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Marshall TSL100 Featured

 
Marshall TSL 100 Watt tube amp head


Price: $40 to $902 at 14 stores
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A good default amp if you don't know exactly what you want. featured

Sound The newer Marshalls sometimes get pounded on by vintage Marshall purists. However, these amps get the job done for everything. They make excellent gigging amps due to the many effects and options available. This is one of the few amps I would just add a delay pedal, and every other sound could come naturally from the amp.

The amp sounds....well....Marshall like -- Not very plexi like the originals, but it has it's own tone that delivers a powerful punch. They work very well in bright sounding guitars because it mellows everything out. The high natural distortion has a lot of fuzz, so if you don't prefer that it would be best to get get a distortion pedal and run it through the amps clean channel.


Reliability Overall, Marshalls are fairly dependable and reliable -- Not as good as Peavey (which I believe has the most reliable amps when compared to any company on the market). Depending on the year (usually 2000-2002) there is a component in the amp which overheats which needs to be fixed. To be honest, I've never felt highly comfortable playing a mid-2000s Marshall amp live because they tended to have mixed results. Since then however, it has improved. As with any tube amp playing live, a backup should be brought.


Customer Support Never had to deal with in most terms. I had to repair a JCM2000 at a local guitar shop before, but never directly went to the company.


Liked about it It has a good natural sound and many options to chose from. It is one of the few heads I can bring along and not depend on a huge pedal board. For playing live, it does everything you need and the sound it plentiful.


Didn't like I have been skeptical with Marshall's newer amps in terms of reliability -- especially tube amps. However, I have not purchased any of their newer products, so I cannot attest to them.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By DarrenD
May 21, 2010
 
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Pure unadulterated tone!!!!!!!!!!!! featured

Sound I play Ibanez and i have two other guitars a Fender strat and a Kramer Stagemaster Deluxe. I have to say that every guitar i own sounds great on this amp. I even had a friend who owned a $100.00 strat copy and this guitar sounded great on the T.S.L!! People may complain because the amp is pricey but i bought mine in 2001 and i grabbed a 1960A cab with it for $1953.00 after taxes, so i think i got a great deal. I see this head unit all the time and it's still almost 2grand!!!!! I use many different pick-up styles, I have EMG's In the Kramer and they sound great, i have Seymour Duncans in the strat and i cant complain about the tone on either guitar. This amplifier will make a lesser instrument sound like it's worth a lot more money!!! This was proven when my buddy plugged the hundred dollar piece of plywood into my amp and it sounded great.


Reliability I gig every weekend with this amplifier and i have never had one problem. I do not use a back up and if you buy this amp you won't need one either. I bought this amp in 2001 and the only thing i have had to do was change the pre-amp tubes, this is to be expected since i got 9 years out of the factory pre-amp tubes. When i had the tubes replaced my tech assured me that my power tubes had another 5 years on them!!! This might sound insane but my tech has also said my extended tube life is because i allow the amp 10 minutes to heat up and cool down before and after every time i use it.


Customer Support I have never had need to contact the company as i have mentioned this amp is rock solid.


Liked about it Where to start???? Great tone, awesome volume levels,the sound's that this amplifier is capable of reproducing are so incredible!!I like to call this amp my magic box because you can dial in any sound you want!!It does not matter what style you play this piece of equipment has something for everyone. I would also like to add that this amplifier is actually 120 watts not 100 read the book it says 120 watts at 5% T.H.D (Total harmonic distortion). One last thing, when i bought this amp i tried everything else including Soldano, Mesa Boogie, Fender, Peavey,Even the Van Halen, and the T.S.L destroys them all hands down!!


Didn't like The only thing i don't like is the footswitch, I think Marshall could have done a better job with this. Honestly this amp is awesome and i can't think of anything else that i don't like.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By rglover
Mar 27, 2010
 
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Versitile. With Tons of Tone featured

Sound A little background...I recently departed with my Mesa Triple Rectifier to get this. Personally, I couldn't have made a better choice. This amp has serious "soul" to the sound. In comparison to the Mesa, which has a sterile, brittle clean sound and almost too loose sounding distortion, this amp kills the afformentioned. Warm, full sounding clean channel (which sometimes is hard to find in a Marshall), with killer lead and crunch channels that can take you all through the gain spectrum from articulate, punchy type blues tones all the way to face melting gain. All while adhering to the legacy Marshall has left in the hearts of many. This piece, paired with the 1960 lead cab, re-creates a lot of now legendary sounds from it's heritage of JCM 800, Plexi, among others and some things all it's own. The added reverb is a nice touch too, which is another thing that Mesa could have done to help my previous amp out. It's sometimes a make or break deal with the little things.


Reliability From an intial standpoint everything works nicely as expected though I have seen situations where tube plate voltage goes nuts and starts drifting on its own due to bad resistors on the board, causing catastrophic failure, but the bug seemed to happen more on the DSL rather than the TSL. Either way, as with any tube amp, always have spare tubes and a fuse or 2 handy and if you notice the plates in your tubes turning RED (NOT ORANGE...as the heat element in a tube always glows orange), turn the amp off immediately and swap tubes as well as re-bias). Fair warning. Normal blueish purple, and orange colors in tubes are normal, just not BOLD RED. If it happens, don't re-use tubes. They are done and will only harm the board by leaving any of them in.


Customer Support Marshall seems to like feedback from all players and have been very helpful when I have talked to them in the past.


Liked about it The clean channel is absolutely a God-send in comparison to others which seem to just put a clean in the mix for the sake of it with no focus on how it really sounds. Independent reverb gives it a lot of depth too. Great, articulate, warm and slightly pushed (if wanted) sounds.
*Even though there are a ton of knobs, they are very user friendly in configuration. Minor tweeks bring out great nuances of tone that would be hidden in most other amps
* Faithfully re-creates many legendary tones as well as many of it's own. Very useful, creativity inspiring piece of equipment. I truly didn't realize what I was missing with this.


Didn't like FX Loop is not as versitile as other amps, which is fine for me as I don't necessarily need one, but others need them drastically, leaving this amp in the cold for those users.
*Tube plate voltage drift as well as motherboard failures in similar models


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By THE UNIVERSAL ON
Feb 09, 2010
 
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Great sounding Marshall, but glitches and design issues are plentiful featured

Sound My main guitars are a Gibson Les Paul with 490R/498T humbuckers, A Fender Eric Johnson Strat with EJ singlecoils, and an Ibanez RG550DX with Tone Zone and Air Norton humbuckers. My styles are metal, prog, and jazz. I am a huge fan of the Marshall flavor of distortion. Thick mids are what really get me going. I hate the scooped 'metal' guitar tone and much prefer a warmer distortion, even for metal. I felt it had plenty of gain on tap for metal. Soundwise, the TSL 100 hangs with most any Marshall flavored high gain head. I have owned a lot of amps and this one really surprised me. I originally bought it just to resell for profit, but I ended up keeping it for a while. All of the channels were usable and sounded quite good. It probably had the best clean channel I had ever heard on a master volume Marshall, which is a nice bonus. Most of the time it seems that Marshall just kinda throws on a clean channel that isn't especially inspiring to play, but they must have really spent some time dialing this one in. But the hot high gain channel was where it was at for me. Just searing Marshall distortion flowing from the amp. And, they did what they should have done a long time ago and added a deep switch to add some much needed low end. That is one of my other gripes with Marshalls in the past, a lack of a nice deep low end. So soundwise, everything was great. But, the really didn't do a good job with the FX loop, which was the make or break moment for this amp in my opinion. Whenever I engaged it, the amp would loose volume. I always have a delay in the loop, so this ruined the amp for me. I can't have an amp without an excellent FX loop. I did everything I could think of with the same results with regards to the loop. It is really to bad since it was a great sounding amp. Overall, I loved the sounds but the loop just didn't work for me.


Reliability This was the other reason I decided to sell the amp. The footswitch system was total crap. It got to a point where the footswitch started switching channels on its own, and that is unacceptable for what was once Marshall's top of the line amp. Sometimes it wouldn't even work with the footswitch and I had to unplug and replug it back into the amp. That put the nail in the coffin and made it totally un-giggable. The footswitch glitches are also well known and not just isolated to my amp.


Customer Support Never had to deal with them


Liked about it Awesome drive and distortion sounds
Great clean channel
Pretty versatile for a Marshall


Didn't like Loop unusable
Footswitch unsuable
Huge


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By Severinsteelsmit
Jan 03, 2010
 
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Great clean, dissapointing drive channels featured

Sound The flagship of the Marshall JCM 2000 range, the TSL 100 (Triple super lead, 100) amp offers quite a bit in the way of versatility but sadly falls short of being the perfect amp for metal.

The 100 Watt tube power amp packs quite a punch when put through a decently specced cab allowing the user to play through a half stack in quite large venues adequately without micing up the cab. The preamp section of the amp being powered by 4 EL-34 tubes produces a smooth over driven sound as you'd expect from a valve setup.

The amp offers three channels as suggested in the title, clean, crunch and lead.
Each channel has a separate EQ consisting of Bass / Middle / Treble controls as well as separate volume and gain controls which makes it quite versatile in dialling up any tone you may desire.

The clean channel is really quite good, the tones that are able to be generated are clear and potentially bright or warm depending on pick-up, with a mid scoop control on the channel should you desire a more recent nu-metal or down tuned sound.

The part of the amp for me that I feel lets me down a little is the over driven section of channels, this is where the DSL excelled but sadly, in my experience the TSL does not quite deliver as well. Where the DSL had two channels, a clean and a crunch - that could be nicely boosted for solos with an EQ pedal, the TSL delivers the option of rhythm crunch and lead tones on separate channels.

The problems I ran into were the crunch channel did not deliver quite enough gain for the style I was playing and did not give me the balls-out cutting impression delivered by the DSL in crunch mode. The lead channel of the amp didn't work too well for me either, the tones produced were too piercing and not quite of the tone I was looking for. Considering I play a lot of metal in the style of Iron Maiden I was hoping for a little more out of this amp.

The amp features a "deep" function that applies to all channels to affect the bottom end resonance. The amp also has built in reverb and presence controls for both over driven channels as well as a control for allowing how much of the built in FX loop to include in the mix per channel. This is especially useful for adding external effects to the lead channel such as a wah pedal or delay for solos.

The amp also has a couple of alternate outputs, a D.I. XLR output with acclaimed Marshall speaker emulation and a lineout function for recording. This allows a user to take an over driven cranked signal from the amp and record with a direct line out without causing the kit you're plugging into to pop.

The amp is no bad by any means, it just didn't entirely suit my personal tastes and tone.
To get the best out of this amp's brilliant clean channel I use a POD XT Live as a pre-amp effectively turning the setup into a tranny system of solid state preamp and valve power amp.
As a point of note I regularly use Ibanez Jem / Xiphos guitars through this amp, so generally high gain passive pickups.


Reliability Absolutely faultless as of yet, I've had the amp 4 years and it has never looked like letting me down. Fires up every time, no valves have yet gone micro phonic or failed and I've gigged the amp quite a lot.


Customer Support Never had to deal with Marshall directly so I can not comment.


Liked about it The clean channel is great, the flexibility and ability to shove loads of mids into the mix is also great as you gain that all import cut factor in being able to scream through the mix.
Liked the fact that a footswitch is included with the bundle instead of having to pay extra.
Liked the fact there is separate EQ controls + Gain for each channel, makes the amp quite versatile.


Didn't like Not so keen on the tonality and gain levels of the split crunch / lead channels. Feel the DSL handles crunch better for the money. Suggest like any amp head out there that you play it before buying, it may well suit what you're looking to produce down to the ground, it may well not quite cut it for what you want to play.

I think if you are looking at playing flat out heavy metal, look for an Engl, if you fancy playing something more old school like Iron Maiden go along and try both the TSL and the DSL.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By D1m3b4g2
Dec 08, 2009
 
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It's a Marshall a little hit and miss with these

Sound I am not going to talk to much here about sound. It is a JCM Marshall. So it sounds like a Marshall. It's 3 channels a "clean" which you can get to break up if you drive it hard enough and then crunch and lead. I got mine in 2002. I took it on the road cross Canada tour in 2003 half way through the tour heater fuses started going. It is a tube amp after all. It did make it through the rest of the tour and once back home took into a very good amp guy had it re tubed and biased and the thing sounded better then it did the day I bought it. More bit, more gain, the tubes ran hotter creating better over all sound. Make sure you only by the 100 watt head the 60 watt versions where gut less and really aren't worth it.


Reliability 50/50 it is a Marshall tube amp treat it nice and you won't have a problem. Put it in a flight case and take it on the road and let someone else handle it you might want a back up. 9 out of 10 times it will be fine there is a chance though that something could have got jumbled. So check your tubes and have spare heater fuses.


Customer Support Never dealt with Marshall


Liked about it 3 channel head
It's a Marshall
lot's of head room


Didn't like These are hit and miss like a lot of the tube amps marshall makes so make sure you play a few different ones they might all say JCM2000 TSL on them, but they won't all be the same. Trust me. Be sure to get it re-tubed and biased immediately after purchase to really get the full value out of this head.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.5

By cpallstar
Dec 25, 2010
 
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True Marshall with a bad wrap

Sound I'm used to playing saber guitars/rg's with this head, played through 2 4x12 cabs with gt-75s. This combo kicks you in the chest when you turn it up and angle the cabs towards you in the middle. I like to play with the gain almost all the way up on the lead channel. This amp sounds clear and has real Marshall tone. It doesn't seem to get muddy when you turn it up, it stays nice and clear. I think this does very well for metal as long as you're using the right pickups. I really like the AC/DC tones I get out of it.


Reliability Gigged with it for over a year and it never had any issues. Changed the tubes once in about 9 years? something like that. I've never had any issues out of the amp. Always works perfect.


Customer Support Never had to deal with them. Marshall is really great with getting back to me when i have serial number questions and stuff though.


Liked about it I like the real Marshally tones you get out of this head. I like the 3 channels and how good they all sound. The boost you get for leads on the lead channel is superb when going from the crunch. It's very liquidy


Didn't like I think it's a bit over priced when you buy it brand new. A lot of people say they're cheaply built, whether it's true or not I don't know, but it does however sound great to me. I don't really like the reverb on it, I've heard better.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By paintyoursky
Jun 01, 2010
 
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