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Playing with knobs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bluespenny, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. bluespenny


    Mar 17, 2009
    Any settings advice, please oh please, for a noob with a 200 watt tube head, 15" cab (traynor YBA-200 and matching cab).

    Trying to play loud, low and clean...

    Seems like endless possibilities, so where does one start? It all seems very low-end heavy — on the verge of distorting — compared to my old 100 watt solid-state combo.

    Do I turn down the bass, turn up master, turn down gain, etc. etc.?

    If I have gain and master up at 5+, it seems the bass has to be turned way down to two or so avoid distortion...

    How to get loud and clear stage sound - gigging tomorrow, need to figure this out fast.


  2. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hi Mike.

    As a general rule to getting a good bass sound:

    - plug your bass into the appropriate input (for a passive bass that would be the input labeled 'Passive'. For an active bass it would be the one labeled 'Active').

    - Turn your passive bass' VOLUME & TONE controls up full (on an active bass, flatten its EQ & turn its volume up full).

    - Flatten your amp's EQ. (On your YBA200-2 try setting its tone controls to '5'. Also turn off your amp's SCOOP control--which is a one-knob-way of obtaining a 'smiley-face' EQ ie: BASS boosted, MIDS cut, TREBLE boosted. Slappers like this EQ contour. Bass players generally don't. ;))

    - While playing notes on your bass FORTE, turn up your YBA200-2's GAIN control until the sound begins to distort slightly then reduce the GAIN a tad to clean it up.

    - Now turn up your amp's MASTER control until your rig is as loud as you need it to be and then, if necessary, tweak your YBA200-2's EQ to compensate for competition from other instruments and/or adverse room acoustics. (The aim here is to avoid over-EQ-ing the amp which usually results in an excessively colored sound & loss of amp headroom/cleanliness.)​

    You may wish to post for help on using your YBA200-2 here:

    'the Traynor YBA-200 thread'

    As well, if you don't have have a YBA200-2 owner's manual, you can download one HERE.


    PLEASE NOTE: When using any all-tube amp, leave the STANDBY switch OFF for a minute or two after turning on the amp's POWER switch.

    Doing so will allow the tubes to heat up to operational temperature before use thus extending tube life.

    Conversely, always switch the STANDBY off first before switching the POWER off.


    When using an all-tube amp ALWAYS make sure that the speaker cabinet is plugged into the amp's speaker output jack BEFORE switching on the amp's power.

    Failure to do so will often result in a fried output transformer and a badly injured wallet! :bawl:
  3. bluespenny


    Mar 17, 2009
    Fantastic reply - you should write technical manuals for a living.
  4. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Thanks for saying so bluespenny, but I just RTFM. :D

    Have you got your rig sounding better?

    Have you posted in the YBA200 thread? Experienced help is always best.

    As well, YBA200 & YBA200-2 owners who favor an even cleaner sound than Traynor designed these amps to deliver (they're made for slightly distorted rock 'n' roll) have found that replacing one (or sometimes both) of the amp's 12AX7 pre-amp tubes with 12AT7 units (which have a lower plate voltage/gain = a cleaner sound) helps.

    Another approach to getting a cleaner sound from T's YBA200 & 200-2 is to plug a passive bass into the ACTIVE input (which has a -6 db pad) to reduce the input gain and thus clean up the amp's sound a bit more.

    Ask the guys in the YBA200 thread about this if you are interested.

    Oh yeah. Please read your YBA200-2's owner's manual. This amp has a very flexible feature set which is worth getting to know.

    Be a friend to your tools, and your tools will be a friend to you. :bassist:
  5. bluespenny


    Mar 17, 2009
    It sounds better already, and even more so after visiting the YBA thread. I guess I shouldn't say distortion - I like the tube break up - when I mean crapping out. It seems the single 15" I'm using could be bigger, like the 410 or 210x115 made by traynor, as I'm just wishing for more volume without farting speaker effects on low notes.
    But already, better knob control has helped greatly. And the active input trick as well.
    Thanks again.
  6. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    You're welcome.

    If you are using a Traynor TC115 (400 Watts, 8 ohm) cab with your YBA200-2, then you should be able to run your amp as loud as it will go clean with zero complaints from the 15".

    Is your YBA200-2's speaker impedance selector switch (it's on your amp's rear panel between the speaker out jacks) set to an 8 ohm load?

    If not, power your amp completely off and set that switch to 8 ohms (for two 8 ohm cabs the switch should be set to 4 ohms).


    Caution: Since you mentioned that you like tube breakup (I do too), please do NOT run your YBA200-2 so loud that it's power amp clips (distorts) when only using a single 400 Watt cab. No 400 Watt 15" speaker will handle that kind of sustained, peak power without its voice coil overheating.

    You'll need at least two 400 Watt cabs if you're into power amp clipping a la Jack Bruce or Tim Bogert etc.

    However, after you've learned how loud you can run your amp clean, and have gotten to know it well, you can use the GAIN and MASTER controls to intentionally overdrive the pre-amp for some grit.

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