The Jimi Hendrix Experience
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The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
A 1966 Marshall Super Lead 100 Watt amplifier head, Serial No. 7026, with black covering, front with white plastic Marshall logo, plexiglas control panel with six rotary controls, four inputs, two switches and indicator light, with white stencil lettering J.H.EXP. on the top in two places -- used by Jimi Hendrix in concert on various occasions 1967-1969; accompanied by a black and white photograph by Val Wilmer of Hendrix during a rehearsal on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, 14 November, 1967 -- 8x10in. (20.3x25.4cm.); a photocopy of a receipt for the amp from Carlsboro Sound Centre, 1971; two documents from Marshall Amplification regarding the amp; a copy of Univibes Magazine, Issue 54, April 2007; and a custom-made hardshell carrying case (7)
M For Marshall, article in Univibes magazine, Issue 54, April, 2007
Hendrix At Portland Hall, Westminster University, 1-28 October, 2005
Marshall Amplification, Milton Keynes, 2005-2008
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Lot Essay

This amp has been examined by experts at Marshall who have confirmed that the design of the amp is consistent with others built by Marshall between 1966 and 1967. In addition, the nature of the components suggests that this was likely to be one of the first Marshall amps that Hendrix ever owned and could have been one of three Marshall amps purchased by the Jimi Hendrix Experience on 11 October, 1966.

Jimi Hendrix has always been closely associated with Marshall equipment. When Hendrix arrived in England in 1966, the band were given Burns amplifiers but the 30-watt amps were not considered by the band to be powerful enough and, according to Mitch Mitchell, Hendrix had always wanted Marshalls. In a bid to get the amps he wanted, the band proceeded to kick the Burns amps around the rehearsal space in an attempt to damage them and eventually, their management got the message and arranged for them to receive new equipment from Marshall. The new gear obtained on 11 October, 1966 comprised three amps, four speaker cabinets, two PA cabinets, three Sure microphones and stands. It was this equipment that the band took with them on their first tour in France.

This amp has several distinguishing marks - as well as a section of broken plexiglass on the display and the h and l missing from the Marshall logo, there are several rips to the outer covering on the top edge of the amp, possibly caused by Hendrix striking the neck of the guitar along the edge to create feedback. A comparison of these visible distinguishing marks with amps seen in stage shots of Hendrix suggests that this amp may have been used on stage at Monterey Pop Festival, 18 June, 1967. In addition, the Val Wilmer photograph illustrated shows Hendrix during rehearsals for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, November, 1967 with his guitar plugged into an amp that appears to match the amp in this lot.

This amp was purchased by the vendor for £65 from Carlsbro Sound Center, Mansfield on 23 September, 1971 having seen an advertisement for it in Melody Maker where it was described as Marshall 110 ex-J Hendrix. It is likely that the amp had been taken to the store by John Downing, Jimi Hendrix Experience roadie from December 1968-August 1969 who lived in Birmingham at the time. The vendor has treasured the amp since 1971 and even used it on stage with his own band. In 2005, Marshall heard about the existence of this amp and approached the vendor. Since then, Marshall have used this amp as a template for their production of a limited edition handwired Jimi Hendrix Signature Super 100JH head.

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