Choosing a guitar amplifier can be a daunting task. Tube amp or solid-state, number of watts, modeling amps, etc. are all things you will have to decide on. The high cost of most amplifiers means that a lot of research will need to go into your decision, so I thought I would help and share my experience with this Traynor amplifier.
Credit: Chris VoorbergThe Traynor YCV40 tube guitar amplifier is a rock solid amp that is built in Canada. Since it is a tube amplifier, there will be a time when you will have to replace the tubes. This also means that you will have to give the amp a few minutes to warm up after you turn it on in standby mode to extend the life of the tubes. It has a Celestion Seventy 80 speaker, and comes with a footswitch for easy switching back and forth between the dirty channel and the clean channel on the amp. The dials are very large, and are easy to see and change on the fly.
Built in Effects and Options
This is certainly not a modeling amp, and so it does not have many effects or sounds built in, but it does allow for slight EQ change with a Bass, Mid and Treble dial on each of the channels. The YCV40 also has a Spring Reverb and Presence functions to add depth to your sound. The dirty channel contains a Power Boost function and of course a Gain dial for those times when you want to add a lot of crunch to your signal. There is an Effects Loop output/input for putting a pedal chain in as well if you want to add your own effects.
The amp is made out of super strong plywood and is quite heavy. I weigh a little over 200 pounds, and could easily sit or stand on my amp without fear of it breaking or being damaged, not that I would do that regularly. There is a spring reverb that does rattle a bit when you move it around, but there is nothing to worry about because that is normal, however I advise that you DO NOT move it while it is on or the spring will cause a terrible racket.
This is my first good quality tube amp. I have been playing guitar for about 7 years, and I find that it has a beautiful sparkling clean channel. I play through it with an Epiphone Les Paul and it sounds very smooth. I would say in all honesty that the dirty channel while adequate is not what sells this amp. I purchased a boutique overdrive/distortion combo pedal to replace the need to use the dirty channel and I am much happier with that. As far as loud goes, the YCV40 sure has plenty of power to go around. It easily fills large rooms and is much too loud to go past 3 out of 10 on the dial when practicing at home.
Cost & Overall Satisfaction
The cost of a Traynor YCV40 is usually between $500 and $1000, and I was able to find mine second hand for a sale price of $550. I found this to be a great price for such a well built piece of equipment, and I don't doubt that I will be using it for a long time. If you're looking for a tube amp with a very good clean channel and lots of volume, go out and try to track down a Traynor YCV40 amplifier, I recommend it. On the other hand if you want lots of effects and modeling to come along with your purchase, its best you look elsewhere.