NAD! How Does This Happen?! (‘71 YGM-3)

HeavyCream

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I’m revamping my amps for 2020. I sold 3 of 5 along with some pedals, have a Ceriatone JTM45 in the works and now, a NAD full of mystery and excitement, for me anyway.

We’re going to play a little game of “name that amp”. Not sure if it’s fun or annoying. Whatever. Plenty of clues in this post. It might even be too easy.

How does this even happen? The amp that just arrived is a sweet vintage 20w 112 combo, all tube (4x 12ax7, 2x el84) hand wired turret, tube driven spring reverb, tube tremolo, Hammond OT... $449!

Here’s where it gets a little funky. Found it on the GC website, “Great condition”, 90 min from where I live. I didn’t have time to get it so I had them ship it. Before they sent it I got an email explaining to me that the amp is missing a tube. How does that happen?!?! Lol. I could of bailed then but I didn’t. I want the amp. They were going to order a new set, I told them just ship it, I’ll worry about the tube. I don’t really want those goobers mucking with the amp and it’s just a preamp tube anyway. Right? Wrong! it’s a power tube. Oh GC... :facepalm

Of course it’s el84, the one common type I don’t have. Luckily I ordered a pair anyway that will be in Thursday. So, at this point I don’t know what kind of issues this amp may or may not have. I did pull the chassis, clean pots/jacks and plug her in. The PT works. Nothing leaking, bloated or burnt. In fact it looks pretty immaculate considering the age. About that...

The age. GC listed it as 1980’s ... but that didn’t seem right to me (I don’t think these were made after ‘79). Turns out it was built in 1971 :rotflmao. It seems to be original though I’m not 100%. A 3 prong cord was added and a couple of the caps might have been swapped at some point. Has its original Accutronics long reverb pan and alnico speaker. None of the original tubes though. Bummer.

If it works, I will have gotten a good deal, not ludicrous but prices are rising. It’s not a cheapo department store amp. It’s well made. I would say the build quality is on par with Fenders of the same era. Shares some esthetics too. I am pretty amazed this amp can be had for this kind of coin.

I’ll let you know later tomorrow or Thursday if no one guesses or gets close. Pics to come. Lots of pics. Weirdest NAD I’ve ever had. These things are supposed to smoke when working properly. Surf guys dig em. I can’t freakin wait to get some glass in her. Fingers crossed :D

edit: 1971 Traynor YGM-3
Clips on pg12
Modded amp clips on pg14
 
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HeavyCream

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3,532
Ok, time for pics!!!
As promised...

Guitarmate w/ Reverb YGM-3. What do I win? I'd grab one of those too if I saw it on a good deal basis. Who knows, it might end up being your favorite amp to play through.
Correct, 71 Traynor YGM-3!
I’ve been eyeing these for a while. The reason I passed on them was because they’re so loud. That’s not an issue anymore. I saw some listed between $800 and $1000 and felt like I missed out. Some in Canada for cheaper but the shipping, ugh. This one called to me and the price was right.

I think there’s a very good chance I’ll love this amp. The reverb is supposed to be fantastic, that was a big selling point. It’s sort of DR meets Marshall 1974, very cool. I’m sure I’ll probably mod the bright cap and a speaker swap is likely. I’m very excited.



Sorry about the poor lightning. It’s tough. I either get glare galore or shadows. I went with shadows. I’ll be posting more pics for sure. The schematic is still attached below the chassis but I forgot to get a pick. Doh!
 
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ProfRhino

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7,140
71 Traynor YGM-3!
I’ve been eyeing these for a while. The reason I passed on them was because they’re so loud. That’s not an issue anymore. I saw some listed between $800 and $1000 and felt like I missed out. Some in Canada for cheaper but the shipping, uh. This one called to me and the price was right.

I think there’s a very good chance I’ll love this amp. The reverb is supposed to be fantastic, that was a big selling point. It’s sort of DR meets Marshall 1974, very cool. I’m sure I’ll probably mod the bright cap and a speaker swap is likely. I’m very excited.

Sorry about the poor lightning. It’s tough. I either get glare galore or shadows. I went with shadows. I’ll be posting more pics for sure. The schematic is still attached below the chassis but I forgot to get a pick. Doh!
really cool find and story - congrats ! :beer
Rhino
 

drbob1

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27,597
Nice! I'd consider replacing the speaker, that's a bit dull and underpowered... I used a JBL D120 and it sounds KILLER, but it's a bit heavy. Now (25 years later) I'd use a Jensen Neo.
 

Zonk

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736
Looks like it's in real nice shape, I've heard some Traynor collectors saying that is their favorite because it's a great sounding circuit and the volume level is more manageable than the Bassmaster and their other more powerful amps.

I notice there's no output jack on the back, I'd probably wire a connection to the speaker lead so I could plug it into some different cabinets, I'll bet that thing will really roar through a 2x12 or 4x12 and have plenty of volume for most situations.

That's the kind of amp that's great to show up with at a jam where your buddies have brought their expensive amps, always fun to bring your non-descript innocent looking traynor amp that sounds as good or better than their Matchless, Boogie or whatever.
 

HeavyCream

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3,532
Looks like it's in real nice shape, I've heard some Traynor collectors saying that is their favorite because it's a great sounding circuit and the volume level is more manageable than the Bassmaster and their other more powerful amps.

I notice there's no output jack on the back, I'd probably wire a connection to the speaker lead so I could plug it into some different cabinets, I'll bet that thing will really roar through a 2x12 or 4x12 and have plenty of volume for most situations.

That's the kind of amp that's great to show up with at a jam where your buddies have brought their expensive amps, always fun to bring your non-descript innocent looking traynor amp that sounds as good or better than their Matchless, Boogie or whatever.
Good eye man! I’m impressed. I didn’t even mention the missing speaker jack. When I was first trying to date it, I was looking for another YGM-3 without an ext out, can’t find one. It has to be a fluke. The chassis has a hole drilled for it but the rear face plate does not.

I’m definitely going to install one. I have a 212 BB cab and a tweed 112 with an old P12q I’m dying to try with it. Both 8ohm. I also just got a Two Notes Captor for attenuation/reamping and need a jack for that.

I also have a rebuilt vintage US Alnico 12” I’ll probably install in the Traynor. It leans American but has pretty neutral mids and takes well to Brit and fuzz too.

I’m all about choppin’ heads with a sleeper amp ;):cool:
 
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Zonk

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736
Is the cabinet on that thing closed back and it's basically like a chassis on top of a sealed 1x12 cab? If so pretty cool, should be a punchy Little Rock and Roll unit.

I bought my Bassmaster thinking it might be fun to mod it but now I'm glad I didn't because it really has it's own unique sound. Even with the channels jumped it has to be cranked to quite high volume before it starts breaking up but I quickly discovered it's an (IMO) insanely great pedal platform, all my dirt pedals really sing through it. Clean sound is killer too, reminds me somewhat of the clean sound of my buddy's Hiwatt 1/2 stack. I bought another amp so I can avoid using the Traynor every single day, trying to preserve the original Phillips/Mullard output tubes that are in it.
 
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Superb amp ! I have a 1969 ygm-3 and it pretty much smokes anything out there imho on many fronts. With a Klon clone (mythical overdrive by rimrock) I can summon the tone gods hehe (to have the tone I seek I put bass and treble both maxed but I back up the volume to between 1 to 2 (depending if I want a breaking up clean or an Hey Joe bright clean ; notice I have a Les Paul hence the bright settings)
 
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And at those volumes the klone with 0 gain boosts it beautifully, or with gain at between noon and 1 extraordinary and loaded with harmonics, perfect really. If you can find an 15" alnico extension cab it will beef up a LOT the feel of the amp :)
 

HeavyCream

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Messages
3,532
Is the cabinet on that thing closed back and it's basically like a chassis on top of a sealed 1x12 cab? If so pretty cool, should be a punchy Little Rock and Roll unit.

I bought my Bassmaster thinking it might be fun to mod it but now I'm glad I didn't because it really has it's own unique sound. Even with the channels jumped it has to be cranked to quite high volume before it starts breaking up but I quickly discovered it's an (IMO) insanely great pedal platform, all my dirt pedals really sing through it. Clean sound is killer too, reminds me somewhat of the clean sound of my buddy's Hiwatt 1/2 stack. I bought another amp so I can avoid using the Traynor every single day, trying to preserve the original Phillips/Mullard output tubes that are in it.
Ya, I realized I never took a pic of the back. It is indeed a sealed closed back how you described. I believe they were made that way until the late 70’s.

I don’t want to go crazy modding it. I know most guys say the bright cap should be changed or removed. I’m thinking of putting one or two caps on a switch. Certainly I’ll try it out stock for a while.

Unfortunately, the stock tubes were all replaced. Part of the reason I didn’t want GC touching the tubes is because I was hoping originals were still in there. I do have some nice glass to try with it. :aok

Superb amp ! I have a 1969 ygm-3 and it pretty much smokes anything out there imho on many fronts. With a Klon clone (mythical overdrive by rimrock) I can summon the tone gods hehe (to have the tone I seek I put bass and treble both maxed but I back up the volume to between 1 to 2 (depending if I want a breaking up clean or an Hey Joe bright clean ; notice I have a Les Paul hence the bright settings)
Nice! I’m also predominantly an LP player. Did you keep the stock bright cap?
 

Zonk

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736
Ya, I realized I never took a pic of the back. It is indeed a sealed closed back how you described. I believe they were made that way until the late 70’s.

I don’t want to go crazy modding it. I know most guys say the bright cap should be changed or removed. I’m thinking of putting one or two caps on a switch. Certainly I’ll try it out stock for a while.

Unfortunately, the stock tubes were all replaced. Part of the reason I didn’t want GC touching the tubes is because I was hoping originals were still in there. I do have some nice glass to try with it. :aok



Nice! I’m also predominantly an LP player. Did you keep the stock bright cap?
You should be able to hunt up some good quality EL84's without paying totally crazy money I would think. I had a nice PA amp conversion with RCA 6bq5's that sounded killer, wouldn't mind picking up something along those lines for the modded Jet City 20 I have, although the Chinese tubes that are in there seem to sound pretty good and haven't bothered me. I'm curious to find out how much reliable tube vendors are charging for good old el84 type tubes nowadays.
 
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@HeavyCream
Mine has the switchable bright switch, but with a Les Paul, always on for me :) and I would not change values unless I would have a second ygm-3 to which I would do Pat Furlan's mods and compare the 2, because I found Nice sweet spots as it is right now when I switch off the bright switch it just sounds dead with the Les Paul, but with strats and teles I would keep it on too but lower the treble of the amp or tone of the guitar, there is some magic in the amp's dynamics imho with the switch on and varying your pick attack)
 

HeavyCream

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3,532
@HeavyCream
Mine has the switchable bright switch, but with a Les Paul, always on for me :) and I would not change values unless I would have a second ygm-3 to which I would do Pat Furlan's mods and compare the 2, because I found Nice sweet spots as it is right now when I switch off the bright switch it just sounds dead with the Les Paul, but with strats and teles I would keep it on too but lower the treble of the amp or tone of the guitar, there is some magic in the amp's dynamics imho with the switch on and varying your pick attack)
That’s exactly why I won’t touch it without trying it first. I like having treble to spare for that LP neck. I also like to roll guitar tone back.

I was thinking though, if I do a bright cap mod, I’ll put the cap on a 3 way switch with different values and keep one stock. Might be worthwhile, especially with Tele, Strat or P90’s.

How’s the verb on yours? Do you use it much? Noisy?
 
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HeavyCream

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,532
You should be able to hunt up some good quality EL84's without paying totally crazy money I would think. I had a nice PA amp conversion with RCA 6bq5's that sounded killer, wouldn't mind picking up something along those lines for the modded Jet City 20 I have, although the Chinese tubes that are in there seem to sound pretty good and haven't bothered me. I'm curious to find out how much reliable tube vendors are charging for good old el84 type tubes nowadays.
You’re right prices aren’t crazy. I ordered some of those NOS Russian military 84’s dirt cheap. Won’t be here till next week. JJ’s here soon. These amps require robust power tubes. I’ll probably pick up something better once I know what characteristics I want.
 

Zonk

Member
Messages
736
You’re right prices aren’t crazy. I ordered some of those NOS Russian military 84’s dirt cheap. Won’t be here till next week. JJ’s here soon. These amps require robust power tubes. I’ll probably pick up something better once I know what characteristics I want.
Yeah besides the lower volume a lot of people seem to want nowadays one real plus about your amp as opposed to a Bassmaster is getting robust old tubes is a whole lot less expensive. The Bassmaster claims 40ish watts but cranked up it seems quite a bit louder.
 




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