Allegedly, Jimi first came across a Marshall amp, and tried one himself, while sitting in with Brian Auger’s band Trinity – most likely on September 28, 1966. According to Brian Auger, Jimi turned the amp all the way to 10 and instructed the band to follow him while he played “Hey Joe” – of course leaving everybody in the room (apparently including even Eric Clapton) completely stunned. [11-12-13 Brian Auger Talks of Jimi Hendrix, Marshall amps].
Following this, and Jimi’s discontent with Burns amps that the band was practicing on until then, on October 11, 1966, Jimi and Mitch Mitchell went out to meet Jim Marshall – the founder of Marshall Amplifiers. Apparently, Jim Marshall, who was a drummer himself, already knew Mitch – who had been a pupil of his at some point and had worked at Jim’s store.
On a Saturday afternoon in the autumn of ‘66, a tall, lanky American walked in with Johnny Mitchell—or “Mitch,” as most people knew him. Mitch used to work in my shop as a “Saturday boy,” and he was also one of my top drum students. The fellow who came in with him that day was James Marshall Hendrix, and he quickly became the greatest ambassador Marshall Amplifiers ever had.
I must admit, when Mitch introduced me to Jimi, I immediately thought, “Christ, here we go again—another American wanting something for nothing.” Thankfully, I was dead wrong. The very first thing Jimi said to me was, “I’ve got to use your stuff, but I don’t want anything given to me. I want to pay the full asking price.” That impressed me greatly, but then he added, “I am going to need service wherever I am in the world, though.” My initial reaction was, “Blimey, he’s going to expect me to put an engineer on a plane every time a valve needs replacing. It’s going to cost me a bloody fortune!” Instead, I suggested our staff teach Hendrix’s tech, Gerry Stickells, basic amp servicing skills, such as changing and biasing the valves. He must have been a very good learner, because we were never called on to sort out any problems.
According to most sources, Jimi purchased two (some claim three) Marshall Super 100 heads, and four cabinets. He was first seen using the amps during the band’s short French tour, that began on October 13, 1966, concluded on October 18, 1966, and featured four shows. The first show on October 13 was also the first time that The Jimi Hendrix Experience ever performed together as a band. From this first tour, and until the end of his life, Jimi would continue using Marshall amps almost exclusively.
"I really like my old Marshall tube amps, because when it’s working properly there’s nothing can beat it, nothing In the whole world. It looks like two refrigerators hooked together."