“I was blown away by how it sounded”: After 30 years of Marshall stacks, Slash has switched to Magnatone – and a “killer” new signature amp is in the works

Slash and Magnatone
(Image credit: HELLE ARENSBAK/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Update (11.13): Slash has confirmed he will continue to use Marshall amps alongside his new Magnatone offerings.

Resurgent U.S. high-end guitar amp brand Magnatone has pulled off one of the biggest coups in electric guitar history, announcing a partnership with Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, who will have a new-look backline when he tours the States with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

You think you know someone. C'mon, we all knew Slash; he wears a top-hat, sunglasses 24/7, even in the shower... He likes Gibson Les Pauls and enjoys the company of snakes in his downtime. Oh, and he plays through Marshall amps.

All that looks set to change with Magnatone’s announcement and Slash revealing that he has been working with the brand on a “killer” 100-watt version of its flagship British-voiced Super Super Fifty-Nine M-80 tube amp.

“I used a Magnatone 50-watt M-80 in the studio earlier this year and was blown away by how it sounded,” said Slash. “Since then, I've been working with Magnatone on a 100-watt version of the M-80 and I absolutely love what they have come up with. It’s killer.”

Slash joins Billy Gibbons on the Magnatone roster, with the ZZ Top frontman collaborating on a limited-edition M-80 signature amp, covered in custom crocodile skin finish. They only made six of them, and each was signed by Gibbons, and had his own settings taped to it.

Perhaps Slash will go for a snakeskin effect on the covering. What we do know is that his signature M-80 will be co-developed with long-serving Magnatone engineer and “tube amp guru” Obeid Khan, and it will come with a matching 4x12 cabinet. 

Unsurprisingly, Magnatone’s higher-uppers are delighted by this news.

“We could not be more excited that Slash embraced our quality engineering and commitment to tone excellence as the platform for designing his next generation of Signature amplifiers,” said Rod Washburn, general manager. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Slash to Magnatone and with his signature tone and style, our Master Collection of models will be taken to the next level,” said president and CEO Ted Kornblum.

There is no confirmation that Slash has officially decommissioned his trusty phalanx of Marshalls, with whom he has enjoyed a longstanding relationship, single-handedly responsible for re-popularizing the superb 2555X Silver Jubilee. 

Slash was Marshall’s first-ever signature artist, putting his name to the Silver Jubilee-inspired JCM 2555SL, channeling the spirit of ’87 once more for the AFD100 Appetite For Destruction head. He has also used a variety of modded JCM800 heads over the years.

The M-80 is not a radical departure. It traffics in British-voiced tube tones, with a complement of EL34 power tubes under the hood. The M-80 is a Magnatone hybrid of sorts, bringing together the gain stages of its Super Fifty-Nine MKI and MKII amps, and making them footswitchable.

Who knows exactly what specs the Magnatone Slash Signature 100-Watt Model will have, but we won’t have to wait too long to find out – Magnatone says it will be coming out in early 2024, and if you’ve got a ticket for Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators in their upcoming tour, you will see and hear it in action.

Head to Slash for dates and ticket details, and stay tuned for more on this amp.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.