So I've had one of these new range DSL20 combo's for a couple of weeks now, the main reason for buying is due to not wanting to pull a load of heavy gear around anymore
I've gotta say it's a very very good piece of kit, it has all the gain on the "ultra" channel that I need, so just requires running a delay & eq pedal for solo boost in the loop which it does really well
The main problem with the older DSL's were that the gain got a bit too fizzy when it was wound up, this has been addressed very well, it still sounds a little fizzy at low bedroom volumes but once you crank it up then this disappears leaving you with a lovely Marshall growl a la the old 80's JCM800 type
As to does it hold it's own in a band environment with it only being 20watts..........hell yeah, we have one of the loudest drummers I've ever played with & it copes admireably, admittedly it's wound up to somewhere around 7/8 on the volume level but that just means you're getting those valves cooking & producing their best tone, it has 3 x 12ax7's in the preamp & 2 x EL34's in the power section
It also has a good range of eq, the usual Treble, Middle, Bass, Presence along with resonance & it has a tone shift button which changes the overall voicing from a traditional Marshall tone to a more modern slightly scooped mids Hi Gain tone which to me sounds a bit thin, the full on Marshall tone is where this little amp shines
The classic gain channel is also well useable as either a clean channel with minimal gain dialled in all the way up to just about break up when the gain is wound fully to 10, put a tube screamer in front & you'll get a pretty good blues/70's rock tone, only drawback is it doesn't have it's own eq but simply shares with the "ultra" gain channel so does need a little tweak here & there.
There is also an onboard studio quality digital reverb which is very useable, you need to wind it up to around 7 for it to impact on the sound but it does sound real nice.
It also has a half power mode (10 watt) which looses none of your tone, it works by cutting voltage to the power section so your dialled in tone stays exactly the same, prety useful for home practice or studio useage
The only let down is the crappy Celestion 70/80 speaker, I've swapped that out for a Vintage 30 & that is a vast improvement
All in all I'm well happy with it, it's exceeded my expectation & will now become my main gigging amp, no more heavy lifting with a seperate head & 2x12 cab