Benavente-Updated Opinion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Peter Parker, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    Some may recall my past critical remarks on Benavente basses. I've written that they seemed to be built well enough but had no tone. No lows and over all very sterile. I also said that I would comment no further on these basses until I had something positive to say. I've played several recent pieces, a few featuring the newest pups and electronics, and can say that they are without a doubt much better than before. It seems Benavente is finally finding his recipe for his own tone that should please most bass players. I think the new electronics and pups are a big part of the difference, though I'm sure his ever improving craftsmanship is a factor as well. The neck shapes are still not my favorite but I imagine over a short period of time I could get used to that and it would become comfortable. Though I still stand by my past negative remarks on his basses from a few years ago that I played, I wouldn't hesitate to have Chris build one now for me.
  2. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I think the Demeter pre was not a great choice for his basses. The pre was just too transparent and didn't have enough headroom and made he bass, as you say, sound sterile. I have heard nothing but positives now though about his new electronics, so I'm glad he got it all worked out.
  3. DWdrummer


    Dec 23, 2004
    Must be the new CNC machine doing the job for him! :hyper:
  4. rickr

    rickr Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    I have not had a chance to hear the new electronics and pups but there is no denying that to me, Chris Benavente makes one of the best looking basses on the planet!
  5. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I should have bought this one when I had the chance. :(

    Attached Files:

  6. rickr

    rickr Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Yep, that was a sweet bass. I wish I still had it! :meh:
  7. Though I haven't had a chance to play a Benavente myself - I'm going to be getting his new pickups and pre-amp installed into my Ken Lawrence bass. Replacing its Demeter pre and Basslines pickups. Once it's done I'll be sure and let everyone know how I like it - with some nice sound clips for comparison of course ;)

  8. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    What happened to the Benavente web site?
  9. Benavente


    Aug 14, 2002
    It's temporarily down. Hope to have it going very soon....
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Sorry, my intense GAS for your 51 model probably caused your site to burn down. :bag:
  11. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Id love to have a 7 string Low End Jazz!!!
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Peter, which one(s) did you play? Was it the Benavente pick ups and pre or the Suhr stuff?
  13. Mark;

    something like this??


    I've received mine yesterday, and I'm stoked. It's a monster, but I'll wait a few weeks with a review. So far, I am more than happy with it.

    I also have a Benavente spalted maple Vortex 6 with the Benavente pickups and 3 band preamp and I really love this bass a lot. The neck, playability and sound is excellent. Chris is a great Luthier.
  14. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    Didn't the earlier ones have the Suhr pickups and pre in them? I can say the pickups and pre in my Suhr J bass kick some major butt!
  15. slap_funk


    Oct 21, 2004

    This is true. My 219 b was originally equipped with a demeter pre, but was switched out to a much better sounding bartolini. The Benavente preamp is a demeter that has been tweeked to Chris's specs.

    Attached Files:

  16. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    the Suhr stuff was used starting Summer 2003... just after I got my white fretted 51. I opted for DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups and old pre. My fretless came with a Suhr pickup and pre (spring 2004)... and I also upgraded my fretted to the Suhr pre at that time too. I had no complaints with the tone of the older model... but I was looking to lower the frequency of the mid control, so Brian and Chris said I should just switch because it smokes the old stuff. :cool: It does :cool:

    I get the same feedback from a few players about the new stuff Chris is making himself... so maybe I'll be upgrading again ;)

    As far as I know (which I am no authority)... the new "Benavente" pre has NOTHING to do with Demeter. The Demeter was phased out late 2002 / early 2003.

    (Chris and Brian please correct me if I'm wrong on this)
  17. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer, Builder

    Just to clear the history of Benavente Pickups and preamps. This goes back about 5 years and forward.

    Preamps: Pickups:

    John East/U-Retro ........... Bartolini's & Aero's
    Demeter ........................ Aero's & Dimarzio Ultra Jazz
    Benavente w/active blend....Aero's & Dimarzio Ultra Jazz
    Suhr/Benavente ....... ......Custom John Suhr Pickups
    New Benavente ......... ...... Benavente Pickups

    The New Benavente Preamp is built in House and is totally unlike any of the pre's we have used in the past. We are even tweeking the Newest Benavente preamp all the time, which is a wonderful pre, but we continue to want to be better!
  18. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Couple of questions:

    - Are the Benavente pickpups made in house or is Kent Armstrong making them. (I hear he does good work).

    - Are other pre/pup options (Bart, Sadowsky, etc.) made available to customers? At no extra charge?
  19. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer, Builder
    Yes, Kent builds our pickups for us and does a wonderful Job. He is very easy to work with and builds a number of companies pickups to their specs.

    If the customer wants to buy something and send it to us to build an instrument for them then we can do that. Not very often does that happen, especially if they have played the Benavente stuff! Its like buying a Smith, Sadowsky, Fodera, etc. with Bartolini stuff.............

    No problem with the question,


    Picture designed by JRBrown, Thanks!
  20. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    That is hysterical.

    I can vouch for the new pickups/preamp, having experienced them in my Jazz. The preamp is really flexible but I don't find it really colors the passive sound of the bass that much. It sounds terrific.

    I can't use my Smith with a single 1x12 cab (not enough "low end"), but the lows from my jazz are so much bigger that it works fine.