Back when I was a crazy drummer back in the 70s the best amp for bassists in these parts was the Mono Block II. I remember the great tone (and ear splitting volume) from 30 years back.
I started looking for one recently because a guitar player told me it was the best solid state amp every made as far as guitars go. I can't vouch for that statement.
I offered a guy $200 (CDN) and he accepted. So I made the hour drive (why can't a find any gear in a major Metropolitan city ... it's always in the back waters).
When I got there the guy told me it came with the original speakers included in the price! Which is Traynor 2150 Cabinet (2x15s 400 Watts).
I think I got a pretty good deal on that baby. (The seller was happy as well because as I was loading it he told me he bought it two years ago for $50 and a case of beer .... which is a great transaction for a Canadian amp but where's the back bacon?)
And how did it sound when I got it home? Let's just say I have quite a collection of amps now and new things were falling off the walls ... (the tone is great too).
Amp dates from 1980 and they only made it until late 1980. Cab dates from 1979.
Let's hear it for a Canadian innovation .... The Mono Block II. They don't build them like this anymore (at least not for $200). It's been shaking things off the walls for over 30 years!
What do you call the most powerful solid-state bass amp in the world? A meeting in the Spring of 1973 netted
many suggestions - even “Beavertone” was jokingly put forth by some misguided Canadian patriot (actually a
single Beavertone prototype was made as a joke with a strange looking beaver on the front panel). At last
someone said “Mono Block” and that was applauded by all. One of the prototypes was given the 2nd floor drop
test after which a bottom plate three sixteenths of an inch thick(!) was specified to prevent the massive
transformer from warping it under drop test conditions, however no other changes were necessary. In June the
working (Beavertone) prototype was taken on tour by the Greaseball Boogie Band and survived a gruelling six
weeks on the road.
One or two competitor’s products claimed to put out 250 Watts or more into 2 Ohms but they shut down due to
overheating. The Mono Block B (B for bass - a guitar model was being considered but never materialized) could
run into 2 Ohms all night at full volume with no problems. Best of all, it put out 325 Watts sine-wave into that load,
another Yorkville “first”. This was Pete Traynor’s baby, the bass head he’d been working on for over a year (see
1972) and it lived up to everyone’s expectations. There were dual inputs, volume, bass, low mid, high mid and
treble controls plus a master volume. Preamp out and power amp in jacks were located on the back panel so that
you could patch-in an EQ-1 or even “slave” the amp for PA use. With all that cast aluminum on the ends and
slabs of aluminum everywhere else it really did look like a high-tech “block”. The Mono Block remained a popular
product for several years being updated to the Mono Block II in 1977. This version added a five-band graphic
equalizer at the expense of only one of the old tone controls - not a bad deal considering that the price remained
Matching speakers were needed for the Mono Block and Cerwin-Vegas got the nod. Designed by Yorkville, the
YCV-215 was a four-Ohm, 400-Watt rms, twin-fifteen cab with a ducted port at the bottom and came with a 4-
wheel dolley. The YC-188 was based on the YCV-18B (see 1972). The main difference was the addition of two
eight-inch speakers on the front of the internal single-eighteen enclosure to provide the bassist with more notedefinition
onstage (folded-horn bass enclosures have a tendancy to leave a dead spot near the mouth of the horn
at certain note frequencies due to their wavelengths - farther away the notes become audible). Tilt-back wheels
and handles were also provided. Both cabinets and the Mono-B were introduced in October.
Owners manual showing 2150 Cab http://www.lynx.bc.ca/~jc/OwnersManual-MonoBlock-II.pdf