The Ultimate Home Practice Amp
Honestly, I am truly blown away by this lil' monster.
When you unbox this, and feel the weight and sturdiness, you know right then that this is something special.
It's one of those items that nails almost all the items a guitarist would have on their "do-all" wish list.
Only the Blackstar HT-5R comes close, but they can't quite nail down that true, unmistakeable Marshall tone and they don't have the 5w/1w option. That said, I had a hard time choosing between the two, but having had Marshall Amps in the past, I knew with the DSL5C I would be getting Marshall quality, extreme durability and versatility.
My only knock is the lack of a seperate volume control on the clean channel, which is truly a small quibble considering the clean channel on the 5 watt setting will get very, very loud in your typical bedroom/small practice room. We're talking tube watts here, so conventional wisdom says multiple by the rated tube wattage by 4 or 5 times for an equivalent solid state wattage. Plenty loud to annoy everyone in the house.
The second issue I have, and it's very small one in my case, is that the stock 10" 10-30 Celestion speaker really does not do this amp justice. It does give a bit of that "icepick" effect unless you roll back the treble to the 2-3 range. It may smooth out over time if given a chance to break in, but I had other plans. 10" speakers will not give you that more full and bassy sound that you get out of a 12 inch, but guitar is a mid-range frequency instrument, and you do have the deep switch and bass control on this amp that allow for a more than acceptable amount of tweakability.
I purchased a Celstion Greenback G10 and a Celestion G10 Gold to have versatility in my tone and it knocked my socks off in both cases when installed in this amp. The brittleness of the stock speaker was completely gone and this amp becomes the ultimate tone machine with my SSL5/CS69/CS Fat 50's strat. Both the Greenback and the Gold are nothing short of phenomenal speakers.
Those small and very simple speakers upgrades, made this into the ultimate recording/practice amp in my opinion. I would usually say your results may vary, but I can't believe anyone would be even remotely disappointed in the sound of this amp and universally, i would recommend this to anyone who rocks jazz/blues/rock/hardrock..
One last thing....no reverb.
Yes, it's a bummer....that said, the other DSL's don't necessarily have the greatest reverb, this is well known. But in this one, the effects loop sounds great, so get a good reverb (TC Electronics HOF?) and be done with it.
You know you want it.... just do it. You absolutely won't regret it.