The History of Marshall Amps

 

Reverb.com recently did a great article on the history of one of the most iconic amp companies of all time- Marshall.

Part 1 of the article walks through the beginnings of the company with the JTM 45, going through the Bluesbreaker, the first 50 and 100 watt amps through the legendary Plexi.

This is a great article for the amp geek that wants to learn more about the amps that changed the electric guitar

When we think of electric guitar these days, we often think of the icons of your local classic rock radio station or modern hard rock bands. We don't usually think of Charlie Christian, T-Bone Walker or even Les Paul (the man), though they all had considerable parts in moving the instrument forward. The reason for that is simple: Marshall amplifiers.

Marshall amps made it possible to get the sort of stadium-filling, high gain crunch we now associate with rock. Technology always opens up new avenues for art, and the hundred-watt stacks pioneered by Jim Marshall were no different. They created not only a new tonal palette, but an entirely new concert experience. For the first time, people could see a band live with hundreds of thousands of fellow fans and actually hear the band over the crowd. In some cases, the band could now drown out the crowd completely.

The legacy of Marshall amps doesn’t rest solely upon the 100-watt Super Lead, though. From the early JTM 45 prototypes to the Bluesbreaker combos and later innovations, Marshall stood for a particular sonic response, a brand of British rock quite separate from the jangly tones of Vox amps. While Fender amps may have blazed a trail for country and early rock ‘n roll, we owe modern lead guitar tone to the precedent-setting Marshall amps of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Part one of this series will take a look at the iconic models and events from the company’s birth in 1962 to the end of hand-wired production in 1973. While we do some decoding of various model names in this article, you can get a full breakdown of serial number dating and speaker codes for Marshall amps in our Marshall Dating Guide.

Read the rest at Reverb.com

The History of Marshall Amps Part 1