My god, the difference a good cabinet makes...
Well, sicne the TSL's out of commission for this evening's gig, I borrowed a friend's DSL-401 for tonight. It has enough power to cut it on its own, so I wasn't sure I was going to bother to bring my Mesa 2x12 out tonight, so I was dialing in some tones through the amp's 1x12, and I wasn't digging the results- it was a bit buzzy, and kind of "farty" in the lower registers. I began really missing the TSL.
Just for kicks, though, I switched it to the 8 ohm mode and hooked up my 2x12, and turned it back on. My god... The lows were MUCH more prominant (i had to dial back the bass knobs a lot) and much better defined, the high end was quite a bit smoother, and the mids just SANG. Suddenly I went from a fairly uninspired marshall-y tone to something much thicker and richer and creamier, nearly as good as what my TSL could do (although, i think the 401 may have a bit more gain on tap, with it's gain boost circut). I don't know what it is, the cab construction, the number of speakers, or the Vintage 30's instead of the celestion/marshall speaker in there, but it was like night and day.
I knew cab's could make a difference in your tone, but I never knew it was THAT big a difference... I'm really glad I went for the Mesa cab instead of the marshall now.