Eric Clapton’s Marshall JTM45/100 Super Lead 100

access_time First seen circa 1969

Eric started using this amp sometime with the Cream, likely in mid to late 1967. The amp was an updated version of the 1966 Marshall JTM45/100 that Eric played at the beginning of the Cream, and most likely used to record ‘Fresh Cream’. To learn about the difference between the two older and the newer version please refer to The Evolution of the 100W Circuit: From JTMs to JMP Superleads. Most notably, the older version (Version 3B) used KT66s output tubes, while the newer version (version 5A) used EL34s.

It is also worth pointing out that Eric possibly also used other versions besides these two, but it’s very hard to differentiate the different version because from the front they all looked the same. You can only tell difference by looking inside the amp, or by looking at the back-plate. By the stroke of luck, there is actually a photo showing the back of one of Eric’s Marshalls, from which we can see that this Marshall reads “Super Lead 100”, meaning that it’s a newer version.

Embed from Getty Images

The photo above was taken at Blind Faith’s Hyde Park concert in London, on June 7, 1969, but since the amp reads “Cream” on the back, it was obviously also used with the Cream. To which extent, unfortunately, no one seems to know, but it is possible that Cream’s second and third albums were recorded on this newer version of the JTM45/100.

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access_time 1966

Marshall JTM45/100

Eric was seen using a Marshall JTM45/100 (or Marshall Super 100 – depending on how you prefer to call it) during the Cream era. This amp was developed by Jim Marshall upon a request from Pete Townshend of The Who, who wanted a more powerful version of the 50W Marshall amp that he was using at the time (circa 1965). I went to Jim Marshall, stomped down my 50-watt amp and […]

access_time 1966

Marshall Bluesbreaker Model 1962

This is the amp that Eric used to record ‘Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton’ (a.k.a. The Beano Album) in early to mid-1966. According to Jim Marshall, the amp was developed upon a request from Eric himself. Eric used to practice in my shop and he was one of the first guitarists to ask me to build a combo. He wanted one so it would be easy for him to put […]

access_time 1964

1960s Vox AC30

Eric was seen using this amp with the Yardbirds, during the band’s Ready Steady Go! performance on May 22, 1964. Due to the small number of photographs taken around the Yardbirds era, it is unknown whether Eric used this amp exclusively during this period, or he had something else on the side. Embed from Getty Images

access_time 1970

Fender Dual Showman

According to Eric, he used this amp with Delaney and Bonnie, circa early 1970. At that time, he mostly played his 1956 Fender Stratocaster “Brownie”, but occasionally went for 1959/60 Gibson Les Paul Custom. With Delaney and Bonnie, I used a Dual Showman—a big Fender amp. But I hardly ever jack it right up, you know. I’m not getting the sustain or hold-over sound I used to get. It’s still […]

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