Benson Monarch Reverb 1X12 Combo Amplifier – Night Moves Finish
The Monarch Reverb features a unique British-American switch, simple yet highly versatile controls, and perfect range of power to be used both cleanly and pushed on the stage and studio without wearing out its welcome, and incorporates tube driven spring reverb in a completely transparent no-compromises fashion into the classic Monarch circuitry.
The circuit design is 100% original, or actually, maybe just a combination of 30 different amps Chris likes plus a few ideas of his own. Either way, the resulting amplifier could be and often is, the end of your search for perfect guitar tone.
The Monarch was designed to make you consider ditching your drive pedals (though it takes pedals like a winner). It was designed to have harmonics when clean, and clarity when it’s pushed. It is designed to transition from clean to compressed to distortion with a complete lack of harsh harmonics or weird resonances. The cabinet is open backed and pine to project sound in all directions like an acoustic guitar…a true tonewood that lends its own musicality to the guitar’s sound. The build and finish quality is second to none.
We get asked constantly "What is the Monarch based on?". Translation: "Which 60s/70s amplifier did you clone and tweak when you developed your product?". It's a fair question...most builders do this, and that is fine. We did something new, so there isn't a simple answer. However, we can tell you where the Monarch falls in terms of sound and feel compared to existing amplifiers.
The Monarch was designed to fulfill the needs of players who:
- Enjoy a Tweed Deluxe but find it could be lacking in punch and versatility
- Enjoy a Top Boost AC15 or 30 but find the upper frequencies a little quacky and grating
- Enjoy a Supro Thunderbolt but want more clarity and better harmonics
- Think some boutique amps they have tried are too bright and/or lacking a certain something…what is it called…tone that satisfies.
- 2 x JJ 6V6 power tubes, 2 x JJ 12AX7 preamp tubes, customizable tube rectifier
- 12-15 watts (depending on rectifier)
- Speaker outputs: 1 x 8 ohm, 1 x 16 ohm
- Dimensions/weight: 23.5”W 17.5”H 10”D 39 lbs
- Point to point construction on terminal strips - no circuit, eyelet or turret board
- Mercury Magnetics transformers
- Carbon Comp resistors
- Jupiter capacitors
- DC filaments for low noise
- Dovetailed pine speaker cabinets
- Baltic birch head cabinets
- Customizations available upon request
- 5Y3 13 watts with sag…very compressed and squishy sounding
- 5AR4 16 watts with a little sag…a good compromise
- Celestion G12H Well-balanced…a great choice for most Monarchs
- Jupiter 12LA Bright, efficient AlNiCo
- Weber 12A125A Darker, less efficient AlNiCo for a tweed sound