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While Fender and Vox amps have their place in moving electrified guitar forward, the creations of Jim Marshall fostered an entirely new sound and allowed guitarists to fill stadiums with it.Marshall amps had such precedent-setting wattage and tone that their history can hardly be separated from the history of rock itself.The first Marshall amps were made in England starting in 1962.Production has continued there uninterrupted through today, though some lower-priced models are now made in China, India or Korea, depending on the series.Marshall used letters as a date code to represent year of production.It's important to note that, prior to 1984, this letter came last.The letter B was skipped, as were the letters I, O and Q since they might be confused for numbers.
To find the serial number on your Marshall amp, start by looking at the back panel of your amp.
If the speakers in your Marshall cabinet or combo are original, they can provide another piece of evidence when determining the date of manufacture.
As many cabinets did not have official serial numbers before 1992, this can be especially helpful in dating earlier specimens.
We recently wrote an article detailing that rich history (which you can read here), but for those simply looking to figure out how old their Marshall amp is, we offer this shortcut.
The guide below will help you quickly and clearly date Marshall amps and cabinets, without us waxing poetic about their influence.
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The same model codes from the previous section of this article still apply, although the model code "RI" is also seen for reissues. Starting in October 1992, Marshall moved away from stamped metal plate serials and began using stickers with a xx-xxxxx-xx format serial and a bar code. The sticker-based nine digit scheme lasted through July 1997.