Dating marshall amps
The band, Underwood says, played several numbers including Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah and, crucially, a cover of the recent Beatles hit I Saw Her Standing There – which was not released in 1962 at all, but on 22 March 1963. According to Flett, the genesis of the idea for a Marshall amp lay with Jim’s son Terry Marshall and also with Mick Borer, who worked in the shop (incidentally, Terry and Mick would both leave Jim Marshall’s operation at the same time, in 1968 – at which point the ‘JTM’ designation for ‘Jim and Terry Marshall’ would abruptly be changed to ‘JMP’ for ‘Jim Marshall Products’ – and later joined forces with Simms-Watts amplifiers based in nearby Ealing).
Terry Marshall has also said that he was present at the first trial of the prototype amp, that he was playing sax in the Ealing Club band, and that he also remembers the guitars that were used that day… The very first amplifiers – a run of six, most parties agree – were not built on Marshall premises, since at number 76, the tiny shop with a counter down one side and drums piled on shelves to save space, there was simply no room.
The differences in the sound between the Fender 5F6A circuit and the new amp were bought about both by component choice and component availability.
The all-important first valve in the preamp stage in the Fender was a 12AT7; the UK amp used a ‘gainier’ 12AX7.
However, everyone agrees that the new amp was not intended to exactly ape the Bassman, but to better it.
Ken Underwood says that the first amp – Marshall, or Craven/Findlay?
The official Marshall tale is consistent and often-repeated.