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Marshall DSL1CR Combo – Is It Worth It? [REVIEW]

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marshall dsl1cr combo amp review

If you’re thinking about getting the Marshall DSL1CR and you’re not sure if it’s worth it or not, look no further! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that small tube amp. It’s a really affordable piece of gear, but is it actually worth the money?

The truth is that Marshall DSL1CR is a great sounding combo. You may think that 1 Watt of power is not enough, but it’s actually very powerful. Surely, all guitarists who are searching for a great amp for home practice will be satisfied with that model!

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the DSL1CR model so good and so popular among the guitarists all around the world. Firstly, we’ll have a look at the detailed specifications of that combo. Additionally, we’ll investigate the biggest pros and cons of that model.

Specs & Pricing

Marshall DSL1CR

Small, yet powerful 8-Watt guitar amplifier recommended not only for amateurs, but also for more advanced players. See prices below.

Marshall DSL1CR is a small tube amp that exceeds all the expectations. This is actually the smallest amplifier from the DSL Series and in fact, it’s really popular among the guitar players all around the world!

What makes it so special? Well, this particular model features a 1 Watt of power, 8″ Celestion Eight 15 speaker, two individual channels (Classic Gain & Ultra Gain), a 3-band EQ section and a built-in digital reverb.

The sound of DSL1CR is really versatile and although it has only one watt of power, it can actually get pretty loud. Whether you’re looking for glassy cleans or a powerful high-gain, you can be sure that this amp will be able to deliver that.

What’s important, the manufacturer equipped this model with the high quality tubes – two ECC83 preamp tubes and one ECC82 power tube.

When it comes to pricing, it’s not the cheapest tube amp in the world, but it’s definitely one of the most affordable tube combos from the DSL Series. That being said, it’s definitely worth every cent. That’s for sure!

Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out below.

Who Is It For?

Marshall DSL1CR is suitable for guitar players of all levels. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re an advanced guitarist or not – you will definitely enjoy and appreciate the high quality of that small amp.

The DSL1CR is mainly designed for home practice, but it can also be really good for small performances like jam sessions with one or two other guitarists.

Since this amp has only 1 Watt of power, it won’t be enough for large gigs – but that’s totally fine! On the other hand, it can be efficiently used for recording in a studio.

man playing electirc guitar in front of marshall amp

Additionally, it’s a really versatile amp, so it can be used in pretty much all styles of music. Just like any other Marshall amp, the DSL1CR sounds particularly good in rock and metal.

It is also worth mentioning that this tube combo will be perfect for any enthusiast of the classic Marshall tone. If you like that characteristic sound, you can be sure that the DSL1CR won’t let you down.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority guitar players who like to play at home will really enjoy using that tube amp. There’s just not a lot to complain about! Great tone, affordable price and the classic Marshall sound – who needs anything else?

Here’s an another sound demo.

Marshall DSL1CR

Small, yet powerful 8-Watt guitar amplifier recommended not only for amateurs, but also for more advanced players. See prices below.

Pros & Cons Of Marshall DSL1CR

Just like any other amp on the market, the DSL1CR model has its own advantages and disadvantages. Although it all can be really subjective, I have a feeling that the cons of that amp aren’t that serious anyway.

  • Great Tone
  • Two Separate Channels
  • Affordable Price
  • Classic Look
  • Built-in Reverb
  • Limited Volume
  • It’s Not Made For Gigs

When it comes to the advantages, there are a lot of them! This combo sounds really good and it’s very effective during home practice and recording. Two channels and the 3-Band EQ offer a lot of versatility. On top of that, the amp is not overly expensive.

On the other hand, it’s not the most powerful amp in the world. One watt of power is not loud enough to play with a loud drummer. So if you’re looking for an amp to play gigs with, you should probably search for something else.

However, this amp wasn’t made for gigging – it’s designed to give you high quality tones in a small package. That’s why I love it! In my opinion, the advantages of that combo outweigh the disadvantages of that model.

Marshall DSL1CR vs Marshall DSL5CR

Marshall DSL5CR

A bit bigger, powerful and more versatile than DSL1CR. Where’s the catch? Well, it’s a bit more expensive too. Compare prices below.

A lot of guitar players wonder whether they should get the smaller and cheaper Marshall DSL1CR or a bit bigger and more powerful DSL5CR.

Which one of this amps is actually better?

Well, the truth is that it’s really difficult to clearly answer that. The DSL5CR sounds a bit better, it can get louder and it has a 10″ speaker unlike the DSL1CR. However, the price difference is easy to notice.

I think that it all comes down to you and your own personal preferences. If you just want to practice at home, choosing the DSL1CR will be an excellent choice. But if you want a bit bigger and even more versatile tube combo, the DSL5CR may be a better option for you.

Here’s a really good demo that directly compares both of these amps – feel free to check it out below if you’re interested!

Any Alternatives?

If you don’t like the sound of Marshall DSL1CR and you have a feeling that it won’t be a good fit for you, that’s not a big deal! There’s still quite a lot of other really good combos out there that are perfect for home practice.

Of course, it all depends on what exactly you’re searching for and how much are you willing to spend.

Here’s a few more amps that are also really worth checking out.

Firstly, if you’re looking for a bit more powerful tube combo which is suitable for live performances and rehearsals, perhaps you should check out the Marshall DSL40CR. This is a fantastic piece of gear and it’s really powerful, so I’m sure that you’ll really love it if you decide to get it.

other amplifiers

Alternatively, if you are okay with getting a cheaper solid state amplifier instead, perhaps choosing the Fender Champion 20 will be the best option for you. It’s a really versatile combo which is designed for home practice. In my opinion, it’s one of the best budget combos suitable for playing at home. The versatility of that combo is amazing!

If you’re on a very tight budget or if you’re just starting out, getting a really expensive tube combo may be a real challenge for you. In that case, check out the VOX Pathfinder 10. I think that it’s definitely one of the best cheap amps for beginners. It has two separate channels and it’s ideal for home use. If you’re an amateur, you probably don’t need any better gear to practice!


Where is Marshall DSL1CR made?

Marshall DLS1CR is made in Vietnam.

Where can I find the manual to DSL1CR model?

The manual to DSL1CR amp can be found here.

Want to find out more about Marshall?

If you want to learn more about Marshall amps, make sure to visit their official website.


As you can see, Marshall DSL1CR is a truly fantastic tube combo. It’s not the best tube combo in the world, but it’s still a great choice for a lot of guitarists. If you’re searching for the legendary Marshall tone and you just want to practice at home, this will be an excellent combo for you.

What do you think of that amp? Would you get it for yourself or do you think that it’s a bit overrated? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article and you’re searching for more gear recommendations, you may also like: