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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review: Marshall JCM 2000 DSL



Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're going to review one of the most classic Marshall Heads: the JCM 2000 DSL.

This version came out in 1997 and it was meant to be as a dual-channel "expanded version" of a Jcm 800 and 900, but it turned out to be a completely different beast.
DSL means Dual Super Lead and indicates the fact that the signal passes through two gain stages, so the added gain is more than a single stage (there are heads with up to six stages, like the Peavey 5150, though), and there is also a version called TSL, Triple Super lead, which is supposed to provide even more gain (and a third channel).

This head has been used, through the years from some of the biggest bands around, ranging from rock (for example Muse), to thrash metal (Trivium).
The head has a nice sound, with the mids typical of a Marshall, but yet the Tone Shift and Deep control lets you have enough versatility to obtain enough different tones.
Around the web there is a rumor that for some reason a Jcm 800 has a thicker, more powerful sound than a Jcm 2000 Dsl, and even more a Tsl (which has been wildly criticized for this reason), and this could be true, but I actually find the Jcm 2000 to be a nice halfway between the classic Marshall tone, the versatility required by today's musicians, and a tone that is more manageable at lower volumes (while, notoriously, a Jcm 800 needs to be cranked to the max in order to unleash its full potential).

Today Marshall is selling an updated version of the Jcm 2000 called only Dsl 100, which is identical to the original version except for some interface improvement: 

- A Resonance control instead of the Deep Switch

- A versatile Digital Reverb instead of the old spring one

- A pentode/triode switch that lets you choose between 100 and 50w.


Specs taken from the website:

- Two channels - Classic Gain and Ultra Gain

- Lead 1 to Lead 2 switching on the Ultra Gain channel

- Tone Shift switch to reconfigure the way the tone section (particularly the Middle control) works
- Deep Switch for increased bottom end
- Effects Loop with level selection switch

- Output (RMS): 100 Watts
- Number of Channels: 2
- Modes Per Channel: 2
- Spring Reverb
- Preamp Tubes: 4 x ECC83
- Power Amp Tubes: 4 x EL34
- Dimensions (approximate): 29.5 x 11.7 x 8.43" (748 x 297 x 214mm)
- Weight (Kg): 49.5 lbs (22.5 kg)

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