This is an addendum to a previous post about the amazing little amp called Dumbalina. For those of you who have been requesting more information on this Allston Amps product, I am posting some photos of the latest build of Dumbalina and including a link to two more videos featuring the amp.
Rob has revised/tweeked a couple of things in the amp. These include a redesigned baffle for better resonance and elimination of interference from the grill cloth. Believe it or not, certain grill cloths resonate sympathetically with certain frequencies. This can be minimal or easily overlooked, but Rob has made it his business to tweak until perfection.
The other very cool update is independent volume control for clean and overdriven sounds. For those of you who are familiar with these D-Style amps, the volume between clean and OD is interdependent. It can be tricky to find the right balance. For the most part, you need to have your clean volume up to say, 5 or 7 to make the most of the signal that feeds your overdrive channel. The problem with this feature is that when switching back and forth from clean to overdriven sounds, it is virtually impossible to get a lower volume clean sound without compromising your overdrive sound.
Rob has tweaked an internal volume setting that gives the overdrive channel just what is needed, based on your preference as a player when you order the amp. However, the clean channel volume on the front of the amp still gives you whatever level of clean you need to hear for playing. With this new tweak, adjusting the clean volume on the outside of your amp in no way affects the amount that goes to your OD circuit or the quality or color of overdrive that results.
This allows you to play the clean at a very low level (or high) and still switch to a constant screaming and perfectly saturated overdrive when it needs to be called up.
I was always wondering why this was never in the original Dumble and clone designs. Anyway, here it is in the Allston Amps Dumbalina! Kudos to Rob for tweaking a sore spot in a historic design.
Rob is making two versions of the amp now. One is the classic standard D-Style-inspired amp like the one in my video. The other he has tweaked to make a sonic signature that is called Dumbalina Blues. It has a different front end architecture and the result is a clean sound that might be a little more useful for soloing.
The lineup for Allston Amps is Dumbalina, Dumbalina Blues, Tremulator and the Allston Combo. All roughly the size of a Fender Princeton Reverb, weighing just over 30 pounds and packing various cool tonal punches. They are all very useful for realistic playing and gigging, since they bring all of the features of the bigger amps down into a practically sized package.
I recently played a concert at Berklee in the David Friend Recital Hall. I decided to do a more guitar-centric set and threw in a jazzy original instrumental that I wrote. Dumbalina was the amp of choice for this concert and it was perfect for the format. Featured on drums is the legendary Tony Thunder Smith and on bass is my usual bassist David Buda. It was a great set!
For the first part of the solo, I am using Dumbalina’s overdrive channel. At some point, around the last chorus of soloing, I kick in the Tone Bypass feature. It is a pretty decent video/audio, so you can get the full scope of what the amp is capable of (and, by the way, yes I was asked to turn down during the sound check, so the 45w that the amp delivers was more than enough to cut through all of the other on-stage frequencies). Here is the first video:
Here is the second video, which is a demo of Rob playing the Allston Amp Dumbalina Blues. It is a very sweet amp and you can hear the fullness in the clean channel. It is a little fatter in the clean than the classic Dumbalina, and a little more saturated in the overdrive tones. All in all, another great product from Rob Lohr and Allston Amps!