Wind ‘Em Your Way: Checks Out Benson Custom Pickups

14370e_473e8d2adb7243fda200b8b1ac2292d6.jpg_srz_p_328_196_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Don’t Wait For Vai, Satch, or Yngwie To Figure It Out…Build Your Own Tone with Benson Custom Pickups

Sometimes, nothing but “custom made” will do.  While the gear market often does a great job of helping us realize the tones we hear in our heads, the paths of many tone quests are littered with discarded guitars, pedals, amps, strings and picks that have failed to conjure the magic we expected. We here at know that tone is intensely personal, and sometimes we need to strike out on our own and find a craftsman that can build a high-quality, unique product that takes our sound to the next level.

Enter John Benson of Benson Custom Pickups, based in Lockport, NY.  At an early age, Benson learned that being able to build the things you needed was a valuable skill.  Throughout his youth, Benson honed his ability to build things with his own hands and eventually parlayed that skill into electrical work.
Now, Benson is bringing his expertise and vision to the aftermarket pickup arena.  Aftermarket pickups first hit the street in the early 1970s and provide guitarists an easy way to tweak the natural tones in their rigs.  But in many cases, guitarists are limited to what happens to be available in the market.  Major pickup manufacturers have done a great job providing a variety of pickup styles, and experimenting with everything available is part of the fun of discovering tone.  But it should surprise no one that musicians consistently want to break the mold and find new shades of sound and attitude that off-the-shelf pickups sometimes can’t deliver.

You’ve probably noticed that Benson Custom Pickups has the word “Custom” right in the name.  That isn’t just marketing; Benson Custom Pickups is a true custom pickup operation.  Musicians can work directly with Benson to craft the output, EQ curve, materials, and other features to get precisely the pickup they’re looking for.  Benson also offers his own takes on classic pickup styles for those simply looking for high-quality, handmade replacement pickups for their favorite guitars.  Those models cover a wide range of classic eras and no doubt make a great launching point for your custom tweaks.


Speaking of “favorite guitars”, definitely check out The Tone King’s review of Benson Custom Pickups’ Scott Rolaf signature humbucking set below. It was installed into the very guitar readers helped build, the B.C. Rich TTK-1.  Since it goes without saying that readers know how to put together a killer tonal package, tell us in the comment section what kind of pickup set you would design through Benson Custom Pickups and what guitar (or bass) you would drop it into.




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