Relaunched amplifier business aims to pump up the volume in a crowded market

Carlsbro's office in Milton Keynes
Carlsbro's office in Milton Keynes

Relaunching an amplification company in the home of Marshall could be seen as brave but Paul Brewis is up for the challenge.

Mr Brewis is the international sales, marketing and business development director of historic British brands Carlsbro and Studiomaster and has just moved in to Torc MK, in Chippenham Drive, Milton Keynes.

Carlsbro, used by artists such as The Beatles, Mick Jagger and Oasis, went into administration in 2009 but has relaunched under the wing of Chinese giant Soundking, in the new city after moving up the M1 from Luton.

Mr Brewis, a former Marshall man himself, not only faces the challenge from the Bletchley amp giants but also what he says is a “current slump in backline amplifier sales”. But he’s still up for it.

He said: “When this opportunity came along, I wanted to take all the experience I’d gained with Marshall and bring a complete new outlook to how an musical instrument brand can do business. So part of the remit for me was having two clean sheets of paper and being allowed to do something that no other manufacturer can do.”

He believes there is an opportunity to produce a line of targeted series aimed at people at different stages of use, entry level, mid-range and high end, all under the ‘powered by Carlsbro’ banner.

“It means we have the opportunity to produce something that is correct for the demographic that we’re after,” he said.

In that way he hopes to carve a place in the market for the brand.

“I’m a realist,” he said. “I’m not expecting Carlsbro to eclipse Marshall or Fender. I just want it to have its own place. We follow this ‘powered by Carlsbro’ route, get it re-established so that it’s a recognised option and then come back with a Carlsbro boutique type product - that’s the goal.”