By Chris Loeffler |
Drasp Lil' Chuckster Guitar Amp
A Loud Little Rocker
By Chris Loeffler
The Drasp Lil’ Chuckster is a single watt, battery-powered solid state guitar combo amplifier. The Lil’ Chuckster runs on either a single 9-volt battery or via a Boss-style adaptor running 9-18 volts. The amp features a ¼” input, a ¼” headphone out, and a ¼” instrument cable out to run into a larger speaker cabinet. Controls included on the amp include Volume, Tone, Gain, and a high-gain switch and the cabinet boasts a Weber AlNiCo 6” speaker.
What You Need to Know
The Lil’ Chuckster goes from a whisper to loud enough to get dirty looks and injure the hearing of those sitting too close to it as the progressive gain kickin in when the amp’s power section breaks up. The characteristic of the gain is surprisingly variable, with raunchy preamp gain available for that classic MP-1 style distortion (with less treble) or creamier overdriven tones available as the volume is cranked and the power amp section gets a workout. The magic tone combinations, of course, fall somewhere in the middle, with the right amount of preamp gain goosing the power section while the power section smoothes and slightly compresses the ragged edges. The tone knob works similar to most overdrive pedals, adding or cutting treble.
Variable voltages yield variable tones. Higher increase headroom and add a touch of sparkle sparkle, whereas 9 volt operation yields a warmer, sagged tone. Both sound gloriously vintage and lofi (in the good way). The overdrive tightens a bit with additional voltage and the treble and bass retain a bit more presence with 18 volts, whereas a cheapo 9v battery creates spongy, fuzz-tinged tones as soon as the knobs go past noon.
A great application for the Lil’ Chuckster (other than jamming when there isn’t a wall supply around) is dropping it in a bathroom or tiled area and recording with a field mike. The recorded result is massive classic rock tones that sound like they’re coming from a vintage stack.
The build quality is ridiculous. Solid pine cabinet, kevlar textured coating, high-quality PCB and parts, and inpeccable soldering. Each is entirely crafted by hand, and it shows in the sturdiness of the amp. Travel ready indeed.
This is a single, solid-state watt amplifier that runs on a 9v battery… pristine, crystal-clear cleans and modern, bass heavy distortions aren’t possible, and sustain runs a little short.
The Drasp Lil’ Chuckster is a niche ampthat isn’t for everyone, but those looking for a tube-like vintage sound with extreme portability and an amazingly rugged build quality will find a lot to love. Whether looking for quirky recording techniques or wanting to overpower those acoustic guitars at the next campfire session, the Chuckster has personality for days.
Here's a cool video review from Harmony Central's own Bobby D!
Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer.