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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jakedog, May 13, 2020.
Would appreciate a good (fair) review of that amp...IF you have the time.
You know you’ll get one!
Congrats on the NAD and happy birthday!
would love to hear how it sounds especially with a mustang. Considering buying an origin myself
tubes!?!? good for you! happy birthday and enjoy.ya' got a good cfo.
Enjoy the amp. I've been looking at one too lately, it does seem an excellent Marshall for cleanish/breakup/low drive sounds. Undecided though between head and combo, although the combo does seem more practical for gigging.
Yeah after decades of nothing but tubes, I spent the last three years gigging nothing but my SS DV Mark. To the point that I sold off all my Marshalls and other amps. I’ll still be gigging the DV. I don’t even know that the Marshall will be giggable for me without mic’ing. But I decided it’s just silly not to have a Marshall in the house.
If I figure out how to do some video, you’ll have to keep in mind that my Mustang really doesn’t sound anything like a typical Mustang.
Congrats! Would love to hear your thoughts on it, especially given your experience with Marshalls. It would fill a nice gap for me in tone and size, and at a really attractive price point to boot.
It’s here!!! Just spent about an hour trying it out.
1. Every amp on earth sounds like garbage in my house. Every one. My power is so bad... imagine the greatest amp you’ve ever heard. Now imagine it sounds nothing like that. That’s every amp ever, in my house. Like, if you brought your favorite amp to my house and plugged it in, you’d think it was broken.
Which is why I’m seriously impressed that this one actually sounds pretty good in here. Which means when I get it out in the real world it’s probably going to sound absolutely amazing.
2. “Does it do the early Marshall thing?”
Yes. It very much does. It has a definite JTM vibe going on. Big time. If you’ve ever heard one or played one, you know what it sounds like.
3. “how does the power scaling work?”
Extremely well. I don’t see myself ever using it, cause I’m a live guy, not a home player. And it sure doesn’t have enough juice on the mid or low setting to do that with a band. I suppose I *could* use it if I were to do a duo acoustic set with a singer/songwriter or something.
I could see it being very beneficial to living room/bedroom players. The amp still sounds great, and you can get plenty of edge of breakup to medium gain crunch. At very quiet levels. At the half watt setting a solid body guitar unplugged is louder if you’re playing boisterously. You won’t wake the baby. Unless it’s a demon child truly bent on ruining your life...
4. “Can you gig it?”
Eh... time will tell. Won’t know til I get it out in the real world. I will go ahead and postulate that if you require totally clean clean sounds, then no. Yeah, in an acoustic based ensemble, but not in a full electric band. Not even one with sensible stage volume. It’s just not there. The headroom I mean.
You can get very good, slightly broken up sounds. It would probably satisfy most people. But if you want big fat band volume squeaky cleans, look elsewhere. This ain’t that. Even at small pub gig volumes you’re going have light breakup. If you’re going for crunch, hot damn does this puppy have it.
Everybody’s idea of “low gain” is different. I can tell you this amp is capable of more gain than I ever use on my OD pedal. Ever. That said, I don’t use much gain at all. But this sucker will crunch like crazy for me.
Overall volume? I would not call this a loud amp. I had a 22 watt Splawn 1x12 combo that was at least twice as loud as this and had much more headroom. Something like an 18 watt Dr.Z is FAR louder. This amp sits in a good spot for natural breakup, though. Even at full power and cranked, it’s not gonna blow your house down or be impossible to be on the room with. It’s very sensible. Is it loud? Hell yeah, it’s loud. But it’s not stupid by any means.
5. “is it dynamic?”
Yes. It has a very acceptable level of touch sensitivity and of cleanup/get dirty with volume knob and pick attack. It responds totally different with each of my guitars. I demo’d it with my Mustang (singles), my D’Angelico (335 style with dark humbuckers), and my ESP (neck thru S style with medium output DiMarzio HBs with lots of clarity) and all the guitars sound vastly different. The amp definitely does a good job of showcasing the character of the different instruments.
6. “Is it super bright?”
It certainly can be. The Tilt control, presence, and treble are all highly effective. I don’t think anybody is going to say it doesn’t have enough top end. But as I said, those controls are highly effective. As are the mid and bass. It doesn’t have to be overly bright at all.
Speaking of bass, this amp has a metric butt ton of bass. Holy low end. Never expected this much low end out of an open backed 1x10. That’s just crazy. But like said, the controls work well.
This is NOT a modern Marshall. If you’re looking for anything from JCM800 to present, buy something else. It doesn’t do what modern Marshalls do, clean or dirty. This is very much in the JTM ballpark. And not the 90’s grey JTM. The 60’s JTM.
I don’t see myself using the boost function. When I get the amp the way I like it to really sound, for me, stepping on the boost puts the bass response into muddy un-useable territory. Bummer, but I have a clean boost in my rig.
Low headroom. I’ll probably keep this, but might get a 50 as well. I’d really like to have bigger and louder cleans on tap for my typical gigging purposes. Of course, I have an amp that does that... maybe I’ll just get an efficient 2x12 and see how much difference that makes. Of course, that ruins the portability factor.
Overall I’d say it’s a dandy little amp. Definitely worth the $450 I paid for the Sweetwater “demo” model. Which came in mint condition with all of its factory stuff, box and warranty. Being a Marshall guy anyhow, it’s a much better investment to me than something like a blues JR, and sounds WAY better to me with single coils than my AC15C1 did, even after mods.
I think if you’re a home player, or looking for a small gig amp that doesn’t require a lot of clean headroom, and you’re looking for that JTM vibe on a budget... well you could do a whole lot worse. A whole lot.
I know some vintage nut will buy one and say “hey! This doesn’t sound like my JTM45!”, and no, it doesn’t. But it definitely captures that essence, and at a whole lot less $$$, weight, and volume.
Many thanks for the review, its the best i 've seen in days of surfing reviews of the amp on the net! Pity there are no gigs coming up!
Thank you for the review! I’ll probably buy one now. Most places I play mic our amps so maybe that could keep it a little more clean, if not, atleast a don’t need a bleached clean sound. If I need more headroom that’s what a second amp is for
If you’re using traditional Mustang pickups you might get quite a bit more clean. Mine are kinda hot.
Good point! I am indeed running typical Mustang pickups. Do you have a hot rail style in the bridge position?
Thanks for the detailed review, I think you just sold another Origin 20!
It really checks a lot of boxes for me. I have a SFTR and an AC30 clone -- so high headroom is not an issue. A small JTM style amp that can break up at reasonable volume at a very decent price is almost perfect.
Also love your Mustang and that color.
I have a vintage noiseless Strat pickup in the neck, and a DiMarzio “Cruiser” in the bridge. It’s not nearly as high output as a hot rail, but it’s significantly hotter than a regular Mustang.
Oh wow! Ok, so it is still a single coil. Just a hot single coil. I was thinking it was a humbucker.
I thought about swapping the bridge pickup in mine as well. Surprisingly though I've been playing almost exclusively the middle position with my Mustang. Never play the middle with my Tele, but the specific Mustang I have just has some sort of magical middle sound that I don't want to jeopardize. My band plays more of a lighter rock/hipster indie kind of thing though (original music. kind of a Black keys meets Kings of Leon)so i don't really need a lot of output.
What kind of stuff do you typically play?
I’m all over the map. I have the house band at the bar I manage that is all retro/classic and alternative country, and some original stuff in that wheelhouse. I have a band that plays out on the islands in the summer that covers everything from Who and Stones to Adele and Alicia Keyes. I periodically fill in with a full bore Grateful Dead cover band. I sometimes work with a band that is all old school upbeat and jump blues.
I’ll also do occasional gigs and recording sessions with original bands. I’m quite literally a jack of all trades and master of none. Lol.
I do a lot of original stuff as well, but mine is all solo acoustic. Just me and the guitar.
Nice man! Sounds like you are quite the hard working musician, very well deserving of a sweet NAD. Let me know if you ever put anything out that can be listened to. I'd like to check it out.
thanks for the good write-up, Jakedog. there is probably one of these in my future.