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“We’ve got to go back and show the guitarist community that Marshall truly cares about them”: Marshall CEO claims company has invested more in amp making in last 8 months than previous 10 years

Here’s what Jeremy de Maillard has to say about a side of the business the brand is playing “catch-up” on.

Marshall

Image: Charley Gallay / Getty Images

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Marshall CEO Jeremy de Maillard has revealed that the company has invested more in amp making in the past year than the previous decade, and that players can “start seeing some things in the next 12 months”.

2023 saw The Marshall Group reporting its best year to date, with revenue reaching almost $389m in the year following the takeover by Swedish tech powerhouse Zound Industries. While amplifiers account for just 5% of total revenue — with the bulk derived from speaker and headphone sales, it seems like things are set to change with the company’s newfound focus on products that “guitarists today expect of us”.

Speaking to Guitar World about his goals for Marshall, de Maillard says that since the acquisition, “We probably invested more in the past eight months into the UK factory than the investment that went in there for the past 10 years,” with the bulk of the money going into machinery and new tools.

“We came in and asked the factory, ‘What do you need?’ Then the studio had been really well taken care of before our time. But when we came, it was like, ‘What else?’ What do you need to make these the best facilities for either making products for guitarists or for the recording studio? And we just went, ‘Yes.’”

Given the potential of the amp market (“I think it’s really big,” says de Maillard), the executive emphasises that Marshall will continue to “over-invest” in its valve, handmade and analogue products, “even if it’s not the biggest part of the business”.

“We will never let go of that. That is protected in a way that is really, really strong.”

For de Maillard, it’s also about playing “catch-up” in an area where Marshall has fallen behind: “We don’t have all of the products that the guitarist today expects of us, when it comes to digital amplifiers, or digital products, in general,” he explains. “And here we are over-investing as well, to be fair, to catch up. We’ve been behind and now we want to catch up.”

Their goal, he says, is to provide guitarists “the best possible Marshall experience – no matter what their needs are. If you’re into valve, analogue amps, we got you. But if you want a practice amp, or digital, desktop – or whatever [option] this might be – we’re going to be there for you as well.”

The CEO also teases that players are “going to start seeing some things in the next 12 months. But I think in the next 12 to 24, you’re really going to start seeing what we’re about here.”

“I’m super-excited about this because everything we hear every time we talk to the guitarist community is that they love the brand – and they just wish they could use the brand, in all of the occasions that they have to play guitar. That’s really what we’re after.”

He adds that the profits from Marshall’s booming consumer audio business has allowed the company to over-invest on the musician side of things, saying, “Now that money can be reinvested there. Because, again, we are convinced that, if we lose this [the amp-making business], we lose everything. So that’s what we’re going to cherish first and foremost.”

“We’ve got to go back and show the guitarist community that Marshall truly cares about them. To listen to them… We’re very self-aware of the things that we can do better – and we’re working hard on it.”

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