The History of: 1962 ‘Bluesbreaker’


The History of: 1962 ‘Bluesbreaker’

Examining the history of one of the most iconic Marshall amplifiers ever made - the 1962 'Bluesbreaker'.

The Marshall 1962 ‘Bluesbreaker’ is heralded as one of the most iconic valve combo amps in existence.  The amp that was set to make history was publicly announced at the end of February in 1965, the electronic and cosmetic specs were identical JTM45 tremolo heads of the time (gold panels, block logos, white speaker grille cloth) and were paired with Alnico 15-Watt speakers.

It wasn’t until August 1965 until the new “Series 2” amp was released with the iconic ‘1962 look’. Grey and white pinstripe grille clothe, Marshall script logo, single strap handle and a straight-front speaker baffle board.

The combo would soon gain its nickname ‘Bluesbreaker’ as Eric Clapton began using an amp purchased from Jim Marshall’s shop in Hanwell with the group ‘John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers’. Eric was the first on stage to champion the iconic pairing of a Gibson Les Paul and Marshall amp, though unfortunately whilst touring with The Juniors Eric was forced to leave his Marshall JTM behind in Greece and returned to London low on funds and instruments.

As a cost-effective solution, Eric picked up a 2 x 12” combo from Jim on a repayment plan and continued to use the Series 2 for the most iconic Bluesbreaker tracks. Utilising its high and heady tonality, Eric also insisted on having the microphone positioned further away from the amp during recording to achieve an authentic ‘on-stage’ sound.

Although Marshall 100 Watt full-stacks shadowed the ‘Bluesbreaker’ upon their release in 1966, many changes that were made are now reflective of a true Marshall sound. From KT66 to EL34 valves and Alnico T652 to Celestion G12 speakers, it was an iconic time for Marshall, and the ‘Bluesbreaker’ took a back seat.

Since then, the Marshall 1962 combo has become globally recognised for its iconic sound, look and size and has since been reissued a number of times, staying true to its traditional characteristics.

Available today as part of the Vintage Re-Issue series, and also available as a completely hand wired version in the Handwired Series, the 1962 ‘Bluesbreaker’ is still as popular as ever.

Currently used by artists including Dean Richardson (Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes), Andrew White (Kaiser Chiefs), Mark Trotter (Lonely The Brave), Sam McTrusty (Twin Atlantic), and more, the 1962 ‘Bluesbreaker’ retains its legendary status. But don’t just take our word for it.

“The Bluesbreaker is everything you want from the past and present in an amp, it’s a modern classic. Buy one, turn it up and sound better than you ever have” – Dean Richardson (Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes)

“What more could you need? A true icon of an amplifier” – Mark Trotter (Lonely The Brave)

“My search for the perfect guitar sound is over” – Sam McTrusty (Twin Atlantic)

Find out more about the 1962 ‘Bluesbreaker’ at

Find out more about the 1962HW ‘Bluesbreaker’ at