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Man who invented the Marshall Amp, Jim Marshall passes away

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 5th, 2012
Catholic Online (

Jim Marshall, the creator of the Marshall Amp, a guitar amplifier known the world over for its use in "arena rock" situations - tow quote a line in "This Is Spinal Tap," "We crank this up to 11!" - has passed away. "The Lord of Loud" Jim Marshall has died at the age of 88.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall," the company's Web site read.

"While mourning the Guv'nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life."

Tributes from musicians around the world have are pouring in. Marshall is credited with helping to shape the sound of guitar rock.

"The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening," former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash said in a message on Twitter. "R & R will never be the same w/out him. But, his amps will live on FOREVER!"

"Your memory, the music and joy your amps have brought to countless millions for the past five decades and that world-famous, omnipresent script logo that proudly bears your name will always live on," the company wrote in a statement.

Born in London in 1923, Marshall started out as a drummer before going into business and founding Marshall Amplification in 1962.

Marshall began making guitar amplifiers in Britain as a cheaper alternative to U.S. imports. Having limited experience as an electrical engineer. He enlisted the help of his shop repairman Ken Bran and an EMI technician named Dudley Craven, and between them they decided they most liked the sound of the 4x10" Fender Bassman. They made several prototypes using the Fender Bassman amp as a model. The sixth prototype produced, in Jim's words, the "Marshall Sound." Legendary musicians including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton were using his equipment.

The classic Marshall Stack is one of the defining images behind loud rock music. A full stack consists of one head containing the actual amplifier, on top of two stacked 4x12s, which are loudspeaker cabinets each containing four 12 inch loudspeakers arranged in a square layout. The top cabinet has the top two loudspeakers angled slightly upwards, giving the Marshall stack a distinctive appearance. When a single cabinet is used, the complete unit is called a half stack.

Marshall is recognized as one of the four forefathers of rock music equipment along with Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover.


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