NAD Traynor YRM-1 Reverb Master. Questions...

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by KeepItSimpleTele, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. KeepItSimpleTele

    KeepItSimpleTele TDPRI Member

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    Just got an unexpected addition to the Traynor amp collection for 400 canadian bones. 1974 Traynor Reverb Master. I’ve read some people say these are basically a YBA-1 (based on a Fender Tweed Bassman circuit), and some people say they are more Fender Blackface-like in circuit. Now, Blackface (scooped) and Tweed (mid snarly) are opposites in my experience. I’ve only had a little time to play with this YRM, but it sounds like a cleaner version of my YBA Mod1 reissue amp (which admittedly isn’t totally true to the originals). Any experience and thoughts on how alike the core circuits of YBA and YRMs actually are?

    I took some gut pictures. It seems pretty clean, however, and I’m no expert, but have components been changed in here? Some of the components looks very new to me. A proper grounded cord has been added, and the reverb looks new (MOD tank). The EL84 reverb tube driver looks like an original Phillips one however and the transformers look original. Not sure.








     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That YRM1 is a take on the BF Fender AB763 Reverb amp circuit....very different from the YBA1/Tweed Bassman thing.
     
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  3. KeepItSimpleTele

    KeepItSimpleTele TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for citing the circuit Wally. I’m thinking of changing the EL34s to JJ beam tetrode 6CA7s to push in even further into the blackface camp.

    I’m still wondering if anyone with some amp tech knowledge can see if this amp has been modified beyond the typical three prong grounding and capacitor changes?
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The schematic calls for 6CA7. It would be interesting to compare the two tubes at equal plate dissipation levels. Ime, the circuit is the bigger influence on sonics than is the power tube choice. It would take some time comparing what is there to the schematic to understand what has been done to the amp, imho. Tech time.
     
  5. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Agreed - it'd definitely had some caps/resistors swapped out, but whether that was routine service or actual changes would need a more in-depth look.
     
  6. KeepItSimpleTele

    KeepItSimpleTele TDPRI Member

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    Nice that the amp is so easy to open up. I’ll give it a try comparing the components to the schematic and see if I stumble upon anything really different. I’m just curious...as I know these old Traynors are often modded.

    The amp sounds great. I run it through a Radial Prodigy to tame it a bit. A 2x12 with a Red Fang and a g12h30 anniversary sound great with this amp imo. At idle it is completely quiet...not a whisper. I’m hearing more and more tone differences with my reissue Traynor YBA-1 now that I’m getting to know it. Definitely going to go back to the 6CA7s it was designed with though I think. One thing to note....the bright switch on this amp is extreme! It almost renders the bass control useless. About as subtle as being hit on the head with a Vox ac30 :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  7. KeepItSimpleTele

    KeepItSimpleTele TDPRI Member

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    UPDATE:

    I decided to try and switch out the EL34 power tubes in this amp with 6CA7 tubes. Direct replacement between the two with a little bias adjustment (bonus that I discovered someone had installed a handy bias trim pot which made this easier). The EL34 are pentode, and the JJ 6CA7 are tetrode.

    Impressions... the tone shift is subtle, but it definitely pushes this Blackface-With-EL34s amp design slightly more in the Super Reverb tone arena. Cleans are a bit “bigger” sounding, and the dirt is a bit “richer” sounding.

    Anyone else have experience with these Traynor amps on EL34 or 6CA7s??
     
  8. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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    No experience like that - I've kept mine on EL-34s. However, I did a study on the history of the amp and you can find that HERE.

    Bob
     
  9. KeepItSimpleTele

    KeepItSimpleTele TDPRI Member

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  10. KeepItSimpleTele

    KeepItSimpleTele TDPRI Member

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    Yes! I’ve read this page (several times) and found it valuable. Big thanks to people like you that have taken the time to do this. Info on Traynors can be hard to find!
     
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  11. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

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    All of the electrolytics have been changed. The blue Spragues, if they are 40uF (looks like it but I can't see the values) are standard replacements for the old brown firecrackers that would have been there. The fact that can clamps were used is a good sign... though check to be sure none of them is relying on hot glue underneath. I see hot glue in old Traynor chassis all the time and it always always breaks off.

    There's a black Sprague bias cap as well on the board. One concern is it looks like the smaller blue electrolytics have been tack soldered to the old legs, instead of installed properly in the original eyelets. Check all the values against the schematic and you should be able to tell which ones are simply replacements and which ones are mods. (Traynor sometimes leaves out bypass caps in places such as the V1 cathodes, even when the schematic shows them, and it is a very common mod to add them in).

    As for coupling caps, only the 3 cylindrical yellow caps are for sure original. The rectangular yellow caps are Phillips caps, found in a lot of 70s Marshalls -- so if not original they may be part of an attempt to "Marshallize" the amp. The two orange drops are of course non-original. One would have to trace through the circuit against the schematic to know exactly what, if anything was modded.

    The resistors on the board look mostly original, though it is not easy to tell from the photos. I would check the plate load resistors on the preamp tubes (the ones leading to pins 3 and 6) as they sometimes drift due to heat over the long term.

    Both transformers I can see in the one photo look original. Those old Hammond transformers are pretty much indestructible -- and also a big reason vintage Traynors weigh like boat anchors.

    Your idea of adding the JJ 6CA7s is a good one... the optimum tube type for the big iron Traynors that had them.

    If you Facebook, check out the group "TAO of Tone - Traynor Amp Owners". It has a lot of members, including some of the Canadian amp techs that see a lot of Traynors on their benches and can provide lots more info. Chuck Frank, Peter Maziar, and Chris Church are among the pros there that know Traynors inside and out.

    Congrats on your purchase!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  12. KeepItSimpleTele

    KeepItSimpleTele TDPRI Member

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    Thanks flyswatter for taking a look over the insides. From what I’ve heard from people they seem to agree with you. The changes inside are mostly safety and also convenience related. I started to go through the schematic and compared to what’s there...and I quickly found myself lost :) In the end, if it’s safe and getting me a “Super Reverb meets JTM 45” tone ballpark...I’m good. I’am glad the mustard caps are still there (for mojo) and that the work seems to be generally done fairly well.

    The power supplies are indeed heavy !! This head weighs more than modern combos for sure. I’ll check out that tip about “Tao of Tone- Traynor Amp owners”

    Cheers
     
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