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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Are the problems of overheating and burning out fixed on the newer production models of these? I want a Marshall, I want a preferably 1x12 combo, classic Marshall sound and I don't want alot of hassles w/ it. The two amps I have now are super reliable and I like it that way, but my new R7 is telling me it wants a Marshall. I thought I had remembered reading that the newer ones have pretty much fixed the flaws that had previously caused problems. If not, I might look for a used bluesbreaker, but those things are kind of heavy but I might put up w/ the weight as I have played one before and loved it.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Hi,
    they were fixed in August 2003. So if your amp is after that date it should be fine.
    Check my site for some cool info on theses amps http://www.piller.at/music/index.php...201/index.html

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member skip62's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    don't know that this will help, but it may give you something to look for when purchasing on of these. I personally think you could find an el84 amp from a boutique builder that would be more reliable over all and sound just as good. But I've had problems with my 1999 dsl401 and haven't really played it that much since I bought. Jim Marshall signed the front of when I bought which is why I keep it.

    Hey hoss33, thanks for you're site, I had to do the same thing to mine a couple of years ago and found you're site, followed the directions and I was back in business. Thanks.
    I now have the problem of it playing about 1/4 power, it sounds good, but won't turn up, any suggestions before I take it in, which I just hate to do.
    Thanks -Skip

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    skip, there could be many reasons. Preamp tube, power tube, output tranny...
    Try swapping the preamp tubes one by one - including the phase inverter - with a spare tube.
    Are all power tubes looking good?

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member skip62's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    hey hoss, i've replaced all the tubes with known good tubes, same thing. I looked over the board again and can't see anything. One of the channels was making noise all the time, can't remember which it's been so long. Then one day it didn't make the noise, but it wouldn't turn up either. Like I said, last time I tried it which was probably over a year ago, it sounded good, but played like it was lower powered than my Champ. Guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and take it in. Thanks for the help, and sorry I stole the thread.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member dwagar's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    If you're going to be looking in the used market, may I suggest a 4010? I've had mine for years, pretty straight ahead classic Marshall.

    - Don

    Originally Posted by reswot
    A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

  7. #7
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Is that the one AKA - The Artist?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member dwagar's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    I'm not positive about the Artist, I believe this was earlier. This one does not have channel switching. 50 watt JCM800 Lead Series.
    It also came in a 2-12 I believe (4104 ?).

    added:
    This amp is an early combo version of the 2204 head.
    Mine is a Canadian model, with EL34s instead of 6550s (US)

    4203 Artist:
    The preamp is solid state, only the power amp uses tubes.
    - Don

    Originally Posted by reswot
    A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by lefty64
    Is that the one AKA - The Artist?
    Nope, the following JCM800 combos were made: 4010 (2204 1x12"), 4103 (2203 2x12"), 4104 (2204 2x12"), 4210 (2205 1x12"), 4211 (2210 2x12") and 4212 (2205 2x12"). There were also 50 and 100W bass heads, the models 1986 and 1992.

  10. #10
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    I'd pick up a 4010 or 4104 in the 800 Series. You could also pick up a 2104 from the 70's JMP range. That guitar needs a little more respect than the DSL 401. They are unreliable and weak sounding IMHO. I had one and it crapped out. Got another, compared it to my 2104, 4010, 4104 and other vintage Marshalls and dumped it. YMMV.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by G12H
    That guitar needs a little more respect than the DSL 401. They are weak sounding IMHO.
    First they need a better speaker. Vintage 30!
    And you need to crank the clean channel, if you use the lead channel don't use too much gain (not more than 3-4) else you'll get that brittle tinny distortion.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Goldtop Dude's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    I've had 2553(800 small box), Old NMV and MV heads as well as the old 18-20watt pa/gtr amp and loved m all!

    Once I became a Marshall dealer I picked up the 401 DSL and loved it! takes some extra time to set the eq as it works very well. Gain, I use the low #s 1-2-3-sets.

    Wish I still had one. I hope some day soon to pick up an 03' or later, just wish the price had not moved up so far. I still think its worth it. my .02 or(1079-haha).

    GTD
    Founder, Creator, and Overlord of Teh Unofficial Patent Applied For Les Paul Forum Pick.


    - Dude

  13. #13

    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    DSl401 is junk. The tone is lousy and the build is questionable. I spent a lot of time with one while I was helping a friend amp shop back in the fall. He was between a 401 and a Blues Jr. I thought the 401 was weak tonally and lacked nuance and depth. Didnt take much to talk him into the Jr.
    I may be going to hell, but I'll be the only one there with marshmallows.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Goldtop Dude's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonebender
    DSl401 is junk. The tone is lousy and the build is questionable. I spent a lot of time with one while I was helping a friend amp shop back in the fall. He was between a 401 and a Blues Jr. I thought the 401 was weak tonally and lacked nuance and depth. Didnt take much to talk him into the Jr.
    Both very dif amps. Fender/Marshall should be very dif. I like both the 401DSL and Blues Junior, however I would never compare the two. just my .02.

    GTD
    Founder, Creator, and Overlord of Teh Unofficial Patent Applied For Les Paul Forum Pick.


    - Dude

  15. #15
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonebender
    DSl401 is junk. The tone is lousy and the build is questionable. I spent a lot of time with one while I was helping a friend amp shop back in the fall. He was between a 401 and a Blues Jr. I thought the 401 was weak tonally and lacked nuance and depth. Didnt take much to talk him into the Jr.
    I beg to differ. I run my DSL401 through a Marshall 4x12 cab (internal speaker disconnected) and it sounds just fine. The overheating problem is a b*tch, but Marshall issued some resistor changes a while back that really change the way the amp sounds. I have a heat sink on the PCB, and it does the job nicely.

    The stock speaker is crap, agreed. I'll also agree that it's overpriced if you buy it new. But, as an essentially entry level tube amp, it does the job just fine.
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of All Who Threaten It

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Goldtop Dude's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by loran.montgomery
    I beg to differ. I run my DSL401 through a Marshall 4x12 cab (internal speaker disconnected) and it sounds just fine. The overheating problem is a b*tch, but Marshall issued some resistor changes a while back that really change the way the amp sounds. I have a heat sink on the PCB, and it does the job nicely.

    The stock speaker is crap, agreed. I'll also agree that it's overpriced if you buy it new. But, as an essentially entry level tube amp, it does the job just fine.
    +1

    BTW, mine was a 00' Did any of the new changes effect the tone? I loved the tone of my 401 and hope to replace soon.

    GTD
    Founder, Creator, and Overlord of Teh Unofficial Patent Applied For Les Paul Forum Pick.


    - Dude

  17. #17

    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldtop Dude
    Both very dif amps. Fender/Marshall should be very dif. I like both the 401DSL and Blues Junior, however I would never compare the two. just my .02.

    GTD

    We only did compared them as he was out amp shopping and after the best tone his budget could deliver. The 401 just didnt cut it. Very harsh and brittle. Jr. sounded smoother. All I can say is that it's what my ears told me.
    I may be going to hell, but I'll be the only one there with marshmallows.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Goldtop Dude's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    ender]We only did compared them as he was out amp shopping and after the best tone his budget could deliver. The 401 just didnt cut it. Very harsh and brittle. Jr. sounded smoother. All I can say is that it's what my ears told me.[/QUOTE]

    I respect your ears, however to compare teh 401 to the B Jr------well---did he compare guitars as well? 54' Goldtop to an L5-----------??

    Whats to compare? cost--no options--no If you don't like a good Marshall tone why compare. and, yes the 401 can sound very poor if one lacks the needed product know how to use it. The Blues jr is much more a plugin and go Fender tone(great amp).

    If you want a plugin and go Marshall you picked the wrong model to compare.

    As long as your friend is happy then all is well and I wish you both the best.

    GTD
    Founder, Creator, and Overlord of Teh Unofficial Patent Applied For Les Paul Forum Pick.


    - Dude

  19. #19
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    I found the DSL-401 to be a really bad amp, both in quality and sound. If you're looking for classic Marshall sound, you won't find it there. For the same money, look at a Mesa F series combo.

  20. #20
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    I've had a blues jr before (2 of em actually) and when I put a greenback in the second one, it turned it into a monster, but I got rid of it just cause I'm always looking for the holy grail. I got the Fender thing covered anyways w/ my Victoria Deluxe clone which I am never dumping. I am considering letting my Headstrong Lil King go if I spring for the Marshall. I am keeping my eyes open for the right deal. I am considering several of the older Marshall combos (JCM 800 types) and still the DSL. I would love a half stack some day but right now that is just really impractical for me.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member GeeJay's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Well I've had a DSL401 since 2000 (1999 build) :-

    Pre-amp tube heater rectifier changed under warranty after 2.5 years;
    I broke and had to resolder the channel switch skt about 3 years ago;
    I recently had to resolder the reverb pot connections;
    Changed the power amp tubes for JJ's in 2002;
    Made a matching 1x12 cab (GT12-75) a couple of years ago.
    Just use the stock speaker in the combo itself.

    Have played out with it solidly for just under 6 years now and just love it for tone. It's loud enough for pubs and clubs (have MV at about 7, channel gains at about 3, OD Vol at about 7).

    I think that the 'doesn't have any decent tone' comments are bollocks unless you want something other than classic blues/rock sounds. It don't do modern rock sounds, but that's fine with me.

    Try one out....
    You can't erase a dream, you can only wake me up!

    www.cutters-law.co.uk

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member Goldtop Dude's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeeJay
    Well I've had a DSL401 since 2000 (1999 build) :-

    Pre-amp tube heater rectifier changed under warranty after 2.5 years;
    I broke and had to resolder the channel switch skt about 3 years ago;
    I recently had to resolder the reverb pot connections;
    Changed the power amp tubes for JJ's in 2002;
    Made a matching 1x12 cab (GT12-75) a couple of years ago.
    Just use the stock speaker in the combo itself.

    Have played out with it solidly for just under 6 years now and just love it for tone. It's loud enough for pubs and clubs (have MV at about 7, channel gains at about 3, OD Vol at about 7).

    I think that the 'doesn't have any decent tone' comments are bollocks unless you want something other than classic blues/rock sounds. It don't do modern rock sounds, but that's fine with me.

    Try one out....
    +1

    GTD
    Founder, Creator, and Overlord of Teh Unofficial Patent Applied For Les Paul Forum Pick.


    - Dude

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member captaincanada's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    The other guitarist in the cover band I play in has a 03-04 DSL401 combo and he gets great tone every night...AC/DC, Randy Rhodes, Zeppelin are all there. No reliability issues in 3 years of regular professional use. I love his tone....he plays a variety of guitars and will adjust his tone accordingly. He also has a vintage Duper Reverb, a tricked out Blues Junoir and a vintage ampeg super jet ( a killer amp that I also own), but he always seems to play the DSL401. He got for $650 at the local GC.

  24. #24

    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldtop Dude
    ender]We only did compared them as he was out amp shopping and after the best tone his budget could deliver. The 401 just didnt cut it. Very harsh and brittle. Jr. sounded smoother. All I can say is that it's what my ears told me.
    I respect your ears, however to compare teh 401 to the B Jr------well---did he compare guitars as well? 54' Goldtop to an L5-----------??

    Whats to compare? cost--no options--no If you don't like a good Marshall tone why compare. and, yes the 401 can sound very poor if one lacks the needed product know how to use it. The Blues jr is much more a plugin and go Fender tone(great amp).

    If you want a plugin and go Marshall you picked the wrong model to compare.

    As long as your friend is happy then all is well and I wish you both the best.

    GTD[/QUOTE]

    It was based on cost plain and simple. Blues Jr. had better tone. The 401 does not have great Marshall tone. I possess more the the needed "product" to use the 401, but it's junk. Good tone is good tone and the 401 ain't got it.
    I may be going to hell, but I'll be the only one there with marshmallows.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Goldtop Dude's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonebender
    I respect your ears, however to compare teh 401 to the B Jr------well---did he compare guitars as well? 54' Goldtop to an L5-----------??

    Whats to compare? cost--no options--no If you don't like a good Marshall tone why compare. and, yes the 401 can sound very poor if one lacks the needed product know how to use it. The Blues jr is much more a plugin and go Fender tone(great amp).

    If you want a plugin and go Marshall you picked the wrong model to compare.

    As long as your friend is happy then all is well and I wish you both the best.

    GTD
    It was based on cost plain and simple. Blues Jr. had better tone. The 401 does not have great Marshall tone. I possess more the the needed "product" to use the 401, but it's junk. Good tone is good tone and the 401 ain't got it.[/QUOTE]
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If it was "based on cost plain and simple" why compare an amp that cost's 3 times as much, 3 times the power and 3 times the features ?
    There is no need for you to like the 401, however to compare like products would just make good "cents"--

    GTD
    Founder, Creator, and Overlord of Teh Unofficial Patent Applied For Les Paul Forum Pick.


    - Dude

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member GeeJay's Avatar
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    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    Tonebender, we are going to have to agree to disagree. Harsh and brittle are not the first words I would use to describe a DSL401 at all.

    Unreliable, cheap chipboard construction, with PCB mounted tube holders and questionable cooling maybe.

    But soundwise, they can sound really good. What doesn't work is the 'classic' set everything to 10. The EL84's are a little softer than EL34's and are IMHO better suited to blues. Marshall reckon that the clean channel is one of the best they've made (recently I guess).

    Plug a standard in and set everything on 5 and see what you got then. If you really don't like what you hear, then you are a Fender guy

    Over here they're not too expensive either..

    Cheers!
    You can't erase a dream, you can only wake me up!

    www.cutters-law.co.uk

  27. #27

    Re: Marshall JCM 2000 dsl 401?

    I have been playing guitar since 1979. I have owned plenty of Marshall Heads (Late 1970's JMP's). I switched to a Marshall DSL 50 Watt Head and 2X12" Marshall "1936" Speaker Cabinet several years ago. I read about Jeff Beck using the Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 50 Watt Head so I decided to check one out. While not for everybody, I happen to really like my JCM 2000 Head. I found a 2007 Marshall DSL 401 1X12" Combo for cheap on eBay. It arrived in MINT condition, it came with the original footswitch, and the original amplifier cover. The footswitch was for OD1 and OD2. You need a separate footswitch for Reverb on/off. Mine just developed this subtle but noticeable "HUM" when turned on. There is no hum when the amp is on standby. I just figured it needs new vacuum tubes. I really hope that is all that I need to do to clear up this hum issue. Since I received the amp several years ago it didn't have much playing time on it. Since then I have really put some serious playing hours on it. I am very aware that there are Marshall 1X12" Combo's which are way better than my JCM 2000 DSL 401. For me the 401 does the job and it's "Made in England".

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