“A BIG PART OF THIS LITTLE AMP’S SONIC BEAUTY CAME FROM THE WAY IT ACHIEVED A GENTLE COMPRESSION AMID CLEAN TONES, WHICH BECAME MORE TOOTHSOME AND TOUCH SENSITIVE AS IT SEGUED THROUGH CRUNCH AND INTO FULL-ON LEAD VOICES—ALL WITHOUT A HINT OF HARSHNESS AT THE ONSET OF DISTORTION, YIELDING AN EXTREMELY DYNAMIC INTERACTION BETWEEN PLAYER AND AMP.” DAVE HUNTER, GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE, JAN 2016
The Monarch is the flagship Benson Amp. It 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.
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 speaker cabinet is open backed and pine to project sound in all directions like an acoustic guitar…a true tone wood that lends it’s 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:
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