Ken Bran, legendary Marshall technician, passes away

(Image credit: bbc)

Ken Bran, one of the technicians behind Marshall Amplification’s very first amps, passed away on Sunday 25 March 2018, according to a Facebook post from the British amp firm.

Along with Jim Marshall and Dudley Craven, Ken Bran - who worked in Jim’s shop at the time - was behind Marshall’s first amp, the JTM45, which launched in 1962.

The first six production units were put together in the trio’s garden sheds, where the decision was made to separate the head and cabinet, giving birth to the stack format that came to define the image of live rock and roll.

When the likes of Pete Townshend later sought out increased power, Bran, Craven and Marshall developed the 100-watt Marshall Super Lead Model 1959, commonly known as the Plexi, in 1965.

You can see Ken discussing the birth of ‘number one’ over at the BBC.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.