The Marshall 1959 Plexi

For hikers, it’s all about the view; for bungee jumpers, it’s the rush; and for guitar players, it’s sound above all else. So what’s needed for a guitar player to reach that next level, sought after sound? Well, apart from frequent guitar lessons in Scottsdale, regular guitar care and maintenance, and proper guitar strings, there’s only one other thing a guitar player needs in their quest to obtain an out-of-this-world sound — a quality amp. Today we’re going to discuss one such celebrated amp, known as the Marshall 1959 Plexi.

A Legend is Born

When it comes to killer guitar amps, a lot of names and models may come to mind, but few are as highly regarded as the Marshall 1959 Plexi. Characterized by a Plexiglas front panel, these 100-watt amplifiers sprung onto the guitar scene in the late 1960s, and have been helping guitarists to amplify and perfect their sound ever since.

Defining Features:

  • 100-watt powered
  • 2 channels
  • 4 inputs
  • Equipped with four KT66 tubes
  • Large transformer

What made the Marshall 1959 Plexi so revered was its ability to amplify sound like nothing else, creating a very loud, bright, and gain heavy tone.

Popular Modifications to the Marshall 1959 Plexi

Since its initial release in the late 60s, the Marshall 1959 Plexi went through a series of modifications, including the replacement of the Plexiglas panel with gold aluminum, using EL34 tubes instead of KT66 tubes, and the switch from a shared cathode to a split cathode, as well as the release a 50-watt version.

While the many variations of the Marshall 1959 Plexi were released by the company itself, several guitar and sound enthusiasts began modifying these amps on their own. Perhaps the most well-known modifications of the Marshall Plexi are the ones created by Lee Jackson, dubbed as “Hot Rodded Marshalls.”  These Marshall Amplifier modifications are described in detail in a series of instructional videos designed to teach guitarists how to customize not just the Marshall 1959 Plexi, but other popular Marshall models as well.

The Marshall 1959 Plexi Today

While the original Marshall 1959 Plexi model and its many variations stopped being made long ago, today’s guitarists can still get their hands on one thanks to re-issued replicas. While vintage models of the Marshall 1959 Plexi are still regarded most highly, recent replicas preserve the famed features guitarists love about the original, but with a modern twist, such as the addition of a tonally transparent Series FX Loop and True Bypass switch, as is the case with the 1959SLP reissue, or the implementation of an upgraded transformer found in replicas of the 1959HW.


The Marshall 1959 Plexi was no doubt a prized amp, used by a variety of musical legends such as  Pete Townshend of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and even Eric Clapton.

For more info on great guitar gear or for help perfecting your sound (with or without the addition of the Marshall 1959 Plexi) give Scottsdale Music Academy a call or sign up for one of our many guitar lessons in Scottsdale.

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