Founding member of the recently denounced The Dillinger Escape Plan, Ben Weinman has made a profound mark on metal. Infusing math-metal with rock music and playing gut wrenching chaotic riffs in standard guitar tuning, Weinman is a pioneer within the field of technically metal. Weinman’s style and technique to playing the guitar is yet to meet an equal, allowing Weinman to roam free amalgamating jazz and metal in the best way possible. Equipped to Ben Weinman’s signature style of playing is his earth shattering sound. We’ve taken apart Ben Weinman’s rig and have looked through his most important pieces of gear.
ESP LTD BW-1 FM/ET
Acting as the spearhead for one of metal's most diverse acts, Ben Weinman recently collaborated with long time endorsee ESP, creating the LTD BW-1. Described as the perfect weapon for TDEP, the BW-1 has a unique chambered mahogany body with a flamed maple top. Allowing flexibility and reduced weight, the signature is especially built for Weinman when hanging upside down in the middle of a crowd or playing super complicated rhythms in front of thousands. The guitar’s unique build comes with a neck-thru construction, 25.5 scale, 24 jumbo frets and an ebony fingerboard, which gives Ben stability when going from the super-fast '43% Burnt' type riffs to songs like 'Mouth of Ghosts'.
Not an easy task to undertake, ESP has designed a guitar that is both flexible and durable for both Ben Weinman’s sound and playability. An outlier on Ben’s new BW-1 is the EverTune bridge. A prototype at the time of construction, the bridge allows you to set the tension for each string and then remembers the set string tension (this bridge is analogue not digital). What this mean is that when your guitar is experiencing temperature changes or – which would normally detune a guitar – the EverTune Bridge will keep the tension intact and keep the guitar in tune regardless of the circumstance.
ESP LTD Deluxe H-1001FM
Used mostly in Ben’s older recordings on Option Paralysis and Ire Works, the Deluxe H was favoured for its mahogany body, making it light and easy to navigate in any condition. The guitar us fitted with EMG 81 (bridge active humbuckers) and EMG 85 (neck active humbucker) pickups. Opting for the black design, the H-100 has a TonePro locking Tune-O-Matic style string-thru-bridge as well as an ESP locking tuner (which is definitely needed) and a 3-way pickup selector. The Deluxe H was also Weinman's main touring guitar, which showed off the guitars all around superiority and experience with stage damage or wear and tear (hence the new signature).
Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head
Acting as one of the most versatile amps in metal, the Mesa Mark V tube head has three separate channels fitted with an interchangeable 5-band graphic EQ setting built into the head, which is rare for any tube head. Weinman recently commented on the the Mesa head saying that the Mark V gives a nice obnoxious distortion sound, making it bright and deliver a lot of bite, which is somewhat a reflection on the bands style of music. Weinamn has the Mark V set to a more mid-range setting when playing live and uses all three channels so help distinguish the mix.
Way Huge Electronics Swollen Pickle MKII Jumbo Fuzz
Used simply as an extra boost, Ben Weinman has been stripping back his pedalboard since Option Paralysis, opting for easy to use pedals and stand alone tonal quality. The Swollen Pickle by Way Huge acts as both an incredible boost to any drive channel as well as a very decent solo OD pedal that gives opulent fuzz tones and flavoured bottom-end grit. The Way Huge Swollen Pickle has an ungodly twist of sustain control, allowing long powerful chords to shake the ground; this can be heard on the chorus of 'One of Us is the Killer' as well as 'Black Bubblegum' where the pedal delivers a mild crunch without deteriorating the sound too much.
T-Rex Tap Tone
The Tap Tone is a great vintage sounding delay pedal that has inherited many of its characteristics from the classic T-Rex Delay pedal. Used for its impressive bite control, the Tap Tempo is mainly added for texture on songs like 'Widower' and more notably on the intro to 'Farewell, Mona Lisa'. The T-Rex is a versatile pedal allowing you to control the speed of your delay at your fingertips. Now only being sold in exclusive stores, the Tap Tempo is a treasure for any musician wanting to experiment with their sound as well as control over your sound.
Dunlop Dimebag Signature Cry Baby Wah Wah
Making the cut in Weinman's stripped back pedalboard is the Dimebag Special Cry Baby Wah. Chosen for its unordinary characteristics, the Cry Baby Wah is used for improvised solos as well as melodic sections throughout The Dillinger Escape Plan’s set. Favoured for the Wah’s different tonal quality, the pedal itself acts as both a tonal boost and modulation for Weinman's live set-up.