Gear - Ben Laderberg

Benjamin Laderberg's Gear

Lead Electric Guitar | Vocals

To fellow tone snobs and whomever else this may concern:

So you want to learn about ol Benny’s rig eh? Well you’ve come to the right place. And that place, the so-called shangri-la of impeccable tone, has been years and years in the making. It’s a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it. I ain’t got no kids yet so this will have to do. 

We’ll start with the guitars. I was originally turned onto Suhr guitars after attending a Guthrie Govan guitar clinic at my local Virginia Beach music store, Alpha Music. Soon after I wanted a Suhr of my own and miraculously found one on Richmond Craigslist for an absolutely stupid price. The guy must have needed money or something.  Anyways, at the ripe young age of 15, I became the proud owner of a 2003 Suhr solid body classic stat with a silver sparkle drip finish and a fat C-shaped neck. And I continue to play her to this day. She’s my real true first love.

My second love is a 2014 Suhr Collection Series standard arch top semi-hollow that I purchased in 2019. I didn’t really use it much for the first couple years for whatever reason, but lately it has become my main stage guitar. It’s lighter weight than love number one and has an airier and crispier sound. 

At home I play a Bourgeois Banjo Killer acoustic guitar that is my primary songwriting instrument. For many reasons I would not take this beautiful guitar on the road.

From guitars let’s move on to amps. When I was a young player with a mid-grade vox amp I went into Alpha music and was talking to an employee there named Rich, who told me something to the likes of “the only way you could sound like Keith Richards is with a tube amp.” I didn’t even really like the Stones at the time (this has changed), but I knew what he was getting at and soon I purchased a Fender Supersonic. This was my main amp from about 2008-2016. Summer of 2016 I was visiting my Aunt Ann in St. Paul, Minnesota and we visited a spot called Willie’s Guitars. I played the original prototype Matchless Lightning Reverb that I fell in love with on the spot and my aunt helped finance it for me. She’s got the papers and everything!

In 2019 I got a text from my friend Jordan Weiss with a link to a Matchless Chieftain on Richmond Craigslist…and it was a really good deal. I was looking for an excuse to build a stereo rig anyway. With that, I now sport not one, but two 90s Mark Sampson era Matchless amps cranked up to perfection. And it feels fantastic.

Amp cases: Thanks to Igor’s Custom for designing the Peaches logo on the Lightning and thanks to Stephanie Faires for painting the Kendall Street Company design on the Chieftain.

Pedalboard. The Morley Bad Horsie 2 Wah was the first pedal I ever bought back in 7th grade. My sister’s ex from way back said I had to have one. And I’m glad I made the choice I did. It’s still up and running. I’ve only had to send it back to the factory once in the 10+ years. I purchased the Addrock Ol’ Yeller from Alpha Music employee Adam Hatfield who had two of them. Another Alpha employee, Luke Taylor, used one and I wanted one for myself. I describe it as a tube screamer with a lil more mids. The other overdrive is a Paul Cochrane Tim that I ordered directly from Paul himself. It was an 8 month wait list but I’m glad I did it. The Addrock currently is my main overdrive and I’ll push my amps harder with the Tim for solos/feedback but it used to be vice versa. Go figure. The tuner is a sonic research Turbo Tuber. The compressor is an empress. I keep it on at all times. The fun pedals are the Chase Bliss Warped Vinyl, Chase Bliss Tonal Recall, Chase Bliss Blooper, and the Strymon Flint. The Chase Bliss Pedals are connected to a Morning Star MIDI control that I can save presets to. I want to get an expression pedal soon for them as well. Lastly the Lehle Little Dual allows me to run both amps in stereo. Thanks to Chris Lee of Capital Tone and Moogatu for engineering the actual board. Man is a wizard. Also thanks to Jordan Weiss for soldering all my mogami cables. Any questions? Just holla at me on the internet.