Saturday 7 July 2018

Marshall Stockwell

This is a stereo powerhouse speaker for any lounge-sized room or, if you have a bag with strong handles, out to a picnic or BBQ. I've been meaning to put this into Whatever Works since I got it 3 years ago, but never got round to it!

It’s about 10 inches wide, 5 inches tall and an inch and a half fat. It weighs in at 1.2 kg/2.65lb, so you’ll know it’s with you! In the usual uncompromising Marshall style, it’s very boxy, but classy looking with the black’n’gold signature look and Marshall logo emblazoned proudly across the front of the grille. The grille is plastic, however, not the cloth of yesteryear. But it looks like cloth! I guess it won't get torn!

Here's a load of tech-spec for those to whom it means something. Two 10 Watt Class D amplifiers for the woofer, Bass Reflex, Frequency Range 50 - 20,000 Hz. For the rest of us, it sounds fantastic, bass'y (if that's your thing), beautifully physically made with real old-fashioned buttons for On/Off, Pair, Phone, Source and knurled knobs for Treble, Bass and Volume. It really is a step back in time, just to look at it!

You can buy it with a ‘flip cover’ (or not) which is a clever detachable wrap-around hard cover again, made with the same class, being black with red velvet inside. It’s really quite beautifully idealised and constructed. The knurled control knobs on the top retract into the body of the device but push-in click-in-out, so that the flip cover can wrap around and completely encase the Stockwell for transport. It can then be opened up and enable the Stockwell to be tilted to any angle you want. See photos.

It has some modern'ish stuff too, however, with Bluetooth v4.0 so you can pair your phone and in the usual way for speakers, interrupt the music to take calls using the speaker to hear and pick up your voice. It's basic, so no Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant here!

There’s a 3.5mm audio jack input right on the top there, which is how I use it most. I do tend to only use Bluetooth when I have to for some reason! Plug in your source, tap the Source button and you’re away. I’ve been using it with the LG V30+ and it sounds even more staggering with the controls on the Stockwell, coupled with the Quad DAC of the phone.

Not sure why it’s stereo, with such a small footprint and no earphone-out, but I guess if you sit close enough..! Sadly, the power cord is proprietary so not even Mini-USB, let alone Micro or C I’m afraid. But the 3 x 2200mAh rechargeable Li-ion batteries are good for 24 hours playback when fully charged, so all is not lost for the average day. There’s a USB-A power-out on the back so you can charge your phone when it dies at your picnic! It’s a 1A charger, so don’t expect miracles.

But cutting through all the tech, it just sounds amazing. It feels amazing. It looks amazing. I guess by now you’ve got the impression that I’m sold on the idea! Highly recommended. Loads more tech stuff available at Marshall ( where they’re selling it for £239 with the cover, or head for AmazonUK where it’s amazingly £169 - or £144 if you don’t want the case. Hugely recommended.

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