A short while ago, I wrote a review of the Marshall DSL40CR Tube Combo amplifier. In this article, I’ll be discussing a few essentials I’ve added to it since that time…
The floorboard of my previous amp (a Line 6 Spider III) had a built-in Wah pedal, and at first I thought it wouldn’t be missed as I really didn’t utilize it all that much due to its somewhat less than impressive performance. After a playing around with this new Marshall for a while, that certainly needed to be re-visited.
Speaking with fellow guitarists and reading reviews of various Wahs, I finally settled on a Dunlop Cry Baby GCB95, also known as the “Cry Baby Original”. Considering this pedal was used at one time or another by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and David Gilmour, how could I possibly go wrong? As expected, it turned out to be a great choice.
Although there are many other variations of the Cry Baby available, in addition to its great performance this basic Wah is especially attractive given its modest asking price of only $90. Nonetheless, that doesn’t take a thing away from it…
- Built like a tank with a body constructed of powder coated die-cast steel.
- Entire top of pedal covered with rubber padding, along with large non-slip feet.
- Smooth feeling, totally silent operation. No squeaking here!
- Rugged true bypass switch, engaging/disengaging with a satisfying positive “click”.
- Most importantly, lush sound via a modern Italian-made Fasel inductor (revision “I”), which replaced the original “Black Core” inductor (revision “H” and earlier) back in 2004. Grazie molto, my Dunlop Paisans! 💯
Going by the book, it can be powered in two ways:
- A 9V battery, which reportedly will have a very long life provided you unplug both TS signal cables when not in use as it will still draw current if you neglect to do so. In my opinion, too easy to forget, and a pain in the ass to boot.
- The Dunlop ECB003 AC adapter.
Obviously, if you run a pedalboard there’s a third option that costs zip. Simply use your existing power supply, provided it has a 9V center-negative connection available. It draws a ridiculously small amount of current (less than 1mA), and in my case plugging it into a 100mA port worked out dandy. That’s not to mention the last thing I need are more wall-warts, and the cost of 9V batteries can severely cut into your beer allowance.
Important Note: Normally, there should be no worries about connecting pedals to power supplies which provide more current than required, as they will draw only the amount they need. But, never forget that voltage and polarity are key, or the pedal and/or power supply will almost certainly sustain permanent damage if these don’t match, exactly. If unsure, consult your pedal’s manual to be on the safe side.
Next, since I disliked the sound of the DSL40CR‘s “emulated” output jack, I was off to seek a quality yet affordable cabinet microphone.
I’d never dream of gigging or recording a Marshall any other way in the first place. The last thing you’d want to lose is the great, natural tone pumping out of that Celestion G-12 speaker!
Initially, I was seriously considering picking up another Shure SM57, which I’m currently using on my snare drum batter head. It’s a real workhorse of a microphone, that can be used for just about any purpose. Visit any professional recording studio, and I guarantee you’re bound to find more than a few of them.
However, after further consideration, what I really wanted was a unit whose primary purpose was to mic guitar cabinets.
That said, enter the Sennheiser e609 Silver… Another industry standard.
Like other Sennheiser microphones, it has some truly amazing specs:
- Frequency Response: 40-18,000 Hz.
- Capable of withstanding greater than 150 dB SPL, with full fidelity. That’s roughly the equivalent of a jet plane taking off!
- Super-cardioid pick-up pattern provides isolation from other nearby signals.
- Its “lollipop” shape is totally unobtrusive.
- Metal construction.
- Zippered storage bag and custom clip, standard USA threads along with a European adapter.
- Designed and manufactured in Germany, including a 10 year warranty.
All this, for a mere $100… An unbelievably low price for such an excellent quality piece of music gear.
Actually, you really don’t even need a stand to use it, as most guitarists simply hang it from the top of the cabinet directly over the speaker. I do prefer using a stand though, to keep everything out of the way of the amp’s front control panel.
Incidentally, I’ve also got a Sennheiser e902 stuck into into the resonant port my kick drum.
It picks up both punch and beater click far better than anything else I’ve tried, making it yet another great purchase decision. Hell, I’m not even using my sub-kick mic anymore… In the end, I finally decided there’s absolutely no need for it.
If you’re looking for great microphones for any purpose, be sure to check out their entire line. You can rest assured knowing you’re getting some of the best equipment in the business when it bears this famous logo…
Well, that about taps out my meager bank account out for now, although there is one final item on my list…
The PEDL-90012 two-way latching footswitch that’s included with the amp is actually fine for my purposes at the moment, but it only accommodates switching between the two main channels and enabling/disabling the effects loop.
This is a much more attractive option: The PEDL-91016 six-way footswitch.
It allows switching between both channels in either of their modes (Clean/Crunch, OD1/OD2), Master Volume 1/2, and the FX Loop using dedicated momentary contact switches, along with active LED indicators for each. It is a bit pricey at $150, but I’m sure worth every penny.
So, that’s going to need to wait a while, but it’s most definitely the next item in line on my Marshall bucket list. As you’ve already seen, it’s also going to make my effects rig even more insane than it already is, but you have to know that I just fucking love it.
Finally, as my wife is fond of saying:
“Are you ever going to be done spending money on your little hobby?”.
“Little hobby” my ass, music is my life! And so, my dearest love…
Hmm, a slightly evil thought: That six-way footswitch… I’ll betcha I could probably get at least $150 for her car. 🤔