Origin or DSL?

fitz

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I thought the DSL cleans up quite nicely too?
The DSL clean channel is very clean, and I also think it's a great pedal channel.
I can get some (IMO) great classic crunch tones on my DSL clean channel with a MXR Modified Badass OD pedal,
But when I want classic rock tones, I use my Origin and goose the front with an SD-1 or BD-2.
Either amp will get the job done.
I have no problem using pedals to get what I want.
If you're a straight in, no pedals guy, good luck, I can't help much.
As has been said, IF YOU CAN, play them both and see what YOU like.
 

AustinPaul

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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
I would choose the DSL all-day, every day. The Origin is a one-trick pony. I tried to love mine, but never found it to be anything more than a lifeless, weak (though loud) facsimile of its target - plexi. I tried it through all of my cabs, all manner of eq - both onboard and externally, to no avail.

I pony'd up for a used JTM45 and had a repro 4x12 basketweave with Hellatone 30s made for me. I can't even begin to tell you how much better an amp it is. I recently added a Freyette PS2. Best tone I've had in 45 years.

As that's a pricey option, I'd choose the DSL. You can always used it as a head into all manner of cabs that suit your needs.
 

Darralld

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I have the Origin 20 head running into a 2x12 cabinet with greenbacks. I am using a Two Notes Torpedo to run it to the board. I run a tube screamer in front & a delay / reverb between the two notes & the board. It sounds fantastic. Only downfall is no clean channel. Really with this set up you don't need the cabinet. Just use the monitor to hear it. One day I might get a DSL or 5150 just to have a clean channel. The ADA cab simulator also works great for this set up.
 

dandemay

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For what it's worth since I haven't really seen it addressed here, I just wanted to point out a different with regards to the DSL20 since it seems like price is a concern and you were considering that version because it was cheaper. The DSL20 has 2 channels rather than 4 and the difference in gain on the two channels is pretty drastic. If you dime the gain on the classic gain channel but then switch to the ultra gain channel with the gain set super low, it's still pretty gain-y comparatively speaking and there is a whole spectrum that you just skip over. I only have the 20 watt version, but my understanding is the extra channels on the 40 watt version cover the whole spectrum better. I generally live on the classic gain channel and have a couple pedals that I'll use to beef it up when I need it, but do occasionally use the ultra gain channel, but generally with no pedals.
 

taylodl

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I’d love to, but there’s no stock anywhere remotely local.
How does two master volumes work?
The DSL40CR is a two-channel amp and each channel has a "green" mode and a "red" mode - effectively making this a 4 channel amp. Each of those 4 "channels" remembers the last master volume used with it. So when you switch between these "channels" the amp will automatically switch back to the last master volume used with that channel. If you buy the 91016 foot switch then you can change the master volume being used with your foot while playing. What does that buy you? There's a couple different strategies I see people using. One is to dedicate an MV to the green clean channel and the other MV to the three remaining channels. I find myself doing that a lot as I find the green clean channel needs a little more oomph. The other thing you can do is use an MV for normal playing and the other for lead playing or whenever you need an instant volume boost. Since people often dedicate an MV to the green clean channel and it's set higher than the MV being used for the other channels you can kinda combine these strategies by switching to the MV being used for your green clean channel when you need a boost - of course that means you can't boost the green clean channel as easily when you want. Play around with it and you may come up with your own scheme!
 

scozz

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I would choose the DSL all-day, every day. The Origin is a one-trick pony. I tried to love mine, but never found it to be anything more than a lifeless, weak (though loud) facsimile of its target - plexi. I tried it through all of my cabs, all manner of eq - both onboard and externally, to no avail.

I pony'd up for a used JTM45 and had a repro 4x12 basketweave with Hellatone 30s made for me. I can't even begin to tell you how much better an amp it is. I recently added a Freyette PS2. Best tone I've had in 45 years.

As that's a pricey option, I'd choose the DSL. You can always used it as a head into all manner of cabs that suit your needs.
I’ve never played an Origin so I have no clue except what I read, and what I read is confusing. Lots of guys love them and lots of guys are really vocal about how much they dislike these amps, (Origin line).

More so than any other amp, I’ve heard opinions that are widely apart from each other. Like I said, it seems owners either really love or really hate these amps, not a lot of middle ground as far as I can see.
 

fitz

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The Origin is a one-trick pony. I tried to love mine, but never found it to be anything more than a lifeless, weak (though loud) facsimile of its target - plexi.
How many tricks does the JTM45 do?
Who said the Origin was supposed to be a Plexi?
I pony'd up for a used JTM45 and had a repro 4x12 basketweave with Hellatone 30s made for me ... I recently added a Freyette PS2.
Cha-ching $$$
 

no3rdseat

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L

yeah I don’t play really heavy either, I never access the higher gain settings on amps. I’ve also realised that most rock tones are a lot cleaner than i realised, so I guess I want that glassy plexi tone but with the ability to have a little push for solos

I get the feeling the origin will need some supplementing but I won’t use half of what the DSL offers
I have a DSL40CR and an Origin50h. I think you're spot on. The DSL has a lot more features but I just want a good tone so I end up using the Origin most of the time. The Origin does have a boost switch and if you crank the master up past 6 and the gain up past 5-6 you'll get that great Marshall crunch from the 60's and 70's. If you want 80's or newer Marshall sound, you'll get it with a pedal in front.
 

Marty Mcfly

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I have the Origin 50, but I also have an OX Box. I get perfect Plexi breakup and great harmonics. I have the JHS Bonsai in front and get that late 70s fat, sustain thru my Les Paul w PAFs and other with P-90s. The beauty of the Origin is you can build with various pedals front and loop and make just about any Marshall tone you want. I prefer Plexi, but I’ve had great JCM/JVM tones too. The problem with the more modded Marshall’s is they are what they are. The Origin can be a lot of things. IMHO.
 

Karl Brake

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Definitely the DSL. The Origin has the limitations of what it's trying to imitate...volume has to be dimed to hit the sweet spot.
 

Gvecchi

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I love my Origin 50w. It's almost as good as my last vintage Marshall 100w 1972. Great cleans and awesome dirties since you use a pedal in front of it. But I know, it's an amp for those who like vintage style amps and may have limitations for more modern guitarists.

My Origin 50 with the gain at full and a boost to push it harder:
 

Matopotato

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The DSL40CR is a two-channel amp and each channel has a "green" mode and a "red" mode - effectively making this a 4 channel amp. Each of those 4 "channels" remembers the last master volume used with it. So when you switch between these "channels" the amp will automatically switch back to the last master volume used with that channel. If you buy the 91016 foot switch then you can change the master volume being used with your foot while playing. What does that buy you? There's a couple different strategies I see people using. One is to dedicate an MV to the green clean channel and the other MV to the three remaining channels. I find myself doing that a lot as I find the green clean channel needs a little more oomph. The other thing you can do is use an MV for normal playing and the other for lead playing or whenever you need an instant volume boost. Since people often dedicate an MV to the green clean channel and it's set higher than the MV being used for the other channels you can kinda combine these strategies by switching to the MV being used for your green clean channel when you need a boost - of course that means you can't boost the green clean channel as easily when you want. Play around with it and you may come up with your own scheme!
This and an earlier post I hope explains the options with 2 master volumes.
I have never tried any Origin, had DSL40CR for 1.5 years about.
I very soon got the 6 switch board (91016) since the included one did not help much.
As mentioned (and this is my opinion ymmv etc) I keep MV1 for green clean and MV2 for the other 3 choices. So I can have some decent similar volume level when swapping.
I kind of like the other green next best after clean green, and clean red comes close after. But the Ultra gain red just feel like it is trying to do too much and ends up not as harmonic. I am using pedals a lot though so there might be something to get anyway. Or mod it.
Reverb felt very thin at first, but then I found myself using it on full as an always on. Now I just don't want to turn it off.
I got a reverb pedal for when I want lots of effect, else the dsl gives me a nice enough level.
FX I use, small bug though (at least in my unit): you sometimes have to press fx button twice to engage or disengage first time after power on. Next click is normal toggle. Until you turn it off again... My FX is always on so no big issue.
I would have liked an XLR exit.
There is a jack for running an mp3 player or phone or similar, but the quality is not very good.
All in all I am happy. It feels versatile enough, but I do not use all features to the max.
And many say it gets better when cranked, but I have to take it outside to try that.
The stock speaker gets lots of love as well.
Let us known what you end up choosing :)
 
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Cal Nevari

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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
Hi Webcat!

Great question! As you can see many varied opinions. Wanted to try to answer a question that seems to have caused some confusion before getting to your main question of Origin vs. DSL.

You were wondering why the DSL40CR had two master volumes, which seems a contradiction in terms. What the amp really has is two channels, each with two sub channels. If you look up the amp at Marshall.com it has a nice schematic of the control panel. The two channels are Classic and Ultra Gain. The two sub channels are Clean/Crunch on the former and OD1/OD2 on the latter. The sub channels are more or less self descriptive, OD2 being somewhat more saturated than OD1. Each channel has a gain and volume knob. My understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that the gain and volume knobs for each channel affect the pre-amp, whilst the master volume knobs affect the power amp section. Thus, even though having two master volumes does not make intuitive sense, these volumes knobs are really just masters for the channels, not the amp. As such, the amp itself does not have an overall master volume (one knob to rule them all!).

Some YT users suggest turning both the MVs all the way up and using the gain and volume for each channel to control the sound level. If you do this, then switching between Master 1 and 2 has no effect, for obvious reasons. I tried this but the hiss was so awful, even with the channel gain and volume (and even the guitar) turned way down, that it was impractical. Might work for some players but not for me. So, where having two masters does come in handy is not immediately obvious, but you can actually assign which master volume each of the channels goes through! This took me a while to figure out. I assumed, as many probably do, that Master 1 was for the Classic Gain and Master 2 was for the Ultra Gain, which is incorrect; they can be assigned to either channel. Unfortunately, the reason it's not immediately clear is that the footswitch that comes with the amp (PEDL-90012) has two functions: one button switches between the Classic and Ultra Gain channels (NOT Master 1 and 2) and the other button turns on and off the effects loop.

You need to purchase the PEDL-91016 6-button pedal to access the full flexibility and tonal variations of the amp, though. With this pedal, you can access all four of the sub channels, which you cannot do with the included footswitch, as well as switching between Master 1 and Master 2! The sixth button still controls the effects loop. So what this means is that you can run any of the four sub channels through either of the master volumes, thereby creating 8 different tones. Where this really comes in handy is switching between Clean and Crunch on the Classic Gain channel because the Crunch is way louder than the Clean. If you assign Clean to Master 1 and turn that up, assign Crunch to Master 2 and turn that down, you can even out the volume levels between the two.

The EQ section is very bizarre, as it includes two knobs that actually cut certain frequencies (Presence and Resonance) and a Tone Shift button, which to my ear makes the sound anemic. Others probably have better explanations as to what these things do and some practical usages. I don't mess with them much, using the traditional 3-band EQ. As an aside, the reverb is very subtle, which is a diplomatic way of saying it sucks. Another MF member opined that if you're playing a Marshall amp, you should turn it up loud enough to echo off the walls and you shouldn't need reverb! I humbly agree...

On to your question about DSL vs. Origin. My rig consists of a DSL40CR and an Origin 20, both combos. I play Les Pauls almost exclusively and have a very simple pedal setup (Blues Driver, Chorus, Delay). You could set up such a pedal array within the effects loop, which places them between the pre-amp and power amp sections. For shows, I prefer to use the stereo out from my chorus to plug in directly to both amps (not in the effects loop), set at least 20' to 30' apart. Needless to say, since both amps have effects loops, you could set up your effects anywhere you want. There are plenty of other threads that discuss effects loops, so I'll defer to them. Btw, my DSL40 is set to the 20W (rather than 40W) output to match the output level of the Origin 20, which actually can be run in 0.5, 3, and 20W configurations. For practice I use the DSL in our studio and the Origin at home. Btw, the footswitch included with the Origin (PEDL-90016) offers a boost option. You can achieve this manually by pulling out the gain knob. You could use this for solos or other situations where you want to cut through the mix, as the kids say. The other button is for the effects loop.

Differences: the DSL is clearly much more versatile, for reasons stated above; however, the reverb is so anemic that you shouldn't let that sway you. The Origin has no built-in drive, but my Blues Driver is more than adequate. Your Tube Screamer should also be adequate for distortion. With the volume and gain way up, you do get some break up on the Origin, but it's not saturated distortion like on the DSL. The control panel on the Origin is much more simple and I prefer it to the rather busy DSL, but it has a few odd settings as well, such as Tilt and Presence. I'll leave it others to explain what (if anything) those settings do. When I was researching the two amps, one reviewer stated it simply: the Origin is for old-school players, the DSL is for modern players. I got the Origin but then a band I was in insisted on DSLs, so then I got that one. I really use only one of the channels on the DSL, so for me the other bells and whistles are superfluous. My feeling is that if you are an old-school player, and it sounds like you are, the Origin would meet your needs. That said, if you can get both, that's gravy! But also very expensive.

Hope that helps!

Cal
 

webcat

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Hi Webcat!

Great question! As you can see many varied opinions. Wanted to try to answer a question that seems to have caused some confusion before getting to your main question of Origin vs. DSL.

You were wondering why the DSL40CR had two master volumes, which seems a contradiction in terms. What the amp really has is two channels, each with two sub channels. If you look up the amp at Marshall.com it has a nice schematic of the control panel. The two channels are Classic and Ultra Gain. The two sub channels are Clean/Crunch on the former and OD1/OD2 on the latter. The sub channels are more or less self descriptive, OD2 being somewhat more saturated than OD1. Each channel has a gain and volume knob. My understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that the gain and volume knobs for each channel affect the pre-amp, whilst the master volume knobs affect the power amp section. Thus, even though having two master volumes does not make intuitive sense, these volumes knobs are really just masters for the channels, not the amp. As such, the amp itself does not have an overall master volume (one knob to rule them all!).

Some YT users suggest turning both the MVs all the way up and using the gain and volume for each channel to control the sound level. If you do this, then switching between Master 1 and 2 has no effect, for obvious reasons. I tried this but the hiss was so awful, even with the channel gain and volume (and even the guitar) turned way down, that it was impractical. Might work for some players but not for me. So, where having two masters does come in handy is not immediately obvious, but you can actually assign which master volume each of the channels goes through! This took me a while to figure out. I assumed, as many probably do, that Master 1 was for the Classic Gain and Master 2 was for the Ultra Gain, which is incorrect; they can be assigned to either channel. Unfortunately, the reason it's not immediately clear is that the footswitch that comes with the amp (PEDL-90012) has two functions: one button switches between the Classic and Ultra Gain channels (NOT Master 1 and 2) and the other button turns on and off the effects loop.

You need to purchase the PEDL-91016 6-button pedal to access the full flexibility and tonal variations of the amp, though. With this pedal, you can access all four of the sub channels, which you cannot do with the included footswitch, as well as switching between Master 1 and Master 2! The sixth button still controls the effects loop. So what this means is that you can run any of the four sub channels through either of the master volumes, thereby creating 8 different tones. Where this really comes in handy is switching between Clean and Crunch on the Classic Gain channel because the Crunch is way louder than the Clean. If you assign Clean to Master 1 and turn that up, assign Crunch to Master 2 and turn that down, you can even out the volume levels between the two.

The EQ section is very bizarre, as it includes two knobs that actually cut certain frequencies (Presence and Resonance) and a Tone Shift button, which to my ear makes the sound anemic. Others probably have better explanations as to what these things do and some practical usages. I don't mess with them much, using the traditional 3-band EQ. As an aside, the reverb is very subtle, which is a diplomatic way of saying it sucks. Another MF member opined that if you're playing a Marshall amp, you should turn it up loud enough to echo off the walls and you shouldn't need reverb! I humbly agree...

On to your question about DSL vs. Origin. My rig consists of a DSL40CR and an Origin 20, both combos. I play Les Pauls almost exclusively and have a very simple pedal setup (Blues Driver, Chorus, Delay). You could set up such a pedal array within the effects loop, which places them between the pre-amp and power amp sections. For shows, I prefer to use the stereo out from my chorus to plug in directly to both amps (not in the effects loop), set at least 20' to 30' apart. Needless to say, since both amps have effects loops, you could set up your effects anywhere you want. There are plenty of other threads that discuss effects loops, so I'll defer to them. Btw, my DSL40 is set to the 20W (rather than 40W) output to match the output level of the Origin 20, which actually can be run in 0.5, 3, and 20W configurations. For practice I use the DSL in our studio and the Origin at home. Btw, the footswitch included with the Origin (PEDL-90016) offers a boost option. You can achieve this manually by pulling out the gain knob. You could use this for solos or other situations where you want to cut through the mix, as the kids say. The other button is for the effects loop.

Differences: the DSL is clearly much more versatile, for reasons stated above; however, the reverb is so anemic that you shouldn't let that sway you. The Origin has no built-in drive, but my Blues Driver is more than adequate. Your Tube Screamer should also be adequate for distortion. With the volume and gain way up, you do get some break up on the Origin, but it's not saturated distortion like on the DSL. The control panel on the Origin is much more simple and I prefer it to the rather busy DSL, but it has a few odd settings as well, such as Tilt and Presence. I'll leave it others to explain what (if anything) those settings do. When I was researching the two amps, one reviewer stated it simply: the Origin is for old-school players, the DSL is for modern players. I got the Origin but then a band I was in insisted on DSLs, so then I got that one. I really use only one of the channels on the DSL, so for me the other bells and whistles are superfluous. My feeling is that if you are an old-school player, and it sounds like you are, the Origin would meet your needs. That said, if you can get both, that's gravy! But also very expensive.

Hope that helps!

Cal
That’s really helpful, thanks for taking the time to share all those details!
 

Leonard Neemoil

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I love my Origin 50w. It's almost as good as my last vintage Marshall 100w 1972. Great cleans and awesome dirties since you use a pedal in front of it. But I know, it's an amp for those who like vintage style amps and may have limitations for more modern guitarists.

My Origin 50 with the gain at full and a boost to push it harder:


Nice playing!

I could easily imagine Plant singing when the video ended.
 

fitz

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I love my Origin 50w. It's almost as good as my last vintage Marshall 100w 1972. Great cleans and awesome dirties since you use a pedal in front of it. But I know, it's an amp for those who like vintage style amps and may have limitations for more modern guitarists.

My Origin 50 with the gain at full and a boost to push it harder:

:welcome:to the forum.
OK, now that makes me want an Origin too!
Wait, I already got one...
Some superb Zep there brother :applause:
 


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