Nearly one year ago to this day, Marshall was forced to deny the existence of a seemingly imminent reissue of its cult classic Blues Breaker overdrive pedal, after mysterious listings for the stompbox appeared on dealer websites.
At the time, it looked as though the return of the Blues Breaker was inevitable, with elusive pedal collector and guitarist by the name of Luca further fueling speculation with an Instagram post that read, “You will not believe what Marshall is bringing back to life.”
And, though listings appeared on sites such as Thomann back then, Marshall dashed fans’ hopes by saying, “It’s not official and isn’t true.”
Well, rumors of the Blues Breaker’s long-awaited revival have been given a new lease of life by the same individual who got guitarists’ hopes up 12 months ago – but this time, he’s got photographic evidence to back up his claims.
The Marshall Blues Breaker pedal is one of the most iconic overdrive pedals in guitar history, and was originally based on the 1962 amp model of the same name, used by the likes of Eric Clapton. The Mark 1 pedal, released in 1991, gained popularity years later, and was notably used by John Mayer on 2008’s Continuum.
Originals are still on the market, so they’re not totally elusive, though their eye-watering asking prices can price many pedal fans out of a purchase – early examples can be found on Reverb for more than $1,000.
However, it looks like there is hope for casual Blues Breaker fans once again, if Luca’s latest development is to be believed.
“As I anticipated exactly one year ago, the Marshall Blues Breaker is finally back,” Luca wrote in a recent post, “and you’ll be able to preorder it elsewhere very soon.”
In subsequent posts, Luca then shared an image of what looked like official Marshall packaging for a Vintage Reissue Blues Breaker, and – just in case anyone still doubted it – a handful of pictures of the pedal itself.
Further appraisal of Luca’s Blues Breaker implies he ordered it from Thomann – the shipping package was Thomann-branded – with the faithfully recreated stompbox arriving with its original dimensions and controls, alongside a “Blues Breaker re-issue pedal” booklet.
Inside the booklet, an introductory paragraph reads, “The sound of the 1962 Bluesbreaker amplifier began a legend, with the smooth tone, rich warmth and full character that gave guitarists more expression than ever before.
“The original Bluesbreaker pedal took this and put it in a stompbox, while this 60th anniversary reissue accurately delivers all that once again, plus even more for the modern guitarist.
“Your Bluesbreaker pedal captures the magic of those classic vintage amps and will add sweetness and crispness to your guitar sound, but with extra edge to carry solos and squeeze out those vital harmonics.”
Now, without getting our hopes up too much, it’s important to note that the 60th anniversary of the Bluesbreaker amp – as noted in the booklet – was actually last year and, as we know, Marshall responded to rumors of the rebooted pedal’s existence in 2022 by flat-out denying it.
Though this is cause for concern, it’s entirely possible the Blues Breaker’s release was simply delayed. After all, component shortages in the wake of Covid-19 and the ongoing situation in Eastern Europe is well-documented.
With this in mind – and thanks to the extensive photographic evidence Luca has provided – we’d wager we are in fact far more likely to see a revived Blues Breaker reissue later this year.
When this will actually happen – and if any other cult Marshall pedals will follow suit thereafter – is anybody’s guess. Marshall skipped NAMM last year, so it’s possible it will be absent for this year’s belated April installment in a few months' time as well. With that out the window, the Blues Breaker’s arrival really is an enigma.
Having said that, Luca has been responding to people on Instagram, claiming the preorder will start “very soon”. He also speculated that it will not be a limited-edition release, and that “they will be available for everyone, and produced in many units”.
Last time Luca predicted the Blues Breaker’s release, though, Marshall denied it and we were forced to wait 12 months. However, he’s got pictures now to back up his claim, so maybe the Vintage Reissue Blues Breaker really is just around the corner.
Why Luca seems to be the first individual to get their hands on the Marshall Vintage Reissue Blues Breaker is another mystery, so here's hoping we get all the details we crave in the near-future.