The folks at Benson consistently get emails asking if the Monarch or Chimera amps can do the Vox top boost sounds. The Monarch and Chimera do a lot of things but they have always had to say "no, sorry." With the introduction of the Earhart they can now say "no, but..."
The 15 watt Earhart is Benson's side hug to the top boost style of amplifier. Not being into the whole clone thing, Benson took part of the tone stack from the original '60s design, modified it, and dovetailed into the Monarch platform, retaining some of the trickery that contribute to that platform’s touch sensitivity and harmonic characteristics. The Earhart also utilizes EL84 power tubes biased into class A. The result is a dream come true for those seeking a top boost type sound with better clarity, harmonics and a three dimensional feel.
The Earhart features Volume, Tone, and a Normal/Top Boost switch that adds to the versatility of the circuit. Normal takes away the chime and makes the Earhart behave as a well balanced very good sounding amp much like the Monarch design. The top boost setting adds the chime on top. In both modes the tone knob control controls the balance between bass and treble frequencies. Utilizing the tone knob in tandem with the volume can control the "tilt" of the frequencies, allowing for many different sounds from this two knob amplifier. The midrange is very slightly scooped, but not as scooped as the original top boost style amps, lending a satisfying sweetness to the sound.
- Tubes: 2 x JJ EL84 power tubes, 2 x JJ 12AX7 preamp tubes, 5AR4 rectifier (default)
- Power rating: 13-18 watts (depending on rectifier)
- Speaker outputs: 1 x 8 ohm, 1 x 16 ohm
- Dimensions: head 13.5"W 8"H 8.25"D, 1x12 cabinet 17"W 18.5"H 10"D
- Weight: head 16 lbs, cabinet 20-23 lbs
- Construction: point to point on terminal strips, no circuit, eyelet or turret board
- Transformer: Mercury Magnetics
- Resistors: carbon comp
- Capacitors: Jupiter
- DC filaments: for low noise
- Speaker cabinets: dovetailed pine
- Head cabinets: Baltic birch
- Speakers: Celestion G12H (well balanced) or Weber 12A125A (tweed sound)
- premium finish, heads, Nathan Junior, Tall Bird,Vinny, Vinny Cabinet (Night Moves, Aunt Gertie, Bourbon Burst, Tweed): +$100
- premium finish, Earhart, Monarch, Vincent cabinets, Chimera cabinets (Night Moves, Aunt Gertie, Bourbon Burst, Tweed): +$200