LiL Amps Tumbleweed Test Drive

I spent about a week recording all sorts of guitar parts with a smoking hot, hand-wired tube amp prototype I was lucky enough to receive as a loaner from Charlie at Larrabee Instrument Laboratory.

I was sold on the Tumbleweed after about 5 minutes. It’s a small footprint, hand-wired tube amp with Fender-style controls that sounds impossibly great at low volumes. In other words, it’s a dream and a half for anyone who, like me, does an absurd amount of recording at home and often late at night and is tired of having to DI everything after 6pm.

I used the clean sound with various amounts of spring reverb on all of the guitars on a track that I ended up licensing for the next installment of Mulholland Drive producer Neal Edelstein’s upcoming app-based horror sequel, “Dark Hearts: Haunting Melissa 2.” I ran my DL4 into it when I needed to create a Cocteau Twins-y ambient guitar soundscape, to take advantage of the added sweetness from the tubes, spring reverb and ample clean headroom. I hooked the Tumbleweed up to an overdriven, circuit-bent VLTone and laid down some bass parts for a Cluster-influenced instrumental. I dragged it into my bathroom and remic’d it to create a gigantic drum machine beat for a remix I’m working on.

I was using the transparent internal attenuator, so it was always operating at a very low wattage. I could have bypassed it at some point to see how it sounded at a full 5 Watts, but once I got dialed in I was having too much fun to fiddle with it any further.

Presale on this thing starts tomorrow. Charlie is going to be at the Pop Shop Houston Holiday Fest, at Silver Street Studios, on Saturday, taking a limited number of preorders, with a Tumbleweed and a Dano. I may hang out with him for part of the day. Come out and say hi!