The Traynor YGL1 features:
- 15 watts Class A
- (2) 12AX7 preamp tubes
- (2) 6BQ5 (EL-84) power tubes
- Cathode bias - no need to adjust bias when changing tubes
- USA/Pure/Brit channel switching (Footswitch capable)
- Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass and Volume Controls
- Celestion Greenback G12M 8 ohm speaker
- 4 ohm minimum speaker load
- Belton Digi-log® reverb
- Amp in, Amp out and Footswitch jacks
- 39.2 pounds
- 10D x 18.5W x 19H
- Designed and built in Canada
The Traynor YGL1 is an all-purpose amp can be used for gigging, recording, practice, or just fooling around. We tried it with several guitars including a G&L Fallout, G&L Legacy, and a Godin Core HB.
The control layout of the YGL1 utilizes the same tone stack switching as their former Ironhorse "lunchbox" head. Instead of the traditional "clean" and "lead" channels, there is a mini-toggle switch that gives you the choice between USA, Pure, and Brit settings. This is a cool feature that allows the player to select where the tone stack is placed in the signal chain, which ultimately alters how you use the tone shaping controls. The YGL has a traditional gain/volume setup to control headroom and overdrive along with bass, middle, treble and reverb level controls.
The USA channel places the Tone circuit before the gain control (like a Fender), which opens up the cleanest sound with maximum headroom. The overall sound is crisp and as clean as you can imagine. With the slightest bit of reverb (somewhere in between 1 and 2), each guitar seemed to be in its own atmosphere, yet there was a nice sonic balance. Upping the gain on this channel generated expressive blues crunch that never lost the integrity of the notes. It really put some muscle into the midrange and bass attack, and in this mode we rolled off the low end a bit on the humbuckers and P-90.
The Pure channel position bypasses the Tone circuit completely, providing a direct signal path and seriously rocking sounds. Since you are able to control only gain, volume and reverb it may seem like a limited experience. But increasing gain would add to the low end and midrange, while the volume knob would also increase brightness. By trading gain for volume on the P-90 and humbuckers and doing the opposite on single coils, the overdrive was thick and creamy with good harmonic complexity in the high end. Overall, this is the loudest and proudest the YGL1 gets.
Not least is the Brit channel. In this case, the tone stack goes after the gain stage. This means that you can get more intensity than the USA channel, but still shape your sound with the Tone controls. The overall sound of the Brit channel is tight, more mid-focused, and is very responsive to picking style and note attack. With some added gain and rolled off treble it creates a punchy overdrive that is nice for lead work or hard hitting chords.
The venerable Celestion Greenback speaker provides smooth British tones with decent low end, and punchy upper midrange. Despite its compact cabinet size, the YGL does not sound overly boxy or small, and feels much bigger than most compact combos. The Traynor YGL1 offers whole-hearted and breathy Class-A tone, portability, and thoughtful features that make an excellent all-purpose amplifier for stage, studio, or den.