NAMM 2018: Marshall Origin
Published on 26 January 2018
Legendary British amplifier institution Marshall have brought forth not one but two new ranges of valve amps this year, unveiled at Winter NAMM 2018 in Anaheim, California. This most iconic of amp brands have been on more stages and studios than perhaps any other amps manufacturer in history and form what we’ve heard and seen, this new lines are definitely worth getting excited about! One of the two ranges is an update of the famous DSL range and the other is an entirely new range, the Origin Series.
The fantastic Origin series will be a mouth-watering proposition for Marshall fans. These amps, available in 20 & 50w heads as well as 2, 20 & 50w combos, are single channel, all-valve models with vintage Marshall looks and tone. No mere reissues though, the Origin series make use of interesting features like push/pull gain switching and 2 blend-able preamp voices. There is also an emulated DI just like in the new DSL range to allow silent practice/recording and extra live options for your venue’s sound tech to mix with.
Plugging into the 50w combo, what is immediately clear is the quality of tone and response to touch and dynamics. Setting the amp for a medium crunch, you really can turn back your guitar’s volume knob and adjust your pick attack to achieve a sparkling and expressive clean tone that boils over into a gutsy crunch when your instrument volume is timed and you dig in with your pick! It’s enormously liberating to have such control without stomping on a pedal or reaching across to the amp’s front panel.
Speaking of the front panel, there's an unusually named control knob next to the EQ stack. Called ‘Tilt’, this is actually a blend control for the two separate preamp voices. One of these is what we’d describe as ‘normal’ whilst the other is ‘bright’. Turning the tilt knob to either extreme gives you one of these voices only whilst sitting it at 12 o’clock with give you an equal blend of both and deliver arguably the best tone!
Pulling the gain knob out adds an extra level of filth and brings this into classic Marshall heavy overdrive-land. This rich, sustaining sound has plenty of that genius bark that we all love along with a degree of musically harmonic overtones. This amp really sings and brings out the best of your guitar and your playing.
We expect the Origin series will be a godsend for anyone wishing to record high-quality Marshall tones as well as anybody looking for excellent valve tone with character and heritage.
With this new Origin range, Marshall return to dominate the world of true valve amplifiers. These amps are being released soon so sign up for our email newsletter (at the bottom of our website’s front page) to get up to date info!