For over 40 years, Marshall has been the “sound of rock.” Their equipment is used by musicians throughout the world. Jim Marshall was a music store owner and a drum teacher. He started working to create the world’s first rock ‘n’ roll amp. This was in response to the vision of local guitar players. He built six prototypes of “number 1.” Number 1 became the JTM45. After six prototypes he had created the sound he was looking for. Every since then, many great guitarists have made Marshall’s their amps of choice.
Jim’s Marshall story has been told in a biography titled “Jim Marshall: The Father of Loud.” The forward is written by Jim’s friend and guitar legend, Slash. In his early years, Jim was a singer and a big-band drummer. Later his claim to fame became his creating of Marshall amplifiers. Jim always listened to the needs of the musicians. He worked to build amps that met their needs and expectations. He was forever improving his designs.
There is not much documentation available on the early Marshall amps. There was such a high demand for amplifiers that it was difficult to keep up with detailed records at the time. The first JTM45 models were produced in 1962. They featured smooth black covering, white grill cloth, silver polished aluminum panels, no rear panel and single speaker output. They changed to twin speaker outputs the following year. The first 100 Watt amps were seen in 1965.
Over the years Marshall continued upgrading and making changes to their amplifiers. The first transistor 100 Watt was introduced in 1974. JCM 800 range was introduced in 1981. The following year, the first split channel amps were introduced.
Marshall always has and continues to recognize the importance of teamwork. They are responsive to the expectations, needs and wants of the musicians. Over the years modifications and fine-tuning has been an important part of the success of Marshall Amplifiers. This is one of the reasons why many great musicians throughout the world use Marshall amps.