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Benson Tall Bird Tube-Driven Spring Reverb Unit, Faux Wood Wrap w/ Ftsw


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Up for sale, a Benson Tall Bird reverb unit, near-mint with a custom (ostensibly one-off) faux wood wrap. This hand-wired standalone tube-driven reverb unit was crafted by Chris Benson in Portland, OR, and comes complete with the original footswitch.

The Tall Bird is an all-tube standalone reverb which integrates the best of a few select vintage reverbs, paired with a few select tonal tweaks for optimal overall functionality and versatility. The Tall Bird also features DC filaments for a noise floor second to none, equally effective in studio scenarios and as part of a guitar signal chain.

Part of the unique design is that rather than a single mix knob, there are dedicated dry and wet Volume knobs. With the dry knob at noon, the dry signal is at unity gain, and dialing it up further adds additional drive and grit. Rolling it all the way down enables it to be used on a mix buss, or send it to another amp for weird spatial effects. The Dwell control dictates 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 with a simple twist of the Wet knob. The footswitch enables hands-free operation, and the reverb tail rings out after the footswitch is disengaged for a very natural, dynamic feel, a benefit of the uncommonly quiet reverb return circuitry.

The circuit was hand-wired onto terminal strips (no circuit, eyelet or turret board), with Mallory 150M tone capacitors and DC filaments for low noise.

The Baltic birch cabinet sports a custom-ordered faux wood finish, accented by the red Benson badge and aluminum faceplate, and this is a very clean example of the Tall Bird, with barely a mark on it. The unit does smell slightly of cigarette smoke.