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The History of Marshall Guitar Amps

Published: Mon June 30, 2014  News Feed

The History of Marshall Amps

Marshall history block logo new modern guitar amp valve
Marshall Amps are one of the biggest guitar amplifier manufacturers out there - but it wasn't always this way. From the back of a music shop to worldwide fame, we take a look at Marshall history and their evolution over the years.

Jim Marshall

Born in London, 1923, Jim Marshall was the heart and soul of Marshall Amps as we know it. He didn't go to school but started work at the age of 13 and had a deep passion for music. When working in a drum shop he met many musicians and realised guitarists wanted a specific type of amplifier that no one offered. In 1962 he put together a team of design experts and designed a prototype for Pete Townshend. Marshall was born.

The amps were extremely popular during the 60s and contributed enormously to the outburst of rock music. If Marshalls didn't exist, would the music of today be the same? In 1966 Marshall moved into their Bletchley factory in England where they hand made all their high-end amps - and still do to this day.

The Marshall Factory

This quick video gives you an idea of what goes in the Marshall factory. A combination of machinery and experts mean that each guitar amp is constructed with accuracy and tested to be the same high standard you can expect of all Marshalls.

Marshall still let their customers look around their factory - and it is this honest 'open doors' policy that reinforce they've got nothing to hide...they're proud of the way they build their amps.

Here's Marshall in action, building their limited edition Bluesbreaker (which we have here!)

marshall factory handmade handwired guitar ampmarshall factory milton keynes mk guitar amp build hand made
how to build marshall guitar amp factory handmademarshall amp history guitar

And in case you are wondering what goes into each amp...

marshall amps guitar amplifier how to make valve speaker

Famous Artists That Use Marshall

marshall amp wall of sound
A 'Wall of Marshalls' was a common sight on many stages during the 60s, with notable artists such as Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, The Who, Led Zeppelin and so many more using them.

jimi hendrix jimmy marshall guitar amp amplifier

Modern artists using Marshalls include Biffy Clyro, Bring Me The Horizon, Deftones, Kasabian and loooooads more. It is quite interesting to note that their musical genres range from indie right through to heavy metal - so you can get quite a range of tones out of a Marshall.

We're Part of The Marshall Elite

Marshall Elite Dealer UK approved authorised

We like to think we know a lot about Marshalls. That's why we have been accepted into the Marshall Elite! Not only are we an authorised UK dealer, but we also have exclusive limited edition amps that others can't get their hands on! So if you ever have any questions Marshall related, just give us a call and we can help you out. 

5 of The Best Marshall Valve Amps

Your amp should be full of tone and character with enough power to keep up with the band.

In order from the most affordable to high-end, heres our top Marshall amps:

Marshall SL5 Slash Signature guitar amp amplifier valve class A SL-5C Combo

Don't be fooled by the small size of this thing. Designed by Slash of Guns 'n' Roses himself, it includes everything a guitarists wants in an amp. 5 Watts of power with the ability to drop that to 1 Watt for practice and studio sessions. A real fierce Class A amplifier.

Speaker: 1x12" Celestion Vintage 30
Pre-Amp Valves: 3x ECC83
Power Amp Valves: 1x EL84
marshal dsl40 combo guitar amp valve gig amplifier  DSL40C Combo

With 40 Watts of power the DSL40C is definitely loud enough for most venues around town, and you can drop it to 20 Watts for practice sessions. Two channels that are switchable with the included footswitch. Built-in digital reverb.

Speaker: 1x12" Celestion Seventy 80
Pre-Amp Valves: 3x ECC83
Power Amp Valves: 1x ECC83, 2x EL34
 Marshall jtm45 2245 guitar amp head amplifier first ever marshall plexi JTM45 2245 Head

An incredibly accurate reissue of the first ever Marshall. With that tone that so many guitarists have tried to replicate over the last 50 years, the JTM45 sounds amazing. 30 Watts of power with two channels. Match it up with the 1960AHW for pure vintage goodness. And if you want something truly special, look at the Handwired JTM45.

Pre-Amp Valves: 3x ECC83
Power Amp Valves: 2x 5881
 marshall jcm 800 vintage guitar amp tube valve 2203 JCM800 2203 Head

Back due to popular demand, the JCM800 is a reissue of the classic 2203 guitar head. Pair this up with a 1960A cab and you have a monster of an amp. 100 Watts of power, one channel, no frills.

Pre-Amp Valves: 4x EL34
Power Amp Valves: 3x ECC83
marshall 1973x handwired hand made guitar amp combo 18w 1973x Handwired Combo

Handwired and top of the range, the boutique 1973x has 18 Watts of power that screams classic Marshall. Built-in 60s Tremolo effect with lovely retro looks to suit.

Speakers: 2x12" Celestion Greenback
Pre-Amp Valves: 3x ECC83/12AX7
Power Valves: 2x EL84, 1x EZ81 rectifier

Being a Marshall Elite dealer, you can ask us anything you want to know about their guitar amps or pedals and we will happily get back to you.

We have a huge stock including special limitied edition models that most other places won't have... so keep your eyes peeled!
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