Instrument Laboratory

Founded in 2014 by circuit designer and guitarist Charles Larrabee, LiL builds stunning, hand-wired tube amps in Houston, TX.


LiL amps are built by guitar players for guitar players. The underlying principles we adhere to are robustness and great sound. All LiL amps use Hammond transformers for their precision and durability. As a long-time electronics technician, I want to make sure that LiL devices are high quality and easy to service. To that end, LiL amps use hand soldered connections or quality Molex crimps, and never IDC (insulation displacement connectors). This is to make sure the amp you buy today will continue to serve you for as long as possible.



The Tumbleweed is the small amp that thinks it's a big amp. Fully featured with a fixed bias and advanced feedback architecture, this tube amp puts out only five watts, or considerably less if you utlitize the transparent internal attenuator. It's perfect for jamming in your apartment, or that studio recording session where you want to minimize bleed. Dial in the spring reverb, and you will have a great smooth sound that belies its size.

Shipping will be calculated after purchase. Please supply your zip code in the comment field during checkout. Each Tumbleweed is made to order. Please allow six to eight weeks for build time.

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Silver Tongue

This is the big amp that thinks it's a small amp. The Silver Tongue is the perfect amp if you just want to plug in and rock -- this minimalist has only three knobs to adjust, so it only takes a moment to dial in. The sound varies from clean and bouncy to fuzzy and raunchy, perfect for a country picker or barebones rock and roll.

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This toneful amp has considerably more gain and power than the others, and is outfitted with a master volume to help you dial in your ideal sound.

(Coming Soon)

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LiL Amps
1508 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006


Member feature on Charles Larrabee at TxRx Labs, 10/2014.

Tumbleweed prototype review by Dave MH, 11/2014.

"I found Larrabee Instrument Laboratory thoroughly professional as well as adept at repairing a 1965 Fender Bandmaster I had that needed serious work. I had acquired a heavily modified 1965 Fender Bandmaster (a blackface) at a relatively low price because the previous owner, apparently, wanted to make the amp sound more like a Marshall rather than a Fender. In other words, the previous owner had the amp “modded” to drastically increase the gain/distortion, so that it would be better suited for playing heavy metal. Mr. Larrabee expertly removed the modifications and restored the Bandmaster to original design specs. The amp still has plenty of raunch, while maintaining beautiful tone and articulation. It now rings like a bell, but it also gives me that Billy Zoom-sounding fuzz distortion I like."

I’ve since used the amp for a ton of shows as well as to record on several occasions. It has operated reliably every time. It is easily my best sounding amp."

-- Jimmy S. of Modfag, Born Liars, Gun Crazy

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