Traynor YGL-1. Pretty cool amp, eh?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by sshan25, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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    I gigged with this amp last night for the first time since I got it last week. What an excellent little beast this thing is. It will cover practically anything a Princeton/DR can do and with the flick of a switch, instant Marshall vibe. Does it sound exactly the same as a Fender or Marshall? No, but it’s damn close. The overdrive on every voicing is sweet and it loves pedals. In a room full of various vintage and reissue Fenders and a Mesa and Egnator or two, the Traynor was the amp people kept asking about. If you haven’t considered Traynor, you really need to check this new series out. I’m going to have to take out my Godins soon so I can do an all Canadian evening at some point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  2. awp

    awp Member

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    I've been very intrigued by this amp. You're assessment as being comparable to a Princeton doesn't help the temptationto try it out.

    How is the reverb? I like a nice full, rich reverb. I know it is a digital reverb.
     
  3. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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    I agree it sounds bigger than a Princeton. I shared the stage with one last night. In any case, it's quite a bit louder. After having had more time to spend with it I can see why one would find the Brit mode more Marshally than Voxy. I still can hear a bit of Vox in there though. I don't use enough reverb to notice the subtleties but I think the digital unit in this one sounds pretty good. All in all, this is one of the best small amps I've ever owned and I've owend a lot of them.
     
  4. AngryGoldfish

    AngryGoldfish Member

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    Bump. Any more thoughts on this amp? I'm looking for a small, portable amp that has reverb, full clean tones and natural break-up at louder levels.
     
  5. awp

    awp Member

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    I can give you my take.

    First my biases going in

    • I went in to the store specifically looking to try a Princeton Reverb. I tried the YGL-1 mostly because i was looking to compare a few amps against the PRRi.
    • As a Canadian, I really want to like the YGL-1 and support a Canadian company.
    • I am a big fan of reverb
    The test environment

    • A quiet, mid-week afternoon at Long&McQuades
    • The PRRi and YGL-1 were in the same room a few feet from each other
    • No one around so I was able to crank both amps up a bit
    • I also played both down at nighttime volumes
    • Was able to play both for a while so got a pretty good feel for them
    • I was trying to dial in the YGL-1 to sound like the Princeton. The sales guy took a crack at it too.
    • Played both amps only with a Strat and finger picking
    • Mostly bluesy/jazzy noodling
    My opinion

    • The YGL-1 did not sound as full or deep as the Princeton. This surprised me a bit given the 12" vs 10" speaker.
    • The YGL-1 reverb was kinda meh although in a band context it is likely fine. I'd probably try a pedal.
    • I honestly didn't hear a substantial difference between the American and British settings.
    • The "Pure" setting was significantly louder and personally was my favourite of the settings. If I was looking for a raw bluesy/rock amp I think this setting would be fun.
    • Definitely preferred the YGL turned up rather than at nighttime volumes. It seems to need a bit of juice to get going.
    • The YGL appears to be very well constructed. The one I played did not exhibit any noticeable rattle. It was a little noisy but I blame the florescent lighting and the single coil pickups.
    Obviously nothing beats trying it yourself. I may sound negative about the amp but frankly I was there for the Princeton. I think the amp itself was ok.

    BTW.. In case appearances are important to you, I noticed in the current L&M flyer that there is a special edition YGL-1 available. Tan, rather than black. IMHO it it a better look.
     
  6. AngryGoldfish

    AngryGoldfish Member

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    I'd happily take a Princeton, but they can't be found over here within my budget, either new or second-hand. I do see them from time to time relatively close to my maximum budget, but they're in other parts of the EU or in the UK, which means I have to then siphon through the sellers who aren't willing to ship to Ireland, which is more common than those who are willing, and then there's the cost of the shipping itself. Finding one locally could be possible, but the Irish like to rip each other off when selling second-hand gear. It's ridiculous.

    I read someone else on another forum opting for the Traynor over a Fender Blues Junior and a Princeton, but different strokes for different folks.
     
  7. TTHX

    TTHX Member

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    Just a bump, I just got this amp today and didn't realize it in store but I find it to be quite a noisy amp. Anyone else have this amp and find it noisy?
     
  8. damnedcat777

    damnedcat777 Member

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    I've read of few of the posts here concerning this Traynor, and I couldn't disagree more strongly with the negative remarks I've read here. So, allow me to inject a bit of my own IMO-style quips. For starters, I just recently got into Traynors, as I got a deal about 2 yrs ago on two new & in the box Iron Horse heads. I sold one to my band's guitarist/singer (I mostly drum) & sold the other on ebay for the profit (paid $225 each for them, new & in the box). Great/easy/fast cash, but, the one I sold to our gtrist just so happened to sound REALLY good in our band! Like, I was amazed how WELL it sounded. So musical! Much better amp for his Epi 335, and miles past the Marshall DSL it replaced. Anywho's, fast forward thru to the next year & I buy the Dark Horse used, with matching cab ($400 for both, in mint condition). I liked this one too, but it lacked all the bells/whistles I was hoping for/needing. Then I bought the 200T bass amp (new, in the box 2x10 combo with 200 watts, for just $300, shipped), which I again LOVE (great for recording AND rehearsing!) for my home recording/rehearsing studio. We now use it on ALL recorded bass tracks exclusively!!! Onwards: the next month I found a WCV20WR 1x12 20 watt gtr amp used (barely) for $220 + $30 shipping! SCORE! OK, now we're getting somewhere. This amp is great for live work AND recording cuz the spkr-emulated XLR output sounds just as good (eq-wise) as any of my H&K Red Boxes! So, to complete the deal, and to get yet ANOTHER new Traynor amp, I found a new in the box demo amp (from a NAMM show a year ago): a minty-new YGL-1 WITH all the hang tags & even the demo setting plastic instruction card on the top of the cab! Now... the Bad News: it gets here & the pilot light is out AND the footswitch input doesn't work (no reverb OR boost). I email Traynor, they say that there's 6 more months left on warranty (yes, it IS transferrable). I send it back ($30 shipping out of pocket), 10 days later it shows up on the front porch (they fixed & shipped for FREE!) - oh, did I mention I got this on ebay for $330 + $20 sipping? THEN, the seller refunded me $200 for my troubles (over the warranty work needed), so I only paid a total of $150 for a BRAND new, in the box with ALL hang tags (and recently refurbished at the Traynor factory) a Traynor YGL-1 tube combo amp!!!!! Imagine my joy! On to the amp....

    This thing is the best of all the other new Traynors I acquired the last 2 years: the Dark Horse, the Iron Horse, the WCV20WR & now the YGL-1. The Brit/clean/US switch RADICALLY changes the sound of the amp, as it repositions the tone stack in the overall amp's circuit path (before or AFTER the preamp tubes, or bypassed completely). The Brit position is my fave, as it mimics an 18 watt Marshall plexi with 99% accuracy!!! The mid point (clean) takes the tone stack out of the loop completely, making this amp a perfect match to P90'd gee-tars. How the above person noticed "no real change at all" befuddles me. Maybe his amp needs to go back to traynor too? How could you MISS the great effect this has on the sound of any guitar plugged into this baby?

    Anyways, the boost is 6dB of clean boost, awesome/perfect for solos. The reverb is digital, but it affects the signal ONLY after the preamp, so the tails of the reverb are digitized, true. But the fundemental tone of your guitar stays the same. Oh, and the reverb itself? It is thick as syrup on a February morning in Alaska. THICK! Thicker than (MUCH thicker than) the spring reverb on almost any other amp newer tube I've heard, and actually a bit thicker than the WCV20WR mentioned above (which has INCREDIBLY thick 'verb, I might add). And clean? This is the cleanest reverb I've EVER heard on a tube amp - prolly cuz it's the ONLY digital 'verb I've heard on an otherwise all-tube combo. The 'verb therefor makes this the best studio tube amp I've ever heard in it's price range. If it only had the XLR speaker emulated output of the WCV20WR (but that's what my H&K Red Boxes are for, right?) - and a standby switch, which it's also missing, I'd give it a 100 instead of the 96 I'm giving it (on a scale of 1 to 100).

    The FX loop is wired in series, so my tremolo is 100% silent in the 'valley' of the signal. And I LOVE it!!! I have no use for a parallel FX loops, as tremolo is my 2nd fave effect EVER (well, I only ever use 2 effects: 'verb & trem). This amp - for the money - just can't be beat. I also plugged the x-tension spkr out thru a Laney 4x10 half open back/half closed back cab, and it really opened up the air this baby can move. Like, it made the gtr in the room MUCH louder.

    In short, need a half stack: I recommend the Dark Horse's 1x12 greenback extension cab to put beneath this amp. REALLY need more volume, get one of their bigger combos (I LOVE the 80 watt 4x10 tube combo they made for a year or two, but they're only found used now on the web). Just remember, wattage increases actual volume exponentially. In other words, want something twice as loud as a 20 watt amp? Then you hafta move up to a 200 watt amp. What I'm saying is, this is a LOUD 20 watts. As long as yer not fighting a stage volume war with the next Keith Moon, this amp'll do it, and sound faken great doing it. As great on stage as in the studio. Whisper quiet when it needs to be, cleans up really nice by backing off the gain, and the best EQ loop you could hope for.

    Buy this amp; it's worth every penny and THEN some!!! And ignore those in this forum that can't hear the difference between the US/Brit/Clean switch. Either their amp is broke, or their ears are broke. And remember, everyone's got an opinion. Mine happens to be that this amp sounds faken great, and I don't think you'll match it unless you spend MORE than TWICE what these cost ($599 sale price). Mine BURIES the Princeton my buddy owns, Even he admitted this fact. How can Traynor make these for such a cheap sale price? They sure don't skimp on the parts/sound. Worth. Every. Penny. And next to the chinese junk Marshall/Fender/every1 else is making... it's just not a fair contest. Best warranty in the biz, highest quality components, best speakers (Greenbacks!), high quality tubes... I don't see how anyone could or WOULD buy a Marshall or Fender instead of a Traynor. Unless they're super rich, or being sponsored. look out Big Boys, traynors gonna bury youse guyz if they keep making amps like the YGL-1!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  9. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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    Interesting that you post this today. I've just been thinking of selling mine because l really don't play out anymore. I'm having second thoughts now. I stand by everything l said in my original post from 2 years ago. This is a killer little amp. It is as good as, if not better than, anything in its price range. The Brit/US/bypass switch works exactly as advertised and anyone who can't hear that needs to get their hearing checked. Also, l don't find it noisier than any other amp l own. The only fault with this amp is its scarcity in the US.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014

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