The History of Marshall
Michael Doyle and Nick Bowcott
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Buy *The History of Marshall: The First Fifty Years* by Michael Doyle and Nick Bowcotto nline

The History of Marshall: The First Fifty Years
Michael Doyle and Nick Bowcott
Hal Leonard
352 pages
November 2013
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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It is one of the most iconic images that has ever existed in the world of rock 'n' roll: the Marshall stack. The huge cabinets and head standing behind guitar players since they first came out 50 years ago. Everything we attribute to heavy rock and modern metal--huge, distorted guitars, screaming solos, and mountainous walls of chugging rhythms--would be different without Jim Marshall and his music-changing amplifiers.

Doyle, who first published an overview of the amp 20 years with The History of Marshall, once again tackles the historic gear. This expanded version traces the history from the amp's origins through today in a series of technically oriented and carefully photographed chapters.

The author has done an inspired amount of research in putting this one together. He has interviewed Jim Marshall (who recently died) as well as other key players in the development of the amp, including Ken Bran and various engineers. Much of the book is given over to meticulously detailed research on the actual specs: types of speakers, cabinets, electronics, wiring, transformers and the like.

The photographs will make any amp nerd drool. There are shots of vintage amps from every year including exploded views of the insides of the mythical creatures. There are breakdowns of each style of amp and how they changed from year to year. It's a bit dizzying but fascinating for the true amp aficionado.

If you've ever owned a Marshall or just dreamt about it, you need to read this one. You will understand why it became the touchstone for electric guitar for half a century.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2014

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