New Marshall 2018 DSL Series Amps at NAMM

For all the haters out there that thought Marshall was not making any more new amps, – or that they weren’t listening to the customers — the news from the Winter NAMM 2018 proves them wrong.

It seems like Marshall has been working pretty hard lately. They not only release a brand new vintage-inspired amp called Origin — you can read about in our Top 5 new Amps from NAMM — but they also revamp the entire DSL Series to release 7 new 2018 DSL models.

Those new 2018 Marshall DSL Amps have all been carefully redesigned to deliver that great DSL tone and versatility whilst adding some welcome upgrades — all models feature an adjustable power output to have the great dimmed tube amp sound at volumes for all environments.

Instead of simply turning off tubes, the large models utilize a special technology that reshapes the power to the tubes in order to get the best possible tube tone at lower volumes. It’s now possible to be again in love with a large 100 Watts tube amp — even if you’re not touring to play arenas.

The new models also include an emulated line output — designed in conjunction with Softube — that allows all DSL amps to benefit from an accurate emulation of Marshall’s classic 1960s cabinet via the headphones and line out.


DSL100HR (100W Head)

If you’re like The Tone King, you probably love the big 100 Watts amps. Except that 100 Watts tube amps were initially designed to be used for large venues such Arenas and Stadiums — not really the kind of rig that could be neighbours-friendly. If the amp doesn’t have a master volume, you can’t get this dimmed tone when the amp is fully cranked up and the tubes are cooking. The new DSL-100HR solves this problem.

It’s a 2 footswitchable channels with 3x ECC83 preamp tubes and 1x ECC83 + 4x EL34 power tubes — a 2 voices classic gain channel (Clean/Crunch) and a 2 voices ultra-gain channel (OD1/OD2). The power could be scaled down to 50 Watts. It also features: a tone shift button which reconfigures the mids; two master volumes; an effects loop; an onboard digital reverb with control for each channel; an emulated out and a MIDI in.


DSL20HR (20W Head)

If you’re like me and you love low wattage amps — and you’d already have purchased the DSL-15H if only it had a loop effect — then the new DSL-20HR will make you happy. It’s a 2 footswitchable channels amp with 3x ECC83 preamp tubes and 2x EL34 power tubes for the authentic DSL tones — classic gain and ultra gain — that does finally includes a series FX loop, as well as an onboard digital reverb.

It features a tone shift button which reconfigures the mids, deep button which adds a resonant bass boost and independent volume and gain controls for both channels — with a shared tone controls for Bass, Middle and Treble.


DSL1HR (1W Head)

Do you remember the little 1 Watt Heads and Combos Marshall did released back in 2012 for their 50th Anniversary? If you missed them, The Tone King did a Quick Preview Coverage and a little Shoutout Video. They were absolutely fantastic and pretty loud, even with only 1 Watt. However, it was limited edition amps for limited run only. Even if you can ever find an used one today, they are generally still be pretty pricey.

Luckily, the new Marshall DSL-1HR is now available — and it is affordable. It’s a 2 footswitchable channels amp with 2x ECC83 preamp tubes and 1x ECC82 power tube — with a power scaling that switches down to 0.1 Watt for very quiet bedroom volumes. It features a digital reverb and an effects loop.

If you already own a high wattage amp that has an effects loop, the new Marshall DSL1HR could be its perfect companion — by running the Loop Send of your amp into the Loop Return of the new DSL — to now also enjoying your amp at lower volumes. But of course, this is just one example of the many types of usage we can make from this kind of small 1 Watt Amp.


DSL40CR (40W Combo)

I don’t know if it’s because it has been used by Joe Bonamassa, but the original DSL-40 is probably one of the most popular combo amps. So any new version is always kind of a big deal — and for Winter NAMM 2018, Marshall is introducing the new DSL-40CR. At 22.9kg / 50lbs, the new all-tubes 40 Watts Combos is not a back-breaker — and its price tag is not a deal-breaker either.

This 2 footswitchable channels amp features 3x ECC83 preamp tubes and 1x ECC83 + 2x EL34 power tubes — for a 2 voices gain channel (Clean/Crunch) and 2 voices ultra-gain channel (OD1/OD2). It also includes 2 master volume controls, an onboard digital reverb, an effects loop and a 1×12″ Celestion V-Type 16 Ohms Speaker.


DSL20CR (20W Combo)

Also available for 2018, the new Marshall DSL-20CR. The 20 Watts Combo share all features and specs from the 20 Watts Head version — except being a 16.3kg / 35lbs combo with a 1×12″ Celestion Seventy-80 16 Ohms Speaker.

The new DSL20CR offers a large variety of tones with the 2 footswitchable channels — from clean to mean —  and with its small size, high portability and loud volumes, it will be the perfect amp for the gigging musician.


DSL5CR (5W Combo)

For 2018, Marshall is also introducing the new DSL-5CR. This all-tubes 5 Watts Combo amp — that only weights 12.7kg / 28lbs — will be the perfect amp for jamming at small venues. It does feature 3x ECC83 preamp tubes and 1x ECC99 power tube — and a 1×10″ Celestion Ten-30 16 Ohms speaker.

Like all other DSL models, it’s a 2 footswitchable channels amp that includes an onboard digital reverb, an effects loop and an emulated line out — making also perfect for recording and practicing at home.


DSL1CR (1W Combo)

Finally, also available for 2018, the brand new Marshall DSL-1CR.The 1 Watt Combo share all features and specs from the 1 Watt Head version — except being a 7.9kg / 17.5lbs combo with a 1×8″ Celestion G8C-15 “Eight-15” 16 Ohms Speaker.

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Filed Under: FeaturedNewsNAMM 2018 - Winter


About the Author: French by birth but Texan by heart, I had different careers in multiple areas that don’t really make sense when they’re all laid down on my resume. Amongst them I’m a former military officer (mainly confidential stuff I can’t talk about) — I’m a former network architect (the stuff with switches, routers, optical fibers, satellites and wireless things that allow people to be connected) — I’m a former R&D engineer and product designer (mainly for electronics instruments in the Music Industry) — I’m also a former sound engineer that worked in professional recording studios (but nobody cares about that anymore) — and I even thought once in my life I was someone almost important doing things almost awesome... Now I’m just a professional amateur spreading my 2 cents online about anything and everything to anyone with too much time in their hands — and if you’re reading this bio, you might be one of them that just wasted 2mn of your life you will never get back. Sorry...

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