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SoundGround >> My new amp - Traynor YCS50

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12/9/08 10:12 AM
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Edited: 12/09/08 10:13 AM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1191
So many Peavey Vypyrs are still having issues after upgrading firmware and I got sick of waiting so I bought a new amp... Traynor YCS50. It looks vintagey but its flexible as hell and can be a gain monster if you want.

Its all tube, switchable between 15watt Class A and 50 watt Class AB. Made in North America and is loaded with 1 celestion vintage 30. Clean channel can switch between pristine fender clean and bluesbreaker style (the switch actually changes the location of the EQ in the signal path). Dirty channel switches between vintage marshall style and modern mesa-ish voicing and also has a footswitchable boost for the proverbial push over the cliff. There's a scoop switch, an expander on the clean channel, a knob for tube sag etc as well.So far so good. Haven't heard a bad sound out of it yet, but sometimes it seems a little bass heavy.

Payed $700 CAD which is like $550 USD used, but MINT with a cover, all the marketing gear still on it and still under warranty for a year. So not an amazing deal I guess, but I really wanted a flexible 112 amp and this definitely fits the bill.

More about the tone once I play it more.
12/13/08 12:21 PM
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Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1200
Ok here goes:

Features are more or less as above:

Clean channel: Controls are gain, Bright Switch, Volume, USA/Brit Switch, 3-band EQ, and Expander Switch, Reverb and Effects knobs. Basic sound in USA mode is a beautiful clean. I've never played a fender clean amp, but I'm sure that's what they're going for here. Not sure how much voicing is going on with all switches off, but it sounds fantastic.

Bright switch adds some pick attack, can be a little harsh in the upper registers if you're playing hard, but sounds good on chords and melodies if you don't dig in too hard. Very usable, but for me the default setting will be off. (you'll notice I tend to prefer a pretty flat sound for most things).

The USA/Brit switch is probably the most useful one on the amp. This basically lets the clean channel get some nice breakup going in brit mode, wheras USA mode is always pristine. Very useful and sounds awesome for blues/semiclean rock tones with my neck pickup, very responsive to pick attack. Really makes the clean channel act like a whole new channel. I'll probably mostly use Brit mode, but the USA will get its fair share of playing time no doubt.

The expander switch allegedly is supposed to make the guitar sound more acoustic. Its basically just a scoop and I don't really like it. Not horrible, but not good. Will stay off.

Dirty Channel: Controls are gain, boost switch, boost level, volume, modern switch, 3-band EQ, scoop switch, reverb and effects switch.

Neutral setting is crunchy marshall-ish. Great dirty sound. Articulate even at high gain, with some mids voicing. Think crunchy rock, but turning up the gain will get you into old school metal territory.

Boost switch, also footswitchable, gives you more gain, adjustable with the boost knob of course. Its more gain, work well, sounds good. Good for very heavy shit or to kick in a lead tone from a lower level of gain. Great feature.

Modern switch gives you a more modern voicing, less mid focused and a bit more fizzy in a good way. Hard to say whether I like this on or off better. Definitely sounds more modern and is a great setting for metal. Probably my second favorite switch on the amp after the Brit/USA on the clean channel. Again like a whole new channel.

Scoop switch is your basic scoop. With the modern switch off, this sounds like it might be useful, but with modern on the sound is way too scooped imo. Probably will just end up leaving this off, but with the modern off there are probably tones worth investigating.

The reverb is available on both channels and they each have their own knob for it. Its an accutronics spring reverb and does the job. I like reverb subtle and this gets it done.

Overall I think this amp is just what the doctor ordered. The amps I was looking at were the Classic 30, the Traynor YCV50 Blue and the Peavey JSX. I really wanted the flexibility of the JSX but it was overkill in size and volume for me. I saw this amp advertised somewhere locally used and looked into it and it sounded perfect.

Compared to my Vypyr this obviously has less features built in but it does some things better. Particularly blues and rock tons. Cleans and high gain on the Vypyr were pretty competitive but I'd give the nod to the Traynor on both, but the Peavey was probably capable of higher gain. The Traynor is also much better build quality. Its really a different class of amp.

The 15 watt Class A/50 watt Class AB switch is a godsend. 15 watts is plenty for noodling at home and 50 is more than I will ever need.

Amazingly versatile for a tube amp especially. Does every tone I need really well. That's rare for a 1x12 combo.

Footswitch only switch channel and boost. OR you can set it to switch the reverb and effects loop. I wish it came with a four button switch to do it all at once.

Obviously not as many effects as the Vypyr.

12/13/08 12:22 PM
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I found some clips someone made of the Head version of the amp... I think this is actually the "Clean Channel" in Brit mode if I understand correctly


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