Jim Marshall Inventor of Marshall Amplifiers Dies at Age 88
Jim Marshall, the English inventor of the famed Marshall amplifier used often by major guitar rock artists, also known as the “Father of Loud”, died yesterday in the Buckinghamshire home. He was 88 years old.
Marshall started developing his amplifiers in the 1960′s, answering the request from customers like Pete Townsend and Ritchie Blackmore who needed a unique type of amplifier for blasting their heavy rock chords. In 1962, the first Marshall amp, the Marshall JTM 45 30-watt amplifier, stood a distorted sound–different from the clean sound of rival Fender amps — and very soon became a favorite of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, among other musicians.
Marshall, together with 18-year-old electronics apprentice Dudley Craven, toiled night and day to perfect the sound. After six attempts he finally created something he liked.
The 1st Marshall amps were standard, a black box using a speaker inside and a few controls on the top. Marshall is credited with inventing the “amp stack” where musicians stacked his amplifiers one along with another, creating towers that can produce huge sound.
Marshall’s intention was to produce an amplifier with a rough, fuzzy sound to fulfill young rock musicians as opposed to country and jazz musicians who often used Fender amps.
He turned his invention in a highly successful business, manufacturing the majority of his amplifiers in a tiny factory near his home in Milton Keynes north based in london.
He became a rock legend along the way, being named through the Marshall Amplification website–along with Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover–as being one of the forefathers of rock music equipment.
“Jim’s ascent into the history books as ‘the father of loud’ in which he responsible for ‘the sound of rock’ is a true rags-to-riches tale,” the Marshall Amplification website said. “In accessory for the creation of the amps chosen by countless guitar heroes and game changing bands, Jim has also been an incredibly humble and generous man who, in the last several decades, has quietly donated many millions of pounds to worth causes.”
Several rock musicians paid tribute, including Motley Crue bass player Nikki Sixx, who asserted he was in charge of some of the greatest audio moments in rock history, and then for causing “50 percent for all those our hearing loss.”
Through the years, Marshall became a larger-than-life figure. He enjoyed smoking Cuban cigars and single malt Scotch whiskey.
He began developing health problems late in your life, suffering several strokes before developing cancer late recently. The cancer was removed however it came back. Marshall died regarding his son Terry and his wife by his side.
Marshall seemed to be a drum teacher and an avid drummer. He or she is survived by two children, two stepchildren, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.