An amplifier converts the electric signal from the guitar into sound, while also applying various effects or modifications to the tone. This not only increases the signal to create a bolder sound, but exceeds the volume of the instrument, which is why stage performers typically use them while playing live. Marshall, named after founder Jim Marshall, is one of the oldest brands in the industry with an array of amplifier types and designs to select from.

How powerful can Marshall amps be?

The primary way of measuring the power of Marshall amps is wattage. More watts means a higher maximum volume and more power consumption. Guitar amplifiers have different wattage levels for different roles. A small amp rated for five or 10 watts is suitable for practice in an apartment. Something that can drive 1000 watts or more can typically generate enough sound to fill a large music venue. Moreover, stronger Marshall amps are physically larger and weigh more. An amp with more wattage can play music at higher volumes without adding unintended distortion or clipping.

What is a tube amp?

There are three types of tube amps. Between all three of these types, Marshall has a deep set of offerings and tones.

  • Vacuum tubes: From the early days of amplification to the 1970s, the technology that carried out the conversion of electricity to sound was a set of vacuum tubes. These could produce a warm, rich sound, but they were also fragile and heavy.
  • Solid state: In the '70s, the new technology of solid state circuitry arrived on the scene. Solid state added durability, although it lost some character.
  • Modeling amps: Modeling amps that simulate famous units from history using onboard computer chips are also available.
What is a cabinet?

The typical format for a Marshall amplifier is a single box that contains everything necessary to generate sound. However, especially at the professional level, many solutions involve two parts. The smaller one is called the head. It handles initial conversion, equalization, distortion, and other tonal alterations. The larger piece, the cabinet, performs the sole task of taking the signal from the head and increasing its power while turning it into sound using the speakers.

Dividing up the two roles allows for each one to provide a better overall sound. Putting them together in what is called a "combo" is often more convenient. A set of equipment entails linking a head to several cabinets in a stack, and it can deliver much more power than one cabinet alone. The configuration you will need depends on how much value you place on speed, convenience, and portability.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Marshall.