Marshall Origin 20H - a little thin?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Axegrinder77, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    So with great anticipation (honestly assumed i'd be walking out with it) I plugged in the Origin 20H into a 1x12 cab with a greenback.

    Not a bad sounding amp by any stretch. But, next to it was, lo and behold, a 68 custom Princeton (which is the amp I intended on replacing with the Origin for certain things).


    So I A/B'd them, using the same 1x12 cab, and playing a nice Am Pro Strat with rosewood board and what I believe to be Fat 50s. As expected, the CPR was pretty damn bassy, so I "dialed it in" aka turn the bass off.

    Then I went back to the Origin. Holy crap it sounds thin now! And there was treble I just couldn't dial out. Back and forth a few times. Too bassy vs too trebly. But overall I figured that even for the Marshall inspired stuff I play, the Princeton is the better sounding amp (to my ear, at the time). At least I can dial down that bass.

    Don't get me wrong, there were still attributes about the Marshall that were unique and I really love. But something about it. Hate to use a cliche like "harsh" but that may just be the best way to describe the tonal characteristics.

    Is my ear just playing tricks on me because I went from a very bassy amp to a Marshall? or is the Origin really a "thin" sounding amp?

    Color me confused!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  2. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Meister

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    I've not played an Origin series amp that I liked, and I play Marshalls. Not sure I even understand the point of them other than them being cheap. There's a JCM2000 TSL60 1x12" combo local to me for less than that head new and I'd much rather have that.
     
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  3. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    Ever try the DSL CR amps?
     
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  4. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have a '68 Princeton Custom. Bought a Marshall Origin 20C to complement it and play nice with my ES-335. After a while, sold the Marshall, still have the Princeton...

    - Bob
     
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  5. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The true tell on the Origin is there are many for sale on Reverb. So folks that have bought them have not remained satisfied.
     
  6. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    did you turn the Marshall up to when it works best ? if it was thin & need more bass use the tilt like a 4 holer & bring up the bass for the nice blend. Works on everyone have played very well. Have some 4 holers kickin around the origin sure does a decent job of sounding like them. Pedals real good.
     
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  7. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Marshalls are bright.. esp. at low volume. Have to be really cranked to warm them up. Then the brittleness becomes bite and edge.

    I think there are some amps that are just a marketing dept’s idea to cash in on nostalgia. Lower wattage like 20w is still way too loud for a home user, so they never get into gear but are too underpowered for live use.

    Lots of 15-20w ‘retro’ models fall into that dead ground imo.
     
  8. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    or any other amp in the used market can be in that category
     
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  9. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    I have an origin 20 and love it, you really need to pull out the gain knob and ride that more than the volume. If run that way they do a great Marshall crunch. They dont really get any more than that though.

    I think they are very versatile, good cleans, nice crunch, REALLY good attenuation. But like a vox, dont really sound good until driven a bit and tend to sit really well in a mix rather than playing alone.
     
  10. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Meister

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    Are those the newer (but not newest dsl?) I have a jcm2000 dsl 401 combo and a JCM2000 DSL50 head. They are both made in the UK and I picked both up for under £250 so I've never bothered with newer ones. I have an old 100w JCM900 head too but that's a little cranky and needs some attention.
     
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  11. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    I think they're the newest ones, but I could be wrong. They supposedly sound better than the ones from like 6 years ago
     
  12. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Holic

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    It's the stock JJs and shungshwangs or whatever they're called. Thin. Tinny. Tiny. 1 dimensional. Fizzy. They're terrible in both the Origin20 and DSL20 amps.

    For the Origin20...Mullard CV4004 12ax7 in V1.

    Fatter, warmer, deeper, 3D.

    Here's the recipe:
    V1 Mullard cv4004
    V2 EHx Gold Pin 12ax7
    V3 PI Tung Sol 12ax7
    Mullard EL34s
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Like a couple other said. Needs Volume.

    And the Gain way up. Past 3 o’clock. If you can’t get the volume up enough, pull the knob for more gain, as noted.

    Presence off.

    Tilt below 1/2.

    Great, fat amp, used right. Marshall’s aren’t for home.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  14. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think the solution here is to get both and run them together.:)
     
  15. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Holic

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    Oh, yes absolutely to those who are saying volume is a must.

    I figured you were running both a high master and a high gain setting. It comes alive at high master volumes.

    The tube recipe above should be run at high master volumes.
     
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  16. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Funny, I have an Origin 20 Combo. All my other amps are Fender circuits, a brownface Vibroverb Ri and several tweeds. I bought the Origin as my first Marshall. It does the JTM45 thing rather inexpensively, and it has the nice direct out for silent playing, running to the PA, etc.

    I have begun playing with some new fellas, and they have a big Marshall DSL100H in their practice space for me to use. You wanna talk about bright and brittle? I can't seem to figure out why the DSL won't switch off the Lead channel, but I've had to dial the treble way back (gain too).

    I have never experienced the 'bright' thing everyone talks about with the Origin. The only time I would describe it as thin is on the 1/2 watt setting dialed low on the volume knob. But, by using the Tilt control, that can get dialed out enough to get a really nice sound.

    Never played any of the '68 series amps, so I cannot compare. But, I have compared the Origin to my other amps and gotten a very comparable sound. It is still the least expensive (new pricing) amp I have, so it's not quite the same quality as the others. Made in Viet Nam and all that. But, for the bucks, I love it. The OR20C is not a big gain monster, by any stretch, but it can do the Rock and Roll thing easily enough. It does my Blues stuff nicely.


    When I was looking at them, I tried a 50 in the Sam Ash down in Richmond, VA. They had sold the 20 quickly. A week later, I tried the 50 and 20 at the Guitar Center directly across the street. The 20 was first and sounded really weird. So, I tried the 50 and it sounded weird as well. I figured out that that weird sound was the room, or placement within the room. So, I took a chance on the 20. Honestly, it has been a great goofing around the house amp, a great grab and go amp and a great gigging amp. Mine is still stock, even. HAven't futzed with tubes, or speaker... I like it as-is.

    YMMV and all that....
     
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  17. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have to cut low end from the 50H, but I play loud.
     
  18. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Holic

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    It's not so much that the Origin is bright, it's that the Origin is a bit thin when compared to say the Studio Vintage 20 or a real Blues breaker JTM45. ie. The Origin 20 doesn't have as 3d depth and full range of thick harmonics when compared to the SV20 or a JTM45. IMHO the Origin does the JTM45 thing very very well, right down to the slightly flubby low end, especially given its price, but it still sounds a bit thin in terms of saturation and harmonics if you play it back to back next to an SV20 and JTM45. But hey, the Origin is less than half the price. Such a killer amp for that price.

    IMHO, the Origin 20 doesn't get as close to the Plexi as it does to the JTM45. The Origin can approximate the Plexi, but it certainly doesn't saturate as much, and is just missing the full 3d sound of the Plexi altogether. Again, the Origin is an absolutely killer amp for the price, and you probably wouldn't notice the differences much unless you play them back to back.

    The DSL is another story for another thread and definitely took some time and careful knob turning to get some classic Marshall sounds. But I back to backed my DSL20 with a JCM800/SC20 and got it pretty much identical. Very very close. Probably wouldn't be able to tell blindfolded, though the JCM800/SC20 played/felt much stiffer.

    Recipe for DSL20:
    V1 EHx Gold Pin 12ax7
    V2 Tung Sol 12ax7
    V3 PI Tung Sol 12ax7
    Svetlana EL34s

    Never put the gain on the ultra channel above 11:30 o'clock, it spends most of its time between 8:30 and 9:30. Volume should be above 11 o'clock at the minimum, but the sweet spot is at about 2 o'clock. Bass at 1 o'clock, mid at 2 or 3 o'clock, treble at 9 or 10 o'clock, presence to taste depending on guitar and speaker, resonance at 9 or 10 o'clock. This is through a V-Type Jr. or V30, with a Strat, Les Paul p90s, and Les Paul 490 r and t.

    Thick fat saturated 3D with lots of harmonics and with a lot of high end just like a JCM800, but without the brittle ice pick that is easy to get if you're not careful.

    YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  19. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Holic

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    There are very noticable differences in tone, thickness, and harmonics between the 20s and the 40s/50s in the Origin and DSL series, with the higher wattage sounding more bass-y thicker fuller more harmonics.
     
  20. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    I think a 50 Watt combo might be what the doctor ordered. But then it's out of my budget for now. Maybe I'll go try a few and blow the budget if I'm really really impressed. Otherwise, my 68 Princeton can just do the job.
     
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