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From 1962 until 1964 Marshall amplifiers were identified by a four-digit sequential number inside the back panel, reportedly starting with 1001 in 1962 and reaching 2001 at the beginning of 1964.
Examples: 0009 1963 JTM 45 Offset 1186 1963 JTM 45 Offset 2260 1964 JTM 45 Lead More Examples Beginning in 1965 Marshall abandoned the four-digit numbering system and began using model numbers, sometimes called series numbers and model codes.
We’ll cover that and cover in general what seems to work the best to maximize a particular Marshall.
That isn’t such an easy question to answer because the various Marshalls over the years have been really each optimized for particular types of tones and guitar types and have changed both due to the tastes and demands of musicians as well as for cost or manufacturing reasons.
The second prototype reportedly used two output transformers, two GZ34 rectifiers, and four 6L6 output tubes, whereas the third prototype used KT66 output tubes.
Ken Bran and Dudley Craven at Marshall eventually dropped the GZ34 tube rectifier, increasing power and reliability.
The table below outlines the meaning of these letter codes.
Marshall amplifiers didn’t start using true serial numbers until July of 1969.