Origin or DSL?

Moony

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If you want to play at lower volumes, need an amp that is easy to dial in, then get a Blackstar HT-5R MKII.

It sounds better than a Katana and it's hard to get a bad sound out of it.
I'd swap the speaker for Greenback or Creamback - tried a few others too but they worked the best in that small enclosure.

Though I wouldn't use it for playing in a band, especially not with a loud drummer.
 

webcat

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If you want to play at lower volumes, need an amp that is easy to dial in, then get a Blackstar HT-5R MKII.

It sounds better than a Katana and it's hard to get a bad sound out of it.
I'd swap the speaker for Greenback or Creamback - tried a few others too but they worked the best in that small enclosure.

Though I wouldn't use it for playing in a band, especially not with a loud drummer.

Ability to play loud is a must for me. I’m pretty much a one-amp guy (don’t really have the space for multiple) so it needs to be something I can use with a band - at home I can play unplugged, plug into GarageBand, or my Vox Blues headphone amp. That’s before considering the Katana’s 0.5w setting or headphone option
 

webcat

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Ok then just get a DSL40! :agreed:
If and when the buggers ever come back into stock I’m definitely going to try one out! Although the way prices are going up lately I’m a little nervous what they’ll be. GuitarGuitar is £100 more than Andertons, the latter of which is out of stock. Head today Mesa Boogie is increasing prices, as is PRS. Wouldn’t surprise me if the stock replenishments are more expensive on the Marshalls too :/
 

Moony

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GuitarGuitar is £100 more than Andertons

If you're in Europe or UK, then skip the DSL and buy a JVM.
It's Marshall's flagship amp for a reason since 15 years.

I thought you were in the US, that's why I even considered a DSL.
 

Dave J

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Can't we like multiple things? They all have different strengths.

The Katana is the closest I've got to a tube sound with a non-tube amp. I think a lot of people approach it wrong - in the first video above, you'll see he suggests using the clean channel to get the Marshall tone, whereas most people go for the higher gain channels.

The Katana also has a channel volume and master volume, both of which affect the tone (just like they do on a tube amp), so I've seen people not experiment with them. (In my experience, it's better to crank the channel volume and control the output with the master. That's the opposite of what is suggested in the DSL review video I posted yesterday, where he says to put the masters at 10 otherwise the amp has a fizzy sound, and control the output volume with the channel volume knob.)

And if a player wants to find the ideal pedal and sound, it'll take some playing around in Tone Studio.

I defend the Katana when people say it's not good or can't sound like a Marshall, because there's lots of people who have proven otherwise. Especially when you consider the price point against something like a Kemper, it's incredible.

But hey, it doesn't mean I can't like tube amps, or want a tube Marshall.
Those videos were impressive. Whatever small difference there might be the audience would never hear it. Just out of curiosity, how does the Katana do with rolling off the guitar volume or picking dynamics vs a tube amp. I know Fractal and Kemper have gotten that pretty close these days. You came for an opinion on the DSL vs Origin, don't sell me on the Katana LOL. But try hahaha
 

Vinsanitizer

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I’m currently using a Katana 100w 2x12, overall really like it but thinking of going back to Marshall. I’ve previously had a TSL100 half stack and JCM900 1x12 and loved both.

I mainly play a Les Paul, typical rock stuff. Also have a strat and Tele and I’m getting more into cleaner sounds and also learning fingerpicking. So I want something reasonably versatile.

I’m not a huge effects guy, I have delay, chorus and a tube screamer. But I’m aware the Origin is one channel with no reverb.

Is that alone reason to get the DSL instead, or is the Origin still usable for having a rhythm tone and getting a boost for solos without another pedal?

General opinions on each model would be welcome. I’m looking at the Origin 50w or DSL40w
My impression of the Origin is that too many people have trouble dialing them in to whatever it is they want. I saw one particular video where the reviewer said it was a bright amp, and he recommended just turning the treble off. If I bought a new Marshall amp and had to run it with the treble all the way off, I'd want my money back.
 

EC Strat

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Really depends on your own personal preferences and how you approach guitar playing. I personally place a very high value on the tone of how rich the cleans sound on an amp over its overdrive section. I have a love of classic rock and that’s where it comes from. Non master volume overdriven amps like JTM 45’s.

I had both amps and far preferred the Origin 50 head over the DSL 40CR. I like having a fantastic clean sound and shape it with either pedals or overdriving the amp.

The Origin comes surprisingly close to a JTM 45 RI.

I found the OD section on the DSL 40 to be a bit metallic and spikey. I could never rid the amp of that character no matter what lengths I went to. I play Strats and I’m sure that was the biggest part of it.

All of that said - if you’re a LP player and don’t like pedals, want your gain from the amp and want to rock, I think think the DSL 40 will fit your playing style much better than an Origin. The origin just won’t give you the crunch you’re probably after.
 

Alter

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The higher the volume the better any Marshall amp is going to sound, but still the Dsls have this modern, high frequency rich, high gain sound, that you either like or dislike. I have done rehearsals and some gigs with Dsls, they can be made to sound like various other Marshall lines, but the moment you plug in in any older models, it's like another world, especially if going for a rock and not for a metal sound. For rock, i would either get a studio series or an origin series (depending on budget). But i'm sure many metal players would prefer a Dsl, it's just not my fav Marshall flavor.
 

webcat

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Those videos were impressive. Whatever small difference there might be the audience would never hear it. Just out of curiosity, how does the Katana do with rolling off the guitar volume or picking dynamics vs a tube amp. I know Fractal and Kemper have gotten that pretty close these days. You came for an opinion on the DSL vs Origin, don't sell me on the Katana LOL. But try hahaha

Haha! I haven't played Fractal or Kemper so can't compare directly, but yes, the Katana does it really well.

Here's a short (3 minute) video I recorded last year, I was just playing around with the tone varieties from a new guitar rather than trying to demonstrate the Kat, but the amp settings never change and the video is me changing pickups and playing with the volume and tone knobs. I think there are also examples of lighter and harder playing for the dynamics, but it's mainly adjusting tone and volume.

It's a 1958 reissue, no mods, no pedals, direct to amp. Not the best playing but it was an experimental thing that I recorded as part of a discussion of the Les Paul's tonal range.. If you don't want to watch 3 minutes, jump to the 2 minute mark and I play Hit The Road Jack, you can hear it go from cleaner to dirty.

 

webcat

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The higher the volume the better any Marshall amp is going to sound, but still the Dsls have this modern, high frequency rich, high gain sound, that you either like or dislike. I have done rehearsals and some gigs with Dsls, they can be made to sound like various other Marshall lines, but the moment you plug in in any older models, it's like another world, especially if going for a rock and not for a metal sound. For rock, i would either get a studio series or an origin series (depending on budget). But i'm sure many metal players would prefer a Dsl, it's just not my fav Marshall flavor.
I'm not a metal guy, definitely more rock and I'm also getting more into cleaner, slower playing (currently learning fingerpicking for example)
 


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