp

    Great solid made amp. But I dont know why marshall bothered to put reverb in it. It cant be heard no matter where the knob is at. 1 or 10 makes no difference. Jim must be disappointed. They should have put an extra tube or something instead of reverb.

  • from Tampa, Florida USA July 17, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great Amp, if you don't care about reverb

    I love the tone of this amp it's got the classic Marshall sound, and the controls are straight forward easy to use, and it just sounds great. Except (and this is a big except), the digital reverb. When you turn it up to 10 on either channel, you barely hear it at all. At 10! It sounds like a reverb setting of 1 instead of 10. It's not just my amp -- I tried several others in the store to make sure mine was defective. I had to buy an HOF reverb stomp box to have audible reverb. They shouldn't be able to sell this amp as having reverb if only dogs can hear it. Big disappointment. Outside of that, I have no complaints it does rock!

  • from United States July 16, 2014Music Background:


    Outstanding kick

  • from Gloucester, Virginia May 2, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Marshall DSL 40

    This is a very nice little amp. with plenty of push. The features are almost endless, to make a long story short.... A GREAT AMP. One thing that would make it even better, would be to show some sample sound settings in there owner's manual.

  • from MA March 14, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-pro +15 years experience

    Initial Marshall DSL40c

    Have not used on a gig yet but so far working well. It is bright but can control with EQ. Read other reviews about speaker breaking in or actually replacing it...not there yet. Digital reverb just ok. Power switching is a great feature, Can get good variation of crunch. The position 2 switch on the clean channel makes a big difference. You must tweak in your desired breakup. The effect loop is important to me. So far so good...but haven't used on a gig yet.

  • from sarnia, ontario March 10, 2014Music Background:

    Marshall DSL40C 1x12" 40-Watt 2-Channel Tube Combo

    I've only had this unit for a month now and am still feeling my way around and tweaking the various channels. So far, so good. A little concerned regarding the quality of construction, however, I do not gig out so it should not see any rough handling. Sounds awesome! I doubt very much that I will have use for the ultra high gain channels as my sound resides in the classic gain channel realm. Still nice to know that it is there should I need it. Reverb is barely noticeable. Very much enjoy the pentode/triode function...gets great sounds either way!

    This amp has everything that I'll need for years to come. Just hope the quality and construction is as good as the sounds that this thing makes. Very happy so far.

  • from Findlay, Ohio August 19, 2013Music Background:

    Great Marshall tone is a small package

    Sounds great even at low volumes while having more headroom than I'll ever use. I couldn't be happier, unless they decided to put handles on the sides:) That will be my 'first' mod.

  • from October 31, 2015

    Great amp, but two flaws

    I've had this amp a couple months now. Came with the Creamback speaker upgrade. It does so many things right! The clean channel is great in every respect except for (flaw #1) the weak reverb; through a deep 2x12, it sounds like my old Major. And the gain channel also sounds terrific. Except the reverb here is also weak, and (flaw #2) the added gain adds large amounts of noise.

    I'm gonna keep the amp and live with the flaws. The reverb isn't an issue really as it can always be added via pedal. As the noise is generated in the preamp section, perhaps it can be ameliorated by positioning a noise gate in the amp's effects loop.

  • from Naples, FL February 21, 2015Music Background:
    Worship team musician


    I spent an hour with it and I think the guys at Marshall missed the boat again on this one. Presence and especially the Reverb was very subtle. It also has a very bright tone on both channels that remind me of my disappointment with the JMP1 preamp. Before you buy, try the Blackstar Combo. It has sufficient Reverb and better punch and tone in the clean, and the ISF allows you to blend between the US and British crunch.

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