Benson Monarch Head and Cab with Tall Bird Reverb Tank – Owner’s Personal Amp Barely Played!

SKU: #clifbensonrig

Benson Monarch Head and Cab with Tall Bird Reverb Tank – Owner’s Personal Amp Barely Played!

Original price was: $5,300.00.Current price is: $4,500.00.

Out of stock

Here we have an awesome Benson amps rig. This features the Monarch 15 watt head and cab paired with the Tall Bird tube reverb. This is a killer rig and won't last long!

What is it?

“The Monarch was my first design, and largely what my other amps are based on.  When I worked at Verellen Amps in the late 2000s, several amps would come in for repair every week….high powered vintage monsters all the way to low powered newer boutique amps. Here’s an annoying thing I did….instead of working hard like I should have, I took them apart and studied their circuit designs. If I liked a particular aspect of an amp I would try to figure out what it was. This eventually grew into an understanding of how harmonics are built up, how a circuit is filtered and gain staged, what components sound like, what engineers were trying to achieve, and how they succeeded and failed. It was also an education in what fails on the road and how to make something that is easily repairable.

I had a donor metal chassis sitting under my bench at the time….an old Bogen PA head….that I would incrementally build snippets of circuits I was particularly interested in…it probably went through hundreds of permutations. Often I would tack solder circuits together, often while it was powered up, (Which I don’t recommend). One day all the pieces fell into place, and I got a euphonic clean tone that transitioned into an aggressive harmonic distortion and I about fell over. I showed it to my bandmate and we freaked out.. That design became the Monarch” -Chris

  • 2 x JJ 6V6 power tubes, 2 x JJ 12AX7 preamp tubes, 5AR4 rectifier

  • Speaker outputs: 1 x 8 ohm, 1 x 16 ohm


  • Head 13.5”W 8”H 8.25”D 16 lbs

  • 1x12 Cabinet 17”W 18.5”H 10”D 20-23 lbs


  • Point to point construction on terminal strips - no circuit, eyelet or turret board

  • Custom Soursound output transformer

  • Mallory 150M capacitors

  • Dovetailed pine speaker cabinets

  • Baltic birch head cabinets

  • Benson Custom Ceramic speaker

    Tall Bird

  • The Tall Bird features DC filaments for a noise floor second to none, and is just as at home in the studio patched into a console as it is sitting on an amp in a crowded venue. The Tall Bird especially excels at percussive guitar playing, filling in the gaps of notes with a haunting swell. This is not a Fender style reverb…it doesn’t drip and splash, but creates a hall-like effect that can get rather intense.

    Rather than a single mix knob, there are dedicated dry and wet volume knobs. With dry at 12 oclock (5 on the dial), the dry signal is at unity gain approximately, but if dialed higher you can use it to push an amplifier into distortion. Or you can turn dry all the way down and use the Tall Bird all wet on a mix buss, or send it to another amp for weird spatial effects.

    The dwell control controls how hard the reverb tank is hit with signal; turned up to a certain point it can overdrive the reverb tank for euphonic, cavernous reverb, or set halfway it can do a polite clean reverb that can still completely overwhelm the dry signal if you want it to with a simple twist of the wet knob.

    A unique feature of the Tall Bird that is begging to be used creatively is that when the footswitch is clicked off, the tail of the reverb still rings out, a benefit of the uncommonly quiet reverb return circuitry.


    • Tubes: 2x12AX7s 1x12AU7

    • 3 spring 9" MOD reverb tank. Yes, it is a short tank. This particular short tank sounds better for guitar with this particular circuit. Tip for recording engineers: if using on vocals or drums, run the RCA cables out to a Jensen Mod 9EB2C1B...sound like a plate!


            Head 13.5”W 8”H 8.25”D 13 lbs


    • Point to point construction on terminal strips - no circuit, eyelet or turret board

    • Mallory 150M tone capacitors

    • DC filments for low noise

    • Baltic birch head cabinet

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