Marshall Amp with the best Clean tone? (our top pick)
Marshall DSl40CR or SV20H
In my experience, the clean tones on most Marshall amps (at least the tube amps) are similar. As far as your best option, I'd go with the DSL40CR. It's one of the best-value Marshall tube amps overall, with a very strong clean and high-gain tone. The Marshall SV20H would be my second choice. Both give you excellent value for what you pay.
Marshall amps aren't really noted for their clean tones, which are often overshadowed by the Slash and AC/DC distortion sounds. But Marshall cleans are somewhat unique, mirroring the brighter tone profile the brand is known for. Besides, a tube amp is still a tube amp. They rarely produce a bad clean signal which, even then, can mean different things depending on who you ask.
Don't overthink what is already a solid brand. You won't really find a "bad" Marshall tube amp.
Nevertheless, I'll put forward a couple Marshall amps that I believe are some of your best-value options overall, that also put out a beautiful clean tone.
Again, any Marshall tube amp should be able to give you high-quality cleans.
These are just my two subjective picks.
Take them with a grain of salt.
In fact, don't listen to me at all, just get whatever you want.
Compare to other Marshall amps
I've put together this comparison chart with a couple more Marshall amps. The two extras are just for comparison and are a lot more expensive than the first two we've highlighted above. That said, they're going to give you a very high quality clean tone.
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Compare More Amps
Search for more amps to add to our comparison bar that shows up at the bottom of this page. We have an expanding product database for easy gear comparing.
We focus on the most reputable brands in the industry, and those we're most familiar with. Moreover, guitar amps that we've used and tested first-hand get priority in our recommendations. We can give you better content by focusing on what we know and not secondhand speculation.
It's possible to make a good recommendation from secondhand info, and sometimes we do.
But in all cases, we know the market thoroughly, and aim for gear and/or brands that we're most familiar with.
We wouldn't be highlighting Marshall amps at all if we didn't trust the brand.
If you have questions about our methodology, feel free to get in touch.
Marshall DSL40CR Price Guide
This is a pricing table that focuses on the DSL40CR and the SV20H from multiple vendors. Note that it updates in real time.
Prices updated on Wed, June 07th, 2023.
How it Sounds
Bonedo opens his demo with clean tones in the DSL40, which you can hear putting out a ton of sparkle and briskness (if that's even a word). If you're looking for a brighter clean tone, this is it. Unless you want more warmth, like a Fender tube amp, this is going to be a really good fit.
Same deal with the SV20H - very bluesy.
Features we like
Both of these amps have an effects loops and line out/direct out.
If you need the two channels, the DSL40 has them, while the SV20H only has one. That's a strike against the SV20H, and the primary reason we're recommending the DSL40 first. If you don't care about the channel count, both have very good clean tones.
Also note that the SV20H does not have reverb, while the DSL40 does.
- Onboard reverb goes great with cleans
- Two channels will let you switch between cleans and high gain
- Lots of EQ options
- Onboard distortion is great
- Line out
- Tons of vintage and classic rock appeal
- Cleans sound very bluesy and respond well to picking dynamics
- Direct out
Are there other amps that are better for a clean tone?
As I mentioned, Fender amps are typically known for their clean tones, though most amplifier manufacturers have caught up in recent decades. I'd certainly recommend focusing on tube amps for clean tones, as opposed to solid state, perhaps with the exception of the Roland JC series.
Mesa Boogie is another brand that has impressed me with their clean sounds.
Their calling card is modern distortion, but I think their cleans get a bit overshadowed and are quite good.
Even with good recommendations, it's always important to think about the uniqueness of your situation. Consider your own skill level, budget, and the features that matter most to you.
Plus, at the end of the day, most of these amps are good.
As the Verge would say, "No really, they're fine."
Don't overthink it.
Drop questions in the comments section.
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