Marshall combos had been in production for nearly a year at that point, even going through one design change already.

This sealed cab allowed the use of sensitive Celestions – the spec changing from 15W to 20W apiece, and finally to 25W – with the sealed cushion of air inside the cab preventing the cones blowing at peak watts… mostly. According to Jim, Ritchie Blackmore, Big Jim Sullivan and Pete Townshendwere the three main guitarists who often came into the shop and pushed Marshall to make guitar amplifiers and told him the sound and design they wanted. Based on your location, we've changed your settings: Shipping Region: The July 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now. The front panels chip easily.

If you should buy one (something we heartily recommend if you can pull it off), be careful when removing a Plexi chassis from its wooden case. These early 100-watt versions of the JTM 45 became the "Dual Output" production model, named for its two separate 50-watt Drake transformers.

However, everyone agrees that the new amp was not intended to exactly ape the Bassman, but to better it.

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With the demand for a new sound and the cost of importing amps from elsewhere, Ken was convinced they could and should produce their own.

Townshend refused, so they initially built six of the cabinets (two for Townshend, two for Entwistle and two went to the Small Faces). © 2020 Guitar.com is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies.

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. Beefy.
What was that Marshall sound? Determined to improve upon the existing practice amp market, we began developing our own low powered amps. The Fender had four US-made 10″ Jensens in an open-backed cabinet: after initial experiments with two 12″ speakers, all lead or bass model Marshalls came with Jim’s personal brainchild of four 12″s in a closed cabinet. First came the model 1962 combo, essentially a JTM45 packaged with two Celestions, an amp now forever known as the ‘Bluesbreaker’ amp thanks to Eric Clapton’s epic use of it on the John Mayall With Eric Clapton ‘Beano’ LP. Facing competition from the immensely popular Vox AC30, Jim and his team had been developing a combo well before Clapton walked through the door.

The first amp ever made and sold by Marshall. The original 'it girl' of the amp world, the JCM800 is truly unforgettable. Hey!

His use of twitter comes under particular fire. With a bit more preamp filtering, updated transformers and self-destruction protection going into the next decade, Marshall amps had hit their stride. Learn More, We understand the importance of online privacy and are committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The Major's tube compliment was a trio of ECC83s (12AX7s) in the preamp, plus four Gold Lion KT88 power tubes. Confusing? Award-Session is a British institution in the field of analogue solid-state amps… but can you really replicate the sound of a tweed Fender Deluxe without valves?

Everyone knows Marshall for making things louder but that’s not the only way push boundaries. It merely refers to the acrylic plastic material (Plexiglas) the company often used for its front and back faceplates from 1965 to 1969. They had a tilted top (Jim's idea) and an open back for the top pair. Loud.

In search of more power, Pete Townshend let Jim know that 50 watts was not going to be enough. The Marshall Major was discontinued in 1974, after enjoying stage and studio time with the likes of John Entwistle, Mick Ronson and Ritchie Blackmore. Common lore has it that Clapton asked Marshall to build him a combo that would fit in the boot of his car. As Ken, Dudley and Jim refined the original amp design, they removed the polarity switch (a holdover from the ground on the Bassman circuit), a move that opened up more room on the now bright white control panel. We're bringing back the classics, in a smaller format. Pete Townshend pierces a Marshall speaker. You’ve seen them. While romantic and lionizing, this story is unfortunately not true. These post-1973 amps are considered less valuable, but whether or not they sound different is debatable.
Jim Marshall, who passed away in April 2012, began his career as a danceband drummer and drum tutor. With this new design cemented, Marshall amps went into the store's showroom in 1962. But that mixed demographic was about get an injection of rougher, more basic blues-based music, a heavy R&B blasting out of London and the south, and by 1966 the Marshall catalogue boasted such names as the Spencer Davis Group, the Yardbirds, the Graham Bond Organisation, the Action and the Small Faces. Terry Marshall has also said that he was present at the first trial of the prototype amp, that he was playing sax in the Ealing Club band, and that he also remembers the guitars that were used that day… a Strat and a Gibson 335.

After the situation in Greece went south, he left for London abruptly, leaving his JTM 45 half stack behind. Production ramped up over the course of 1963 with more a standardized centered chassis. Just months later, Marshall made some changes to the face plate and chassis, using a JTM logo of negative space inside a black “flag” and a steel chassis in place of aluminum. By 1965 the Marshall JTM 45 Mark II was well known in London.

After five prototypes, they had the first Marshall amp - the JTM 45 (JTM for James & Terry Marshall, 45 for the RMS-rated wattage).

They were incredibly loud, but also physically delicate since they operated on the edge of peak performance.

Ken Bran was next to come on board.

Before too long enough roadies had quit that Pete came back and asked Marshall cut it in half, as a single 8x12” cab proved too unwieldy for his (or anyone’s) road crew. Townshend had asked for a monster 8×12″ cabinet, but his roadies wisely advised that splitting the monster in two would be a much better idea. The very first examples – stubby-looking things by modern standards – came covered in smooth black leatherette, with an all-blonde front to match the speaker cab grilles.

We don't usually think of Charlie Christian, T-Bone Walker or even Les Paul (as a player), though they all had considerable parts in moving the instrument forward.


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