The Raconteurs guitarist and solo artist welcomes PG into his studio to show off his collection of offbeat and vintage gear.

Brendan Benson took a break from recording and touring with The Raconteurs and his solo project to show Premier Guitar around his studio in the heart of Nashville’s music row. Although Brendan’s live rig is about as simple as it gets, (Vox AC30HW2, Guild M-75 Aristocrat, and a Spontaneous Audio Devices Son of Kong pedal) in the studio he employs a bevy of oddball pedals, guitars, and amps.

Guitars

When it comes to guitars, Brendan has a huge assortment of unexpected options including MotorAve, Epiphone, Danelectro, Harmony, Vox, Fender, Gibson, Trussart, Eastwood, Castle Creek Dobrato, Låg, Silvertone, Matin, Guild, and more.

Effects

Brendan spends a lot of time experimenting with sounds in his studio. This cabinet full of effects conveniently located in the amp room gives Brendan almost unlimited tone options.

Amps

Brendan wisely began buying Supro amps before they came into vogue. Today he has an impressive stash of Silvertone, Vox, Fender, Marshall, Reinhardt, Epiphone and 65Amps.

Made in Canada, this two-voice guitar features a chambered Mahogany body, carved Swamp Ash top, 25.5” scale Mahogany neck and Rosewood Fingerboard.

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Gain is fun in all its forms, from overdrive to fuzz, but let’s talk about a great clean tone.


We’re all here for one thing. It’s the singular sound and magic of the stringed instrument called the guitar—and its various offshoots, including the bass. Okay, so maybe it’s more than one thing, but the sentiment remains. Even as I write this, my thoughts fan out and recognize how many incarnations of “guitar” there must be. It’s almost incomprehensible. Gut-string, nylon-string, steel-string, 12-string, 8-string, 10-string, flatwound, brown sound, fuzztone…. It’s almost impossible to catalog completely, so I’ll stop here and let you add your favorites. Still, there’s one thing that I keep coming back to: clean tone.

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A supreme shredder’s signature 6-string dazzles with versatility.

This immaculately built guitar sounds great and can do it all.

The more affordable price is still out of reach for many guitarists

$2,799

Charvel MJ San Dimas SD24 CM
charvel.com

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Charvel’s first Guthrie Govan signature model was released in 2014, after an arduous two-year effort to get the design just right. Since then, the guitar—now in its second edition—has become one of Charvel’s most coveted models. Unfortunately, its $3,699 price keeps the U.S.-made axe out of reach for many.

This year, though, the company released the Made-in-Japan signature MJ San Dimas SD24 CM, which sells for a slightly more manageable $2,799. Needless to say, that’s not cheap. But depending on your priorities, it’s a fair price for a very high quality, pro-level instrument.

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