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What makes one vintage tube amplifier worth more than another? Is it purely tone, or have some amp makers been favored due to more successful marketing and famous artist associations? While the appeal of a classic Marshall or Fender is undeniable, guitarists and bass players seeking more affordable vintage tones have many other options to consider. One such brand is Traynor.
The best known and largest Canadian producer of amplifiers since the mids, Traynor has never drawn the same interest as British imports among U. This lack of attention has left the used market with many examples of these hand-wired tube tone monsters priced well below contemporaries. Among Canadian musicians, Pete Traynor is a legend. Because the shop resided on Yorkville Avenue, the original products Traynor would begin to create shortly after being hired were sold under the Yorkville Sound brand, which continues to this day.
Beginning inthe company began producing guitar and bass amplifiers marketed with the Traynor badge. Legend has it that Pete Traynor would test new models himself by throwing them from the two-story roof of the factory, replacing the tubes, and then testing if the amps still worked. Traynors from the classic period also contained massive Hammond transformers as well as a unique de that incorporated a convenient circuit breaker on the back panel rather than relying on fuses.
Upon failing, such a capacitor can set up a guitar player for a shock or electrocution. Luckily, most examples from the early years have by now had that problem fixed, after earlier owners, while strumming their guitars and touching a microphone, completed the circuit with their bodies. Due to robust de features and low relative cost in the used market, Traynors are also among the most frequently modded amps on the vintage market. Long was a businessman known for his Dating traynor amps, who was also willing to take big risks.
Critically, Long also insulated the eccentric Traynor from the stress that comes with starting a business. With most U. Northeast and Northern Midwest, many of the vintage Traynor amps that come to the used market today still originate from these Dating traynor amps. Pete Traynor left the company in and subsequently lived a quiet life until his death in Relaunched inthe Traynor brand has subsequently produced both reissues and highly regarded new models, including the YCV line of tube guitar combos Dating traynor amps the Horse line of lunchbox tube he.
Of course, as Traynor is a company founded by a bass player, the company today also produces high-quality bass he and cabinets, including the watt all-tube YBA Perhaps the best known of all Traynor amplifiers is the YBA Similar in de and tone to the Fender Bassman and the Marshall JTM45 des of the period, the model spawned several variants with different features and output levels. Though deed as a bass amplifier, the model was quickly adopted by guitarists. Among purists, the original unadulterated circuitry is still lauded for a tone that hovers somewhere between those of the classic Fender and Marshall models it resembles.
Reverb Masters featured a master gain knob and spring reverb, as well as tube tremolo and a treble boost switch. The YGA-1 ature features watts of output and circuitry similar to the YBA-1 with the inclusion of tremolo, but they appear less frequently on the used market.
Traynor also manufactured a series of guitar and bass combos during the '60s and '70s with several close-backed des and unusual speaker combinations. These amplifiers tend to be less sought-after than their head-only siblings and, as a result, sometimes fetch lower prices in the vintage market. Built to the same ultra-durable specs, these are very heavy amps that could test the backs of frequently gigging players. A factor to consider when purchasing a vintage Traynor combo is that the company primarily used Marsland speakers in their amps and cabinets during that period.
Some modern guitarists are not enamored of the tone that these stock speakers produce, while others like them just fine. As such, the model is best known today among guitarists who often convert the YBA-4 to an open-backed setup or even convert the Dating traynor amps to a standalone head. The model also has ardent fans in the steel guitar community. Price Guide: YBA-4 models also price within range of the YBA-1 in the vintage market, but will typically require a Dating traynor amps higher shipping cost.
While the first versions came without reverb, later variants included reverb as well as lush tremolo that could both be controlled via a footswitch. The Guitar Mate had a single inch speaker, while the Studio Mate featured an unusual closed cabinet configuration with four eight-inch speakers. In addition to guitarists, harmonica players looking for a bit more volume than a vintage Fender Champ sometimes employ these lower-wattage tube combos. Price Guide: Perhaps unsurprisingly, these smaller, more portable combos typically price at higher levels than other, heavier models.
This is in part due to demand by recording Dating traynor amps looking for affordable lower-wattage vintage tones.
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To reflect our commitment, we updated our terms and conditions. Learn More. Reverb Articles. Pete Traynor. Reverb Gives Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music. Carbon-Offset Shipping Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments. Scan with your phone to get the Reverb app:. Oops, looks like you forgot something.
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