New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Hosted by Marshall Founding Father G3SDW. Discuss JTM45, JTM50, JTM100, Bluesbreaker, Super Lead, Super Bass, 200W, 100W, 50W, 20W, Plexi Panels, Metal Panels, 4x12 straight, 4x12 slant, Pinstripe, Basketweave, Checkerboard, Park, Kitchen-Marshall and Narb

Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby G3SDW on Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:32 pm

Derrick,

Well have just been taking a shower and it is quite surprising how things come back (after 46 years).

The sound, whether it is Marshall`s or not the sound that we all know and love in my opinion was mainly down to Ken Bran as he had been on the road with a band from the late `50s and he knew what was needed,so between him and Dudley Craven they strived to get it what it is now.I am sure that JM had something to do with it as local bands came to his shop and wanted something better that what was around at the time mainly VOX and Fender but again the Fender had something to do with it as well.It was a mish mash of all things good with a little bit extra chucked in for good measure.

Another question that came to me and i am sure that someone will want to know is what song was the first to be played on the first Marshall amp in the Ealing Club?

Well this just came back to me in the shower in fact the first two was 1. a very rock version with a slowish beat of "Zipperdy Do Dar" with a couple of saxes chucked in for good measure great. Then the second number was "I saw her standing there" a Beatles track of that year late `63 and again this proves that it all started in `63 and not `62 as JM keeps going on about, the bloody song did not come out until `63 look at the link below.

http://www.stevesbeatles.com/songs/i_sa ... _there.asp

So again i hope that this is of some help.

Regards

Ken
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby OldSchoolDave on Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:45 pm

G3SDW wrote:As you can gather it has taken 46 years to tell all this but i am glad that i have found you guys who i know will appreciate the true story.


Welcome, Ken! You can tell us a story any time :) .

Dave
...Hey! I played that song when it was new...
.
http://www.OldSchoolDave.com
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby plexi on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:09 pm

Thanks guy s for Treating our guest host so well. Great to have a good tech on the board.
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby Wilbur on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:16 pm

How nice of you to post here Ken.

I was an old acquaintance of Ken Bran. I met him sometime in 1987/1988 and would visit him through 1990 (when I left the UK).

I was an American airman stationed at RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire - not far from Milton Keynes. I used to sell Marshall gear to fellow airmen (and dependents of airmen on the base). Ken was my "supplier" of this gear. When Ken retired he asked JM if he would somehow let my arrangement with the factory continue. JM would not, so there it ended. It was sad but understandable.

Is Ken still around? After he left the company I used to visit him at his house. Fascinating visits. Whether he was building models of ships (in bottles IIRC) or intercepting and trying to decode satellite transmission, he was a always fascinating fellow. Always kind too.
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby shakethebeach on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:27 pm

Welcome Ken! It's an honor to have you on the forum!

:D
"Every song needs a cranked Marshall for mojo, even if decorum requires muting the track"--Me

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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby Hamilton on Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:08 am

Ken, thanks for the reply.

The most pleasing amp to my ear, in my *modest* collection, is a '66 JTM45 PA head - followed next by a '70 1987. Was the decision to use Drake transformers, knowing that there were many to chose from at the time, a business economic choice or a "best-tone" choice? I ask this because of having owned Marshalls for 35 years, it's impossible not to be amazed how good the old ones still sound.

Thanks for your time.
"And may you never hear...surf music...again."
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby Cy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:39 am

Ken, this is really fortunate for all of us to have you here and sharing your wealth of information.
Thank you!
Certe, toto, sentio nos in kansate non iam adesse.

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, it's the war room!

Talent borrows, genius steals
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby G3SDW on Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:21 am

Wilbur,

Ken and i go back for a long time very early `60s but regrettably we lost contact when he retired, i have tried to locate him even left a message with his son Simon but he just does not reply but one day one day.

Does not surprise me that JM did not want to know, not a very help full guy.

Last time i new of his location was still in Bletchley by the golf course.

Thanks for asking

Ken
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby Wilbur on Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:53 am

Yes, that was the house. Near the golf course. It was pretty much on my way to the factory as I remember. I still went to the factory after Ken's retirement to have Phil service/repair amps. I remember reading on this board a few years back that Phil was still at work.

Ken took me through the factory a couple times. I did meet JM a couple times too, including the day that Ken retired. Ken went into Jim's office that day to ask about my arrangement with the factory. I sat outside in the reception area awaiting the word. I remember it well.
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby isi on Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:01 am

Hi Ken,

Thanks for chiming on this board it's great to have you with us :D

Do you still remember what king of tubes you where using for these early Offset amps KT66, 5881 or 6L6 :?:

Did these Offset amps came with mullards pre's all over :?:

Yellow print or white label Mullards pre's :?:

Thanks again.

Bert
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby G3SDW on Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:42 am

Hi Bert,

The first amps had 6L6`s the KT66 & 5881 came later on.

The tube manufacturer was Mullard and white print as that was the norm in`63. Other makes and types came later.

Just thinking about all this and it has occurred to me that we are talking about 46 years ago and i have been trying to confirm to you guys that `63 was the start of it all and in October i will be 63, Spooky.

Regards

Ken
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby isi on Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:12 am

G3SDW wrote:Hi Bert,

The first amps had 6L6`s the KT66 & 5881 came later on.

The tube manufacturer was Mullard and white print as that was the norm in`63. Other makes and types came later.

Just thinking about all this and it has occurred to me that we are talking about 46 years ago and i have been trying to confirm to you guys that `63 was the start of it all and in October i will be 63, Spooky.

Regards

Ken


Hi Ken,

Thanks :D
It feels so good to have you here with us on this board :)

Why did you make the switch to KT66 and 5881 :?:

Bert
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby G3SDW on Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:34 am

Hi Bert well IMHO KT66/5881 will take much more of a bashing and for much longer

Ken
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby Strat59 on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:47 pm

+ 100 :D Welcome Ken, we value and appreciate you sparing the time to answer
our questions. Having to deal with a lot of urban myth , it's invaluable
to have access to both you and your first hand knowledge / experience
at Marshall through that Golden Period of its history.

Much Respect to Ken Bran & Dudley Craven. As is so often the case the
backroom boys who were the KEY, are overshadowed the person out front.
Kind of like the Lead Singer syndrome :lol:

But those of us in the know , who love Classic Marshall Amps , know the
score with regard to the Important place Ken & Dudley occupy in the
creation of the Marshall Amp & Marshall Tone as we know it. Not to be
forgotten !!!

Does anyone know the whereabouts of Dudley these days ?

:cheers:
"Blues players don't mess around with a guitar, they hit the bloody thing"........ Rory Gallagher
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Re: New Host, Founding Father of Marshall!!!!

Postby zaphod_phil on Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:58 pm

Here's Ken's answer to your last question, from the thread which was originally about whether to use KT66s or 6L6s in an offset clone:
G3SDW wrote:Dudley passed away some time ago in Canada he was the technical wizz and a great guy if not for him all this would not have happened, miss you Dudley.


Now on the subject of the valve bases, which came up in the other thread....

G3SDW wrote:The way to age early Marshall is to look at the output valve bases. The first to be fitted were black,then from `64 onwards they were white ceramic due to bad flash over.
G3SDW wrote:The first amps had 6L6`s the KT66 & 5881 came later on.

When they were developing Marshall's recent JVM series amps, in the lab they found the KT66s sometimes generated high voltage spikes which flashed across the PCB tracks. AFAIK they never figured out why the KT66s did this when other valves didn't. So I wonder if back in '64 the change to ceramic bases coincided with the change to KT66s...
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