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Marshall DSL40CR Combo – Is It Good? [REVIEW]

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marshall dsl40cr combo review

If you’re thinking about getting the Marshall DSL40CR combo and you’re not sure if it’s worth it or not, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right part of the Internet! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that powerful and affordable tube combo. Why is it so popular and is it actually worth the money?

The truth is that Marshall DSL40CR is an absolutely amazing tube amp. Although it’s not cheap, it exceeds all the expectations and it gives you access to the legendary Marshall tone. It’s perfect for live gigs and it’s definitely worth the money!

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the DSL40CR so good and so popular. Firstly, we’ll start with the overview of the specifications of that model. Additionally, we’ll see if it has any potential disadvantages. Hopefully, this guide will help you figure out if this amp is a good fit for you!

Specs & Pricing

Marshall DSL40CR is a high quality tube amp designed for the most demanding guitarists out there. In fact, this is actually one of the most popular and most versatile tube combos that are currently manufactured by this legendary brand.

What makes it so special? Well, the amp features 40 Watts of power, a 12″ Celestion V-Type speaker, four ECC83 preamp tubes and two EL34 power tubes. There’s also a 3-band EQ which gives you more control over the tone as well as Tone Shift and Resonance controls.

What’s important, Marshall equipped this model with two separate channels – Classic Gain and Ultra Gain. Both of these channels have their own two modes Clean & Crunch (Classic) and OD1 & OD2 (Ultra). As you can imagine, that really impacts and increases the versatility of that combo!

The sound of DSL40CR can be described as powerful, punchy, loud and versatile. It can do pretty much everything – from glassy cleans to high-gain tones. Undoubtedly, rock and metal guitarists will immediately fall in love with that amp!

When it comes to pricing, it’s not exactly cheap. However, it’s still not extremely expensive, so it’s definitely within reach of any guitarist who truly wants it. It may take you a while to save up for it, but I’m sure that you won’t regret it.

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

Who Is It For?

Marshall DSL40CR is suitable for guitarists of all-levels. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re an advanced musician or not – you will definitely appreciate the versatility and high quality of that amp.

However, since it’s a pretty loud and powerful combo, it’s mainly used by intermediate musicians during live performances, band rehearsals and studio sessions. This is a great amp for any rhythm or lead guitar player!

It is also worth mentioning that this combo works perfectly fine in a lot of different styles of music. Whether you like clean sounds or high-gain riffs – this amp can do it all. Still, because of the fact that it features the characteristic Marshall tone, it’s mainly used in rock, punk, grunge and metal.

This is a high quality tube amp, so it’s not that cheap. If you know what you’re looking for and you’re searching for the best gear available on the market, this is the way to go.

Overall, the vast majority of guitar players will enjoy and appreciate the awesomeness of Marshall DSL40CR. It’s quite expensive, but it’s definitely worth the money. That’s for sure!

Here’s an another sound demo.

Marshall DSL40CR – Tricky Metal Settings

As you’re probably aware, Marshall amps are very often used by rock and metal guitarists all around the world. The DSL40CR is a particularly popular choice for these genres – mainly thanks to its versatility.

However, it’s actually not that easy to find the right metal tone on that amp. It may take you several hours to find the tone that you actually like.

Here’s a really good video that can help you set it up properly in order to play metal. These couple of tips will save you a lot of time in the future, so I highly encourage you to check it out!

Disadvantages of Marshall DSL40CR

Just like any other tube amp, the DSL40CR has its own pros and cons. Don’t worry though – there’s not much to complain about!

Firstly, the combo lacks of independent EQ’s.

It’s great to have the separate master volume control, but it would awesome to have the individual EQ’s as well. However, it’s not a massive problem.

Also, there’s no built-in reverb.

Again, this is not a big deal, but it would be really nice to have it in there. You can always use a reverb pedal anyway too!

Apart from these things, there’s not much to complain about. You either love the classic Marshall tone or you hate it! In my opinion, the advantages of DSL40CR outweigh the disadvantages of that model. So there’s nothing to worry about anyway!

Is DSL40CR Better Than Fender Bassbreaker?

A lot of guitarists wonder whether Marshall tube amps are better than Fender amps. Quite often they can’t decide whether they should get the DSL40CR or Fender Bassbreaker 30R.

The truth is that it’s really difficult to pick a clear winner of that battle – both of these amps are great, but they sound slightly different.

In my opinion, Marshall is a much better choice for heavier tones. If you’re into rock and metal, stick to that brand. The DSL40CR is also perfect for lead guitarists. I think that the Bassbreaker sounds a bit too bassy, but perhaps it’s just me.

Here’s a really good video that directly compares the DSL40CR with Fender Bassbreaker 30R – feel free to check it out below.

Cheaper Tube Amps

If you don’t like the tone of Marshall DSL40CR or you simply have a feeling that this combo is not the right fit for you, that’s not a problem! There’s still quite a lot of other fantastic tube combos that also deserve a lot of recognition. Still, it all depends on your budget and your own personal preferences.

Here’s a few other great amps that are also worth checking out.

other tube amps

Firstly, you should definitely consider getting the Bugera V22 Infinium. This is a high quality 22-Watt tube combo suitable for the most demanding guitarists out there. Although it’s not as powerful as Marshall DSL40CR, it’s still a fantastic choice for home practice and smaller gigs. On top of that, it’s actually not that expensive.

Alternatively, you can also check out the Peavey Classic 30. This is actually one of my favorite tube amps of all time! It’s a great choice for any gigging musician who’s searching for a reliable and affordable combo. I think that it’s really underrated – not many people are aware of how good it actually is.

If you’re on a very tight budget, you can also consider getting the Fender Champion 40. This is not a tube amp, but it still offers a really good tone. It’s a great combo for practicing at home and rehearsing with your band. It may not be as good and as versatile as Marshall DSL40CR but it’s still a really good and affordable option!


Where is Marshall DSL40CR made?

Marshall DSL40CR is manufactured in Indonesia.

How loud is the DSL40CR?

The DSL40CR can get very loud, so it’s definitely loud enough to play with a drummer.

Is it good for beginners?

The DSL40CR can be really good for beginners, although considering how large and powerful it is, it’s mainly recommended for more intermediate guitarists.

Where can I find out more about Marshall amps?

If you want to learn more about this legendary manufacturer of amplifiers, check out the official website of Marshall.


As you can see, Marshall DSL40CR is a truly fantastic and powerful tube combo. Undoubtedly, anyone who’s searching for a highly effective and versatile amplifier for band rehearsals and gigs will be really satisfied with that amp.

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

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you liked this post and you’re looking for more amp recommendations, you may also like: