No amplifier manufacturer is as synonymous with rock and metal music as Marshall Amplification, the British-based company with a client list that reads like a who's who of guitar and bass greats. Founder Jim Marshall started out as a drum kit retailer but began building amplifiers in the early 1960s, setting out to create a new valve guitar amplifier, using the Fender Bassman amp as a model. With the sixth prototype, he hit upon 'the Marshall sound'.
These were the JTM45 amps and were built as heads, with separate speaker cabinets loaded with four 12-inch Celestions. In 1965, the first combos and 100-watt models were created. By the late '60s, rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix could be seen playing against a backdrop of Marshall 'stacks'. The mid-'70s saw the launch of the Master Volume Marshall amps and in 1982, the company introduced its now-classic JCM800 split channel amps.