The story of the JTM45, Marshall’s first amp and a holy grail of rock guitar

Marshall JTM45
(Image credit: Future)

As time draws on, the story of the creation of ‘Amp Number One’, the very first Marshall JTM45, is turning into legend, with truth and myth sometimes interwoven depending on which version you read. 

When this writer was privileged to meet and spend a day with Jim Marshall back in early 2001, he was still working 12-hour days at the Bletchley factory – usually the first to arrive and often the last to leave. 

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Nick Guppy

Nick Guppy has been a regular contributor to Guitarist magazine for over 20 years, mostly writing reviews on guitar amps and related products. He built his first valve amplifier at the age of 12 and has since bought, sold and restored many more, with a particular interest in Vox, Selmer, Orange and tweed-era Fenders, alongside Riveras and Mark Series Boogies. When wielding a guitar instead of soldering iron, he’s enjoyed a diverse musical career playing all over the UK, including occasional stints with theatre groups, orchestras and big bands as well as power trios and tributes. His favourite musical genres are ‘anything that’s good’.