Other Amps

Marshall Amp Opinions


Any knowledgeable folk able to compare the DSL40C, 20CR, and the smaller SL5 for me? I have a Blackstar HT-5R and it's pretty good, but I feel I'd like more of something close to a M. Young tone. I just can't get the tone I want out of this pretty solid little amp. I'd appreciate any ideas. Am I wasting money discarding the MG series? It's only for home recording/playing - no gigging at this time. Budget is preferably $450, but I could stretch a bit for an amp I really don't need. Thoughts?


for that much you can get a used AC15 if you look around a bit. IIRC that's what i paid for mine off the Guitar Center used pages.


Love my new little buddy, an AC10C1VS. Great range of tones, but no "Marshall" in it.


I have a Vox AC15 and the Blackstar. I like the Vox very much and will not get rid of it, but I am looking for the Malcolm tones half the time. The Blackstar is very close, but I'm curious about these other amps. I'm not sold an another amp just asking questions from those that have experience with these particular Marshall amps and their say so. I've gone thru several amps in the past few years. I appreciate the comments, however.


I had a DSL 40c with the creamback speaker, its switchable to 20 watts. Its a fire breather, and you will definitely get the tone you seek with it. It wasnt my cup of tea but is no doubt a kickass amp. You could get a used one in your price range.


@Chmason85, thanks for the input and sounds right from what I've heard. Indeed they can be had used for about $400. That's a lot o'amp.


I’ve had a lot of fun with the 5-watt Hotone Purple Wind, the mini-amp from their Nano Legacy series. It’s plenty loud for home and recording, and sounds as Marshall as some small Marshalls I’ve heard. It’s great to get those tones at truly room volumes.

You do need a speaker cab to plug it into (or wire it to an unhooked speaker in another amp) - but you can probably buy one for around 80.00 on Reverb.

The Nanos look like toys, but they’re not. May be worth a cheap shot.


Don't take this the wrong way but IMHO, if you're trying to get a Malcolm Young sound out of a 5129 with DeArmond 2000's (assuming that's what you're using), you're barking up the wrong tree.

I've had an AC15 with a greenback and an AC15 Valve Reactor. Both could get reasonably close. In fact I tried a Valve Reactor with a real '62 Jet and it nailed it. Blackstars are 'British voiced' so they should be able to get close too, I imagine.

I think you need to look for a guitar with filtertrons.


Not so much Malcolm with the 5129, but can get close with the Ric 330 with Hi Gains, LP Jr. with P90's, and Epi Riviera with Mini Buckers. I like the Blackstar and find I can get closer to the "truth" with the clean channel and a Blues Driver than the crunch channel. Was curious what the "real" Marshall tone would be compared to Blackstars. I've tried 'em at GC, but that place sucks and it's hard to open things up without being rude or self conscious.


I'd recommend the Marshall Origin 20 head. It's about $475 with a 15% discount code from GC. It has 1 watt, 5 watt, and 20 watt settings. It has EL34 power tubes not the EL84s in the Vox AC15. No good YouTube videos, but I think it has a very good Malcolm tone. I bought one on preorder when they we're coming out to try it and I couldn't be happier. In fact, I sold my Marshall 1959HW. It's a super useable amp and takes pedals really well. I use it with a vintage Marshall 4x12 with greenbacks, but you could run it out to the VOX AC15 assuming you have the stock greenback in it.


I'd get an Egnater Tweaker head for that. Probably run it through a single 1x12 cab with a nice Jensen C12N in there. You can get a Vox AC15 sound along with a Marshall that way. Versatile.

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