DSL15C Question - Clean Sound?

MrKenmore

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I've searched around quite a bit here in the forum but didn't come up with an answer. I'm really a bass player but wanted to have a guitar and amp to mess around with. So I picked up a used DSL15C as an amp. My first tube amp. Is there any way to get a clean sound out of this? Even on the green channel with the gain way down, the lows still come across distorted. The more bass tone present, the more the sound is distorted. Guitar is an Epiphone SG. The speaker is still the Celestion. Big tubes are Tung-Sol 1407 6V6 GT. Small tubes were tough to identify, ECC83 with red writing.

It's very possible I picked up the wrong amp for my needs. I went just for the guitar and the guy says, "How about this amp? I'm selling this too."

Something tells me this may not be the right amp. Music being played would be a variety. It definitely can sound good for metal and hard rock but anything light (or acoustic interludes in rock songs) is kinda not sounding good.
 

fitz

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I've searched around quite a bit here in the forum but didn't come up with an answer. I'm really a bass player but wanted to have a guitar and amp to mess around with. So I picked up a used DSL15C as an amp. My first tube amp. Is there any way to get a clean sound out of this? Even on the green channel with the gain way down, the lows still come across distorted. The more bass tone present, the more the sound is distorted. Guitar is an Epiphone SG. The speaker is still the Celestion. Big tubes are Tung-Sol 1407 6V6 GT. Small tubes were tough to identify, ECC83 with red writing.

It's very possible I picked up the wrong amp for my needs. I went just for the guitar and the guy says, "How about this amp? I'm selling this too."

Something tells me this may not be the right amp. Music being played would be a variety. It definitely can sound good for metal and hard rock but anything light (or acoustic interludes in rock songs) is kinda not sounding good.
:welcome:Welcome to the forum.
If you want more clean volume, there are lower gain tubes you can put in the smaller preamp tubes.
The one closest to the input jack is the first tube (V1) in the signal chain.
Putting in an ECC82 (12AU7) would lower the gain across both channels, but probably still give you some grind in the ultra channel with the gain knob cranked.
 

Seventh Son

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Since it has 6V6 power tubes, the cleans on the DSL15C are very nice, for a Marshall. However, they’re not clean clean. If you primarily play softer styles, I recommend choosing a different make of amp. A Fender would be my first choice. If you want a Marshall, the Marshalls with really good cleans are the 6100LM (especially the 5881 version) and the JVM410H, but those are big and expensive amps.
 

scozz

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Your using an SG doesn’t help much getting cleans from a Marshall, especially if it’s got Gibsons 490r and 498t pickups.

Do you have a guitar with single coils, or a guitar with vintage or low output humbuckers?

Those pickups would work better getting cleans in the Dsl15. If you’re looking for pristine cleans though, I think you’ve bought the wrong amp.

Welcome to the forum @MrKenmore ,…
 

Kinkless Tetrode

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It's very possible that the bias is way too hot, which will cause the cleans to suffer. The DSL15 has adjustable bias (tech stuff) and most came from the factory with the bias set very hot. Too cold of bias can also cause a grainy sound. Since this is your first tube amp I don't expect you to know how to make this adjustment your self. For this and safety reasons it best to have a tech check and the adjust bias.

I had a DSL15H and I found the clean too clean for my guitars and taste. I have vintage output pickups in my guitars, though. I eventually modded it to get some dirt on the green channel. It might be the speaker, since it was a head and I plugged it into separate speakers cabs, including 4x12s.

Does not using the deep switch and engaging the tone shift help?
 

MrKenmore

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Thank you for all the great advice. I agree a single coil guitar would assist in cleaning up the "dirty" clean channel. Humbuckers are not doing me any favors. I am open to changing a tube if that will clean it up a little. Like most other users, I have found the ULTRA GAIN to be way more than enough! 9 o'clock on the gain and you are good.

I tried playing around with the EQ and the deep switch/tone shift. I could definitely mess around some more. Definitely seemed the more full the tone, the more the slight distortion came through. For example, it was more on the neck pickup versus the bridge pickup.
 

Kinkless Tetrode

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There's a preamp tube that reduces the gain on the red channel without affecting the green channel. it's the ECC823 from JJ. You put it in the V1 slot. If you want to reduce the gain slightly on both channels then you can try a 5751 tube in the V1 slot or a 12AY7.

As far as power tubes go, they originally shipped with TAD 6V6s. If you replace the power tubes it will require a bias adjustment. With adjustable bias amps this must be done every time. Putting in 5881 tubes in the power slots are sometimes done to 6V6 amps, if there's enough range in the bias adjustment. These amps run 425 volts on the power tubes so you must be careful not to put in a old style 6V6.
 

Gene Ballzz

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I've searched around quite a bit here in the forum but didn't come up with an answer. I'm really a bass player but wanted to have a guitar and amp to mess around with. So I picked up a used DSL15C as an amp. My first tube amp. Is there any way to get a clean sound out of this? Even on the green channel with the gain way down, the lows still come across distorted. The more bass tone present, the more the sound is distorted. Guitar is an Epiphone SG. The speaker is still the Celestion. Big tubes are Tung-Sol 1407 6V6 GT. Small tubes were tough to identify, ECC83 with red writing.

It's very possible I picked up the wrong amp for my needs. I went just for the guitar and the guy says, "How about this amp? I'm selling this too."

Something tells me this may not be the right amp. Music being played would be a variety. It definitely can sound good for metal and hard rock but anything light (or acoustic interludes in rock songs) is kinda not sounding good.

This is surprising to hear. The many times I've used a DSL15, I found the the cleans on the Green to be truly stellar for a Marshall. Maybe you're trying for too much bottom end? It's not unusual to run the bass control kinda low and the mids fairly high and treble to taste. Maybe there is something amiss with the amp?
Just Thinkin'
Gene
 

scozz

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Thank you for all the great advice. I agree a single coil guitar would assist in cleaning up the "dirty" clean channel. Humbuckers are not doing me any favors. I am open to changing a tube if that will clean it up a little. Like most other users, I have found the ULTRA GAIN to be way more than enough! 9 o'clock on the gain and you are good.

I tried playing around with the EQ and the deep switch/tone shift. I could definitely mess around some more. Definitely seemed the more full the tone, the more the slight distortion came through. For example, it was more on the neck pickup versus the bridge pickup.
Yes, I find 9:00 is good for me in the red channel too, but the green channel is where I spend most of my time,…. when I’m using my Dsl.

You could also back off your guitars volume to clean it up a bit more.
 

nevermind

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You could also back off your guitars volume to clean it up a bit more.
Agree, with this and others who have said the same. Volume at 3 bridge and 4 neck, at most... I like to run both PUPs to get more depth/volume to the sound...
 

MrKenmore

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Great tips everyone. I will give it a try over the next couple of days. Thanks.

I may try the ECC823 tube swap.
 

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