Marshall DSL100HR VS JCM800 (comparison Short)
The Marshall JCM800 has a storied history and a ton of aggression, especially for what many consider a vintage style amplifier. But it's expensive, while the DSL100HR is a lot cheaper and provides some modern flexibility and amenities that are missing from the JCM. It all depends on your budget and how you feel about the differences in flexibility between the two amps.
- Price: The JCM800 is significantly more expensive
- Channel count: The JCM has 1 while the DSL has 2 with multiple variations
- Tone control and flexibility: The DSL has a lot more tonal flexibility than the JCM
The JCM800 has a long history, while the DSL series is a more recent offering from Marshall that has become a popular, lower-cost alternative. So the DSL series is attractive for the price, and for the modern features that give you more channels and more tone flexibility, as mentioned in the above bullet points.
Both have that clear, high-end Marshall clean tone and a fairly aggressive, modern high-gain profile.
Go with the JCM if you want the prestige and quality. Go with the DSL if you want the price and flexibility.
Read more: Best guitar amps overall
DSL100HR and JCM800 Comparison Table
Use this comparison table to look at basic specs and pricing for both amps. A more comprehensive spec list and price guide is available below.
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Audio Differences (demos)
The demo for the DSL100HR is more subtle and bluesy, with less focus on a metal tone than Ola Englund goes after. And while both amps are similar in style, the JCM800 is clearly the superior-sounding amplifier.
Detailed Spec Sheet
As mentioned earlier, the DSL has more bells and whistles, but lacks the regality and tone quality of the JCM800. For pure tone quality and a simpler control scheme, the JCM800 is the better option. All the relevant spec differences are listed here.
Number of channels
2 (with two modes each)
100W (50W power setting)
3-band EQ, Tone control
Classic and Ultra Reverb
1 x 1/4" (high sensitivity), 1 x 1/4" (low sensitivity)
1 x 1/4" (instrument), 1 x 1/8" (aux in)
2 x 1/4" (4/8/16 ohms)
2 x 1/4" (4 ohm), 2 x 1/4" (8 ohm), 1 x 1/4" (16 ohm), 1 x 1/4" (Softube emulated out)
Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble, Master, and Preamp
Master Volume (Master 1 and Master 2), Reverb (Ultra and Classic), Resonance, Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble, Ultra Gain (Volume and Gain), Classic Gain (Volume and Gain)
Full Price Guide
Prices updated Mon, September 25th, 2023.
The decision between these two amps is very simple. Start with what your budget allows. At the time of writing this piece, the JCM800 was over $2000 more than the DSL100HR, so you have to decide first whether or not that's something you can afford.
Then, it's a question of how you feel about the additional controls and features in the DSL100HR.
Keep in mind, the JCM800 is a pro-level, upper-tier amplifier.
The DSL100HR, while not at the same level, is a solid amp in its own right.
Questions and Comments
If you have questions about our DSL100HR and JCM800 comparison, feel free to reach out via the comments section below and we'll help out as much as possible.