Thoughts on a Marshall JCM-2000 TSL?

I guess this isn’t a ‘hey I need advice’, as wanting to hear some of your guy’s (and gal’s) experience.

I recently had a chance to noodle around on one of these. I played one growing up as a kid, and had forgotten how much I still love the way this things sounds. Most of my friends used these for high gain stuff, but I loved the clear warm powerful huge crunch that only this JCM2000 will give you when you roll your volume back and ride a sweet spot just before it starts to break up.

Fast forward 12 years, and I’ve found many amps that are arguably ‘better’, but this thing has a particular thickness to it that I can’t get out of any of my other amps, which is crazy because I think I’m up to about 12 of these dumb things.

For the last 7 or 8 years, I’ve only really liked the Bluesbreaker and the Silver Jubilee in the Marshall line. But playing this recently, I’d forgotten how much I missed it. I thought about buying the one in the pawn shop I played it at, but it was priced almost double what it should be.

I don’t like the DSL, I don’t like the TSL60, and I don’t like the combos. If the DSL works better for you, that’s like…totally legit. But for me, it has to be a TSL 100!!! lol.

I have a dsl but never played a tsl, how does the tsl sound different? I figured they would at least be pretty similar, except for the tsl having more flexibility with the separate eqs and what not. I guess I dont really have anything to add having not played one, but I love my dsl!

The DSL (to my ears anyway) is reminds me of a suped up JCM800. Its clear, focused, and a little more refined than the TSL. More pure and organic as some would say. Basically what I think the means, is the tone circuit is a closer descendant of the JCM800.

So what happened is people were modding the hell out of Plexi’s to get more gain. Marshall made the JCM800 with also addressed the master volume problem. People cried out for more gain, modded the 800’s, or quit buying Marshall amps. So Marshall ramped up the gain and made the JCM900 to compete with Mesa Boogie. People still cried out for more gain lol. Finally Marshall made the JCM2000 DSL (2 channel), then later, the TSL 3 channel, and that pretty much shut people up.

I seem to be in the minority of people that prefer the TSL, and sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person on planet earth that uses it mainly with mild gain settings. The 100w version over the 60, as they sound different to me. The same way running my Mesa 295 in 5 watt mode sounds really different than running it in 100w mode.

They’re not as similar as the Dual rec is to the Triple rec, or Dr. Z Maz Jr. is to the Maz Sr. Its more like how the 6505/6505+ is to the 5150.

I probably shouldn’t have said I don’t like the DSL. Because thinking about it more, I do. What I meant was that if you buy one for the sole purpose of thick messy lush chunks of 90’s era pop-rock style rhythm guitar chords, the TSL does that one thing a little better than the DSL.

For what I feel the DSL does extremely well, I think the Budda and Peavey also do really well. I can’t say either of the 3 better than the other, just a little different. And all 3 gain up really nicely.

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Shit dude. youtube is rife with shitty demos of this amp. I had to hunt. This is screwball probably did one of the cleaner ones I could find. If you wanna throw a camera on yours and post it, I’d love to hear what yours sounds like :smiley:

This one (below) is pretty clean but I don’t feel it represents what this amp is capable of.

Here’s a really good one. This is a pair of DSL’s at their best! Start watching at 5 min! You’ll get a kick out of that Makita drill he uses as a pick!!!

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What is up with that first guy Lol? Good videos, maybe I’ll record mine and put it up, but I don’t play half as good as those guys so it would be just another bad demo of a good amp lol.

Dude lol…your guess is as good as mine. I do like the Orange tolex on that cab though :smiley:

All good man :smiley: lol…no worries!

Ha, that sounds like a comment straight off one of those guitar/amp gearhead forums. :grin:

Hey, they wanted “more cowbell” too. :slightly_smiling_face:

I think he ripped that off straight from Van Halen’s “Poundcake”. Not with the picks attached, just the drill on the strings.

I use a DSL, it’s a DSL 401 combo, and it’s just fine for what I need. You don’t really need a ‘stack’ for studio recording, though it can work. Those are great for playing live, but I have an Egnater 2x12 that I can run out to for more volume and power if need be which generates more loudness than the combo speaker. I keep to a fairly basic AC/DC or Def Leppard tone, so I don’t need lots of options. I can use amp sims for other stuff if need be. I don’t even use the Clean channel on the Marshall much, and when I do its probably got the OCD pedal in front of it as an alternate but still crunchy channel.

I don’t know how the circuitry varies between the models, but my combo uses EL84’s rather than the EL34’s the big boy heads use. That probably accounts for some of the tonal changes.

I’ve owned an 800, a 900, a 2000DSL 50 watt and a 2000TSL 60 watt. Probably my favourite tone was the DSL (Green Channel).

I found the TSL to have more gain, but it seemed less “dimensional” (to use a subjective, hand-wave-y term). One thing I hated about the TSL was the parallel FX loop. I didn’t end up keeping it long.

One thing I would recommend is experimenting with different speakers - I never liked the GT75s that came standard with the JCM series - 25s are where it’s at for my taste.


My DSL 401 came with a Celestion Goldback 100W. I have read various opinions on it, mostly critical and non-flattering, but one guy did a shootout before and after, replacing the Goldback with a Vintage 30. I have to say I liked the Goldback better, darker and thicker, in his audio shootout. Based on that I don’t think I’d want a Vintage 30. I had always thought my Goldback was a bit on the bright side, which is why when I want darker I send it to the Egnater cab. The closed-back cab seems to do low end really well and not pronounce the highs a lot. I don’t know that I could use a Greenback in the combo amp, as the power is 40 watts RMS.

The Egnater cab has an interesting feature, in that the speakers are called Elite 80, which is supposed to be an Egnater private label of a Celestion Classic Lead 80. Bruce Egnater talked about it on some forum years ago.

The Egnater Elite 80 is a Classic Lead 80 that is private labeled for us. They did some sort of tweak to the low end that makes it ever so slightly fuller in a small cabinet. Honestly, I don’t know if anyone could really tell the difference between the Egnater and the CL80 except maybe in a blind A/B test. I would consider them interchangeable. FYI, this speaker excels over other speakers in the smaller cabinets (open or closed back) for a much fuller/tighter low end, smoother high end and tons less cone break up (farting). How loud you play has a tremendous effect on how a speaker responds. A V30 can sound brighter, clearer at low volumes but does tend to get a little abrasive in the high end and definitely breaks up easier than the 80 at higher volume.


Yeah, I haven’t tried V30s, but going by the tonality of the cab sims I’ve had the opportunity to compare in my DAW, I think I would probably still choose the 25 Greenbacks in real life. That said, It really depends on the interraction of all the elements in the signal chain.

I think those subjective hand-wave-y terms are about all we have to work with when describing an amp. You can’t just say its hyped at 1k like a microphone. Well, you can, but it doesn’t do much to describe anything other than the settings on the front panel. It doesn’t really describe what you hear when you actually play it.

I hear ya there. I happen to like the GT75’s in the 1960a cab (authentic british version). But I don’t have a Marshall to play through it at the moment lol.

GT75’s compliment V30’s really well as a supplemental in some cases. But the Vox, Dr Z, /13, and Morgan are like… allergic to that 1960a cab. Doesn’t work well at all. The Badcat Hotcat and Budda Superdrive play well with both. I think just about everything sounds amazing through a good greenback though. The Matchless is a whole different story. Those insist on having a Greenback, Blue, Gold, or Alnico Cream. Take a quick listen to these and you’ll see why…Matchless amps need a shiny clear speaker, or a messy one with an open ‘dimensional’ upper range.