Narrowing Down (Finally) My Tube Choices... Peavey or Traynor... Or?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Din Of Win, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. So,

    A few months ago i decided that the next head i buy will definitely be a tube head. I have 4 solid state heads that are perfectly fine, but i just need/want that 'little something extra'.

    When i tried out tube heads a few months ago, my two favorites were the Mesa 400+ and the Ampeg VR. However, realistically speaking, these two are out of my price range. IDEALLY, i want to keep it under $500. However, in regards to tube heads, i know this is to be taken with a grain of salt. So, realistically, i NEED to keep things under $1k.

    So, as far as new heads went, i really liked the Peavey VB-2 and the Traynor YBA200.

    Specifically regarding these two, i would love some input!! I'd also love any input regarding other sub-$1k heads... I'm also still toying with the idea of the Bugera 1960 tube head as well....


  2. panama


    May 26, 2009
    As a proud owner of a VB-2 I have to vote for it. The VB-2 Vs. YBA200 comparison is fairly well covered here on TB and the general consensus is that the VB2 is the better of the two. I especially like the mid-shift on it. Gives you many tonal options. It's built rock solid in the USA. The only problems so far were that the first 100 or so had something faulty in them, but by now those have been weeded out and fixed. I got mine for $525 shipped off the TB classified.

    General consensus on TB is to stay away from Behringer and Burgera...especially when companies like Peavey, GK, Hartke, etc. are making fantastic products for only slightly more money new and often less money on the used market.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Also consider a used Mesa Buster, 200 all tube Mesa watts. Very different from the standard fare.
  4. twinfallsbass

    twinfallsbass Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2005
    Somewhere in AZ
    I have had the Traynor YBA-200, and have a 400+ right now. If you know how to work the EQ of the Traynor, it's a GREAT choice. I actually saw a 400+ go for $700 on eBay just last week, soo..... If you have the patience to wait around for another deal like that or just save up for one. If you are looking for cheap though... Go for the Traynor
  5. Thumpking


    Sep 14, 2010
    I have a 1970's 100W Fender Bassman that has been modded a bit to accept multiple tube sets. I love it. It is all hand-wired, clean, and simple. Just warm, thick, tube sound. But if you are interested in one, you should snatch one up quick because guitarist love them too, and they are going up in price.. Just my 0.02¢
  6. Thanks guys!

    Yeah... i figgured the "Traynor V. Peavey" thing's been covered, especially given their simmilar pricepoint. My search-fu is just weak today :scowl:

    I'm a HUGE Peavey fan... so i was leaning twards the VB-2 a bit anyways. I've also seen them in the $400-$600 used range, which is a GREAT thing for me.

    I am, however, really intrigued by the Mesa Buster! The head looks sweet... is it discontinued at this point? How often do they pop-up used?

    FWIW- i'm also still toying with the idea of a VB4. There seem to be a bunch in the area in the $400-$500 range... i just worry 100w won't cut it. I'd like to be in the 200w-250w range...
  7. I had the chance to snag one a couple years ago for $200... i passed because it just wasn't loud enough through a 1x15 (like i use often)... this scenerio is what's making me also apprehensive about the VB4.

    I don't want to have to lug a 2x15 or 6x10 just to be heard against 2 guitarists/keys/drums...
  8. rcgtrix


    Apr 15, 2008
    For years my preference has been with Mesa - got this Buster yesterday for $510.


    However, I recently bought a new Peavey Classic 400 and it is an absolute monster. I can't say firsthand, but I've heard the VB-2 is similar.

  9. Yeah.... totally GASing for a Buster now.... :bassist:
  10. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    there is a 400+ for sale in the classifieds for $1000 right now, and an SVT for 875$.
  11. You can also go used, there are many great tube heads out there for cheap.
    I got my Sound City L200+ for $200, put another $200 into it and I have a very nice Hiwatt DR-201 clone for a total of $400.

    I just picked up a 68 Gibson Titan head for $200

    Ampeg V4's can be had for around $400

    Fender Bassman 100's are available in the $400-500 range as well.

    I guess I'm strange but I always feel like I get more amp for my money going used. I don't think I would ever shell out for a new out of the box amp. There are just too many good deals on used stuff out there if you look.
  12. Haha... everything i have is used... got my Ampeg B25-B 2x15 cab for $175... an Acoustic 6x10 for $80... my GK 400rb for $75... Sunn Colliseum300 for $120... ATK300 bass for $100... shoot... i even got my SX P/J used for $65...


    My big problem is that i'm just ignorant when it comes to tube heads... i'm not nearly as familliar with the makes/models as i am with solidstate stuff.

    VERY curious... whats the Hi-Watt clone?
  13. The Hi-Watt clone is a Sound City L200+ amplifier that has had the Sound City pre-amp section ripped out and a Hiwatt DR-201 pre-amp built onto the turret board. The Sound City and the Hiwatt are basically the same except for the pre-amp circuit. Same transformers, power supply, power amp, just with a few minor differences.
  14. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    I preferred the YBA-200, but that's just me. It's smoother than the Peavey, and has a versatile EQ. Not quite as chunky as the YBA-3 though, but also not as honky. A good grindy tone with gain on 6 and mids cranked.
  15. AwkwardLoudness


    Jan 11, 2010
    MI USA
    Both the Peavey and Traynor are a good deal for the price. I like that the VB-2 has a 2 ohm tap. For power tubes, I prefer 6550s (Traynor YBA-200) compared to EL34s (VB-2). It's sort of a toss up for me between the two.

    Why not get a Mesa 400 or 400+? That's a better option. You could probably find one in your price range.

    The early Mark I era Sound City amps were built by Hiwatt (Dave Reeves) and they were essentially the same as the Hiwatt CP103. The Mark II and Mark III era amps were more similar to the Hiwatt DR103/DR504 including the pre-amp circuit, but were not built by Hiwatt. The Mark IV era Sound City amps (1970 and later) are the ones with a noisy active pre-amp circuit which was totally unlike the passive Hiwatt pre-amp circuit. The Mark IVs still still had many of the same parts as Hiwatt, so it's not uncommon for people to do the Hiwatt conversion to the Mark IVs. The pre-1970 SC amps certainly had better build quality.
  16. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    have you thought about using a tube guitar head? I've recently bought a used Carvin X100B for $325 + tax, and it sounds pretty damn awesome. here's a video review I made of it a couple days ago.

  17. I owned and gigged a yba200 for a couple of years, and while I was sad to let her go, I am glad I did. It is a grunty head that can give some really cool tones, it certainly does have an early break up point, and a 'polite' midrange. I found the presence of relatively use-less controls; ie. a scoop knob and bright switch on an inherently bright preamp, range and resonance knobs confusing. Very colored tone. Aghh, end of the day...not making much sense sorry.
  18. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    I think the YBA-200 probably has the same kind of tone stack as Mesa or Fender where mids are pretty much cut only and high and low are boost only, I could be wrong though.

    I agree that the scoop knob didn't really serve much purpose as the amp is already pretty scooped, and I've never found use for the bright switch until I tried KT88s. Range was pretty useful though, but the resonance knob was completely useless for me.

    It gives a glassy tone, literally, the first time I popped on it, my guitarist thought a window broke, and he came back saying "WHOA, I never knew a bass could sound like that".

    Of course, a V4B at the same price point would win my vote, but it's probably unlikely.
  19. Well...

    After talking with a friend last night, i think i am just going to 'wait' for an amp that is best for MY needs rather than settle for something that i may be unhappy with in the long run... I was told that for ME one of the best options would be to find a used Traynor YBA-3.

    Still interested in the Mesa Buster or a cheap used Ampeg.

    And so... the search begins for a YBA-3...
  20. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    YBA-3's are nice, very vintage sounding (as expected a true vintage amp!) with loads of mids and a fair bit of treble. Lots of bass too, but they could get a bit muddy if you dial in too much. They can get a little honky (not necessary a bad thing) and doesn't do the modern thing that well.

    One thing though, there are 2 versions out there, master volume and non-master volume, that's one thing to pay attention to. BTW, there's a highly sought after YBA-3A (Super Custom Special, a 230W version) on evilBay, but with a hefty price tag.

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