In the meantime, here’s some of the tasty guitars and stuff that Ben uses – I posted the piece on Rees guitars after seeing them on Ben’s site – Ben has a couple of them.
|Rees F2 – “Bettycaster”
Ben says: ” It has a chambered Korina body and a flame Maple top that is only attached to the rest of the body around the edge and under the bridge, where I think there may be a small lump of mahogany, although I’m not 100% sure about that. It also has some holes in the back that were part of an experiment Clive did on it. It has a Maple neck and fingerboard, a double truss rod and a fender roller nut, which I like as it’s great for behind the nut bends. At the other end there’s a Gotoh wrap around bridge. For the electrics, it has a Seymour Duncan Jazz humbucker at the neck and a JB humbucker at the bridge. These are controlled with a 5 way switch, as well as a coil tap switch and a phase switch, which puts half of the neck pickup out of phase with the rest of the coils, and that gives me a total of 12 different pickup settings. It has bags of sustain, and responds really well to the touch.”
Ben’s other Rees is a Rambler – a travel electric guitar. He says: “While I was planning a long trip to the U.S, I spoke to Clive about building a pro quality guitar with a full size neck that was small enough to fit into an ovehead locker on a plane, and he came up with the Rambler. It has a solid Korina body, a dual truss rod neck with a roller nut, 2 Seymour Duncan P90s, master volume and tone controls, and a 4 position selector switch. It gets some funny looks because of it’s size, but it’s a serious instrument, with a great sound and feel.”
Ben plays a Taylor acoustic fitted with his own concoction of transducers and more: “For live playing with the Taylor I have a Fishman Rare Earth active humbucker that goes in the sound hole. Like every magnetic acoustic pickup I’ve tried it sounds horrible on its own, so after I got it I attached an old AKG lapel mic to it and used to use both the pickup and the mic to try and get a sound that is vaguely like an acoustic guitar. Although this got me a pretty good sound, it depended heavily on having a good sound engineer and used up 2 channels on the desk, so wasn’t hugely practical. I started experimenting with piezo disc transducers on the inside of the guitar, near the bridge plate, and found that 3 of these on the inside combined with a bit of the magnetic pickup sounded pretty good – as good as the mic and pickup blended, but without quite as much feedback trouble, and without the need for phantom power. I wanted to make the system as easy to use as possible, and looked at all sorts of preamps and other bits, but thought I might have a go at making one myself, as I didn’t need all of the bells and whistles that were generally on the available ones, and also, it would be a lot cheaper, which is nice too. I installed the transducers and the fishman with a stereo endpin jack, which I run to a simple 2 input box with a buffer for the piezos and a blend knob for the 2 input signals. This then goes to an eq pedal, and the system seems to work pretty well, so far…”