Traynor YBA1-MOD1 40W Head

Traynor YBA1-MOD1 40W Head

Traynor was in the process of re-engineering this head, but that was over a year ago. At this time, we have no further information on its future availability.

UNAVAILABLE - The Traynor YBA1-MOD1 features:

  • 40 Watts
  • Built in 5-position attenuator, .1W to 40W
  • Low (-6db) and Hi inputs
  • Internally jumped Bright (I) and Normal (II) channels
  • (2) 12AX7 preamp tubes, 12AX7 Phase Inverter
  • (2) EL-34 power tubes with standby switch
  • Diode rectification
  • Treble and Bass controls
  • Range Expander Controls (these act as Midrange and Presence)
  • Selectable 4 and 8 ohm speaker outputs
  • 29 pounds
  • 10D x 18W x 9.3H
  • Designed and built in Canada
  • List price: $899

Like a lot of early tube amplifiers the YBA-1 was designed with a Bright and Normal channel. These were the days when players sometimes shared amplifiers, and separate volume controls were a necessity. Once it became the norm for everyone to have their own amp, the practice of "jumping" the two channels for additional tonal flexibility became a common practice. This was especially true on early Fender and Marshall amplifiers.

Modern renditions like the YBA-1MOD1 jump the two channels internally, essentially creating two parallel channels. In this case, Volume I is a "bright" channel and Volume 2 is the "normal" channel. You can either blend the two together for the desired sound, or turn either off completely and just operate on one channel (overall volume is unaffected). The treble and bass controls act globally on both channels. As for the low and high Range Expander controls, Traynor recommends running these fairly far up for guitars, and at low levels when used with a bass (it's still a bass amp too!)

For the MOD1 Traynor added the option of putting the channels in series, where they essentially act like a set of gain/master controls. You can change the series/parallel configuration via Volume II, which is also a push/pull switch (see photos). In the series mode it's easy to get nice crunchy distortion via cascading the gain of one preamp section into the other.

We tested the YBA-1MOD1 with a single Celestion G12H30 cabinet for both rehearsals and gigs with our cover band, and found it to be a very gig-worthy companion. The EL-34 power tubes give it a characteristic big British amp sound: Bright, with a lot of presence, and complex harmonically crunchy overtones when driven hard or used with pedals. EL-34 tubes are the power behind some of rock's most storied riffs, and you'll hear all that with the YBA.

The other major "mod" on the MOD1 is a built in attenuator which is located schematically between the phase splitter tube and the power tubes. This five-step switch adjusts the power output from a teeny .1 watt to it's full 40 watts. This allows for ranging distortion at bedroom levels, or some pretty serious clean headroom for live situations. We found the YBA-1MOD1 to be a fairly loud amplifier, and for situations where we mic'd the amp, oftentimes 5 watts was enough for a nice clean tone with a little breakup when strummed hard. At an outdoor jam limited by a single 25-watt Greenback, it started to run out of clean headroom at 20 watts. But we were trying to keep up with 100 watt half stacks. Tweakers could have a lot of fun by altering the gain characteristics by experimenting with different phase inverters tubes. Using a lower gain tube like a 5751, 12AT7 or 12AU7 will allow you to get deeper into the volume controls and run the amp a little harder.

For home players, jammers and gigging musicians the YBA-1MOD1 offers a lot of adjustability in a simple all-analog package. The built in attenuator is a great bonus, and provides tonal capabilities that range from pocket-sized to club-ready. And unlike many load-based attenuators that operate between the amplifier and speaker, the YBA's attenuator feels totally natural, and does not suck tone from your signal, or mess with the attack characteristics of the guitar. Naturally, at very low wattage settings you'll reach a point where the speaker just isn't moving much air, but it's a reasonable trade-off for annoying the neighbors.

The YBA-1MOD1 is an enjoyable "tweaker" amp that has a lot of flexibility without resorting to digital trickery or an array of toggle switches. Plus it doubles as serious gigging amplifier capable of driving any size cabinet with ease.

Details
SKU YBA1-MOD1
Weight 31.00 lbs
MAP 649
Price: $579.00
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