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Marshall TSL 602 2 x 12 Valve Combo Amplifier

An all-valve 2 x 12 combo offering from Marshall that reads impressively but comes up short.

Price: $6 to $1040 at 5 stores
Searched Marshall TSL 602 2 x 12 Valve Combo Amplifier in Reviews


My first-ever Marshall disappointment... featured

Sound I purchased this amp the same week I purchased my DSL401 1x12 combo so I had a great basis for comparison. The TSL602 is a 2x12 combo with 4 ECC83 preamp valves and 2 EL34 power valves. The speakers are custom "Wolverine" speakers that to my ears needed to be replaced due to overall flat tone. I tried replacing the preamp valves with both Ruby Select tubes and Mullard reissues. Nothing helped the tone of this amp. Even using a 4 x 12 extension cab with 2 x Vintage 30 and 2 x GT12-75 drivers the tone just didn't stand up. Plugging the DSL401 into the same cab yielded brilliant, complex, sweet overdrive... classic Marshall. Even on its own the DSL401 tone destroyed the TSL60. I don't know if it was the difference between the power valves (4 x EL84 vs. 2 x EL34) or the speaker complement, or just that this is a poorly-designed amp, but I just couldn't get a useable tone out of it. The other thing that I found audacious is that the DSL is represented as a 2-channel amp (Clean and Overdrive) with a second, boosted overdrive that is a simple +20db boost on the OD1 channel. The TSL is represented as a three-channel amp. I don't really see where calling the +20db boost a third channel magically transforms it, even if you add an independent gain or reverb control. Everything about this amp was just flat, even with pedals, external EQ, etc. I eventually sold this amp and kept the DSL401 which still produces brilliant tones to this day.

Reliability The TSL seemed a little unstable compared to the DSL. The footswitch was jittery and due to the tone of the speakers I couldn't tell if they were blown or just sounded poorly. I wouldn't gig this amp at all.

Customer Support I've dealt with Marshall customer support with other products and they've always been wonderfully helpful.

Liked about it Marshall all-valve 2 x 12
Footswitchable effects loop.
Included footswitch.

Didn't like Wolverine speakers???
"Third Channel" seems no different than OD2 on the DSL
No useable tones.

Overall satisfaction:

By racerevlon
Jan 03, 2010
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The Modern Marshall

Sound Now, if any of you have read my reviews before, you'll know how i feel about Stacks. For those of you that Have not read many of my reviews; well, Stacks are probably the most outdated concept in the industry. You probably just gasped and well, rightly so but here's why:

Stacks were pioneered back in the early 60s, where because PA's were not that good so nobody ever put guitar amps through. So they had to be LOUD especially if you playing huge arenas and ballrooms, however in 2010 (And obviously many years before!) PA's are fantastic so you can put anything and everything through them, giving the sound-man a better control and making you/your band sound much better!

And if you thinking, "Well, i can still use my 15watt head with a 2x12 cab and you can mic that because it wont be that loud!" Well whats the point of bringing two thing when you can get a combo and take one item! However, if you use a combo then sit it on top of a cab, i suppose I'll let that slide...

Anyway, that rant pretty much explains why this Marshall is so good! It WILL give you that marshall crunch and lead tones in a smaller, manageable package! hell when i had one of these i could take it on the train!

Ive used it with many Ibanez (H-S-S and H-S-H) and fenders and even a few hollow bodies and it sounds great, regardless heres some more detail:

The two lead channels are fantastic, one with crunch, and one with MORE crunch and it works just great. All tones very usable, you can even roll it down and use it for fusion, blues and things such as that!

The Clean channel, is alright. Its not a fender clean, but its quite clean. Good for jazz, blues, indie and just about anything clean, and breaks up nicely too

Reliability Very reliable, its about 10 years old and the only thing thats gone is the foot switch, which is a little disappointing but still, its alright.

Customer Support Great, plus i hear you can take your Marshall round to their factory and they'll give it a service for free!

Liked about it Great Marshall sounds without the Stack
Kind of versatile
The footswitch is good, especially with the FX loop on and Off, really handy.
Cool Marshall looks
It came with a leather cover, not like the rubbish raincoat like cover you get on most amps.
The Emulated out is great!
Price was pretty good too (But i live in the UK so for you lot over the pond i imagine its a little more)

Didn't like Clean channels headroom is not that good
It did not come with built in wheels so i fitted some myself
The tone is strictly Marshall. Tone wizards will be able to tell its a Marshall instantly.
Whilst the overdrives are good, if your After that Super tight distortions (Like a Mesa or Diezel)

All in all, this amp is for people who want classic Marshall tones without the stack. And those that do want a Marshall stack should be stopped, and pointed towards this amp. Great for heavy blues,Jazz,indie, fusion, all rock, Metal (But not that super tight distortion)

Not that great if you want a NON Marshall sound, or a great clean sound or a really really tight distortion this amp is not for you
This amp is a 4.5 if you want a Marshall sound (Speakers might need a look at) but if you dont want Marshall sound, stay well clear of this and any Marshall

Yours stacklessly,
Big The Cat

Overall satisfaction:

By Big The Cat
Dec 19, 2010
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Price: $6 to $1040
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