This wasn’t my first go around with the Traynor brand of amps. Originally trying to go for the stereo setup I purchased a Traynor Iron Horse 50w amp head. For a good year I didn’t really notice any issues, but when recording a prior album I found that the Iron Horse just didn’t have any headroom and would dirty up too early. It became extremely frustrating especially during the mixing process since one side of the recording would have this extra little terrible buzz. After a little searching I found a used YCS50H at the Scarborough L&M that after a trade in would wind up only costing me a couple hundred dollars. Money well spent!
What drew me to this amp head is its ability to imitate a British and American amp with the press of a button. As well the head can also run at 15w allowing for bedroom levels (though I never touch that switch haha!). What is also interesting is the amp can run either EL34 or 6L6 tubes. Currently the amp still has the EL34 tubes and stock preamp tubes as well. I haven’t changed anything yet because I’ve been able to match the tone between the DeVille and this amp without having to make any changes which has been a bonus.
I have matched this amp with a custom cab that my father built as an extension cab for the DeVille. The cab is built out of laminated maple and has the matched speakers to the DeVille. The maple cabinet has not been treated and has lasted nearly more than 10 years. I find the cab has a bit warmer of a tone which I attribute to the maple construction. But that could just be my ears playing tricks on me.
You won’t find too much on these amps online, which has been a major draw back since there aren’t any recommended settings for this amp. I have found one or two videos but they are dated and the sound quality isn’t the best. From my experience I believe this amps British setting is very much a Fender on the clean channel and a Marshall on the dirt. The American setting is far closer to a VOX AC series and is way to bright for most applications.
As I mentioned before the DeVille did undergo a tonal change with the preamps being swapped for a Mesa Boogie brand, to match I keep the Traynor in the British setting. With a little tweaking I can get this two different amps to sound almost identical. I feat not many I believe would be able to pull of between two different brands. Just like the DeVille I have disconnected the reverb tank in the Traynor. I believe a heard a little bleed through when I’d drive the amp hard so to prevent that I simply unplugged the reverb tank.
I would highly recommend grabbing one of these guys if you can. They are discontinued but I believe they can be a great utility amp if you aren’t looking to just have a Marshall or a Fender. Also you should be able to get these for a great price since I believe they were a go to for rentals at L&M.
As I mentioned, for the album I did record in stereo on every track. In many cases I would mix the two amps together because at the time I hadn’t dialled in the same tone but at the time that worked well. If you listen to many of the delays that spread between the left and right channels that was recorded live and is not a production trick.