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Traynor Mono Block II (sometimes you get a better deal than you think)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rat Blitz, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Rat Blitz

    Rat Blitz

    Jan 6, 2009
    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
  2. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Hear Hear. Traynor's the sleeper manufacturer of the century for sure.

    Still making amazing gear that's strangely under the radar.

    In these days of 'Buy North American', I think that it's important to not forget Canada in all of this.

    After all, without Canadian Brands to back Canadian Bands, where will the rockers be when they think they need that Boutique USA tone?

    Deaf cause Traynor makes sweet sounding amps that are surprisingly loud.
  3. Nice score with the cab and all! It looks in amazing shape.

    I agree that they are amazing amps. I'm on my second one after foolishly selling my first one. I paid 180 Cdn for my second one, and was happy to do so as not many come up for sale in my area. Mine is in great shape as well, and is one of the later ones with black jacks and knobs. I'm always looking for another one, and I also need a cab like yours!
  4. bradn104


    Oct 26, 2007
    The 2150 cabinet you have does not have cerwin Vegas in it, it has marshland speakers. I have always had a soft spot for that cab, I see them around Newfoundland fairly regularly.
  5. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Beauty, eh?
  6. Rat Blitz

    Rat Blitz

    Jan 6, 2009
    bradn104 do you know if the 2150 cab usually has Cerwins instead or marsland speakers?
    If so maybe it's one of the earlier examples from 1979.
    Do you know if the two speakers in my cab are them same? I found it unusual that one was red and the other black ... but they appear original (as far as I know anyway).
  7. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Pull them out and look! Cool score btw. :D
  8. bradn104


    Oct 26, 2007
    The 2150 has Marshlands, as did most all late 70's traynors (supplier issues I believe). The one with the red is an original speaker from that cabinet, i have no idea what the other one is but rest assure it is a replacement (or at the very least a recone).
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    Oh man, i really wanted one of those heads when i first started shopping for a new head last year. Its such a great find!

    I ended up buying a Traynor Group 2B Head, which was still really cool, great tone as well, and it was traynors first attempt at having active EQs on a bass (cut and Boost).

    200 is around what i have seen those head get up here in Canada, but with that cab, thats like a savings of half! I'm jealous
  10. I own one, the only SS head I have, and its great. The best SS amp ever!! I have used it for everything, bass, guitar, keys, even as a PA. 2 ohms for hours and doesn't even geat warm.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  11. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    Best sounding SS head ever. Pure clean BALLS.
  12. I bought a Mono Block II recently and have been scouring ebay and google for a 2150.

    Are there any left in the world?

    Or what cab besides a 2150 could you pair with the MB II?
  13. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Good score. There's only one thing that will kill that amp or its predecessor the Mono BLOCK B: a short circuit at the speaker outputs. Please test your speaker cables before each new use. I did with mine and had no problems for years.
  14. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    The gray colored cab on a dolly that came with the Mono Block B had 200 Watt RMS Cerwin-Vega drivers with a red colored suspension around the cone.

    IIRC the tilt-n-roll 2150 pictured above came with 200 Watt RMS Eminence units.

    The 8x10 and earlier Traynor bass cabs had Marsland speakers:
    Traynor Amps: Vintage Traynor
  15. Edword

    Edword Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2005

    One or two YC-810s might do the trick. Almost a guarantee your neighbors will start hating you.

    ProgressiveDoom likes this.
  16. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Yeah. That would do it.
  17. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Nice score! These are great heads. I have the older Model B version, and it is also very impressive:

    ProgressiveDoom and blindrabbit like this.
  18. Thanks man, I appreciate it.
  19. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    Only in Canada you say. Pity ;)
  20. Yes, excellent gear. I've had both those components in the past (a mono block and the 2x15) but never together...

    Great score for $200!