Marshall DSL1CR Review

Marshall DSL1CR Review

Home is where some of the most inspiring musical ideas come to life, and what better way to practice your axe shredding than with the Marshall DSL1CR combo amp from the company’s DSL series.

If you’re unfamiliar with the DSL series, let’s just say that this lineup includes some of the industry’s most wide-acclaimed amps. The JCM900 of the ’90s was the king of the hill for most of the decade until it was succeeded by the JCM2000, which continued to carry the legacy of its predecessor.

The Marshall DSL1CR amp promises to deliver the iconic Marshall DSL series tone in a compact and portable package.

But how does this little combo actually hold up? That’s what we’re about to uncover in our full Marshall DSL1CR Review!

Marshall DSL1CR Review: At a Glance

For its size, the Marshall DSL1CR tube combo amp delivers outstanding sounds that will leave you impressed. For guitarists who like to practice at home, it won’t disappoint.


  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Clear sounds with decent loudness
  • Comes with a footswitch at no extra cost
  • Easy to move around
  • Outstanding overdrive
  • Has an EQ with a reverb knob


  • Not good for anything other than home practice sessions


At first glance, the Marshall DSL1CR looks like a small, retro suitcase. It’s wrapped in leather, which gives it a premium look and feel. The handle is wide and fits nicely in hand.

The gold-colored front panel, where all the controls are, is nothing short of impressive. Coupled with the big Marshall logo right below it, this combo amp will get you in the mood right away!


The Marshall DSL1CR flaunts a 2-channel amp setup with a push-pull configuration. A single watt of power is all you get with the Celestion G8C-15″ Eight-15″ speaker, and what a powerful watt it is.

The 0.1-watt power mode is where all the magic happens. Switching to this mode enables you to get even clearer tones at such low volume.

This bad boy will rock your room, period. For even better performance, consider placing the device on the same level as your ears. You don’t want it to be directing the sound to your feet.

Controls, Inputs, and Outputs

The Marshall DSL1CR has all the knobs you need to get up and running with your music.

As for the EQ, it’s super flexible, whether you decide to push the tone shift button or not. there are treble, bass, and middle knobs, making it easy for you to fine-tune your jams.

There’s also a reverb knob, which we highly appreciated. However, don’t expect anything fancy; it’s digital, but it does get the job done for practice purposes.

The ultra gain set features volume and gain knobs. On the other hand, the classic gain has only a volume knob.

It’s also worth noting that the speaker is connected to an o/p jack, allowing you to use a bigger extension gab.

Oh, and you can even plug the amp into a 16-ohm extension cabinet, so you can practice in larger rooms without compromising on loudness and clarity.

There’s also an effects loop with series and send/return options. Additionally, you have the option to plug in your headphones, thanks to the emulated-out port.


To our surprise, the Marshall DSL1CR comes with a footswitch. Why is it a surprise? Well, it’s pretty rare to find a compact combo amp that has a footswitch in the package, and at this price, it really is insane value.

The footswitch allows you to jump back and forth between presets effortlessly during your practice. No need to stop rocking to switch presets.

What’s more, you can effortlessly switch the gain channels and shuffle through them as much as you want. Whether you’re a conventionalist who prefers the good ol’ classic tones or you like to introduce some distortion to your notes, the Marshall DSL1CR has it all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Marshall DSL1CR Have a Distorted Sound?

Yes, you can produce tones with some distortion when you switch to the overdrive channel. However, it’s not that significant compared to larger amps, of course.

Can I Use the Marshall DSL1CR in My Apartment’s Bedroom Without Disturbing My Neighbors?

Yes, you definitely can! The Marshall DSL1CR has a 0.1-watt mode that lets you practice without making the neighbors call the police complaining about the noise. Even the 1-watt mode is OK in some cases.

Can I Use Marshall DSL1CR for Real Performances?

Well, you can, but that would be a bad idea considering the Marshall DSL1CR is designed for home use only. You can entertain a small group of friends or family at home, but don’t attempt to do anything beyond that with it.

What Is the Difference Between the Marshall DSL1C and DSL1CR Models?

The primary distinction between the Marshall DSL1C and the DSL1CR is the reverb knob in the latter. Another area where the DSL1CR has the upper edge over the DSL1C is that it’s capable of producing insanely clear tones that the DSL1C can’t replicate.

Also, Marshall changed the phase inverter from a tube to a transistor, which means that you have one less tube to replace when they start losing their charm.

Final Thoughts

To recap this Marshall DSL1CR review, it is undoubtedly a strong contender in the compact combo-amp category. Not only does it deliver excellent sounds, but it also comes with a free footswitch.

However, don’t bring up your expectations too high. This isn’t an amp that you can take on a stage. It’s not even intended for performing small gigs. So, if you need a more powerful and versatile amp, better look elsewhere. Nevertheless, for home practice, the Marshall DSL1CR leaves nothing to be desired. It’s also an excellent choice for touring guitarists who need something portable to practice with.

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