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Amplifier innovator Marshall dead at 88

April 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, April 6 (UPI) -- Jim Marshall, who created rock 'n' roll amplifiers used by Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Motley Crue, has died in a British hospice, his family said.

The London native was 88 when he died Thursday, following a battle with cancer and several strokes, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Marshall was a drummer and self-taught engineer famous for developing ways to increase volume and control distortion during live performances. Other acts who used his amplification gear were KISS, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Van Halen, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses and Nirvana, the Times said.

Marshall was even name-checked in the rock mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap" when the titular band used the world's loudest amp, which had "Marshall" written on the front.

"Hendrix used three 100-watt amps and three stacks," Marshall once said. "KISS go a lot further, but most of the cabinets and amps you see on stage are dummies. We once built 80 dummy cabinets for Bon Jovi. They all do it -- it's just backdrop. It would be stupid to use more than three 100-watt amps, wherever and whoever you are."

Marshall is survived by his son, Terry; his daughter, Victoria; two stepchildren; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the Times said.

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