Eastman Ray Benson Signature – Summer NAMM 2014

Eastman Guitars introduce the T486-RB Ray Benson signature, a double cutaway semi-hollow with Lollar pickups.

Eastman T486-RB Ray Benson Signature

The nine-time Grammy Award winner will be dropping by the Eastman Guitars booth to showcase his new signature guitar at the upcoming Summer NAMM Show.

The T486-RB Ray Benson Signature is based on the Eastman T486 model, Ray’s current touring instrument. Certain modifications were done as requested by the artist who was often referred to as a “Texas Legend”, including his preferred boutique pickups and aesthetic features.

The double cutaway body of the guitar is hand crafted, built using laminate top, back and sides. Ivoroid binding is applied throughout the body, neck and headstock to give the instrument a classic appeal.

The guitar has a 24.75″ scale length and features a maple neck with ebony fretboard. Instead of the split-block inlays found on the T486 model, Ray opted for traditional pearl block inlays to serve as fretboard markers. Nut width is 1.75″ and it has 22 nickel-silver frets that match the nickel finish hardware of the guitar.

Speaking of hardware, the Ray Benson signature has a Gotoh tunomatic bridge. The other end of the strings are held in position by nickel Gotoh tuners.

An important distinction of the Ray Benson Signature is the type of pickup used. It features two handwound Lollar pickups, an El Rayo humbucker on the neck and a Low Wound Imperial on the bridge. The El Rayo, translated as “The Thunderbolt”, is described by Lollar as “tight and punchy, with a high end that opens up when pushed, and lows that stay defined and fat. Very clear and articulate, they are extremely responsive to your volume control and picking dynamics”. The Low Wound Imperial is said to be “based on lower output PAF’s found in vintage 335’s, described as having a brighter overall tone.

The pickups are wired to two nickel control knobs that let you adjust the master volume and tone of the guitar, and a 3-way selector switch. Other aesthetic features include a custom-sized black pickguard finished in a transparent red satin with a custom designed “RB” logo branded between the trapeze style tailpiece.

Visit the Eastman Guitars booth #1016 at the 2014 Summer NAMM in Nashville, on Thursday, July 17 and Friday, July 18 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm – to meet Ray Benson and see his signature in action. For more information and other details, head over to Eastman Guitars.

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