Ben acquired a taste for a very specific, pure guitar tone early on. He enjoys the natural, vocal-like qualities that come from a simple set up with as little between the hands and the listener as possible. His main guitar is his beloved Gibson Custom Dickey Betts Signature model SG tuned to open E, which he usually plugs into a Blackface Fender style amplifier pushed to its limits. Below is a current description of his touring set up:
-Gibson Custom Dickey Betts SG in open E tuning. Added 60s “Custom Made” plaque on the front and 50s Grover tuners.
-1953 Gibson Les Paul in standard, drop D, and open E tuning. Routed for humbuckers with Sheptone Blue Sky pickups.
-K-Line Truxton (Tele) in standard, drop D, and open C# tuning.
-1959 Silvertone U-1 in standard and open C# tuning.
-1959 Gibson LG-1 w/K&K Pure Mini Pickup (runs to FOH via a JHS Colour Box)
Effects and Pedals
TC Electronic Polytune, Earthquaker Devices Night Wire Tremolo, Caroline Guitar Company Kilobyte Delay.
-Alessandro 1/2AZZ 50 watt head and 4×10 cabinet with two Alessandro Neo speakers and two Eminence/Alessandro SC-64 speakers. Alessandro Muzzle Attenuator is used in smaller venues.
-1964 Fender Deluxe Reverb with a JBL D120F speaker (main studio amp, live backup amp)
Slides, picks, strings, etc.:
-Dunlop Blues Bottle Slides size 275 (medium size, heavy wall thickness)
-DR Pure Blues .11-50 strings (.12-52 in open C#)
-DR Rare Acoustic .11-50 strings
-V Pick Snake picks (Ben usually doesn’t play with a pick)
-Planet Waves Capos
-Alessandro and Monster cables
Other gear used live and in studio
1960s Kay Parlor Guitar, Muleskinner Custom 20 watt “Little Martha” Amp, Alessandro 4×10 speaker cabinet, Tone Tubby 4×12 speaker cabinet, MXR FET Driver, various wah pedals, Shure SM58 mics, Se VR1 mics, Neuman U67 mics, Shure SM7B mic, Electro-Voice 635C mic.