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The Marshall 1936 Speaker Cabinet is a cabinet designed for use with a Marshall amplifier head. The cabinet contains two 12” speakers and has an output rating of 150 watts (RMS).
Most people are probably aware of the appearance of Marshall amplifiers and speaker cabinets. If you have watched a band on Top of the Pops and by “band” I mean a set of musicians playing instruments as opposed to 5 teenagers dancing about the place, or that awful Busted lot! Anyway, ranting aside, you may have seen the big Marshall amplifiers and speakers lurking in the background behind the guitar players!
The Marshall speaker cabinet has been around for many years. It came out in its first guise (a cabinet containing four 12” speakers) back in the mid sixties, as a response to the pop and rock bands of the day demanding greater volume from their amplifiers and cabinets. Through the years this speaker cabinet has been available in many different configurations including, four 10” speakers, two 10” speakers, one 12” speaker or two 12” speakers. Generally the construction and look of these cabinets has changed very little since the sixties, which is a testament to a good original design I think!
I have owned this speaker cabinet for about 6 months and I paid £229 for it, brand new.
Construction The speaker cabinet is constructed from five pieces of wood particle board. Many bemoan the fact that speaker cabinets are generally made from particle board now rather than solid wood as it is argued that solid wood cabinets produce a better sound quality. However in terms of weight, using particle board is an advantage as results in a lighter cabinet and so there is generally less back pain involved when lugging the thing about! That said this cabinet still weighs in at about 20 kilos so it isn’t that light really!
There is a thick black vinyl covering on this speaker cabinet which generally will take most knocks, but does tend to get the odd knick or two in it over the years.
The front of the cabinet has a thick black cloth covering to protect the speakers and bears a large “Marshall” legend in white plastic. The cloth used will protect the speakers against most accidental knocks but with sufficient force you can rip this and damage the speakers, so some care needs to be taken when moving the cabinet around.
On the bottom of the cabinet sit four large plastic feet and these also contain holes to allow wheels to be added, not a bad thing as it helps when transporting the cabinet and something I am considering fitting to my cabinet!
On the back of the cabinet there are two inputs, the left hand input allows both speakers to be used together in mono and the right hand input can be used in conjunction with the mono input to run the cabinet in stereo.
Four black plastic corner protectors have been added to the cabinet and these come in useful as it can be quite easy to bash the corners when you are carrying the thing around.
In Use Setting up the cabinet could not be easier, simply plug a speaker lead from the output socket of the amplifier into the mono input socket on the speaker cabinet and away you go.
I use my 1936 cabinet with a Marshall TSL 100 head, (perhaps might like to take a look at my review of this amplifier, also on Ciao) and am very pleased with the sound quality the combination produces.
For a while I was using this amplifier with an old speaker cabinet that had four 12” speakers in and I am pleased to say that I have noticed very little difference in the sound even though my new 1936 cabinet only has two 12” speakers.
Generally the sound quality is well defined and there is also a good deal of bass produced, which is quite impressive from this quite compact cabinet. With a rating of 150 watts (RMS) you can really blast the sound out from the speakers! Marshall amplifier heads generally produce 100 watts maximum so this cabinet will handle that sound level with a bit to spare.
The main advantage I have found with this cabinet is that its compact size means it is much easier to transport, compared with a four 12” speaker cabinet that is much larger. I can fit the cabinet in the boot of my hatchback without having to fold the back seats down, something I couldn’t do with my old bigger cabinet!
So far this cabinet has been very reliable and I can’t forsee any problems with it in the future. Many Marshall cabinets dating from the sixties (incidentally these are worth a lot of money now) are still going strong so I’m confident that mine will keep going for many years!
In terms of value for money I think that £229 is not an expensive price for the quality of the sound and construction, and also the reassurance that the thing is built like a tank and will give trouble free operation for a long time.
Conclusion I am very pleased with my purchase of this speaker cabinet. I have found the sound quality to be good and its size means it has been much easier to transport to rehearsals and gigs.
I would recommend this 1936 cabinet to guitar players as it compares favourably to the sound of a cabinet containing four 12” speakers, but is much less of a headache to move around!