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My take on the origin 20c

dazco

Member
Messages
15,475
I've only had it 1/2 a day but i'm pretty sure it's not for me. It sounded like exactly what i wanted in the store the first time i demo'd one, but i spent most of the day trying everything i could think of to no avail. I have tons of el34s and preamp tubes and tried most everything i know i like. Tried 3 pedals to boost it and a DSP in the loop and even tried that as master with the amp master up. Tried the opposite too, plus plenty of play time without the loop. I don't think theres a setting i didn't try. And i just don't think i can get what i want from it.

Heres the thing....unlike any marshall i have ever had, no matter how hard i hit the front end with a boost it has pretty much NO sag/compression/bloom, all that good stuff that ever marshall i have had would do. It just gets louder and harder sounding. The attack is like hitting a brick wall if that makes any sense. It never gets any sustain and won't sing no matter how hard i push it. Just crunch but w/o any hint of sag in the attack. Actually i LIKE that sound when cleaner but only if it starts sustaining and sagging as i add more distortion, but that never happens. It's strange because i've had a lot of marshalls a none were like this. One pedal i tried for for clean boost which is how i like to get a marshall to break into hi gain harmonic feedback goodness, was a graphic EQ and even with the volume slider all the way up AND the 7 bands all the way up it was still void of any sort of sag and not a trace of smooth sustain anywhere. Just stiff as a board in the way it feels.

I'm not sure what it is that might be the reason.....maybe huge PSU caps causing the stiffness but that wouldn't account for the rest. I tried one at GC twice a year and 2 back and the first one i tried is what got me interested in them. It did not sound like this one. The second one sounded just like this one. Maybe a revision? In any case it's going back. I hate to say it but my fender GTX100 modeler sounds and feels a lot better.
 
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dazco

Member
Messages
15,475
Ah haaa! I just found a youtube video where a guy outlines some origin mods and now i see why the amp is so low gain. There are only 2 gain stages because V2 is used as a tube driven effects loop. I figured as usual they'd use SS devices for the loop but nope. So one less gain stage than the typical modern marshall (V2B is usually a cathode follower) and hence very low gain and slamming the input doesn't act as usual. So pedal platform as i expected, but not exactly what i expected. I figured a clean boost would get me there but nope. Gotta use pedal distortion and thats not my thing. I suppose if the gain stages have 2.7k or bigger cathode resistors and small caps I could mod em for more gain and see if that gets me there. But i really don't wanna do that unless i knew i wasn't gonna return it. By the way, another thing that strikes me as strange is how everyone says the amp is bright. I think it may be the darkest marshall i've owned !
 

Kyle Ashley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,811
Basically my findings as well. A very 2 dimensional hard attack that goes nowhere - never blooms. I put in NOS tubes, a Celestion Redback speaker, and tried a Bogner Harlow to attempt to soften that hard front edge to no avail. Depending on where the tilt EQ is set it can be bright or dark, but I never really found a sweet spot there either. Either too dark/wooly or unpleasant highs.

I could get it sounding good with a Bogner La Grange, but not great. Sold and immediately bought a Studio Vintage 20. Instant ear candy.

I also got hosed on price. Origin 50C was $849 when they first came out, so I paid over $900 with tax locally. Just before I went to sell, they dropped pricing to $649 across the board. Had to sell for $450 but it was worth it to be rid of that harshness.
 
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dazco

Member
Messages
15,475
Actually i am finding what others have which is that u dime the master and use the gain to set both gain and volume. In other words, like in the old days....you use the gain to get the amount of distortion u want and hope and pray it happens at the volume you need to be at for the band/venue. When i do it like that and goose the front end with some clean boost it actually sounds pretty good and in a band context i can see it sounding great. The 2 position attenuator (i say 2 because the lowest one isn't usable) may give a little better chance of finding the right gain at the right volume but it's hit or miss. Adding a good drive pedal too add just what additional distortion u may need if you can't play at the volume u need to get the drive u need would work too. But i'm not a fan of pedal distortion and not willing to spend endless time and $ to find the right one.

But since finding that i CAN get some good tones that way i may be able to make it work and potentially have a great sound in a band context. So i have 45 days to see if that works. I also found that as quiet as i thought it was, comparing the volume to my GTX that i use in the band set to the volume i use it at, it's going to be loud enough i'm sure. Time will tell, but in any case diming the master is the way to make it sound much better. I also have a TC spark boost coming in a few days and it has a lot of potential to shape the signal before it hits the amp. One thing is for sure....it's definitely not a plug and play amp, at least not till u figure it out and it's not as intuitive as most amps that are this simple.

Oh, one more GOOD thing that really doesn't matter if the tone ain't happening, but it may be the nicest looking combo ever, at least to my eye. I kinda wanna make it work even more because of that ! I've built a lit of amps from scratch in the early 2000s till around 2012, so i have no problem knowing what to mod. Unfortunately the only schematic out there is a in large part illegible hand drawn one.
 

Toby Krebs

Member
Messages
2,152
The Origin in combo form is not good.I have a 50 watt head and a 2x12 V30 loaded cab.With a good Strat and a couple Fulltone drives and a Dejavibe I can get tons of rich harmonic power and sustain.But it has to be stupid loud in order to work Properly.So it lives at my rehearsal studio.I gigged it with my Robin Trower Tribute about 6 times and it killed but again had to be run stupid loud.
 

twotone

Member
Messages
5,521
Fender amps sing when they're cranked up. Marshall amps grind. I like the grind for rhythm playing, but for solos I like an amp that sings.
 

AlanH

Member
Messages
1,908
I've only had it 1/2 a day but i'm pretty sure it's not for me. It sounded like exactly what i wanted in the store the first time i demo'd one, but i spent most of the day trying everything i could think of to no avail. I have tons of el34s and preamp tubes and tried most everything i know i like. Tried 3 pedals to boost it and a DSP in the loop and even tried that as master with the amp master up. Tried the opposite too, plus plenty of play time without the loop. I don't think theres a setting i didn't try. And i just don't think i can get what i want from it.

Heres the thing....unlike any marshall i have ever had, no matter how hard i hit the front end with a boost it has pretty much NO sag/compression/bloom, all that good stuff that ever marshall i have had would do. It just gets louder and harder sounding. The attack is like hitting a brick wall if that makes any sense. It never gets any sustain and won't sing no matter how hard i push it. Just crunch but w/o any hint of sag in the attack. Actually i LIKE that sound when cleaner but only if it starts sustaining and sagging as i add more distortion, but that never happens. It's strange because i've had a lot of marshalls a none were like this. One pedal i tried for for clean boost which is how i like to get a marshall to break into hi gain harmonic feedback goodness, was a graphic EQ and even with the volume slider all the way up AND the 7 bands all the way up it was still void of any sort of sag and not a trace of smooth sustain anywhere. Just stiff as a board in the way it feels.

I'm not sure what it is that might be the reason.....maybe huge PSU caps causing the stiffness but that wouldn't account for the rest. I tried one at GC twice a year and 2 back and the first one i tried is what got me interested in them. It did not sound like this one. The second one sounded just like this one. Maybe a revision? In any case it's going back. I hate to say it but my fender GTX100 modeler sounds and feels a lot better.
What volume settings on the amp have you tried?
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,475
What volume settings on the amp have you tried?
You name it. Look at my second post. The only way it really sounds good to me is with the master dimed and gain set to the amount of gain i want. But as i said, then u r at the mercy of whatever volume the amp is at with the only way to adjust that is the attenuator. And that really just give you one slightly lower volume that may or may not be the volume u need. This amp is pretty much impossible to know if it willwork for me in a band setting till i try it in that context and bring all my boost pedal possibilities with me. It's the kind of amp that is not at all for home use IMO. It really must be near it's loudest if u want somewhat versitile distortion. And i did NOT buy it for home use but i would like to use it for that at times. Biggest issue is the amp lacks sustain and sag in the attack till it's freakin loud. I'm torn what to do, take it back or resign myself to modding it. Like i said above, i had a lot of experience building amps from scratch in the early 2000s to around 2012 so i know it's doable. Just wish there was a legible schematic out there so i could determine whats possible before istart tearing the board out and violating it.
 

Wyatt Martin

Member
Messages
3,274
This thread is interesting to me.

I've been eyeballing the Origin 50 head for a while now. (I haven't succumbed to the low wattage "thing" just yet) I play in a cover band and typically use pedals so while I am somewhat interested in a DSL40 I think the DSL has more options than I would typically put to good use so the basically single channel set up of the Origin is what appeals to me. However I've yet to hear a sound sample in some of the demo videos that impresses me much.

I just need to try one out and rule it out for myself.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,475
This thread is interesting to me.

I've been eyeballing the Origin 50 head for a while now. (I haven't succumbed to the low wattage "thing" just yet) I play in a cover band and typically use pedals so while I am somewhat interested in a DSL40 I think the DSL has more options than I would typically put to good use so the basically single channel set up of the Origin is what appeals to me. However I've yet to hear a sound sample in some of the demo videos that impresses me much.

I just need to try one out and rule it out for myself.
The problem is demoing one in the store will tell you nothing I did twice and came away with no idea what it;s like compared to having one at home and being able to try a zillion ideas. And because of the design you really need time because despite the seemingly simplicity of it it's not simple at all. Between pedals and the 7 knobs and pull boost there are uncountable ways to run it and if you need a classic rock degree of OD it takes time to figure out what works best, in part because unlike a DSL theres no way to set the overall volume that doesn't affect the result in tone. You really have to spend time with it to understand, especially if you are used to typical NON vintage marshalls. This amp only has 2 gain stages unlike a JCM 800,900, DSL, jubilee, etc etc. While it has your typical 3 preamp tube setup the tubes are not used the same way. Typically a modern marshall has V1 A and B as 2 gain stages and V2 uses on side as a 3rd gain stage and the second side as cathode follower. Then V3 is the PI. On the origin V1 A and B are the only gain stages and V2 is used as send and return amps for the loop. So with one less gain stage it doesn't evelop hardly any drive. Only by turning the master all the way up to add some distortion from the power amp do you get anything like overdrive and even then it's very little unless u use guitars with fairly hot pickups. The for solos or harder rock rhythms you will need pedal distortion. Driving the front end with a clean boost jacks the ovrall volume up because it will drive the power amp harder but won't add a lot of distortion to the preamp w/o getting much louder. In simple terms, the problem people had with super leads back in the day having to be loud to sound good allpies here too. just not as much with a 20 because you can get it at manageable volumes. But once u get it sounding right u r kinda stuck at whatever volume it sounds good at and unlike a DSL or such the master will change your drive level when u try and change the room volume. I have no idea how this all will translate in a band context and i am not sure if i will return it before I get a chance to try it there. But it's certainly a very vintage experience trying to make it work for me !
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,475
Hmmmm....just discovered something. I was t6hinking since the loop is tube, what if i stuck a volume device, in this case a EQ pedal and stuck it in the loop and cranked it to drive the return amp. It actually seems to work pretty good, tho i will have to experiment more. But the loop ios before the master so when you do that you can then use the master as a overal level like with a DSL or whatever. It adds a good amount of drive. The only question is how GOOD driving the return sounds. Can't do it at anything but very low volume at the moments, as all the neighbors are out and about. But seems to sound good with a initial few minutes of playing. But i'll have to retry all settings because it changes the way certain knobs work. Anyways, we shall see. Some hope at least for those of us that wish it had more usable gain at the volume we want it at...maybe...

EDIT: nope. Doesn't work as well as i thought. But i am finding decent tones by using it like the typical modern master volume marshall to get a good amount oif gain IF i boost the living hell out of the input. I never used so much level in my life but it works decent. I think at gig level i won't need as much to get the same amount of drive and it should sound pretty good. Not sure how a second boost or higher gain solos withh work but so far i haven't been able to boost it to the point of really smooth singing solo tone with good results. It can't take that much w/o getting somewhat ratty. And the experiments go on....and on and on and.....
 
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Wyatt Martin

Member
Messages
3,274
The problem is demoing one in the store will tell you nothing I did twice and came away with no idea what it;s like compared to having one at home and being able to try a zillion ideas. And because of the design you really need time because despite the seemingly simplicity of it it's not simple at all. Between pedals and the 7 knobs and pull boost there are uncountable ways to run it and if you need a classic rock degree of OD it takes time to figure out what works best, in part because unlike a DSL theres no way to set the overall volume that doesn't affect the result in tone. You really have to spend time with it to understand, especially if you are used to typical NON vintage marshalls. This amp only has 2 gain stages unlike a JCM 800,900, DSL, jubilee, etc etc. While it has your typical 3 preamp tube setup the tubes are not used the same way. Typically a modern marshall has V1 A and B as 2 gain stages and V2 uses on side as a 3rd gain stage and the second side as cathode follower. Then V3 is the PI. On the origin V1 A and B are the only gain stages and V2 is used as send and return amps for the loop. So with one less gain stage it doesn't evelop hardly any drive. Only by turning the master all the way up to add some distortion from the power amp do you get anything like overdrive and even then it's very little unless u use guitars with fairly hot pickups. The for solos or harder rock rhythms you will need pedal distortion. Driving the front end with a clean boost jacks the ovrall volume up because it will drive the power amp harder but won't add a lot of distortion to the preamp w/o getting much louder. In simple terms, the problem people had with super leads back in the day having to be loud to sound good allpies here too. just not as much with a 20 because you can get it at manageable volumes. But once u get it sounding right u r kinda stuck at whatever volume it sounds good at and unlike a DSL or such the master will change your drive level when u try and change the room volume. I have no idea how this all will translate in a band context and i am not sure if i will return it before I get a chance to try it there. But it's certainly a very vintage experience trying to make it work for me !
Maybe it could benefit from one of these?
Mod Like A Rockstar – Kasha Amplification’s QUIKMOD III helps you create tone, not model it! : The Tone King
 

Kyle Ashley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,811
After 45 years of guitaring and messing about with gear, I have learned that if a piece of gear doesn't rock your socks right from the box, all the mods and attempted "improvements" are just throwing good money after bad. In the end, you come out ahead just getting the "right" amp sooner and moving on with making music.
 




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