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  • Traynor YCS-50. I really like this thing.

    I tried out Traynor's newest combo, the YCS-50 with the band this weekend. For the money, it's easily the best amp I've ever seen. Really good feature set for people like me that need a wide variety of tones.

    It's two channel, each with its one tone, gain and volume controls, effects and reverb levels. Master volume affects both channels.

    The clean channel has two settings, Brit and USA. The USA stays super clean and bright no matter what you do to the gain. In the USA (Fender) setting the gain just fattens the sound without adding much distortion. Think Fender Twin.

    In the Brit setting, it breaks up much earlier and gets a good amount of crunch. I'm thinking it's going for a BluesBreaker kind of sound. I used this setting in conjunction with the volume controls on the guitar and a volume pedal in the loop to get as much clean to medium crunch as I wanted.

    The drive channel has two setting also, vintage and modern. Vintage is more a hair band kind of sound, good screaming Marshall tone. Modern adds an aggressive buzz, more like a Mesa. It's a good buzz, not an annoying one. It also has a boost switch with a variable level. The boost is more like Mesa's contour switch in that it fattens the sound more than actually makes it louder.

    It's switchable between 15 and 50 watts. I only used the 15 watt setting, and found the volume on that setting ideal for practice with a drummer. I had a little left on the master, so for me, that's probably good for gigging too. I imagine the 50 watt setting would be plenty for those that like it really loud.

    Another really cool feature is its compensated line out. I plugged it into a Yorkville powered monitor and it sounded surprisingly good. One of the few line outs on an amp that's actually usable. I believe I'll use that instead of a mic for gigs - at least I wouldn't be afraid to try it. The line out if pre-master, so changes in the master volume don't affect the strength of the line out signal, which is really handy. You can adjust the stage level without discombobulating the PA mix. The line out also works when the amp is in standby, so you can record silently or use it as a direct feed to the board.

    The amp itself has more bass than I'm used to in a combo. The box is huge. It's the biggest 1x12 that I can remember, which may account for the bass. I found myself dialing it back some.

    Two things I'd want to change. The USA/Brit and Vintage/Modern switches are great. I'd love to have them footswitchable. The speaker is hardwired, making disconnecting it to use a cabinet or attenuator difficult.

    I got it shipped to my door for $679. It's absolutely the best $679 amp I've ever come across. It would still be a good amp at twice the price.

  • #2
    Hi -

    Thanks so much for this review...I am in the process of trying to find a two channel amp where one channel does a good Fender clean while the second channel does a well-rounded overdrive...don't need super-saturated distortion. I play in a cover band so I need a flexible tone-wise.

    Here are the amps/set-ups I have tried and considered...

    Good transactions with: miggy01, DonaldDemon, Virex, Buildsem, MCon, Puddlegum, adamsa, gherb, spacecaptain21, Farbulous, aldo247, flummox, Ron Jambo/infragreen, aywilson

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    • #3
      My main amp right now is a SuperSonic. I like it a lot. The Fender has a slightly better clean channel. It breaks up really, really nicely, but has to be very loud to do it. The Traynor is in the ballpark, but I'd give the edge to the Fender on the cleans, but not by much. The Traynor has a more aggressive and better sounding distortion to me.

      I've had a YCV20WR. I liked it okay, but the distortion was a little grainy. The new 50 smokes it. Not even close.

      I'm not a big fan of the DRRI. It's got a real old school break up that doesn't work for a lot of modern music.

      The Peavey's are good amps, but they Traynor does the Fender/Marshall thing while the Peavey's have more of their own voice.

      The Fender Hot Rods aren't in the same league at all. Budget Fenders don't sound good to me.

      The thing with the Traynor is that it reproduces 4 classic sounds very well, but it also has a lot of very useful features that most other amps lack.

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      • #4
        Just a quick point about the internal speaker on the YCS50. It isn't hardwired, but you have to know where to look to disconnect. If you take a look inside the box just below where the external speaker jack is on the box, you'll see a quarter inch jack where the speaker is plugged in (it sits just in front of the output transformer cover). Hope this is useful to you.

        Cheers

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        • #5
          Just a quick point about the internal speaker on the YCS50. It isn't hardwired, but you have to know where to look to disconnect. If you take a look inside the box just below where the external speaker jack is on the box, you'll see a quarter inch jack where the speaker is plugged in (it sits just in front of the output transformer cover). Hope this is useful to you.

          Cheers


          Nice to know. Thanks.

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          • #6
            GCDEF,is that you playing in that new YouTube clip with the Epi through the YCS-50?If so,it sounds pretty damn good.Btw,I have become interested in the Custom Special 50 combo,but the site gives no email address for direct contact.The product "details" do not state how many and/or what kind of tubes are used in the amp...EL34 or 6L6/5881's?Also no mention of dimensions or weight.If you could be so kind,I would greatly appreciate it if you could state the weight,dimensions and tubes used.Oh yeah,any speaker out jacks?Thanks!



            Ed
            My avatar is porn star Puma Swede

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            • #7
              GCDEF,is that you playing in that new YouTube clip with the Epi through the YCS-50?If so,it sounds pretty damn good.Btw,I have become interested in the Custom Special 50 combo,but the site gives no email address for direct contact.The product "details" do not state how many and/or what kind of tubes are used in the amp...EL34 or 6L6/5881's?Also no mention of dimensions or weight.If you could be so kind,I would greatly appreciate it if you could state the weight,dimensions and tubes used.Oh yeah,any speaker out jacks?Thanks!



              Ed


              The ac/dc sounds great on that clip. I really wish one of the Traynor dealers around here would get one in to try. I'm interested now even though I'm looking for a Marshall.
              I got soul, and I'm superbad!

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              • #8
                GCDEF,is that you playing in that new YouTube clip with the Epi through the YCS-50?If so,it sounds pretty damn good.Btw,I have become interested in the Custom Special 50 combo,but the site gives no email address for direct contact.The product "details" do not state how many and/or what kind of tubes are used in the amp...EL34 or 6L6/5881's?Also no mention of dimensions or weight.If you could be so kind,I would greatly appreciate it if you could state the weight,dimensions and tubes used.Oh yeah,any speaker out jacks?Thanks!



                Ed


                I've seen the clip, but no, it isn't me.

                Dimensions from the manual are 10.5 x 25.5 x 21.5. 48 lbs. It's pretty big for a 1 x 12 combo.

                3 12AX7s and 2 5881s.

                One internal 8 ohm speaker that can be unplugged, but it's kind of hard to get to the plug. One external jack that's easy to get to. Switchable between 4 and 8 ohms.

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                • #9
                  i think your review gave some kind of GAS.

                  what kind of tubes are in it? what is the lead channel like? anything to compare it to? is it high gain or medium gain?
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                  • #10
                    i think your review gave some kind of GAS.

                    what kind of tubes are in it? what is the lead channel like? anything to compare it to? is it high gain or medium gain?


                    Lead channel is great. Has a boost function which fattens the sound a bit too. Also has a vintage/modern switch. To me it has a JCM800 kind of sound in the vintage side. The modern switch gives it a little more hair like you'd find on a Mesa, but not quite all the way there. I hardly ever use an OD pedal with it, there's really no need.

                    The other really nice thing about it is that it sounds good at practically all volumes where other amps need an attenuator. The more I play it, the more I like it.

                    Played it in a club this weekend and had somebody came up gushing about the tone and asking all kinds of questions about it.

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                    • #11
                      I've seen the clip, but no, it isn't me.

                      Dimensions from the manual are 10.5 x 25.5 x 21.5. 48 lbs. It's pretty big for a 1 x 12 combo.

                      3 12AX7s and 2 5881s.

                      One internal 8 ohm speaker that can be unplugged, but it's kind of hard to get to the plug. One external jack that's easy to get to. Switchable between 4 and 8 ohms.


                      Thanks for the info.My choices are now between the Traynor YCS-50,the Fender Supersonic and either a Rivera Clubster 25 Doce or Clubster 45.Btw,being as the YCS-50 is by far the least expensive of the four,I wonder about it's build and componant quality.

                      Ed
                      My avatar is porn star Puma Swede

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the info.My choices are now between the Traynor YCS-50,the Fender Supersonic and either a Rivera Clubster 25 Doce or Clubster 45.Btw,being as the YCS-50 is by far the least expensive of the four,I wonder about it's build and componant quality.

                        Ed


                        You'd like the Traynor, it's right up your alley tonewise. The Supersonic is probably a bit too modern for you... don't know anything about Riveras, though.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the info.My choices are now between the Traynor YCS-50,the Fender Supersonic and either a Rivera Clubster 25 Doce or Clubster 45.Btw,being as the YCS-50 is by far the least expensive of the four,I wonder about it's build and componant quality.

                          Ed


                          Seems fine to me. Yorkville/Traynor has a reputation for quality at a good price.

                          In my experience, the Fender and the Traynor are way better than the Riveras. I've never heard a Rivera sound good.

                          As to which to get between the Supersonic and Traynor, both are good. I have both. If I had to keep one, it would be the Traynor, mainly because you have better control over the sounds at different volumes. With a master volume and gain control on the clean channel, you have way more control over it than you do with the Fender, which really needs to be cranked to sound its best.

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                          • #14
                            You'd like the Traynor, it's right up your alley tonewise. The Supersonic is probably a bit too modern for you... don't know anything about Riveras, though.


                            I'd put it the other way around. Based on Fender amps from the 60s, the Supersonic has more of the classic tone from the 60s and 70s. The Traynor does the 60s and 70s, but heads right into the middle of the 80s and 90s too.

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                            • #15
                              Just as a side note. You can use the effects loop not only as a boost but also as an attenuator. Just jump it with a patch cable, roll the send and return levels back, engage the effects loop and POOF! You have your amp volumes @ 4 or 5 and still at bedroom levels for sound

                              FF

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