Origin 20 - What brands of tubes are they shipping with. Should I consider replacing any of them?

Carl M

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
47
Just picked up a nearly new Origin 20H which has been used in a studio for about 10 hours for a project.

I have several other Marshalls and the reason for buying the Origin 20H is because I really wanted to try an EL34 Marshall head at 0,5w driving a good 1x12 in the next room at sensible volume as alternative to running a bigger Marshall with Suhr Reeactive Load and speaker IRs when composing and tracking demos for the band sitting in front of my DAW.

I have two vintage heads, a 1987 clone and a SV20H and understand that this isn't a 0,5w Plexi, but they other amps are too loud to use for this purpose so I thought that I should try the Origin 20H at 0,5w to see if it sounds more inspiring than a big head connected to a reactive load and digital speaker simulation.

If would also be useful to be able track with acoustic drums with less annoying leak into the the drum mics. When tracking overdubs I will of course use the big amps, because then volume and leak into the drum mics isn't an issue.

I am interested of getting the best out of this little amp and I wondering what kind of stock tubes Marshall are using. I suppose that they are Chinese considering the price and origin of the amp, but are they OK or should I replace the tubes with something similar to what I am using in my UK made Marshalls? (I.e Harma, JJ, EHX, NOS etc.) The ones which were fitted in my Studio Vintage 20H sounded really good and perhaps the Origin 20 stock tubes sounds great too?

I play classic rock with very typical Marshall sounds ranging from slightly overdriven (with P90s, mini HB and Filter'Trons) to distorted (with Les Pauls/PAFs). I normally use a preamp/compresseor (Himmelstrutz Miss Nutcracker) for lower drive sounds and a Marshall sounding distortion pedal (Himmelstrutz Fetto LaRocca) for heavier sounds.

I never play clean and I never use modern metal sounds.

Any ideas or suggestions?
 

gypsyseven

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
26
Reaction score
52
To be honest, if you like the sound, don’t change anything…I came to the conclusion that in the past I spent soo much money on mods and so called upgrades…in most cases I went back to stock;)
 

fitz288

Well-Known Yinzer
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
6,145
Reaction score
16,647
Location
the Burgh
Any ideas or suggestions?
Speakers and pedals make a much more dramatic change with the O20H
I put JJ803S tubes in V1,2,3 and JJE34L for power tubes.
Better, but subtle changes IMHO, YMMV.
EQ in the loop, AND THIS IS A DIFFERENT AMP.
Also tried a few different speaker combinations, and a 212 of G12M25's is tone bliss for me.
 

paul-e-mann

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
19,245
Reaction score
20,774
Just picked up a nearly new Origin 20H which has been used in a studio for about 10 hours for a project.

I have several other Marshalls and the reason for buying the Origin 20H is because I really wanted to try an EL34 Marshall head at 0,5w driving a good 1x12 in the next room at sensible volume as alternative to running a bigger Marshall with Suhr Reeactive Load and speaker IRs when composing and tracking demos for the band sitting in front of my DAW.

I have two vintage heads, a 1987 clone and a SV20H and understand that this isn't a 0,5w Plexi, but they other amps are too loud to use for this purpose so I thought that I should try the Origin 20H at 0,5w to see if it sounds more inspiring than a big head connected to a reactive load and digital speaker simulation.

If would also be useful to be able track with acoustic drums with less annoying leak into the the drum mics. When tracking overdubs I will of course use the big amps, because then volume and leak into the drum mics isn't an issue.

I am interested of getting the best out of this little amp and I wondering what kind of stock tubes Marshall are using. I suppose that they are Chinese considering the price and origin of the amp, but are they OK or should I replace the tubes with something similar to what I am using in my UK made Marshalls? (I.e Harma, JJ, EHX, NOS etc.) The ones which were fitted in my Studio Vintage 20H sounded really good and perhaps the Origin 20 stock tubes sounds great too?

I play classic rock with very typical Marshall sounds ranging from slightly overdriven (with P90s, mini HB and Filter'Trons) to distorted (with Les Pauls/PAFs). I normally use a preamp/compresseor (Himmelstrutz Miss Nutcracker) for lower drive sounds and a Marshall sounding distortion pedal (Himmelstrutz Fetto LaRocca) for heavier sounds.

I never play clean and I never use modern metal sounds.

Any ideas or suggestions?
What do you currently want to change about your tone? This will help determine if you need a tube swap and what to swap it to. Stock tubes are usually JJ but if you bought the amp used the previous owner may have stuck something else in it.
 

Carl M

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
47
What do you currently want to change about your tone? This will help determine if you need a tube swap and what to swap it to. Stock tubes are usually JJ but if you bought the amp used the previous owner may have stuck something else in it.
Well. I haven't even plugged it in yet. I received it today and I will try it tonight or tomorrow. But I expected that a relatively cheap Vietnam made Marshall was shipping with cheap Chinese tubes to keep the cost down. And replacing cheap Chinese tubes is often av very cost effective upgrade of any guitar amp. But The SV20H which I bought new surprised me and was shipped with good JJs, so I just thought I should as if anyone knew what I could expect my Origin 20 to be shipped with. Are you sure that Vietnamese Marshalls are normally shipped with JJs? Then there is no point in replacing them until they are worn out.

I know that the Origin 20 can sound pretty good with stock tubes, but since I probably have a full set of decent European made tubes in my basement I'll probably try them unless I am told that the stock ones in the O20 are good.
 

Carl M

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
47
To be honest, if you like the sound, don’t change anything…I came to the conclusion that in the past I spent soo much money on mods and so called upgrades…in most cases I went back to stock;)
We'll see. But since I am used to very good Marshalls I don't expect this one to be equally good and I am just trying make sure that I do what I can to get the most out of it. But unlike my other Marshall it has a 0.5w setting and it will be very intresting to push a pair of EL34s at 0.5w...

But I agree. I tend to prefer my four hole Marshalls stock too, but properly serviced and with good sets of fresh tubes.
 

fitz288

Well-Known Yinzer
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
6,145
Reaction score
16,647
Location
the Burgh
Well. I haven't even plugged it in yet. I received it today and I will try it tonight or tomorrow. But I expected that a relatively cheap Vietnam made Marshall was shipping with cheap Chinese tubes to keep the cost down. And replacing cheap Chinese tubes is often av very cost effective upgrade of any guitar amp. But The SV20H which I bought new surprised me and was shipped with good JJs, so I just thought I should as if anyone knew what I could expect my Origin 20 to be shipped with. Are you sure that Vietnamese Marshalls are normally shipped with JJs? Then there is no point in replacing them until they are worn out.

I know that the Origin 20 can sound pretty good with stock tubes, but since I probably have a full set of decent European made tubes in my basement I'll probably try them unless I am told that the stock ones in the O20 are good.
Open it up and compare your tubes to this list:
IIRC, mine came with the low microphony red label JJ in V1, gold label Shuguang in V2 & 3, and JJ red label EL34's.
The Marshall labeled tubes are hit and miss.
Identical tubes are different, identical amps are different, everyone's idea of tone is different.
Welcome to the rabbit hole, Alice.
 

Carl M

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
47
The pre amp tubes that came in mine were garbage and terribly microphonic brand new. So I did some experimenting and found pretty much anything was better than what came in it for both pre amp and power tubes.
OK, interesting. As I mentioned above I haven't tried mine yet. But fortunately I always keep spare quality tubes at home.
 

Carl M

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
47
Open it up and compare your tubes to this list:
IIRC, mine came with the low microphony red label JJ in V1, gold label Shuguang in V2 & 3, and JJ red label EL34's.
The Marshall labeled tubes are hit and miss.
Identical tubes are different, identical amps are different, everyone's idea of tone is different.
Welcome to the rabbit hole, Alice.
Ha, ha, great. Thanks for the input. It sounds promising that some of the stock tubes musth be JJ. But I know, tubes varies and I have had new tubes that weren't that great and even NOS...
 

fitz288

Well-Known Yinzer
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
6,145
Reaction score
16,647
Location
the Burgh
OK, interesting. As I mentioned above I haven't tried mine yet. But fortunately I always keep spare quality tubes at home.
Roll 'em if ya got 'em.
See if what you have sounds better than the stock ones.
Only thing I would add is that O20 uses the entire signal chain to get tone when cranked, and the power tubes contribute to the tone.
If you have some other EL34 compatible tubes (6CA7, E34L, KT77), they will make a difference.
Self-biasing, so swap away.
 

George Dickens

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2021
Messages
280
Reaction score
458
Location
CA
One thing for sure if the 1st tube (input) is noisey or micro-phonic you can replace it if it bothers you. If the rest are lit up and the amp is working okay, Id say your're good to go.
 

Carl M

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
32
Reaction score
47
Roll 'em if ya got 'em.
See if what you have sounds better than the stock ones.
Only thing I would add is that O20 uses the entire signal chain to get tone when cranked, and the power tubes contribute to the tone.
If you have some other EL34 compatible tubes (6CA7, E34L, KT77), they will make a difference.
Self-biasing, so swap away.
Yes, it makes sense. Since the O20 only have two gain stages in the preamp instead of three (1959/1987) or four (2203/2204) pushing the O20's power tubes is probably even more important than with the classic models.
 

jeffb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
1,955
Reaction score
4,265
Open it up and compare your tubes to this list:
IIRC, mine came with the low microphony red label JJ in V1, gold label Shuguang in V2 & 3, and JJ red label EL34's.
I bought one of the first ORI20Hs (with the speaker out issue) and this is the tube complement that came in mine. Original JJ EL34s, an 83S, and a couple of Shugangs.
 

jeffb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
1,955
Reaction score
4,265
For my tastes I have used and like the following

JJE34Ls, EL34IIs, and (new Sensor) Mullard RI EL34s- I like all three, but I prefer the E34Ls.

In the preamp I've used original Mullards, every New sensor, JJ, and Shugang/Sino known to man. I prefer the JJ803 in V1 and 83S for V2/3, but I also had great results with my original Mullard from 1961, JAN 5751 in V1 or V3 (but not both at same time) and the chinese Mullard copies (Golden Lion/TAD STR/Ruby 12ax7HG7+).

Usually what tubes I like are dictated by what speakers I'm using. With G12M20s/25 I tend to like X & Y choices, the H30 55HZ are quite a bit different, so I may prefer Y & Z, or X& Z,or...
 

jeffb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
1,955
Reaction score
4,265
Yes, it makes sense. Since the O20 only have two gain stages in the preamp instead of three (1959/1987) or four (2203/2204)
Thank you for you for posting that bit of information- I'm not tech savvy enough to read schematiics and whatnot, but knowing this explains much about why I have such a love/hate affair with this amp.
 


Top