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Traynor Amps
There are lots of old Traynor amps and it would take forever to run thru them all so we'll keep this page more focused on the YCV series and newer amps. Around here we refer to the YCV’s as “Fence sitter amps” this is because we get SO many emails and calls from players who have purchased these amps without playing them and they tell us “if I can’t get a better tone I’m sending it back”. So the stats to date are that we have about an 80% success rate in that about 80% of our YCV customers are happy enough that they keep the amp after a retube. So there are some nice gains in tone to be had with a good tubes. A common misconception about these amps is that they are auto-biasing. This is NOT the case. They do have a bias compensation circuit but it's just to balance unmatched power tubes. This circuit however does not adjust the plate current up or down, it is a fixed bias amp. This is why choosing the proper grade for the power tubes is important. The JJ ECC83S's are really a better than average match in these amps providing a sweeter mid and high end while tightening up the low end. The YCV series amps are EXTREMELY popular. Traynor went after the Blues Jr with the YCV20 which is cathode biased and can accommodate a pretty wide range when it comes to grades on the power tubes. A hot pair will do well for Blues where a more moderate set is better for Rock. We usually have at least 25 different grades on the shelf so we can tailor them to your style. The YCV40 is a direct hit on the Fender Hotrod Deluxe and it's a direct hit. These are preferred by quite a few players over the Hotrod because most players prefer the drive channel in the YCV over the Hotrod. These are a fixed bias amp with the compensation circuit for out of match tubes so picking a grade for the power tubes is once again very important for the overall tone of the amp. The bias is set at a pretty moderate level and I get asked quite often if the JJ KT77 will work in these amps. The answer is yes! Bit they have to be a very hot grade and then they do pretty well getting a bit more of a Brit flavor. The YCV80 is of course going after the Fender Twin and does a pretty good job with the addition of the drive channel. Once again a fixed bias amp so power tube grades are important. The YCV50 is a bonus with players looking for a Brit tone. It's voicing is quite like the YCV40 so don't expect a Marshall thing but it's a nice variation and the JJ E34L's make these REAL punchy and really help to bolster the weak low end that the factory tubes provide. These also do really well with single coils. The KT77's are also a good choice with a real chunky low end and an extended high end which does well with Humbuckers. Another question we get all the time is "do these amps get a Fender clean?" The answer is close but no cigar... The YCV amps are nice but if a "Fender clean" is the mission, buy a Fender. The YCS50 and 100 watters are a more versatile amp and I personally think they have a better sounding drive tone than the YCV series and you have three real channels. The added bonus beyond this is that the YCS's are adjustable bias amps. This means that you can use EL34 type tubes and 6L6's. The Dark Horse is a nice little addition and uses a pair of 6V6’s for power, a couple 12AX7’s in the front end and a 12AU7 for a really low power output tube. So if you just half to have a bedroom volume amp and one that will drive a 4/12 cab check out the Dark Horse. The Custom Special 50 and 100 amps sort of came and went and to date we have not seen one locally and we’ve only heard them at the NAMM show.