Benson Preamp Review and Comparison with Timmy, JHS Clover, Hudson Broadcast

Benson Amps offered its 1st pedals in the month of May 2018. It is a unique and effective circuit design that utilizes the FETS instead of tubes. This design produced a great output and made it a versatile pedal delivering great sound.

The designer Christopher Benson wanted to deliver something that will give the players an opportunity to use the amp’s sound smoothly without worrying about giving up anything they like about the current setup and he quite successfully did it.

Specifications of Benson preamp:

Manufacturer
Benson Preamp
Image
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal
Stereo
No
LED Display
Yes
Design
Large effect pedal
Number of channels
1
Control
Volume Bass Treble
USB connection
No
Battery operation
No
Origin
USA
Manufacturer
Benson Preamp
Image
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal
Stereo
No
LED Display
Yes
Design
Large effect pedal
Number of channels
1
Control
Volume Bass Treble
USB connection
No
Battery operation
No
Origin
USA

The Benson Amps Preamp is such a musical instrument with vast excellent features. The output comes very clear. Not only that, it delivers clean boosts along with the overdrive sounds to help to power the distortion. Moreover, based on the pre-amplifier circuitry of the Benson Chimera 30W amp, this Preamp diminishes the pliable sound of the original in a format that is pedal-friendly, plus uses the field-effect transistors for an organic and open sound. Besides, its bass control also determines the sharpness and tightness of the audio.

The Preamp is designed to work in many possible rigs, like an EQ, a clean boost, a stand-alone drive, or even direct recording. Interestingly, if the preamp is used combined with a buffer matching impedance, it offers an even better output.

Furthermore, this musical device brings together other great features like hand-wired construction, the organic and dim warmth of the vacuum tubes onboard. In addition to that, the streamlined volume, EQ interface (2-band) affording a polished wealth of the tonal versatility, the distortion, or the overdrive are all together can be called an excellent package adding premium spunk to this device. Most importantly, above all this Preamp makes a no-nonsense effort to make it the finest device by ensuring the facilities like bluesy overdrive, dialing in pristine boost, and also toeing the line of the throwback fuzz.

The features of Benson Amps Preamp that are too hard to ignore are:

* The Pre-Amplifier effect (FET-Based) for the Electric Guitars.

* Consumption rate of 50mA.

* The bass, treble, drive, and volume controls.

* Two-band ( bass and treble) EQ.

Benson preamp vs Timmy: Which one is leading in the musical world?

Comparison Table:

Feature
Benson Preamp
Timmy
Image
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal
MXR Timmy Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal (CSP027)
Manufacturer
Benson Amps
MXP
Number of channels
1
1
Control
Treble, Volume, Bass.
Bass, treble, volume,  gain, clip toggle switch.
LED Displays
Yes
Yes
USB connection
No
No
Type
Preamp
Overdrive
Headphone Connection
No
No
Stereo
No
No
Feature
Benson Preamp
Image
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal
Manufacturer
Benson Amps
Number of channels
1
Control
Treble, Volume, Bass.
LED Displays
Yes
USB connection
No
Type
Preamp
Headphone Connection
No
Stereo
No
Feature
Timmy
Image
MXR Timmy Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal (CSP027)
Manufacturer
MXP
Number of channels
1
Control
Bass, treble, volume,  gain, clip toggle switch.
LED Displays
Yes
USB connection
No
Type
Overdrive
Headphone Connection
No
Stereo
No

Timmy was first introduced in 2004. It is a 4-knob setup that comes with some cool and engaging effects which helped it became one of the great and also most talked about overdrive pedals.

It has a similar sort of fashion to its original units. Its 2-EQ controls for treble and bass are reversed, which is why the user can turn the device clockwise if he/she wants to cut off the frequencies and also anticlockwise in order to enhance them.

Moreover, this overdrive is touch-sensitive, which means it works with the user’s playing, is a balanced dealer of the crux, and also output between the user’s amplifier and guitar. Besides, when it is set as the clean boost in order to hit the amplifier’s front end a bit harder or deliver more depth crunch, the dynamics come out exceptional. Most importantly, the Timmy overdrive increases the harmonic response rate of the amplifier. Great! right?

It is overall a smaller and affordable musical device with some nice options, and also it is simply as musical as Paul Cochrane’s originals. Its 3 clipping options, affordability, compact size, transparent & classic drive tones are its pros.

Now coming to the main question, how good it is if compared with Benson preamp?

Honestly, the clipping sound of Timmy did not impress me that well. So I don’t use it as an EQ or clean boost after or before a gain pedal into the front end of an amplifier.

Besides, though it has ‘preamp’ written in its description, it is no different from any other overdrive ones.

Whereas the Benson is called ‘ preamp’ as it is inspired by one of their amplifier’s preamp, but you can smoothly use it as a pedal into an amp’s front end. So clearly Benson is winning here for me. However, some certain Timmy high-end pedals work really great and are durable as well.

Also, there are different products of Timmy with different sounds obviously, among which one might suit you.

Benson preamp vs JHS Clover: Which one to choose?

Comparison Table:

Feature
Benson Preamp
JHS Clover
Image
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal
JHS Clover Preamp/Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
Manufacturer
Benson AMPS
JHS Pedals
Number of channel
1
1
Control
Treble, Volume, Bass.
Bass, treble, volume,  middle.
LES Display
Yes
No
USB Connection
No
No
Type
Preamp
Equalizer/Booster
Headphone Connection
No
No
Stereo
No
No
Feature
Benson Preamp
Image
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal
Manufacturer
Benson AMPS
Number of channel
1
Control
Treble, Volume, Bass.
LES Display
Yes
USB Connection
No
Type
Preamp
Headphone Connection
No
Stereo
No
Feature
JHS Clover
Image
JHS Clover Preamp/Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
Manufacturer
JHS Pedals
Number of channel
1
Control
Bass, treble, volume,  middle.
LES Display
No
USB Connection
No
Type
Equalizer/Booster
Headphone Connection
No
Stereo
No

The JHS Pedals The Clover or the JHS Clover is a compact Pedal with a booster effect for the electric guitars boosting the signal almost up to 24 dB. Not only the pedal is used for helping a ‘not so strong’ chested Guitar amp into a juicy and powerful Overdrive realm, but also it cuts a great cloth while stacking with the other distortion Overdrives pedals.

The Clover is the modified version of the Boss FA-1 FET amp. Its purpose is to provide the users with an extra boost and EQ, plus to take control over the user’s amplifier’s tone. Moreover, in order to adjust the audio, this pedal features one control of a 3-band tone with an EQ switch which is 3-level along with a low-cut that can be easily switched. Besides, for both pick up of direct guitar signal on the stage as well as in recording studio the JHS Clover comes with a nicely balanced XLR output.

Further, the JHS Clover delivers a clear boost for lighting gain preamp, which is good for sweetening the sound or even pushing a distorting amplifier. Further, the volume knob of this device offers the user a belligerent 24+dB gain for play with.

That means, the Clover is no just overdriving a dirty pedal or amp, but also it can easily get extremely loud if turned in front of a clean and high-wattage amplifier with a lot of headroom. With that said, a sweetness is present in Clover to the highs and mids, plus there is also a bit of additional clarity and punch to its initial attack.

Note that, the treble, bass, and middle knobs deliver a boost of 15 dB to the EQ spectrum and cut at approx 10kHz, 270Hz, and 1.3kHz spectrums respectively, in order to give natural or organic sounding tweaks. This helps to set the base tone and also to carve responsive overdrive behavior more.

Now, how good it is if compared with Benson preamp?

Both Benson and JHS Clover are manufactured or launched to use in completely different applications. The Benson is designed aiming to provide the user a certain amplifier’s overdrive. Like, as I have said earlier, Benson aims to deliver something that will give the players an opportunity to use the amp’s sound smoothly without worrying about giving up anything they like about the current setup. And on the other hand, the JHS Clover is a versatile boost and EQ. Both are different kinds of preamps, so which one is better for you or which one will suit you depends on how to want to use it.

Like, if your device is sounding like too much scooped, you can use the Clover in order to add up some mids. Or even if you want or need to add more bottom-end, use the Clover in this regard as well to add extra bass. I hope you got the point.

Benson preamp vs Hudson Broadcast: The last comparison

Comparison Table

Feature
Benson Preamp
Hudson Broadcast overdrive
Image
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
Manufacturer
Benson AMPS
Hudson Electronics
Number of channels
1
1
Control
Treble, Volume, Bass.
Treble and bass
LED Displays
Yes
Yes
USB connection
No
No
Type
Preamp
Preamp / Overdrive
Headphone Connection
No
No
Stereo
No
No
Feature
Benson Preamp
Image
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal
Manufacturer
Benson AMPS
Number of channels
1
Control
Treble, Volume, Bass.
LED Displays
Yes
USB connection
No
Type
Preamp
Headphone Connection
No
Stereo
No
Feature
Hudson Broadcast overdrive
Image
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
Manufacturer
Hudson Electronics
Number of channels
1
Control
Treble and bass
LED Displays
Yes
USB connection
No
Type
Preamp / Overdrive
Headphone Connection
No
Stereo
No

Hudson Broadcast is the last and another great overdrive we will be discussing in this article. This device comes with a germanium NOS transistor in its device section.

Also, its triad steel-core magnetic transformer which is chosen for its way of saturation, the BI potentiometer technologies, the less than 5000 cycles rated Lumberjack stocks, and the heavy-duty (less than 30000 cycles rated) footswitches make it a powerful musical instrument.

Furthermore, it also has many other attributes which are difficult not to mention. Let us begin with its left footswitch which helps in bypassing the pedal and the LED (red) denotes that the pedal is active. Then the right footswitch toggles between the high and low modes and the LED (blue) denotes that the high mode is selected.

Now comes the low level and high level. Firstly, the level low helps in controlling the volume in the low gain mode of this pedal, whereas the level high helps in controlling the volume in the high gain mode of this pedal. In short, vice versa.

The gain trim, both in high and low gain modes helps in controlling the gain level of the Broadcast’s high end, especially at the higher settings of the signal is slightly rolled off. Not only that, the low cut lies at the front side of the broadcast’s circuitry, so it attenuates the broadcast’s low end, and also it is a bit interactive with its gain control.

Lastly, the internal trimmers nicely set a gain range for each of the modes enhancing the performance of this device. Note that, the high gain mode is placed on the left side, and on the opposite side, that is on the right side the low rain mode is located the HIGH to the right.

So here comes the main question, how good Hudson Broadcast is if compared with Benson preamp?

Both the devices are not alike and similarly, they function differently. The Benson preamp is more of an amp-like and it responds like one throughout the full range. It is designed to work in many possible rigs, like an EQ, a clean boost, a stand-alone drive, or even direct recording. Especially, if mentioned about the EQ, it is great!

Benson’s base tone comes quite dark along with a bundle of low mids. Plus, as I have said earlier, its treble control also helps to add up few contents of upper midrange. Overall, Benson preamp is not aggressive, but sounds great and mixes nicely when boosted, as well.

On the contrary, the Hudson broadcast does get dark at the low gain, but without the bass cut. However, it produces quite a similar sound to Benson at the low gain settings. The main difference one can feel when he/she gets into the high or the medium gain. Like, the Hudson broadcast delivers quite fuzzier and tighter character. And unlike Benson, there is no sag, plus there is a lot of gain and compression.

The broadcast overall retains midrange more, however, it feels and sounds a little less “natural” if compared with Benson. I can’t deny that in broadcast it delivers some excellent 60’s textured and fuzz audio at the max gain, which undoubtedly is awesome! Plus, it also sounds great at low gain or boost as like the tone sweetener.

Overall, if you prefer having the best amplifier-like feel, also a great response with natural sag or compression, go for the Benson Preamp. But, if you want a more fuzzy sort of texture, or say, more upfront mids as well as aggressive audio, then go for the Hudson broadcast.

Conclusion

To recap, the Benson Preamp brings together other great features like hand-wired construction, the organic and dim warmth of the vacuum tubes onboard. In addition to that, the streamlined volume, EQ interface (2-band) affording a polished wealth of the tonal versatility, the distortion, or the overdrive are all together can be called an excellent package adding premium spunk to this device.

The Timmy is one of the transparent, most responsive overdrive pedals in the market, with 3 clipping modes in this range. Besides, for both pick up of direct guitar signal on the stage as well as in recording studio the JHS Clover comes with a nicely balanced XLR output. On the other hand, the JHS Clover delivers a clear boost for lighting gain preamp, which is good for sweetening the sound or even pushing a distorting amplifier.

And the Hudson Broadcast comes with a germanium NOS transistor in its device section. Plus, its triad steel-core magnetic transformer which is chosen for its way of saturation, the BI potentiometer technologies, etc make it a powerful musical instrument.

I hope, by now I have highlighted enough points about Benson preamp; its features, specifications, Benson preamp pedal review, and also its comparison with Timmy, JHS clover, and Hudson broadcast, which might help you to make a perfect purchase and enjoy a greater experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How is Benson Preamp?

Benson is pretty nice, though it is not as earth-shattering or stuffs, yet it works great. The volume delivers enough boost and the bass & treble are interactive as well. Also, it is more polished and refined in comparison with other devices. All in all, it is an enough versatile device.

Which one is better between Hudson vs Benson?

The broadcast produces quite a similar sound like Benson at the low gain settings. The main difference one can feel when he/she gets into the high or the medium gain. Like, the Hudson broadcast delivers quite fuzzier and tighter character. And unlike Benson, there is no sag, plus there is a lot of gain and compression. Overall I feel it sounds a little less “natural” if compared with Benson.

Timmy vs Benson, who wins?

The clipping sound of Timmy did not impress me that well. So I don’t use it as an EQ or clean boost after or before a gain pedal into the front end of an amplifier. Besides, though it has ‘preamp’ written, it is no different from any other overdrive ones. But, the Benson is called ‘ preamp’ as it is inspired by one of their amplifier’s preamp, but you can smoothly use it as a pedal into an amp’s front end. So clearly Benson is winning here for me.

I am confused between broadcast vs Benson, which one shall I go for?

Well, it depends on how to want the device to perform. If you prefer having the best amplifier-like feel, also a great response with natural sag or compression, go for the Benson Preamp. But, if you want a more fuzzy sort of texture, or say, more upfront mids as well as aggressive audio, then go for the Hudson broadcast.

Which one will be a great choice among Jhs cover vs Benson preamp?

There is no direct answer actually. Both Benson and JHS Clover are manufactured or launched to use in completely different applications. The Benson is designed aiming to provide the user a certain amplifier’s overdrive. And on the other hand, the JHS Clover is a versatile boost and EQ. Both are different kinds of preamps, so which one is better for you or which one will suit you depends on how to want to use it.