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A tale of two Yorkvilles....(warning...long!)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by loendmaestro, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I've just had a hell of an amplification month, & you're the only people that would understand so I just thought I'd share this little adventure with y'all....

    OK, so I'm a tried & true Yorkville guy. I was playing a XS400 head (first generation early build one) through an XC115 cabinet & an old Fender 4x10 cabinet. Went through a midlife crisis & decided I needed to downsize...I was to old to be blasting through a full stack, our practice space was too small for this, did I really need 400 tube watts, how about a nice midsized solid state combo....etc.

    So I get all hot 'n heavy for the new Traynor DB200 1x15 combo. I used to have an old Yorkville BM200 that as I remembered was plenty loud & easy to transport. Order it up & am told it would be at the store on a certain day. On that day I haul all of my gear up to the guitar store to trade & they tell me it's been delayed. Hey, no biggie -- it's a new amp & all, I'm getting one of the first ones....I can dig it. They send me home with a loaner Genz/Benz M line 200w 2x10 combo. (Ugh....but that's another story...). It gets delayed a couple of more times...then I'm told it's there, turns out it's the 2x10 version. Blah blah blah....woof woof woof...I email Yorkville & they say that they are 9 in the warehouse. Cool - they're finally shipping.

    My Traynor DB200 finally gets here. They ordered two - one for me one for the store. I go & get one...play it a bit there, take it home to put it through it's paces. Sounds good, but there's a chassis rattle in there when you play a certain note. So I go exchange it for the other one they had.
    The amp sounds good, but it seems like a "soft" 200 watts. Take it to practice...and it's just not cutting it. Sounds good at lower volumes, but I have to push it too hard in a full band setting - no headroom by that point & it's just sounds like it's being driven too hard when cranked up. Seems that this is a fine amp for practice or small gigs, but I really need more...

    I call my store (who are very cool by the way) to tell them this. I decide that I've made a huge mistake & just want my XS400 & matching cab back. They say that's fine, except that somebody bought the head the day before. S**t!

    Keep in mind that the XS400 has been discontinued since July. We go around & round with Yorkville trying to find another one. They are out of the XS400 1x15 combos, but think there is ONE XS400 head left. Send it I say. (Now imagine the conversation with the wife when I tell her that I have to pay more money to buy another one of the heads I just got rid of....fun indeed.) Anyway, out the door I go with that Genz Benz loaner thing again - no offense to you Genz guys - this amp just ain't for me...

    I wait a week & for some reason the head doesn't ship. I'm pissed...and tell the guys at the store that I at least want the Yorkville XS400 2x10 combo they have on the floor, so I'll at least have some form of the XS400 head in my possession.

    Thing is...that amp sold a few hours before I called.


    Anyway...to make a long story longer, Yorkville gets me the head. Apparently it's the absolute last one in their New York State warehouse. It seems there were a lot of folks vying for this head, but I got it.

    It's slightly different, the graphics are a little different & the small knobs had been changed a bit. But oh my god....it sounds so good & felt like home!!!

    I'm sure I'm rationalizing, but I think it's a bit fatter & warmer than the old XS400 I had. Did they tweak the sound on these in the 4 years since I bought the first one? Is it the newer tube? Maybe I'm just so happy to have one back though.

    Anyway, yes I'm an idiot & I made a huge mistake thinking I could get by on less. But it all worked out in the end. I'm out a little coin, but my guitarist just said that I should think of it like I bought the extended warranty or something!

    Yorkville is rebadging this amp as the Traynor DB400. I'm sure it's gonna be just as good, but it just floors me that Yorkville isn't more popular, because they make some fantastic sounding gear.


    Moral of the story? Think long & hard about downsizing. It's better to have more than you need than not enough. And boy there is a huge difference in tube vs. SS watts.

    Wow, if you made it this far....thanks for reading. I just needed to vent.:bassist:
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Did I miss something? Were the first generation XS400's tube amps? I thought the XS400 & XS800 were Solid State w/tube pres?? I own an XS800.
  3. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I don't think you missed anything. The earlier 400s weren't tube amps. You're right, the Yorkville has a tube in the preamp and solid state power amp.

    Loend-I'm glad you got what you wanted finally and sorry it took so long and cost you extra money. The XM200 combo was enough for me, and of course, with an extension cabinet it got a lot louder, but you obviously needed more.
  4. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    i have no inclination of ever downsizing.

    to me: downsizing is putting neodymium speakers in the cabinet.
  5. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    Yeah, sorry - that was one long rambling diatribe.

    XS400 = tube preamp....both of them. I think I'm just excited about the new amp smell.
  6. neuromancer


    Apr 28, 2005
    CT, USA
    Glad to hear you finally got your hands on another XS400 - I'm not sure why they aren't more popular, either.... :confused:
  7. Hey loend! lets see a pic of your new xs400! Sorry to hear that it was such a pain to get things straightened out. Bottom line, you got your amp back.I'm looking for an xs800h, did they discontinue that amp as well? They're the best kept secret in bass circles.My rig at one time was so powerful that I didn't need P.A. support! They mixed the Band around my bass level.At the time I had a rack with yorkville1200 power amp,Ashley preamp,Dbx 160 compressor, running two 4x10 Yorkville bass cabinets.
    Man, I miss my rig.
  8. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I have no idea why everybody doesn't play these! But maybe a part of me is glad they don't....;)

    No more XS anything...in fact no more Yorkville anything. All former Bassmaster amps are now rebadged as the Traynor Dynabass series. Supposedly revoiced & such, but as stated before...they'll hafta pry my cold, dead fingers of off this XS400!

    I'll snap a pic this Thursday at rehearsal. The cosmetic differences are so slight, I'm not sure they'll actually be noticeable in a pic...

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