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It’s important to note that, especially in the early years, Marshall was not always consistent — there are exceptions to these rules.

Checking against other amps from the era as well as component markings (speakers, potentiometers, transformers) can help to confirm a year of production.

Also, for reasons not explained, there are no Q-dated amps.

Z was used for two years, allowing time to convert to the bar coding scheme started in October 1992.

Post a link of the desired amp on the “Ebay Watch Post”, so we can help analyzing it. I’ll concentrate on “how they sound”, “how they look like” and also “how to tell them apart”. It was made as a head and as a combo (known as the “Bluesbreaker” combo).

In this article, I’ll try to cover the more “desirable” Marshall amps that were built since 1962 up to the JCM800 series, wich most consider to be the “last” great Marshalls produced (That until Marshall released the Vintage Modern series. I will also try to give examples of where they were used.. I hope you like it These are just a few of the thousands of codes that Marshall came up with for their amps. There were many cosmetic changes on the first years until it finally got the “Classic Marshall Look” by 1964.

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.

So, always keep your eyes open for “fishy” deals, look for information, and always ask for high definition photos (especially from the interior of the amps – the circuit, the tubes and transformers) to make sure everything is right.

If you don’t have much experience (myself included, to be honest : P), I recommend asking help from the members here of the community.

Before starting, I must warn you that acquiring vintage gear can be really risky.

You can end up buying something that is not what you expected or even something that is damaged or modded beyond repair.

Serial numbers began appearing on the back panels in July 1969.

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