50 years in the making

How marshall celebrated 50 years of success

Posted: 13 October 2020

The year 2012 was a big deal for Marshall. 50 years of success is a big achievement for any company let alone one which, according to Slash, has “provided the standard for the industry”.  It was not going to be an anniversary we could let pass without celebration; nor one which would be celebrated like any other company.

Marshall began the year by announcing, at NAMM, we would be releasing 5 sets of very special 1-watt heads and combos. These would be British built, all valve and limited edition… something that no Marshall fan would want to miss. The 5 sets would celebrate the 5 preceding decades and be released at 11-week intervals, showing the fans that this was going to be a yearlong party!

The 50th Anniversary models would be inspired by our most iconic amps in their respective ten-year periods: the JTM would act for the 1960’s, the JMP for the 1970’s, the JCM would represent the 1980’s, the DSL for the 1990’s and finally the JVM for the 2000’s.

1970's: jmp-1h head and jmp-1c combo

In March, Marshall released  the 70’s inspired set: the JMP-1H head and JMP-1C combo. The amp featured the 70's style gold logo, a non-Plexi gold-anodized aluminum front panel and checkered grille cloth on the combo. The combo was also available with either an 8 inch or 10 inch Celestion speaker. These were the most sought after of  the 50th anniversary amps with almost 3000 units built to help meet the demand. This amp received glowing reviews, with Guitarist Magazine saying that “Overall the results are stunning, and we’re amazed at just how well both reference their full-sized ancestors"

1990's: dsl-1h head and dsl-1c combo

Finding the amp to sum up the 1990’s was the only period where the choice wasn’t blindingly obvious. After serious consideration Jim and the team ultimately made the decision that the DSL was the worthy winner thanks to its two channels and unique tone. This provided an engineering challenge as it was key to include both channels along with EQ shaping features in a tiny package. Once the team were happy with what was under the hood, the DSL-1 set had far more features than most of the other 1-watt amp sets and set the blueprint for all practice amps to follow. Following its release in September 2400 models were quickly snapped up by eager fans.

limited edition hand wired mkii bluesbreaker combo

No Marshall anniversary would be complete without mention of the 1962. After all the treasured combo amp, otherwise called the ‘Bluesbreaker’, is one of the most highly acclaimed and sought-after combos in rock history. On top of that  its name coincidentally marks the year when it all started. With this in mind we created a limited edition, hand wired, MKII Bluesbreaker combo, which was only ever available to purchase in conjunction with an aged, gold top, Gibson Les Paul. This meant it was extremely hard to get hold of and had a hefty price tag to go with it. Only 50 were available in the worldwide, but this was the closest you could get to the original second-series of the 1962.

take a look at the full limited edition 50th anniversary series