Brands

Marshall Amps

Marshall is arguably one of the biggest names in electric guitar amplification. With their legendary amps adorning the stages of some of rock’s biggest names, their products remain a popular choice in the 21st Century.

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Marshall Amps

Known for their signature “crunch”, Marshall were game-changers in developing the saturated “distorted” sound that we are all familiar with.

With renowned players including Angus Young (AC/DC), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society) and Joe Satriani on their roster, Marshall’s reputation is as good as it has ever been.

History of Marshall

Marshall Amplification was founded by Jim Marshall in 1962. Owning a shop in London that stocked a variety of musical instruments, most notably drums, Jim’s high-calibre customers (including Pete Townsend and Ritchie Blackmore) encouraged him to stock guitars and amps.

Hearing their frustrations at not finding the sound they wanted, Jim took this as a request and with a small team started to build amplifiers. As they say, the rest is history…

Early amplifiers included the iconic ’59 Super Lead (“Plexi”), a tube-powered head with incredible volume and headroom that could fill the biggest of venues. Legendary acts such as Led Zeppelin and The Jimi Hendrix Experience used this amp, cranking them to pioneer that famous Marshall grit.

Since then, Marshall has released an incredible amount of respected amplifiers. Highlights include the 2203 & 2204 heads unveiled in the mid-70s, which featured dedicated distortion circuitry and became trend-setters in the amp world. This lead to the JCM800 series, with a “modern” sound that laid down the foundation for 80’s rock/metal tones. The hybrid Valvestate series hit stores in the early 90s, giving younger players the chance to get great valve-esque tones at an affordable price. Later in the decade, the company produced their own line of effects pedals, which have remained a part of their catalogue ever since.

Series

Expanding their range with combos, acoustic guitar amplifiers and bass amps over the years, Marshall provide guitarists and bassists with incredible tone and quality.

Their current range includes the flagship JVM amplifiers, pure valve heads/combos that capture all of the tones from their classic amplifiers. Going strong more than 10 years after their release in 2007, the JVM range are modern classics and still remain hugely popular. The DSL amplifiers provide tube-driven tones within the reach of beginner/intermediate players price-wise, whilst the MG and CODE series are affordable solid state/digital beasts that can deliver convincing valve amp sounds.

Marshall FAQs

Why are Marshall amps so popular?

Marshall Amplification was founded by Jim Marshall in 1962, and quickly became synonymous with increased volume and crunchy sound. Marshall amps were also popularised by trailblazing guitarists like Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. They eventually became one of the go-to brands for crunchy-sounding amps, popular among rock and metal players - and remain so to this day.

What's the difference between Marshall JCM, JVM and DSL?

Marshall JCM amps were introduced in 1981, with EL34 power valves and a more high-gain sound than some of their previous amplifiers. Marshall JVM amps offer more versatility, with extra channels and controls, while retaining the famous Marshall crunch. DSL stands for Dual Super Lead, and could be seen as the mid-point between JCM and JVM. 2-channel Marshall crunch, but with additional controls and versatile sound options.

Are Marshall amps valve-powered or solid-state?

Like many manufacturers, Marshall offer both valve-powered and solid-state options in their range. Many of their valve amps offer the classic crunch sounds that put the brand on the map, like the reissue JCM. By contrast, their solid-state and modelling amps tend to have more modern sounds - very versatile and great for practice/recording.

Why do some Marshall Amps have multiple inputs?

Some Marshall amps have multiple inputs that you can choose depending on your instrument/preferred sound. The differences are usually high/low-gain input and rhythm/treble. This lets you choose between a softer, cleaner sounds and brighter/more aggressive tones.