The Monarch is the quintessential Benson Amp that started in all... this is a Monarch Reverb 15 Watt 1x12 Combo Guitar Amplifier in a classic 'Nightmoves Finish'.
From Chris Benson:
“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, 12DW7 reverb driver, 5AR4 rectifier
Speaker outputs: 1 x 8 ohm
Foot switchable reverb
Point to point construction on terminal strips - no circuit, eyelet or turret board