In Praise of the Stack

There’s no sight finer than a guitarist stood in front of a towering stack of Marshall Amps head down, fingers gliding across the strings and the crowd going wild for a guitar solo!

The Marshall Amp was first launched to offer a cheaper rival to guitar amps from the USA, and there’s been no looking back since then. What I love about the birth of the Marshall Amp is that its development was conducted in association with musicians; the Amp was modified and improved to deliver the sound requirements of musicians from the 1960s. Key to this development was the involvement of Pete Townshend (famous for his swinging, windmill style move) and John Entwistle (one of the world’s finest bass players ever) from The Who; both were looking for amplifiers to deliver greater sound amplification – as each member became louder, the other would have to become louder to compete – the result, the 100 watt Marshall valve amplifier.

Marshall Amps have built a musical legacy by producing amplifiers which deliver the volume and sound that the world’s finest musicians seek. Today, Marshall produces a range of amplifiers with classic series, limited edition and vintage series all available. The logo has become synonymous with sound quality, hard rocking guitarists and as well as being positioned in the centre of the amps it can now be found on mugs, bags, caps, whisky glasses and of course music t-shirts and clothing.

Some of the biggest names in music have used the Marshall amplifier and some of these musicians have used the biggest Marshall stacks! What do you need for a full stack:

  • A head – this is where you need to choose your amplifier, there’s plenty of options
  • Two stacked speaker cabinets – these are the 4x12s, each cabinet contains four 12” speakers

So you have your stack, what next? Create a wall of stacks of course! Stacks can also be turned into walls and there have been some very impressive sights of guitarists not just stood in front of a stack but a WALL of cabinets. Check out Jeff Hanneman of Slayer to see how to build a wall that is worthy of these gods of speed and thrash metal!

So you want to live out your rock dream and build your own stack, well you’ll be in good company. Some of the biggest guitarists have stood in front of a towering stack, from Joe Satriani, Pete Townshend and of course Jimi Hendrix delivered his voodoo magic through a Marshall stack. The Marshall amplifier was crucial in the development of Hendrix’s style and sound – a pretty impressive legacy for any musical product if you ask me!

There are some instances now where the impressive stack of Marshall amps is just a fake façade, positioned on stage to create the illusion of volume and power, which thanks to modern technology can be achieved through a well-mic’ed amp in a top of the range PA system.

I hope we don’t move towards a time where the only Marshall stacks touring the globe are fake walls of amps… guitarists keep the stack alive, oh and turn it up to 11!

This post was brought to you by guest author Ben P. of Thanks Ben! If YOU would like to contribute drop us line right over here.