He entered the London music scene as a drummer, first gigging with a local big band and eventually giving lessons out of his house.
When Townshend and Entwistle (among others) started asking for amps that could give more than a Fender Bassman (one of the most powerful amps at the time), Bran was the one who opened up a 5F6A Bassman (on loan from employee Mike Borer) and created a schematic from its guts to use as the basis for an entirely new amp.
With the demand for a new sound and the cost of importing amps from elsewhere, Ken was convinced they could and should produce their own.
With that paradigm shift, the stage was set for an entirely new type of music to take root.
As Ken, Dudley and Jim refined the original amp design, they removed the polarity switch (a holdover from the ground on the Bassman circuit), a move that opened up more room on the now bright white control panel.
Production ramped up over the course of 1963 with more a standardized centered chassis.
At the time, it was said that Marshall had created the “world’s first great bad amplifier.” Unlike their contemporaries, Marshall amps had distortion coming from the tubes, not the speakers.
The 12AX7s became ECC83s, including the input tube for which Fender had used a lower gain 12AY7.
The 6L6 power tubes were replaced with British 5881s.
When we think of electric guitar these days, we often think of the icons of your local classic rock radio station or modern hard rock bands.