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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I played an Origin 20H through a Blackstar HTV-112 cabinet today for about 25 minutes. My 2 cents...

  • The tilt control makes a HUGE difference in the brightness of the amp. I tested with a Deluxe Strat HSS and preferred the tilt down around 9-10 OClock. It gets VERY bright at the full setting.
  • I think the TILT circuit could be a cool circuit on any amp. My impression was you set the amp up for your overall sound, the adjust tilt for different guitars. Tele would be on the lower end for me, then Strats, then Les Paul types.
  • EQ is fairly typical Marshall. Not a huge tone shaper. Maybe 5-6dB of sweep.
  • I found the treble eq to be pretty gentle. TILT does way more to the high end.
  • The Boost function really fills out the bottom end and gives it some more snarl. I would probably leave it on most of the time.
  • It is a very dynamic amp. I set the master around 3 Oclock, and the gain around 3 Oclock, and I had lots of tonal options using the volume of the guitar and picking dynamics.
  • Rolling off the volume didn't seem to make the amp dull.
  • I played the amp at the low setting (1/2 Watt I think) and it was pretty decent sounding. Didn't get horribly bright or anything like that. Volume was med/loud talking level.
  • When I played at the medium setting, it was a nice full sound. (Fairly loud, but I expected that. Learn about Watts if you don't already, and you won't be surprised a 20 Watt amp can tear your head off.)
  • High power was pretty loud for the store. I didn't mess with this too much. Seemed much like the Medium setting, but louder. Go figure!
  • I put the amp on full master and it seemed to get even more alive. I suspect this amp likes to be driven for extra juicy tones.
  • I did find the bass can get a bit flubby, but that could be the cabinet. I haven't played it before. It is a HUGE 1x12 though. Could easily be a 2x12 or a 3x10!
Overall I really dig the amp and it adds a flavour I don't already have. I prefer fairly basic amps as it seems to my ears that the more complicated and amp gets, the less big and full it sounds.

This amp sounds nice and raw.

For reference I have...

Mesa F100 Head with 1x12 Lonestar cabinet (6L6)
Rivera R55 1x12 combo (EL34)
Engl Gigmaster 15 1x10 combo (EL84)
Traynor Darkhorse with Traynor YCX112WR cabinet (6V6 or 12AU7)

I was nosing around for a vintage style Marshall and then this thing got announced. Perfect timing for me and a great price!

This was at The Arts Music Store in Newmarket. They have all the combos in stock, and the 20H. I don't think they had a 50H.
 

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Thanks for the rundown on the Origin. It's kinda on my hit list of possible amps. You touched on a number of points that were questions for me. I'm a big MVC (Master Volume Cranked) fan, so your thoughts on that particular item of interest is much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No problem. I may go back today to try the 20 Watt combo. Lots of people crying about the 10” speaker. I would like to hear for myself as the 20 combo is a great size!
 

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I tried the 5 watter 2 days ago at Cosmo. I just stared at them when I was at the Arts yesterday.

The 5 watt Origin wasn't anything special. I much prefer the Class5 for tone, but the features on the Origin are nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I went back to The Arts today to play the combos. I have played all but the 50h now.

I went to try out the 20 Combo in particular. It is VERY dynamic. Very touch responsive. There is no place to hide sloppy playing. I could go from edgy clean to raunch city just from my playing style. Add in using the guitar volume and there is even more control.

I found the master started to add its thing noticeably around 2 oclock. From 3 oclock to full it really adds power tube saturation.

I liked the gain at 3 oclock with the boost on. Tons of tone and expression available. After 3 oclock is mostly just more distortion.

Internal speaker being 16 Ohms is annoying for me. All my cabs are 8 Ohm, so I can’t run the internal speaker and one of my external cabs at the same time.

I am torn between the 20 head and 20 combo. The 10” speaker didn’t bug me at all. Quite good sounding. The 50 watt/12” was fuller and bigger as one would expect, but it is also $200 more, heavier, and bulkier. I like the size of the 20 combo way more. In fact, I wish it was smaller. In between what it is and the 5 watter would be a great grab-and-go size.

The price difference of $100 for a combo seems like a no-brainer to me.

I found the 5 watt combo to wholly unremarkable in every way except cosmetics. $600 is way too much in my opinion.
 

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I ordered the head the other day from l&m. I have a few 1x12 cabs to try it through to get some different options.
itll be a nice contrast to me drri for another living room amp that is too loud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I bought the Origin 20 Combo. I am really enjoying it. Very raw and dynamic. Very touchy to set up. Can easily get overly bright.

I recorded the combo with stock everything using an AKG D770 (like a Shure SM-57), a Royer R-10 ribbon mic, and an ART AR5 ribbon mic. I used the technique from this video.


I used 2 ribbons as I was interested in the difference between them. The Art AR5 is pretty darn good sounding. It has a lot of bottom end, but is darker than the R-10. The AR5 and D770 are a good pair to deal with bright guitar amps.

I am very happy with the tone, especially with a ribbon mic blended in about 6-9 dB down. The adage that small amps record big definitely holds true with this amp. I find it recorded pretty much what I heard in the room.

I will do another recording and document the settings and mic placement as I had the buffer set too low on this test so there is intermittent digital burbling.

If anyone has any requests, I can try to accommodate, but I am a rhythm player, not a lead guy. I was thinking of doing the following type setups.
  1. Clean tone for pedals. Gain below 12 O’Clock, Master 9 O’clock. Record in each power mode.
  2. As above with with Xotic SL Drive pedal and Joyo OCD clone.
  3. Crunch tone. Gain and master both at 9 O’clock. Record in each power mode.
  4. All out. Gain and master at max. Record in each power mode.
In each case, I would use a Strat Deluxe and maybe a PRS McCarty. I would do neck and bridge pickups. And back of volume controls for tonal variations.

It may take a week or so to get the time to do it all.

Any suggestions welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
For those interested, here is a fairly lengthy recording of an Origin 20c, completely stock, no pedals. I played with the settings but didn't document them except as follows;
  1. The jittering and what seemingly sounds like clipping is buffers set too low in Logic.
  2. Mics used are an AKG D770 dynamic and ART AR-5 ribbon mic. This is a great pair of mics for guitar recording.
  3. I believe the boost was on almost all of the time.
  4. Most of the time the gain and master were at 3 o'clock
  5. Master was 3 o'clock minimum. At one stage I put master and gain to max. You will hear it when it is set that way.
  6. Gain was as low as 11:30, but for most of the clean playing, it was picking intensity and guitar volume. You can usually hear where the volume is rolled up or down.
  7. No eq or compression in the recording or software. A basic plate reverb was added.
  8. Other dials were as follows (o'clock settings) Tilt 9, Bass 9, Mid 2, Treble 11, Presence 9
  9. Guitar is a stock Fender Strat Deluxe HSS with vintage noiseless SC's, and humbucker in the bridge.
  10. Please excuse the playing. I was paying more attention to the recording.
I don't think I will have a chance to do the more extensive test I was hoping to do for a while, so this is the original mess around I did a few days back.

Marshall Origin 20c audio demo

Edit: Oh yeah, at 5:10 ish I switch back and forth between full power and mid power settings. I added bumped the fader up about 3.5 dB in software to volume match. You get an idea of what the power changes do to the tone of the amp. It's fairly subtle when volumes are balanced. At 5:50 I am rolling off the volume instead.
 

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Zombie bump. OK, not quite a Zombie bump, maybe a half unconscious drunk dude slap in the chops bump.

Tried the Origin 20 combo a bit earlier today finally. L&M close by didn't have any for a while. Tested for maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Pretty much everything stated here holds true. Pretty great sound amp with more gain on tap than I expected. Really nice clean tones as well. Going to sell a couple of amps and pull the trigger. Has 8 and 16 ohm external outs and foot pedal included. Nice sounding speaker from what I could tell in a short time. Will sound killer through my 212 with V30's. But that one might be up for grabs as well, just not the V30's.
 
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