Marshall Woburn – How we turned our studio into a band practice room
It was supposed to be an advert. Product management gave me the task of writing about how Marshall now had a new offer: you get a pair of sunglasses with every multi-room speaker. So far so boring.
In case you were wondering, Marshall is the brand you see in almost every rehearsal room and on every big stage the world over. Along with the iconic design, it stands out with its distinctive gold lettering. In short, the speakers are pretty appealing.
I take a look at the advertising and the photos of the speakers and start wondering how nice the sound might be that comes out of them...
Meanwhile, my colleague Dominik Bärlocher has caught a glimpse of the legendary speakers on my computer screen. Side note: he’s just as mad about Marshall as me. Up until recently and before he discovered Shure in-ear headphones, he only listened to music with the Marshall in-ear variety.
«What?! They do a multi-room?» he exclaims loudly so that half the office can hear.
Multi-room means you can place a number of speakers in different rooms in your home. All without a connecting cable – naturally. The speakers only need a power cable and a wireless network. They can then play your music in sync or have different music streaming in certain rooms.
Multi-room also means the traditional Marshall speakers have been adapted for the living room. Marshall have long since expanded their image beyond the cool underground rock image. They’re no longer associated purely with rehearsal rooms and towers of pizza boxes and piles of beer cans that have been fashioned into furniture.
Having said that, you can still use the speakers to amplify your guitar. All you need is the part pictured below and then your speakers are fit for a sofa rock star.
An article emerges from an advert
In the end, we decide that a mere advert won’t do the speakers justice. We want to go a step further. We want to gatecrash the rehearsal room. We want noise.
But more than anything else, we want to know what the sound is like. So we go off to pick up the Woburn speakers, the largest in the series. Thank goodness I have Dominik with me to improvise as a weightlifter and cart them to the studio. Well, they do come in at 11 kg.
We have the speakers sorted, but there is also the issue of stylish photo evidence for you all. I ask our photographer Thomas Kunz if he’ll join us. He glances down at the speaker, shares the opinion that it’s cool and with that carries it straight into our studio – even though he’s no weightlifter himself. Along the way, we manage to enlist the help of category marketing manager Andrea Jacob as a model for the photos. We thought her tattoos had the same rock star charm as the speakers.
Downstairs in the studio, we don’t have Wi-Fi, but that doesn’t pose a problem as the multi-room speakers work with Chromecast Built-In, Spotify Connect and AirPlay as well as good old Bluetooth. We hook the speakers up quickly and seamlessly. Even if it hadn’t worked, we could have just plugged in an old-fashioned cable, as the speaker also features an AUX connector.
Sound you can tell is good
Dominik lets his tunes tear through the speakers. By that point, there are four of us in the studio, and all of us are impressed with what we were hearing. The sound is full and has a lot of bass.
The music gave us goosebumps. If you put your hand in front of the speaker, you can feel the bass. In fact, our enclosed studio could double as a band’s rehearsal room.
We turn the volume all the way up and it is incredibly loud. We aren’t far off inflicting some serious hearing damage. With a bit of luck, I just manage to escape it. But it’s rather strange that since our adventure in the rehearsal room, Thomas’s lips move but no sounds come out. I’m kidding. A burst eardrum is no laughing matter.
When the volume is all the way up, I get the impression the treble is slightly distorted. But that can be regulated on the speaker itself.
There are four golden controls on the speaker:
- Music source
On the left next to those four controls is the knob for switching between multi-room and single-room modes. You’ll need the multi option if you want to connect several speakers and the single option if you only want to listen to music on one speaker in the network.
You’ll find the forward-skip and backwards-skip buttons on the right next to the controls.
The speaker itself is coated in vinyl. It gives it a classy look and makes it feel great to the touch. Meanwhile, the fine golden frame lends the speaker a touch of retro glamour and the grill at the front is a real eye-catcher.
Here’s how to get your mitts on the sunglasses
It’s probably about time I got to the actual point of this article, namely the Marshall sunglasses.
Cool rock star-types wear them all the time. Even in the middle of the night. But as a cool rock star-type yourself, you probably don’t want the hassle of going out and getting them. You’ll receive a pair when you buy one of the three speakers or when you buy the white version.
Once you’ve placed your order, fire an e-mail off to firstname.lastname@example.org, telling us your username and your preferred sunglasses colour. You have the choice of black or brown. Once we’ve got all that information, we’ll get a pair sent out to you.
How cool is that?