Well, well, well! I suppose you have come to learn a bit more about the Marshall turntable, a brand known throughout the world, guided at the helm by the self-titled ‘Father of Loud’ Mr Jim Marshall himself. Or, perhaps you already know his modest story and, instead, have your sights set wholly on the idea of a Marshall turntable setup?
Whatever your reason, let me welcome you along as we seek to elucidate for you today just how you might go about procuring your own Marshall turntable system.
Table of Contents
- The History of Marshall
- Marshall Stanmore
- Marshall Amp & Turntable
- Marshall Speaker
- Some Marshall Turntable Options
- Final Tones
- FAQs Marshall Turntable
The History of Marshall
Before we talk about the various perks of the use of the Marshall turntable setup, we might like to venture down memory lane and look at Marshall’s storied past, for they have long been one of the most legendary names in amplification, period.
Owner Jim Marshall was born on the 29th of July 1923, quickly growing into a tubercular bone condition and spending much of his childhood hospitalized up until the age of 13. He took up tap dancing, at the suggestion of his father, to help strengthen his leg bones, and discovered in the process that he had quite the flair for music. This would become his defining characteristic, later taking on drums to the point of playing semi-professional by the late 30s, after which he decided to go on to teach local drummers.
Relatedly, and after 20 or so years on the road gigging, he opened a music shop with his wife and son, Violet and Terry, in the west of London. This shop quickly became the stuff of legend, with many young aspiring artists turning to ‘Jim Marshall and Son’ for all their musical needs, including Pete Townshend, Ritchie Blackmore, and John Entwistle, all of whom had found the store through Jim’s drum student, none other than Keith Moon of The Who.
In this way, the shop came to be known as the place to be for aspiring rock musicians, who might have felt that their own musical interests were not being represented by more established music stores, many of which would have prized the prominent Jazz style of the moment over the emerging and more rebellious rock and roll. Jim saw this as an opportunity to cater to this alternative crowd, whose beliefs he aligned with who he got along with rather well.
J. & T. Marshall (Musical Instruments) LTD
Many of the musicians who would show their faces at the store, however, were rather unimpressed with the kinds of amplifiers available on the market at the time. They could not get the tone they wanted nor the volume they desired, and they complained as much to Jim himself. And so, after enough complaints, he decided to create his own along with his son Terry.
While Terry and a service engineer Ken Bran looked at the RCA circuit itself and began to experiment with different components and how they might holistically impact the overall sound, Jim himself focussed more on the mechanics. None of them were guitarists, and in fact, Terry was a saxophonist, so a whole new set of ears were coming to the problem of guitar amplification, able to think outside the confines of the context.
The first of their amplifiers, simply known as ‘Number One,’ got a considerable number of orders on the first day alone, in the month of September 1962. Soon afterward, they had to open a second shop over the road so as to accommodate more products and amplifier production, though this soon still was not enough, and they had to move over to their own factory in Hayes in 1964.
All of this was taken to its utmost when Pete Townshend returned and asked that the sound of the amp be even louder for his band, The Who. Thus, the Marshall 8 x 12-foot speaker cabinet was born, extending forth the sound of the amplifier severalfold. This was quickly replaced with the double stack of the 4 x 12-foot speaker cabinets we know and love, seen everywhere in the legendary Marshall Stack, famous across as being the bed on which long greasy locks doth lie.
Another part of their history, and one that is going to be central to our queries about the Marshall turntable today, is the company’s move into the 21st century.
Around 2010, Marshall began branching out into the speaker market in general. This began with the design and manufacture of a highly popular series of Marshall headphones, bringing the ‘Marshall brand quality to a wider audience and a new range of products, launching the Major and Minor headphones featuring the white script logo, black vinyl covering, and heavy-duty hinges.
However, they did not just stop there, and after the 50th anniversary of the company was commemorated in gargantuan fashion at Wembley Arena, they decided to bring this new era of amplifier speakers to a more social form. Thus, they brought forth a range of music speakers for home or leisure use, offering two speakers, Hanwell and Stanmore, ‘named after significant locations in the Marshall story.
These speakers will be familiar to anyone who has in any way seen or witnessed a Marshall, for they are ‘based on the iconic style of [their] vintage amps and include vinyl covering, gold metal finish, script logos and fret cloth.’
In 2016, they even sought to combine dominant music technologies like Bluetooth with their original and bold amplifier concepts with the ‘digital, fully programmable, Bluetooth connected CODE.’ Separate from previous endeavors, the CODE ‘has a wide range of sound options with professional quality [amp modeling] and 24 digital FX, delving into ‘full creative control’, enabling the user to ‘choose from a range of Marshall sounds’ both past and present.
This, however, is beside the point, though it does lead us to one of the main points that we wish to impress upon you, and one that is a real point of confusion and contention for anyone looking to invest some time in researching about, as well as to spend some money purchasing, a Marshall turntable.
Marshall Amp & Turntable
The crux of the matter is the fact that there is no such thing as a Marshall turntable, at least not in this specific guise. Marshall themselves do not manufacture a turntable of their own, on which you might be able to play your favorite records.
This might come as quite a blow, especially to those who came to this here article looking for precisely that. No wonder why you might be so enthused about owning a Marshall turntable either, for any one of the reasons elucidated above.
There is, however, a way that you can spin records through a Marshall amplifier. In fact, if you already own a modern-era Marshall speaker, then you are already halfway there, and if you additionally own your own turntable, then you have more or less all you need to get started. For to make a Marshall turntable a reality, you will need a Marshall speaker, like those already elucidated above, as well as your own turntable.
Of course, it can be hard to know what exactly to look for in either of these things, though especially with a turntable. The market these days has exploded anew, and new products like hot puss flood all channels for our attention spans on a through the line to our wallets. However, with the right guidance on precisely the kinds of things, one ought to consider when looking to buy a turntable of one’s own, then you will be well on your way to realizing your dream of owning and spinning discs upon a Marshall turntable setup.
And so, we attempt to outline some of the main points for consideration that someone who is in the market for purchasing a Marshall turntable setup might like to consider before going ahead.
One of the main things that one might consider even subconsciously before purchasing anything is just what it can offer the user in question. Without knowing any of these technicalities and specifics, the item is about as good as anything used for the purpose of dim imagery and aesthetics only.
The same goes for the procuring of a Marshall turntable setup, wherein we would do the entire system an injustice were we not to consider the due capabilities of both the Marshall speaker and the turntable, which, though separate entities of their own, are supposed to join and work as one to project sound forth.
Some of the models of Marshall speakers, for example, are not compatible with Bluetooth devices. If we are buying it brand new, this is very likely not going to be the case, as Bluetooth capability has been as standard for Marshall as elsewhere for a few years now. The earlier models, however, might be unable to fulfill any Bluetooth connectivity desires the user has.
Alarm bells ought to be sounding aloud in the heads of those who want to use their Marshall speaker for the projection of music other than from their turntable. If indeed, this is the case, then it might be worth doing some more research so that you might find a piece of equipment – whether a Marshall speaker, another speaker and/or even a turntable – that better suits your individual needs and desires.
Closely related, though important enough to have garnered a symbolic place all of its own on this here list, is the notion of hardware.
In a search for the best portable turntable, for example, the main point of concern is usually whether or not said record player comes with its own inbuilt speakers. In the case of the search for a Marshall turntable setup (or any other more specific search for that matter), the point occupying pride of place as most important will simply be whether or not the sound offered by the Marshall speaker and the turntable working in tandem will be to your taste.
If the Marshall turntable setup you seek is purely for the aesthetic and nostalgia’s sake, then by all means, go right on ahead if you have the cash (for god above himself will judge you in the afterworld like a bald bouncer on the door of a small town’s best night club). If, however, you are legitimately wanting to make this kind of investment for the purpose of hearing your favorite music spun via a legendary amplifier company, and are likewise wanting it to sound good, then you will absolutely want to sample it yourself first.
The Marshall speaker can no doubt be found at any local store selling these kinds of specialist hi-fi equipment, and if you can’t see it with your own eyes, do not be afraid to ask any of the employees if they can be of assistance, for it is imperative that you hear how the speaker might align with your own stylistic taste and tonal preferences.
This leads me to discuss a separate, though altogether related point that will be of importance to those weighing up whether or not to invest in a Marshall turntable setup. In fact, this will arguably be the most important aspect for consideration (unless, of course, this is, for you, a purely aesthetic venture).
Though I have touched upon it already, specifically in the way that the various hardware elements of the setup might impact the overall sound, I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to consider the sound, the tonal qualities, and timbral response, of the Marshall speakers before you buy them.
At the very least, if you have not already tried one out at a store and found it to be to your like, you should purchase a Marshall speaker from a retailer who has a strong and reasonable returns policy, lest you be disappointed and marooned with a piece of equipment that you have no real use or taste for.
After all, this is a speaker, no? Unless this is intended to be a purely aesthetic venture which will undoubtedly end up attracting dust from all around your living space like a virus, what else is a speaker like this for but for pumping out music?
Gee, I know it sure is pretty and all, but what use is having something like this lying around when you are not going to put it to good use as the conduit for your favorite music?
Some Marshall Turntable Options
So, without further ado, it would be worth laying out for you the two main options you have for installing in your own home a Marshall turntable setup:
Marshall Stanmore Bluetooth Speaker
One of the original models of Marshall’s venture into more portable speakers packs no less of a punch for how long it has been around. There are, in fact, three versions of this vessel, meaning there is a spectrum of the price range for this classic and fully capable Bluetooth-compatible speaker.
Though primarily a Bluetooth speaker in the manner of more modern varieties, the Stanmore is still fully capable of being part of a Marshall turntable setup. So, with the simple addition of an RCA cable, you can be well on your way to sending forth sweet vibrational data through your Marshall speaker of choice.
Marshall have sought to make what appears to be a classic design as fully functional as any other modern speaker, and taking it for a spin will prove that these powered speakers are not just a pretty face.
- Bluetooth compatible, though with the added benefit of being able to connect with more analog pieces of technology like the turntable; speakers like this have one foot in the past and another in the present.
- Connection to external devices is also very simple.
- Powerful sound response.
- Comes with all necessary cables etc.
- Limited choices for customization on this version of the Stanmore, something better realized in the following model.
- Quite costly if you do not already own the turntable needed to spin discs through the speaker.
For the record collector just starting out on their audiophilic journey, there are scarcely better entry points than a product like this by one of the most reputable brands in hi-fi audio, period. And what makes this such a great entry-level turntable acts twofold in a bold symbiosis of technicalities and value.
The former is wholly addressed by the ease of use of this piece of kit. Streamlined as many modern turntables are, this one has elided all but the most important pieces of hardware needed to offer up the real turntable experience of spinning discs and hearing that vibrational data translated aloud. It would be impossible to misuse, even if you did not already know how to handle vinyl records.
All of this is in tandem with the latter reason that this is such an ideal entry-level turntable: the price. For those operating on more of a budget, or those who are real sticklers for their money, this really will be a must-have, for it can deliver the full experience for just about any kind of music. Spread atop this humble pie the fact that it is also USB compatible, and you have found yourselves a real winner.
- Simple and easy to use, with a streamlined set of hardware that will get the job done, no questions asked.
- Modest and inoffensive design that will fit just about any environment.
- USB compatible.
- Simple connection to Marshall turntable setup with just one cable.
- Incredibly sensible price point.
- Might disappoint more of a vintage head looking for a more authentic and nostalgic listening experience.
- Cartridge could be better, though at this price point it is not worth complaining.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling far more clued in on the Marshall turntable, the company’s history, why they are considered so highly by so many musicians and the Marshall turntable price.
However appealing the use of a Marshall turntable setup to listen to one’s favorite music is right now, I hope that you have at least learned something today, whether that simply be that Marshall do not produce their own turntables, or whether that be about the big man himself – Mr. Jim Marshall, the self-proclaimed ‘Father of Loud’!
FAQs Marshall Turntable
Does Marshall make turntables?
They do not, though a fair few of their products are compatible with turntables, and with such an illustrious and iconic history, it is not hard to see why these speakers might be relied upon to be the conduit through which one’s vibrational data might be sent forth in their listening environment of choice. Since 2012, the year of their 50th anniversary, they have been constructing speaker sets for use in projecting actual music instead of simply guitar and bass, many of which can be used with a turntable of your choosing.
Is Marshall a good audio brand?
This remains to be seen and is, in fact, extremely up for debate. Their long and storied history as a brand of amplifiers would surely suggest so, and the bundles of praise lathered upon Marshall by annals of musicians, both established and novice alike, is immense and will likely paint some sort of picture. However, there are many, like myself, who prefer alternative means of amplification. My go-to choice, for example, would be to use a Fender amplifier for personal tonal preferences. Overall, however, Marshall is a more than reputable brand capable of achieving your musical desires.