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New tube amp owner (Traynor YBA-200)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Juniorkimbrough, Apr 10, 2006.


  1. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I've been reading all kinds of threads for about the past hour on tube amps, changing tubes, etc. etc...and to be honest it's hard searching through all these threads because there are a lot of people saying one thing only to be corrected by someone more knowledgable a few posts or pages later.......my head is hurting from all this reading. :smug:

    I've got a Traynor YBA-200 on it's way to me and I just want to learn some things about it while I am waiting on it. It's my first tube amp and I am very excited. :hyper: While I really don't plan on gigging with this head just because I already like my current giggin rig plenty, I mainly plan on using it at home/practice/recording...and maybe occassionally a gig or two here and there.

    The main thing I have read about the YBA-200 is that it distorts VERY easily with the stock tubes. I do not want much distortion, maybe a hint wouldn't hurt, but I'd really prefer it to be mostly clean.

    I read that this can be accomplished by replaced it with lower gain preamp tubes. Keep in mind I have no tube amp knowledge at all.......what I want to know is what preamp tubes should I replace the stock ones with to get the cleanest amount of headroom possible?

    I also read that you can get more clean headroom by changing the power tubes to KT88's, which seems like a more difficult task that replace 2 or 3 preamp tubes, so I will more than likely hold off on this mod til I get some time to get more familiar with the amp.

    Thanks so much for your suggestions!
     
  2. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    when you get your amp let me know how it sounds. im interested in one too!
     
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    While you can dial in overdrive/distortion at lower volumes, I find that I can get good clean headroom out of my YBA200 if I set the gain stages and EQ right. PM me if you have any troubles. I am using the stock tubes.

    Tom.
     
  4. Voltaren

    Voltaren

    Sep 11, 2005
    far far away
    ok, I have had the yba200 for a year now and it has been gigged over this time about 4 to 6 times plus practice generaly once a week.

    Usually I play both pub and outside gigs.

    These are the things I believe that you need to do to get the best out of your amp.

    1. change the pre-amp valves, mine are at7's and work perfectly, do not change the ay7. this is essential to give you more clean head room.

    2. There is no need to change to KT88's, maybe I will give it a go one day but not essential.

    3. If you can, use more speakers, I use a 4x10 and a 1x18 to get the volume etc I need, any combination might do.

    4. I use a stingray and this amp does not like to much treble from the guitar, it get a horrible clicky fret noice using it. It does love the mids being pushed.

    5. THIS AMP DOES HAVE GOOD TUBE SOUNDS
     
  5. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Arkansas
    I agree with Voltaren. I bought a pair of NOS Mullard 12at7's that really sound nice with this head. I jumped for the KT88 upgrade as well, but I am using this head exclusively and at the time we didnt have a good PA setup so I wanted to maximize this amps potential. I am playing music that doesnt require alot of "grit", but I will pop in the hi gain 12ax7's for the outdoor or large open room stuff, or the Mullards for the small to medium type rooms where I dont have to fight to be heard. However, we just bought a sub for the PA so I'm gonna leave in the 12at7's for good now. I really didnt give the stock power tubes a chance. I didnt like my sound at first, but It turned out to be the cab I was playing with at the time. I replaced alot of things in the span of 2 weeks, so I didnt get to see how each thing affected my tone. I'd definitely listen to what TomB has to say about eq issues. :)
     
  6. throw_this_away

    throw_this_away

    Mar 30, 2006
    I never found the amp to lack clean headroom with my rics. I actually tend to push the gain pretty hard to get the grit I like (stock 12AU7 and 12AX7 tubes). But than one man's grit/dirt is another man's trash.

    I swapped the entire preamp for JJ tubes (same tubes, different brand) and the power section for KT88's. I now have tighter bottom and more mids with roughly the same highs. I will be playing it live saturday so that will be the real test of tone change and headroom change.

    200W of tube power is a lot of power for home use. I think my traynor sounds better than my other solid state amps for home use... but it really starts to shine when you use it at levels that would kill a house.
     
  7. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Thanks for all the feedback! The Traynor should be here Wed. or Thurs. and I'll report back with my personal findings then.

    My main gigging basses I use are passive, a hwy. 1 Jazz and a 80's MIJ P-bass, the two cabs I use are an Eden 410T and a Schroeder 1210........

    denton, which tubes give you the most clean headroom......the 12ax7's or 12at7's??

    tom, a PM is on the way to you...
     
  8. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Arkansas
    Definitely the 12at7's. There's only 2 of em, so I decided to splurge on the NOS Mullards at 20 something a piece. I dont know if they are any better than newer ones to tell you the truth, but I like them!
     
  9. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Thanks! That will probably be the tubes I get IF I do decide to change 'em.

    Also I think Tom is going to post a picture of his amps' settings for a loud clean tone.
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'll try and do this over lunch tomorrow. :)
     
  11. Voltaren

    Voltaren

    Sep 11, 2005
    far far away
    To fellow YBA200 owners, let me tell you how tough your amps are.

    I accidently [of coarse] dropped my amp 5 feet straight down on concrete, the odd small rip in the tolex and that is ALL. I checked that the valves did not come loose, plugged it in and it worked perfectly and still does.

    Oh I suppose I best update my previous post, I meant to say the amp is gigged 4 to 6 times a month plus practise. This amp has done a lot of work. Juniorkimbrough, do not hesitate to change the pre-amp valves, the difference in achievable clean is very pronounced.

    I might also add the DI out on this amp is up to the task also. I have played a few larger gigs outside where the amp is really only a monitor, the sound guys took the DI from the amp and reckon it is spot on.

    All the best with yours
     
  12. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    bump for tom.......no hurry, just wanted to bump this before I can't find it
     
  13. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    Dude, you know how Traynor used to test their amps reliability in the sventies, right?

    Let me just say, it involved throwing these amps down the roof of their building, nice to hear they are still reliable and tough.
     
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Got the job done over lunch. I just need to dump the shots off my camera, throw them up on Photobucket, and post here! :D

    Oh, except for the fact that I also have to sweep the kitchen floor and clean the bathroom :rollno:, then watch 'Lost' with my wife :smug:, but then, I'll get the photo up! :cool:
     
  15. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    LOL, no rush man.

    Of course Fedex came by my house 5 min. after I left for and rehearsal and dropped a signature tag but no amp. :(
     
  16. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I know that feeling very well...
     
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Sorry for the delay, but here you go! I was using my Skjold Custom 5 and playing through a Music Man HD-210 (which just arrrived yesterday, so I had to check it out!). First off, I was amazed at the sound and volume of this combination. That (rear-ported) HD-210 pairs up well with a tube head, and it got very loud for a 2x10. I do wish that it had a tweeter attenuator, but I was able to control the highs with the YBA200's tone controls and/or the passive tone bleed. Here is a shot of that mini/mighty rig:

    IMG_2325.

    And here is a closeup of my 'near maximum clean setting':

    IMG_2327.

    While the flash kind of highlighted the knob settings, I just had to do a 'tube glow' shot as well. ;)

    IMG_2333.

    At this setting, I was getting an impressive amount of volume, with little or no perceived overdrive. But, if I switched the pickups on my Skjold from parallel to series, I popped the gain just enough to evoke some very pleasing overdrive.

    In general, keeping the Gain lower and the Master higher up (but not cranked) yielded the cleanest tone, but with the Gain/Master both set on about 7 (using the 0 db input), I was able to get more volume than using the -6 db input and cranking the Master higher. I think that I could have yielded even more clean headroom by tweaking the EQ a bit, but since I was not as familiar with this cab (and since it was crazy loud as it was), I decided to wait for that excercise (and pics, I am sure!) for a day when I could drag out one or both of my NV cabs and let 'er rip! :bassist:

    I want to throw a big old caveat out here, though. You mileage WILL vary, and the combination of bass, cab, technique, style, room, mix, accompanying instruments, etc. will have a huge impact on how loud you can get this amp and keep it 'clean.' And for that matter, everyone's perception of what is 'clean' will vary, so please take my comments and these photos with a whole shaker full of salt. ;)

    Tom.
     
  18. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Thanks Tom! Hopefully when I get home for lunch it will be sitting on my doorstep. :)
     
  19. throw_this_away

    throw_this_away

    Mar 30, 2006
    Tom, we use similar settings. I tend to keep my resonance lower, I booost the mids a tad, and cut the lows slightly (often a lot depending on the room, the YBX1510 lows can be huge).

    Of note... if I put my gain and master at that level than I am at raging live venue volumes that shake my entire place (and I am sounding pretty clean but with grit... but that could be my ric adding the grit).

    Two more nights and I will get to gig my amp for the first time with my new JJ preamp section and JJ KT88's. They sounded better than the stock tubes at home (and that is saying a lot)... so they should sound thunderous.
     
  20. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Tom love the new rig! I'm loving my YBA200 with my two CXL112's I'll have to post pics soon;)
     

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