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Vintage Traynor 300W all tube head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rowka, May 13, 2005.


  1. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Someone local is advertising a:
    I couldn't find any info on a 300W tube Traynor anywhere?
    Anyone have any idea if it's worth bothering with?
     
  2. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    If it's the YBA-3A, it's a good unit, a little noisy, but durable and dependable. Tone control is limited, and if I remember correctly, the presence was a mistery to us because it didn't seem to do anything. You might try to work on that price a little.
     
  3. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Looks like it's worth checking out. Thanks.
     
  4. Be aware that a LOT of people read the power consumption rating and call that the output power rating. The YBA-3A Super Custom Special is rated at 280 watts output, and consumes around 500 watts. Its little brother the YBA-3 is only 120 watts, BUT it's AC power consumption is 300 watts
     
  5. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Fair enough.
    I'm gonna go look at it tonight, but...
    He doesn't have any cabs for it. I have a small cab I can take, but it's 8 ohms.
    Could this be a problem? What are these designed for?
     
  6. 8 ohm should be fine...the YBA-3 has a min impedance of 4 ohms and the YBA-3A has a min impedance of 2 ohms. I run my YBA-3 through an 8 ohm Acoustic 2x15 and I have had no problems.
     
  7. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Don't tube amps have "max," rather than "min" acceptable impedance ratings? Or specific defined setings?
     
  8. Yes, but most Traynors are fairly conservative circuits, so you get more leeway than with other amp types. You are correct; higher speaker impedance is much worse than lower than rated. Also, their extension speaker jacks are wired in series rather than parallel like 99.99% of all the other amps in the world.
     
  9. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    That's true, but the current cabs in production are wired in parallel.

    :meh: I think maybe you just don't have the best of luck with modern day Yorkville, guy. Here's the link to the info re: Vintage Traynor Bass amps, in specific the YBA-3:
    http://www.yorkville.com/products.asp?type=71&cat=46&id=293#yba3 or (printer friendly): http://www.yorkville.com/print.asp?type=71&cat=46&id=293

    The rest of the page has info for other Traynor bass amps as well.
     
  10. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Hey Buddy!

    Actually, this is the first time that I recall that you've mentioned that you've had problems with the website...what's your connection speed?

    I use ADSL at home, and I've never had a problem. I use IE and Safari.

    I'm pals with the webmaster, I'll drop him a note to see if we can't sort this out for you. Cheers!
     
  11. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Well, I got to look at it today.
    It's a YBA-3. Not the 3A.
    It is in rough shape, cosmetically. The front grill and rear guard are both missing and there is some creepy deamon face painted on the top. Hideous, really.
    It's got 3 12AX7A preamp tubes and 2 6CA7 power tubes. It should have 4 power tubes, but the guy was using it for guitar and removed two tubes so he could overdrive it. :rolleyes: He doesn't have those two tubes anymore.

    Oh well. I brought my Avatar 2x10 8ohm cab to try it out with.
    It powered up fine. Tubes warmed up to a nice glow. It sounded really nice. Really really nice.

    Problems:
    Master volume a bit scratchy.
    Treble boost switch seemed to do nothing.
    High & low range expander - I don't know what they did, if anything.
    Bass control was spotty.

    The power cord (which looks to be original) has no ground lug.

    Anyway, I went home with it in the car for $100.

    SO ... Now I need some instruction on the care and feeding of an all tube amp. I guess I need to find an amp tech. Clean it up and have a killer amp.
     
  12. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Okay, I can upgrade the power cord, but do I need to worry about biasing the output tubes if I just go and get a matched quad set?
     
  13. Yeah its always a good idea to bais the amp properly, also have a tech check the capacitors and clean the pots and you should be good to go. You are really going to love this amp once you get it all checked out and ready to go!
     
  14. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
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    Okay, so I opened it up and looked around, not touching anything. Some observations.

    Upon removing the top I noticed a distinct "burned electrical component" odor. There is some obvious visual indications of some serious heat as well. Some discoloring of the chassis and on the inside of the lid (which has the original schematic still taped on. Nice.) Some of the high power resistors look like they've seen some heat, too.

    At some point it looks like some repair work has been done. The large orange Sprague caps (filter caps? the ones that can kill me?) look much newer than the rest of the components, as do the smaller shiny-blue electrolytic caps (ones I don't need to worry about draining?). There are also a few wire runs with modern polymer insulation. Most of the insulation looks like very old fiberglass/asbestos braid.

    There are two components hanging from the body of the chassis that I can't identify. Superficially, they look like can-caps but I'm not sure. They can be seen on the far left in the 3rd picture. Each is housed in a cylindrical aluminum case. The case is soldered to the chassis by 4 tabs. It looks like the solder is mechanical, as there doesn't seem to be any other means of attachment. There is one terminal in the chassis end of each component with one wire soldered to it.

    Each preamp tube is a different 12AX7/A. The two existing power tubes are large and bulbous. They are marked 6CA7 RCA USA. From they grime collected on them, all the tubes look very old.

    I found one broken solder joint on the Treble Boost switch, which would explain why it doesn't do anything. Most of the pots don't look to be marked, which may cause me some problems if they need to be replaced.

    So, my thoughts are to:
    Discharge and short the 3 orange caps with 3 devices like this ( clip-----[very large resistor]-----clip ) by attaching a clip across each cap and leaving it there.

    Double check all the solder joints and reflow as required.

    Remove the 2 conductor power cord and replace it with a 3 conductor, attaching the ground wire to the chassis.

    Replace pots as required.

    Part of me wants to go and remove all the old fiberbraid-insulated wire and replace it with some PVC or vinyl insulated wire. I don't know if it's worth the effort, though.

    We used to have a killer amp tech in town, Roy Blankenship. He used to work for GrooveTubes. Unfortunately, two months ago he closed shop and headed for California to work for an amp manufacturer (I don't know which one) so this has got to be a DIY resto-mod.

    What are your thoughts on:
    My plan?
    What those two silver components are?
    A good book or internet resource to help me along?
     
  15. That's all probably normal. Top mounted chassis hold LOTS more heat and you'll see a lots more heat wear.

    The Sprague Atoms are new; the blue ones are original.

    They are can caps; they're your primary filters.

    Give them all a good cleaning with Deoxit, and they'll probably be fine.

    An easier way is just to turn the amp off with the standby switch in the "run" posititon and keep playing until you hear no sound. I would periodically check to see if the caps have a 'memory' and if they do then I would put bleeder resistors (1k 1/2 watt should be fine- the value isn't really important) between the caps and ground.

    Just hit 'em all. Be sure to use new solder, not just heat up the old, because a cold or cracked joint will only heat on the outside. New solder will re-flow the whole connection.

    If possible, put the ground wire on a crimped (and soldered) lug and attach it to the power transformer's bell attachment inside the chassis.

    Hold off on that right now. there are LOTS of things that can make good pots look 'bad.'

    The old wire is BETTER; leave it alone.

    Amp Workshop

    Ampage
     
  16. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Psycho Bass Guy, thanks. That is helpful and encouraging.
     
  17. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Okay, I've ordered my tubes and purchased a grounded power cord. How should I connect the hot and neutral legs? Does it matter? Hot on the switch, neutral on the CB? Hot on the switch and CB?

    This, btw, is the schematic for my amp (Rev 18).
    http://www.lynx.bc.ca/~jc/721005_YBA3.gif

    Also, upon further observation, I noticed that I have to replace caps soon as there are blisters starting to form on the end caps. Where is a good source for these? Is it likely that I can get suitable caps from Radio Shack?
    Thanks.
     
  18. Rowka

    Rowka Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2002
    Jacksonville, FL
    Okay, great news. I got the new power cable installed, replaced a few caps, replaced the CB, AC switch, vacuumed it out. This thing is super fat!!!!!!
    It makes my Avatar 2x10 sound freakin HUGE! I'm a very happy camper.
    So far,
    $100 for the amp
    $54 in parts to refurbish it electrically.

    All I need now is to build new covers for the tube compartment.
     
  19. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Now you've done it...I let one slip out of my hands about a year and a half ago...I don't really need one, love the XS800H I use now, but that was my first real guitar/bass amp (my old youth leader bought one for a bunch of us to "share", my buddy has it at my old church still, I hear it sounds killer!) I've got a case of GAS for it now, I'm going to have to start looking around for one, just for nostalga's sake.
     
  20. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I think there is actually more truth to that than fiction though. The person that relayed the story to me, a 34 year Yorkville employee, actually said that they sold an amp to Dan Armstrong once way back then, around the same time as the introduction of the original SVT.