Guns N’ Roses top-hatted guitarist Slash leaves Marshall Amplification and signs a new artist deal with Magnatone. What does this shock signature move say about the state of affairs at Marshall?
UPDATE – November 13th 2023
Well, here’s a story that appears to have “put the cat amongst the pigeons”. Since publishing, we’ve been contacted by a PR group representing Slash himself. It appears that although Slash has been developing a new amplifier with Magnatone, he won’t be leaving Marshall as an endorsee.
“To clear up any misconceptions that might arise, although Magnatone and I have been working together to create a new Amp, I still maintain my long relationship with Marshall and look forward to continued collaboration with their incredible team.” –SLASH
Slash leaves Marshall Amplification
It’s very rare on Gearnews that we ever publish information on artists signing endorsement deals. An endorsement deal is an official relationship between the artist and the manufacturer. These can take various different forms, from simple discounts and support from the manufacturer, all the way to signature model equipment.
We’re posting about Slash leaving Marshall because this is an unprecedented move. There are artists whose association with certain brands elevates that endorsement to the level of “icon”. For as long as as Slash has been a famous guitarist he’s always been associated with Marshall amplification. And to some extent, the reverse is true as well.
When you think of the sound of Marshall amplifiers, Slash’s name appears up there with the likes of Hendrix as a player whose tone defines the brand. Nonetheless, Slash has now signed an endorsement deal with the American amp company Magnatone.
The Changing Face of Marshall
Slash has had numerous signature amplifiers over the years, forming part of his gear lineup, including the AFD100 and 2555SL This marked Slash as one of the elite few guitarists ever to have a signature Marshall amp head. Equally, as an endorsee who’s been with Marshall for decades, it would seem likely that Slash was the recipient of a superb deal with Marshall. Or was he?
In a quote from Magnatone’s press release, Slash offered the following:
“I used a Magnatone 50w M-80 in the studio earlier this year and was blown away by how it sounded. Since then, I’ve been working with Magnatone on a 100w version of the M-80 and I absolutely love what they have come up with. It’s killer,”
So clearly, Slash is publicly thrilled with Magnatone’s amplifiers. But the question has to be asked: when Marshall was willing to make an amplifier that sounded however Slash wanted, why move to another company?
There have been huge changes at Marshall in recent times, with the company now partly owned by Zound Industries. Marshall was always a family-run company that prided itself on listening to artists. Has that now changed? And will Slash still sound like Slash playing through a different amplifier brand?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!