DSL20 CR and HR headphone/line-out level only adjustable via gain knob?


Quite a few people on various forums are concerned about the emulated out of our DSL20H and DSLCR amps. It seems that there is a set level for the emulated line out and headphones which can only be adjusted with either the guitar volume knob of gain channel knob. The channel volume does nothing to the line out/headphones only to the speaker output.

Is this normal behaviour? Where the gain knobs are the only controls on the amp that increases the loudness of headphone/line out. 

asked 28 Oct 2018 at 01:25 AM

Adrian Tysoe (5)
I too am experiencing this. I bought a used DSL20CR amp off Reverb, and the volume on my headphones can only be controlled by adjusting the gain.

I'm scratching my head at the answer below about comparing the level of the output compared to the level of the line out?

What I, and I'm sure many others are trying to achieve is getting the tone generated by the preamp tubes + power tubes into our headphones.

In other words, re route the signal from the cab speaker into the headphones line out... is this possible?

If not, how can we make it so?
- Jared Gonzalez 16 Apr 2020 at 05:26 PM
Hi Jared, if you see my comment below, unfortunately the amp you have is broken. There were numerous units that were sent out from the factory with this defect. It affects the headphone out and also the effects loop. I don't know if Marshall will cover it under warranty since you bought it used but in my opinion they should because they know the amp was sent out from the factory with this defect. I had to return THREE brand new ones that all had this defect. The fourth one I received was finally working right. Good luck and I hope Marshall does the right thing for you. - Guitarman 3001 16 Apr 2020 at 05:48 PM
Ah, wow. I had no idea.... Okay thank you. I will contact Marshall and see if there is anything they can do- Cheers! - Jared Gonzalez 16 Apr 2020 at 05:52 PM
Hi Jared,

Thank you for your comments, this is normal there is no update for this, please contact us on servicedesk@marshall.com , if you need anymore information.


Marshall Support
- Marshall 20 Apr 2020 at 01:14 PM
There have been numerous reports that at some point, the amps that were being produced stopped acting in this way. I.e., people who own DSL20s have said that on their newer DSL20s, the channel volume controls DO affect that volume of the headphone/emulated out, as would be a much more typical setup. Are you saying those reports are not accurate? Here are some links to posts in which people said either that they had their amps serviced under warranty to fix the problem of channel volume controls not affecting the level of the emulated out or that their more recently-produced new amps didn't have the problem in the first place. It sure seems that at this point, for some people, both the gain AND volume controls affect the level of the headphone/emulated out:






Also, here are some links to posts in which people note how strange and unhelpful not having the volume controls affect the level of the emulated out is:



Given all of this conflicting information, what's the deal exactly? It seems like Marshall had addressed this issue under warranty for some DSL owners, but is telling other DSL owners that it's not an issue at all.
- M Gear 21 Apr 2020 at 01:22 PM
Checking back in to confirm that there is a fix for this problem available from the US service center for my pre owned DSL20CR, free of charge and covered by warranty.

Hope this helps everyone involved, including the Marshall support that responds to these threads for better accuracy on this issue-
- Jared Gonzalez 21 Apr 2020 at 03:32 PM
Hi Jared, just curious, who finally gave you the correct information? It's really mind-boggling that even a year and a half later, Marshall is still continuing to give people incorrect information and their reps are trying to fool people into believing that their broken amps are perfectly fine and nothing is wrong with them. I don't know if they're deliberately doing this or if they just have no clue about anything but this is just one reason why I can't see myself ever buying another Marshall amp again. I've sold all of mine and although they do sound great, at this point I want nothing to do with a company that either lies to its customers or is so incompetent that they don't know anything about their own amps. Their support is absolutely horrible. - Guitarman 3001 21 Apr 2020 at 04:11 PM
I live in the US, it is the main service center for Marshall here (marshall.service@usmusiccorp.com). Very helpful. Glad I contacted them. They seemed to be aware of the issue and offered the update, no questions asked. Closed until June 1 because of covid, unfortunately.

However other than them, any local Marshall service center can perform the update, provided they are open; they would need to coordinate with the main US center (mentioned above) for info about the update and for approval; https://marshall.com/recommended-retailers (filter results by 'service center').

It really doesn't make any sense for the volume knob not to work with the line out. That would be a major design flaw and engineering oversight; knowing full well everyone who owns this amp will attempt to dial in the perfect tone with gain + volume whilst using headphones-

Anyway, very positive experience with US Music Corp, and if you are stateside perhaps this will restore your faith in Marshall products again? Too bad the Marshall support on this forum is misinformed about this issue; sadly does not bode well for them...these pieces cost a good amount of $$$ and proper support is crucial. Could be a detriment to potential brand loyalists =(
- Jared Gonzalez 21 Apr 2020 at 04:33 PM
Glad to hear they're going to take care of it for you. I'm really surprised that after a year and a half, the Marshall reps on this forum are still giving people the wrong information. Especially when several people on this thread have corrected them and provided them with the accurate information. I honestly have very little faith in Marshall products. I've had several over the years and every single one has had a problem.

My original DSL40C took three tries to get one that worked properly out of the box. And right after the warranty ran out, that one started acting up too.

The first production run of Origins had a problem where even though they came with two speaker outputs, if you tried connecting two speaker cabs, one of the outputs would short out.

Then the headphone out/effects loop problem with the DSL20s. Like I mentioned, it took four tries to get one that finally worked right. And as you saw on this thread, Marshall tried to tell me there was nothing wrong with them. And a year and a half later they're still denying the problem.

It's just one problem after another with Marshalls. Add to that the fact that Marshall reps will try to tell you there's nothing wrong with their broken amps and that pretty much shuts the door for me. No more Marshalls! Fortunately there are plenty of companies that make amps that sound just as good and are much more reliable and that offer much better support. I've since added a couple of those to my collection (Friedman and BluGuitar. Blackstar too).
- Guitarman 3001 21 Apr 2020 at 04:44 PM
Answers: 3




There is an update for this, if your amplifier requires it please contact your nearest service center.


Kind Regards

Marshall Support

answered 22 Apr 2020 at 07:43 AM



Hello Adrian,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your question, this is normal so you can adjust the level of the output compared to the level of the line out.


Kind Regards

Marshall Support

answered 29 Oct 2018 at 01:49 PM

This answer makes no sense.

Kind regards.
- M Gear 10 Nov 2018 at 01:11 PM


Of course the volume/presence/resonance will not work with the line out. Whoever is saying they "fixed" this is lying or confused. 

The emulated out is after the preamp, while the volume/presence/resonance are power amp controls, so of course they don't work. If you're trying to use headphones, you should plug the emulated out into a mixer, headphone amp or audio interface, and use your volume controls there. 

answered 15 Aug 2020 at 07:24 PM

Ryan McDougall (1)
Hey Ryan, I can assure you that neither I or the Marshall rep who finally acknowledged the problem here are confused or lying.

The headphone out is exactly that, a headphone out. It does not require running into a board. But, you can definitely run it into a board if you want to use it as a direct out into a PA.

Bottom line, if you have a DSL20 and the volume does not work through the headphone jack, your DSL20 is broken. The fix for this also addressed an issue with the effects loop.

As I previously mentioned, I went through several DSL20s until I finally got one that worked. And once I got the one that worked, the headphone jack worked as it is supposed to.

I'm really not sure what you're confused about but I can assure you 100% that you are wrong. If the volume control doesn't work through the headphone jack, your amp is broken.
- Guitarman 3001 15 Aug 2020 at 08:07 PM
Whatever you want to call it, it's a 1/8" jack, a size that is generally used for headphones although it's labeled emulated out. But whatever, it works the way I explained it. If you're not able to control the volume through it by using the amp's volume knob, I can assure you with 100% certainty that it is broken. The first production run, and maybe more, all had the problem. They've since fixed it on newer production runs. And like I said, the same fix also takes care of the problem with the effects loop.

When I had my DSL20 I used an adapter to run it into the PA. It worked great once I had one that wasn't broken.
- Guitarman 3001 15 Aug 2020 at 09:31 PM
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