Benson Dizzy Bird - Tall Bird & Vinny

Slippery Elm

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
62
I'm well beyond NAD on this one but I wanted to take my time with it. Firstly, I just want to say dealing with Chris was terrific. He was super helpful in answering some questions and implementing a few minor mods. The build fit and finish is superb. Delivery was on time.

The Dizzy Bird contains both the Tall Bird Reverb and Vinny Amp in one head. The two are internally connected such that you can plug in to the tall bird and it automatically feeds the Vinny without the need for any patch cable. You can also use the Tall Bird and Vinny independently. The Vinny also includes a line-out so you can run it as a preamp into another larger amp for instance and get a nice tunable crunch at lower volumes.

As far as sound goes, this is exactly what I was looking for. I've wanted a low wattage amp with reverb for years and the Dizzy Bird is that and then some. My current other amps are a DRRI and JTM1 and I've previously owned a Princeton Reverb and Silvertone 1482. My first impression was that I had never, in many many years been so enthralled with playing direct into an amp without any pedals at all. I generally play with a small board and my chain is almost always compressor/drive/delay/loop. Lately my board has been Union Lab, Montreal Assembly Positive, El Cap or Tonal Recall, EHX 360. When the Dizzy first arrived I must have played for four or five hours straight in. The amp has such a nice compression to it naturally and can achieve musical crunchiness so easily that it rendered the compressor and drive basically unnecessary. The Tall Bird reverb can get so wet that I found it was doing for me what I'm normally using a delay to achieve. All of this is not to say that it doesn't sounds great with pedals, but it has been a joy to have an amp that I can just plug direct into and get most of the sounds I usually need pedals for. I ordered this with a slightly-larger-than-normal 10" cab loaded with a Celestion Gold. I also had Chris add a tone knob which is not standard on the Vinny - he was clever and implemented it using a concentric knob where the large ring is Volume and the smaller is Tone. As the Vol/Tone are on the rear of this amp, having both adjustments in one location is perfect.

One thing I wasn't really expecting, but have been playing a lot, is essentially using the Vinny as my 'drive' channel. I plug the Dizzy direct out into the non verb side of the DRRI and switch between the clean of the DRRI and the delicious grit of the Dizzy feeding the DRRI with a A/B/Y splitter. This amp is beautiful sounding in its own right, but I really just cannot overstate what a great addition this is to a Fender style amp with two channels.
 
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Gallery

Supporting Member
Messages
7,338
I really want one of these... been on my short list since I heard about them a while ago. Pics and sound clips puuleeeese! :dude
 

garthb309

Supporting Member
Messages
56
@slipperyelm how would you describe the Dizzy Bird when you add it to the other amps, more "fuzzy" or "warm"? Thanks, I'm considering getting one to add to another Benson amp.
 

cocheese

Supporting Member
Messages
2,550
Right now, I'm in the market for a smallish amp, and the Monarch Reverb is certainly in the running. I need something that I can plug into at home and takes pedals well. A while back, I plugged into a 60's Blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb for about 15 minutes and then plugged into a Monarch Reverb. To my ears, the Benson was superior to the Deluxe. I know some people with scold me, but it's not only what I heard but also how the amp felt under the fingers and responded to dynamics. For me, this translates into creativity; when an amp just sounds *right*. I would go back and A/B some more amps, but the Bensons have become so popular that no shops in the area can keep them in stock! Congrats Chris!
 

sberryreal

Member
Messages
138
cocheese - I have a non-reverb Monarch, and for home use it's VERY loud...don't let its small size fool you. But I love it. BTW, my other main amp is a 1966 Fender Princeton Reverb. I can dime the Princeton at home, but the Benson on high volume might bring the walls down.
 

paddywhack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,256
Right now, I'm in the market for a smallish amp, and the Monarch Reverb is certainly in the running. I need something that I can plug into at home and takes pedals well. A while back, I plugged into a 60's Blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb for about 15 minutes and then plugged into a Monarch Reverb. To my ears, the Benson was superior to the Deluxe. I know some people with scold me, but it's not only what I heard but also how the amp felt under the fingers and responded to dynamics. For me, this translates into creativity; when an amp just sounds *right*. I would go back and A/B some more amps, but the Bensons have become so popular that no shops in the area can keep them in stock! Congrats Chris!
..I own a choice vintage 65 Deluxe Reverb and a Monarch...while they are quite different I would keep the Monarch over the Deluxe because it’s just a better sounding amp and has the tone I prefer at low volume and cranked up....even though a Monarch can get plenty loud it is the best low volume amp I have heard to date...and I owned some pretty nice little amps...as soon as you can hear a Monarch it sounds good...full and rich tone and touchy as all get out...and yep pedals just love it...
 

pmjgear

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
166
I absolutely love my Monarch Reverb, and I definitely want to get a Vinny. I think the option to use it as a stand-alone amp or a preamp for the Monarch would be killer.

I’ve been debating going for a Dizzy Bird instead. What do you think? Should I just get a vinny and add a Tall Bird later if I’m dying for the reverb? Or would I miss something by passing on a Dizzy Bird?
 

Screwball

Member
Messages
370
I have been considering the Vinny... How well does it take pedals? does it break up too soon at too quiet of volumes?
 

Killcrop

Supporting Member
Messages
11,434
I have been interested in the Monarch. I recently got a Carr Sportsman and I couldn't imagine a better DLX type of amp. Wondering if anyone has compared the two. I haven't had a chance to play a Monarch.
 

Furilla

Odd Bird
Messages
833
I love the Dizzybird, myself. With a 1x12 cab it’s perfect for low volume situations...coffee shop, house shows, quiet/intimate music. I use it with my baritone all the time...and the reverb is necessary for baritone!

I absolutely love my Monarch Reverb, and I definitely want to get a Vinny. I think the option to use it as a stand-alone amp or a preamp for the Monarch would be killer.

I’ve been debating going for a Dizzy Bird instead. What do you think? Should I just get a vinny and add a Tall Bird later if I’m dying for the reverb? Or would I miss something by passing on a Dizzy Bird?
 

pmjgear

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
166
I love the Dizzybird, myself. With a 1x12 cab it’s perfect for low volume situations...coffee shop, house shows, quiet/intimate music. I use it with my baritone all the time...and the reverb is necessary for baritone!
Well, he isn’t making them anymore, so I’ll have to keep an eye out.
 

JackS2

Supporting Member
Messages
547
I’ve been debating going for a Dizzy Bird instead. What do you think? Should I just get a vinny and add a Tall Bird later if I’m dying for the reverb? Or would I miss something by passing on a Dizzy Bird?
Same thing I'm trying to decide!
 

Screwball

Member
Messages
370
I played a vinny today. I had such high expectations and it delivered! Now I don’t have to search for clips and threads about it. It could sure use some reverb to make it the perfect amp.

so, being that you can’t really use the reverb AFTER the Vinny unless you go DI out, does the reverb have clarity being before the Vinny? I usually would prefer to run reverb after “drive” (unless it’s clean)
 




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