The Marshall Origin 50H Review

Deus Vult

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So I currently use a Marshall YJM100 for most of my jams, gigs and tomfoolery. For those that don't know, the YJM is a 100w 1959 Super Lead circuit amp with some cool bells and whistles. And while "plexi" refers to the faceplate material of Marshalls made during certain years, colloquially plexi refers to the EL34 driven 1959 Super Lead amps. I've never played a real plexi, so I am assuming the YJM sounds very close to an original. I also use a Haze 40 which is an EL34 driven combo that is voiced similarly to a plexi. These two amps were used as a frame of reference for where I like my tone- think SIBLY, Mountain's Mississippi Queen, etc

When I saw the Origin series announced I got excited. I wanted the 20w version because it would potentially be smaller, lighter and cheaper than the YJM. Lugging a 64 lb head plus flight case to a gig sucks! The amps have an EL34 power section (Yay!) and the tilt was billed as being the equivalent of channel jumping on a 4 holer.

I ended up getting the 50w because more is better, right? ;) The amp arrived on Tuesday and I quickly hooked it up. I tried 3 cabs: Marshall 1960a with GT75s, Avatar 2x12 with G12Ms and an Avatar 4x12 with Creambacks. I used a bunch of different guitars including:

B7 with ECP Hybrids
R8 with WCR Darkbursts
R9 with Throbak SLE101+MXVs
Flying V with Dirty Fingers
ES339 with 57s
SG Standard with 57s

This amp is really bright! The tilt certainly works, but I find it unusable past 10:00. The amp behaves more like the EL84 driven Class 5. The high end gets buzzy and ice picky very quickly and the bass can get fart-like. There definitely is NOT that classic Marshall sound I was looking for (ie like a YJM)- at least not immediately. Too my surprise, I noticed:

1) this amp sounds a lot better thru the G1275s
2) the EP Booster helps fatten things up
3) I actually think the guitars with less traditional voicings sound better (ie Dirty Fingers and 57s> ECP> WCR> Throbak
4) unlike my YJM, this amp is not plug and play. Despite the relatively simple controls, I found myself really trying to tweek the sound.
5) The power scaling does work, but I find that the amp sounds best in at least 10w mode with the master around 3:00 (ie its best when loud). Even the 1w is lough though, so don't think you could play it with a sleeping baby nearby.
6) To those looking for a classic EL34 Marshall sound right out of the box, I don't think this amp is it. I kinda feel the amp is marketed as something it's not with the aesthetics, the name "Origin" and the Tilt described as a channel jumping feature. I'm not going to return it, at least not yet because I feel it still might have a place in the stable.
7) This amp is really bright...really bright. I'm waiting to try it out at a jam. I have a sneaking suspicion that this amp will sound much better in a mix than alone in my basement.

I will update this thread as I continue to experiment with this amp.

Pros:
Lightweight
Relatively Cheap
Power Scaling
Cleans up nicely
Brightness will easily cut thru a mix
It's loud! Even the 10w setting can keep up with a drummer
If you're a pedal based guy, this amp is a good platform

Cons:
Bright!!!!!
Farty bass end
No reverb
No standby
FX Loop only works with foot pedal
 

JCarno

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Can you please post a vid with it plugged into the 1960A and your SG and no pedals?
It doesn't have to be long or involved. Just cranked up and and let the chords ring out as long as they can.
Maybe some AC/DCish type stuff.
You will be my hero forever and always!!! :bowdown
Thank You, Joe :cheers2:
 

Deus Vult

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I can try when I get home from work. Be warned: it’ll be an iPhone recording of my terrible playing

:laugh2:
 

tolm

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I've been cranking mine for a good few hours at home the last couple of days (have the 50W combo) and have a couple of observations:

1. I think it's getting "less brittle" - even after just 4-5 hours - with the speaker breaking in. I'm running Presence at halfway now rather than off and the piercing high-end from my first play with it is nowhere to be heard.

2. I tried it through my Orange Vintage 30 loaded 2x12 ... very similar tone (and volume) to the internal speaker with maybe a touch more midrange detail - the stock speaker sounding a bit warmer. I actually preferred the stock speaker so maybe they have chosen well, given some time for it to break in.

I too have some rehearsals and gigs coming up and will be interested how it fairs "in the mix" ... I suspect it will cut through really nicely. It's certainly not lacking in the "loud" department.
 

Stuff

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I'm a week in now with my 20W head. I'm running it through a V112-CB 1x12 with a nicely broken-in G12M-65. Got a few more observations to add:

1. You have to hear one in person to appreciate just how bright this amp is. The speaker in the combo is too bright, and sets my ears ringing every time. I think this is an amp you need to try before you buy, and you'll want to try it with your own guitar.

2. Mine needs pedals to get any kind of break up at home volumes. The amp never gets super clean, but there isn't much gain from the preamp even when cranked. And it's too loud to crank at home.

3. Good news is that it takes drive pedals really well. This thing loves cheap and nasty Boss / TC Electronics pedals that sound like arse through a typical 'pedal platform' amp.

4. This thing has a tonne of input headroom. Out of curiosity, I chucked an MXR Micro Amp (26db gain) in front of mine today, and it stayed clean until I cranked the amp gain up to 8.

Haven't A/B'd it against my Metro Plex yet. Doesn't have the gain on its own to get close. With pedals, I'm expecting it to be in the ball park. And I'm starting to wonder if a valve swap will help too ...
 

Deus Vult

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Strat sounds pretty good thru this thing.


The more I play it the more I’m liking it
 

Deus Vult

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With how bright everyone has been saying these things are I was fearful my strat would be unusable. Looks like I'm going to be lugging a couple guitars to GC to demo...
And best to bring a couple cabs too hahahaha

I was getting some good grind with my strat and KOT as well. I even adjusted the tilt and got some improvement
 

Deus Vult

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Used the Origin 50 for the last part of band practice tonight with my Avatar 212. As I suspected , this amp does well in the mix. I’m mostly rhythm, but I could clearly hear the Marshall grit. On 10w, I had to roll the volume on my LP down because it was too loud- and I don’t have a restrained drummer by any means. The amp’s sweet spot is mv on 8. I kept the gain on about 4 and used my Ep boost full time

One thing that was def lacking was reverb.
 

Its Luke

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For the reverb problem, I would just grab a EH Holy Grail Reverb Nano pedal and there you go. My Marshall Astoria amp doesn't have reverb and that is what i use. Works perfect for my needs.
 

Stuff

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The Origin was made as a pedal platform.... Imagine a cheaper version of Suhr Bella...
Origin is great with pedals, but it’s not a pedal platform like the Suhr Bella is. It’s not clean enough or neutral enough.
 

Deus Vult

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Played a set with the Origin last night and I felt like it went very well. The Mrs managed to capture a video of the origin in the wild. I’m the rhythm player with the Les Paul playing the higher octave parts. Not the best quality of course but it gives you an idea of the rock tone I’m getting.

MV is at 3:00, tilt at 9:00 and gain at 11:00.

 




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