updated 11:40 am EDT, Thu April 5, 2012
Marshall amp founder dies
The audio industry lost one of its iconic figures early Thursday. Marshall founder Jim Marshall has died in a hospice at age 88 in the wake of both cancer and multiple strokes. The British amplifier pioneer is survived both by his four children and stepchildren as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Marshall is widely credited with breaking with the expectations for amps by focusing on power over accuracy from the first 1960 amp onwards. The effect both helped bands' sounds fill larger venues with less effort and also gave the raw sound that defined many 1960s and 1970s rockers, including Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Marshall amps could stack and scale proportionately.
The industry icon was also well-known for his consistent values, including an insistence on keeping production near London and a taste for hard rock music.
His company has only slowly grown out of its amp roots and just recently started offering Marshall-branded headphones whose look is based on the signature black-and-white look of its core product. [image via Penmachine]