Marshall pays tribute to its founder with beautiful retro amps and cabs
To mark what would have been the 100th birthday of the Father of Loud, Marshall has introduced the Studio JTM series, an amp head with matching speaker cabinets plus a combo amp – all looking like they might have stepped straight out of 1960s.
Responding to requests from players visiting his West London music store, Jim Marshall began prototyping a "new breed of amplifier" in 1962. Much testing and tweaking later, and the first production Jim Terry (named after his son) Marshall 45 was put up for sale the following year.
Though it used the same 6L6 valves (tubes) in the output stage as the Fender Bassman it was originally based on, the development team opted for a 12AX7 valve for first position in the chain, altered the harmonics with a modified negative feedback circuit and wrapped it all up in an aluminum chassis. Celestian speakers were also chosen for the closed cabinet instead of Jensen.
The Studio JTM not only rocks a similar exterior vibe to those early builds – including the dark leatherette and blonde coverings and "coffin badge" – but has also been designed with "the same legendary, warm and smooth tone that inspired generations of musicians to launch their musical visions onto the world."
The range starts with the ST20H head at US$2,350, which boasts two ECC83 preamp valves and an ECC83 phase splitter, and two 5881 power amp valves. There are four instrument inputs and five output jacks plus an effects loop, the player can drop from full 20-W output power to 5 watts for smaller rooms, and there are three EQ knobs plus more treble if needed.
This portable unit will need to be cabled to a speaker cabinet, and Marshall has two on offer – one that's home so a single 12-inch G12M-65 Creamback Celestian speaker and is priced at $1,480, and a larger beast hosting two G12M-65s for $1,850. The final member of the tribute family is the $2,650 ST20C combo amp, which essentially brings the head and single-speaker cabinet together in one place.
The Studio JTM range represents the first product release since Marshall merged with Sweden's Zound Industries (which has been making the Marshall-branded headphones and speakers for the last few years) to become the Marshall Group.
The video below has more.
Product page: Marshall Studio JTM