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Keep the Traynor or ditch it...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Great Ape, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Great Ape

    Great Ape Tele-Meister

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    I have an older Traynor YCV40. 40w, 2 x 5881 output valves, Celestion 70/80. It has it's shortcomings - the speaker can't handle low notes from a tele (why put such bad speakers in?) - and although it's quite a clear sounding amp, it doesn't really have a lot of midrange personality, if you know what I mean. I'm wondering if a speaker change can improve things or whether I should take the hit, sell it on for what I can get and find something else....any thoughts? I'm reluctant to get into a lot of speaker-swapping, as cash is tight. Just wondering about other folks' experiences. Any and all advice welcome.
     
  2. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    Despite the shortcomings you mention, there is much to like about the Traynor YCV40. I would say if you're happy with most of what it offers, a speaker upgrade would probably get you where you want to go.

    What speaker you ask? Well, that is highly subjective and perhaps better left to those with more experience than I......but I will say the speaker swapping I've done lately with three different amps ( two solid staters and one tuber )has been somewhat of a revelation in how different speakers can enhance and improve ( or bring major suckage! ) to the tonal equation.

    Although the many choices can be a bit confusing, the Emminence line of Red Coat and Patriot speakers might be a good place to start. You could also contact Ted Weber. Ted makes a quality product and he's great at answering questions and recommending a speaker.

    Check the used boards here, on the weber board and on the gear page as speakers show up as often as overdrive pedals! In addition to the many amp/speaker mavens here on the TDPRI, the speaker section on the weber board is a great place to get specific speaker tone questions answered also.

    Good luck! I hope you find the tone you desire.
     
  3. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    I put a weber ceramic blue dog in my blues junior & it really turned that amp around:

    https://weberspeakerscom.secure.powweb.com/weber/

    really nice clear highs and complex mids. Holds together OK on the low end. Don't know how it would work with the Traynor but I've been impressed.
     
  4. tdu

    tdu Friend of Leo's

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    I had heard some of the new Traynor YCV's have Eminence speakers in them. IMO while Celestion obviously makes some nice speakers, the picked the complete wrong models for the Traynor YCV amps. I didn't think the V30 suited my YCV50 at all, and I didn't really like the Greenback in a YVC40WR I tried. I tried an Eminence Legend GB12 which is their take on a Greenback and thought it sounded great. Not only that, but they are pretty darn inexpensive.

    I don't have the tech knowledge some of the people on here have, but each time I have done a speaker swap on an amp the change has been pretty dramatic. And I usually bought the speakers off forums and got good deals. So I would say it's well worth trying.

    You'd take a beating on the resale of the Traynor too. For some reason they don't seem to hold their resale value well.
     
  5. Great Ape

    Great Ape Tele-Meister

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    I think part of the reason for the bad resale value (apart from the fact that it doesn't say 'Fender' on it) is that Fender stuff seems to be wired up to give it all at a fairly low setting on the volume dial. Gives people a different impression to the ycv40, which is a bit more graduated.

    I had a look at the Eminence website, but the power ratings seem very high. Can you get a 40w amp sounding good with a 150w speaker, for instance?

    I've heard good things about Weber from some very respected sources, but shipped to the uk, a Weber runs at about twice the price of a celestion or eminence. I've also heard they're a bit darker than most amps.

    Primarily, I'm after a tighter, (perhaps rounder) bass, bit more personality and warmth in the mids and a detailed but less icepick treble. Any thoughts?

    Incidentally, TDU - how involved was the speaker swap? I've been trying to see how you'd take off the grille without tearing the cloth, but am not sure...
     
  6. ajmikula

    ajmikula TDPRI Member

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    I got mind off with a flat-head screwdriver covered in an old t-shirt - worked like a charm!
     
  7. geddyleedog

    geddyleedog Tele-Holic

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    I have a YCV40 and i replaced the speaker because of the loose low end on the stock speaker. I replaced it with an Eminence Red White and blues. I also changed tubes. I notice no difference in tone with new tubes. Speaker replacement made a MAJOR difference. The bottom end tightened up nicely. I believe a speaker change will get you where you want to go, but like you said, that could get expensive if you don't get the sound you want on your first try. For me, the RW&B did the trick but YMMV.
     
  8. vic108

    vic108 Tele-Afflicted

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    Traynor's are a hell of an amp. Back in the early
    1970's, I had the Traynor YGL-3 and the thing
    was HEAVY and LOUD. Wish I still had it!
     
  9. tdu

    tdu Friend of Leo's

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    Have you swapped out the Sovtek tubes? If not I'd try that before you even try a speaker swap. It makes a HUGE difference in the sound of the amp. IMO the 70/80 is really not THAT bad of a speaker. If find it way more 'balanced' across the mids and highs than the V30's or Greenbacks they use in most of the YCV amps.

    The Eminence Legend series are not that high wattage. The GB12 is 50 watts I believe.
     
  10. mojohen

    mojohen Tele-Meister

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    Just to comment on the Eminence speakers.. I changed out the Oxfords in my SFSR, and went with Eminence mainly for price. 4-10" Webers=$$$$$.
    Got 2 Ramrods and 2 Ragin Cajuns. 70watt rating. They really break up nicely at around 5-6, more than I thought, and smoothly get more aggressive as it's turned up. Just what I wanted, and they sound great. I will say the Redcoat series is VERY warm with rounded highs, pronounced mids and fat bottom. The Patriots are a little more scooped(slightly) with sparkly highs and tight bottom. I found the combination of the two works well...
    Good luck.

    mojohen
     
  11. Great Ape

    Great Ape Tele-Meister

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    Well, there's two of you who think opoposite things...but I have replaced the tubes and noticed a small but not really significant improvement. I think the no.1 problem is the speaker. I guess with cheap speakers, there could be variable quality, so maybe my friend here who doesn't mind the 70/80 got a reasonable one. Mine, on the other hand, just cannot even handle a tele neck pickup on 4.

    geddyleedog, my Rush-loving friend: the RWB has a high power rating, so did you find it sounded poorer at low volume? Also, does it do something about the icepick highs and fairly uninspiring mids?
     
  12. geddyleedog

    geddyleedog Tele-Holic

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    I was really irresponsible for not including information about lower volumes. This is something I mentioned in other posts, but I didn't in this one. I'm glad you asked. Yes, to me, at low volumes (<3), the RWB sounds kind of wimpy and sterile when using O.D. or Distortion. Anything above 3 sounds fantastic! Also, it sounds great at low volumes if you are playing clean. There is only a problem with O.D. or distortion. So, if I wouldn't suggest that speaker if you like play with O.D or distortion and are just playing in your house. If you're gigging or jamming with buddies, I think it's a great choice. The frequency response is fairly even all the way across. So from top to bottom you won't get anything sharp or extreme.
     
  13. Vince a

    Vince a Tele-Holic

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    Had a really old Traynor, got rid of it, and recently purchased an 80 watt tube YCV-80Q . . . and I have the same problem . . . the 80 has 4 Celestion Tube 10 speakers. They buzz, they distort, they are not the right speaker for my amp.

    Traynor amps have an articulatley clean sound, uh, when matched with the right speakers, so like you, I'm in the hunt for the "right speaker." However, I don't want to spend $400 for speakers . . . maybe even changing 4x10 to 2x12 speaker arrangement.
     
  14. Great Ape

    Great Ape Tele-Meister

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    I tend to use it in two situations: at home on around 1 or 2 or gigging etc on 4-5. I guess it's unrealistic to expect a speaker to do both, so the latter is preferable. However, I do use a Reverend DT2 overdrive and occasionally a Tech21 triOD, so perhaps it isn't for me. What exactly is the problem with OD/distortion? Too loud? Maybe I should pair it with a 1*12 extension (perhaps not the Traynor...) with a British style speaker...
     
  15. Great Ape

    Great Ape Tele-Meister

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    I also note that Eminence don't have sound samples on their site, unless I've missed them..?
     
  16. geddyleedog

    geddyleedog Tele-Holic

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    To me the problem with OD/distortion tones at low volumes is that it just sounds wimpy. I wish I could describe it in other terms, but that's the best I can do. It sounds thin and doesn't have much fullness or sustain. I'm not a speaker expert but maybe the speaker isn't being pushed enough? I don't know. Again though, clean sounds fine to me at lower levels.
     
  17. Opaltone

    Opaltone Tele-Holic

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    I went through the same type of issues with the Traynor YCV20WR. Though the output tubes differ, the same issues apply. I found the Greenback too mushy in the bass, and harsh in the highs.

    First I tried my beloved Weber AlNiCo 12s: a Blue Dog, and Silver Bell. The Silver Bell was the best, but I was still not satisfied. I tried a 12F150, thinking it'd be the thing, and it was much better - just not quite there yet.

    I got to trade the Greenback for a Celestion G12H, and that turned out to be the key to success. The lows were there, and tight, and the highs were tamed enough. You may want to try a G12H.

    I also thoroughly re-tubed the YCV20. Over a two-year period, I experimented with >50 NOS preamp tube types. I believe the YCV40 has the same preamp, so you may want to take a look at what I came up with:
    V1=main input and extra gain stage for overdrive - early '60s GE long gray-plate 12AX7 has the right balance of clarity and high-frequency roll-off [consider a Russian "Tung-Sol" 12AX7 for new-production option]
    V2=tone control and final overdrive stage - mid-'50s Sylvania short gray-plate/square-getter 12AX7 has great early breakup for the overdrive channel [also consider the RFT ECC83 as another early-breakup option that has less clarity]
    V3=phase-inverter -'50s RCA 3-mica black-plate 5751 - dynamically lively and balanced tonally, with lower gain than a 12AX7, for later power-section breakup [also consider the early-'80s Mullard CV4024/12AT7WA for this] Of course, with the higher wattage power section, you may want to go for earlier power-tube breakup, so then I'd recommend a nice clear 12AX7, such as another long-plate GE.

    Good luck with your quest!

    - Thom
     
  18. Opaltone

    Opaltone Tele-Holic

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    I found the key to singing, sustaining leads with the YCV20 (same preamp as YCV40) is to keep the gain settings low, while raising the volume up higher. I didn't like the lack of definition and high-frequency emphasis when the gain was high, and volume low.

    - T
     
  19. FatTeleTom

    FatTeleTom Tele-Meister

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    I've got the YCV40WR (which has the Vintage 30 speaker), and I would say keep your amp and go speaker-shopping. I love the tones I get with the Traynor--plenty of midrange complexity, decent bass, and it's low on the "ice pick" meter.

    From some on-line comments I've seen, it sure sounds like the Vintage 30 is a better fit for the YCV40 than the 70/80, so that's an option worth considering. V30's seem to be a love 'em or hate 'em speaker, though, and there are many choices out there.

    As noted above, check out the Eminence line--they've done a good job of identifying/describing them, and I think you can get in touch with them for suggestions. I've always heard good things about Weber as well, in terms of being able to select a speaker based on your needs.
     
  20. Blues Hurler

    Blues Hurler Tele-Holic

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    I had a YCV 40 and threw a Vintage 30 in it and it was a significant improvement. I love the V30's in Traynors. Not an inexpensive speaker, but cheaper than a new amp!
     
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