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Found in the trash - vintage amp (updated info)


dave-O
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So I was out walking the dog last night when I happened across what appeared to be an old tube amp on the side of the road, in the trash. I lugged it home and upon closer inspection it turned out to be a 1971 Traynor YSR-1 Custom Reverb head...

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I plugged it in and one of the power amp tubes was shorting out and shutting down the amp. I pulled the faulty tube, and the amp worked like a charm (minus dirty pots and lack of a face plate)!

Now funny thing, the circuit diagram and all the info I've found on the web about the YSR-1 says there should be 6 12AX7s and 2 EL34s. But mine clearly has 2 ecc83s (same thing as 12AX7s, I believe) and 4 EL34s. I can't find any description of a Traynor with that tube configuration. Any thoughts, vintage gear enthusiasts?

Edited by Guest
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ummmmm if the tubes in the specs weren't available they may have subbed what they had...putting those tubes in the amp wouldn't have done any significant damage.

i believe there's a company in burlington, ON that will do mail order on those tubes, they're pretty common. I can't remember the name of the company. starts with an s, is 2 words...i think sound or sounds is one of them, maybe one of them is sonic....it eludes me...you could probably find used tubes that work at a ham radio dealy out there...

i love vintage audio stuff....so sad that my stereo is in storage....nice find!

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After some more research, it doesn't look like Traynor made a 2 pre-amp, 4 power-amp tube model. It's entirely possible that the guts are something else in a Traynor chassis. I'm wondering if it was intended to be a bass amp?

ummmmm if the tubes in the specs weren't available they may have subbed what they had...putting those tubes in the amp wouldn't have done any significant damage.

You can substitute a power amp tube for another power amp tube (i.e. EL34s for 6L6s), but you can't change a pre-amp tube for a power amp tube. Not only would it not work, but the pins wouldn't fit.

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  • 1 year later...

Update - I recently met a guy in town who's a bit of a tube amp guru, he's repaired tons and even built several from scratch. So I took this amp over for him to take a look.

We pulled it apart and nearly shit our pants at what we found inside.

There was a third preamp tube just dangling inside. The chassis (i.e. the metal box containing the circuitry) had one end chopped off to fit in the head (i.e. the wooden 'Traynor' box), the circuit board was shifted over, and (I guess) the third tube socket was in the cut-off portion.

The components were all British. The circuit board was a very primitive PCB, probably the first generation post point-to-point wiring. The amp guru pulled out his schematic book and ta da - it matched an early 1970's 100W no master volume model Marshall!!

I have no idea why someone did such a cosmetic hack job on such a rare amp (possibly disguising a stolen amp?), but the insides were all in tact.

The plate voltage and current were running super high - the reason the tubes were blowing, and the transformer would go into a self-protect shutdown state (and likely the reason it was in the trash!). A few new capacitors, re-soldered joints and a bias adjustment later and the amp was running perfectly.

Suffice to say it was a fascinating experience for me to trouble-shoot this amp with someone with this kind of experience. Marshall plexi's go for big bucks on ebay. I'd have to refurbish it if I ever wanted to get what it's worth, but for now I'll just enjoy playing it.

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