YCV40 Review

manufacturer: Traynor date: 06/19/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Traynor: YCV40
The first guitar amp for the new generation of Traynors is the Custom Valve 40 (YCV40). The internal gadgetry in this channel switching amp consists of separate tone controls for each channel, real tube overdrive from two 6L6GB vacuum tubes, a "boost" switch, a brightness switch, an effects loop, and spring reverb.
 Sound: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Features: 8.6
 Overall rating:
 7.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.8 
 Users rating:
 6.8 
 Votes:
 24 
reviews (5) pictures (2) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
YCV40 Reviewed by: forsaknazrael, on october 08, 2007
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 425

Purchased from: craigslist

Features: I have no idea what year this amp was made. It's the 2x10 model, and is equipped with two Celestion Tube 10's. Each channel (clean and dirty) has it's own EQ section (treble, mids, bass) and volume, and there is a presence control, as well as a reverb control for the spring reverb. The diryt channel also has a gain knob. There's also a standby button. It runs 2 6L6 tubes, and 3 12AX7's. Mine came with Wing "C" 6L6 tubes. Stock, this amp is still really good. Good cleans, and enough gain for several genres. However, I ended up switching the tubes for a pair of hot grade JJ KT77's. More on that later. The YCV40 has two channels, clean and dirty. The Dirty channel also has a set amount of gain for a gain/bass boost. The amp comes with a sturdy footswitch, and the channels are foot-switchable, and the boost is foot-switchable. The clean channel has a button that increases a brightness for when you need that sparkle, but can't crank it up. There's an effects loop that I haven't taken advantage of just yet. I will, soon, though. I wish the effects loop had a level Switch. Apparently, the amp also has a auto-bias feature, in that even though it's a Class A/B amp, it'll adjust it's bias for the tube you're stickin' in. I'm told that it does not adjust plate voltage, though, so be sure to specify your amp model when you buy tubes online. The reverb on this amp is kinda useless, honestly. The control does next to nothing until it hits around 11-12 o'clock. But after 12-2 o'clock, it gets too splashy, in my opinion. I'll be buying an EHX Holy Grail to fix this. I use this amp for jam sessions, bedroom practice, and will be using it for gigs. Plenty of power for all purposes, and still sounds good at bedroom levels. // 8

Sound: I use an Epiphone SG G-400 with Seymour Duncans (SH-2 Jazz, SH-14 Custom 5), as well as a Strat copy with custom handwound Rock Monkey Guitar pickups. I play hard blues rock, classic rock, hard rock, that kind of thing. The amp has enough gain to get to Rage Against The Machine heaviness, with the boost on. However, stock, I didn't like it too much on the dirty channel, so I used a fuzz pedal. The dirty channel was, I don't know, American sounding, and just too modern for my tastes. However, I put in some hot grade JJ KT77's from the Tube Depot (tell them you need hot grade KT77's for a YCV40. Alternativelygo to Eurotubes for a YCV40 kit) to get more of a British feel, since that's what I was looking for. Brilliant! The change was astounding! My cleans got a bit more headroom, as well as becoming more articulate. They kept their sparkle, while adding a nice warm bottom end to it. Fantastic. The dirty channel got more British, sounded more like a Marshall amp. It's like it just grew a pair of testicles and kicked the old dirty channel in the nuts. A lot more oomph. I recommend using KT77's, if you need more punch to your sound. The best part about it is that it's relatively quiet. I use my Strat, which has shielding, and I hear next to no hum. It's awesome. There's a bit of hum if you crank up the gain on the dirty channel (I have mine at 12 or 1 o'clock), but that's to be expected. Nothing objectionable, though. The amp, with KT77's, can do Rage Against The Machine, AC/DC, Led Zep, every ballsy kind of rock you can think of, short of metal. Cleans are pristine, and should be great even for those spoiled by Fender's. It doesn't start to break up on the clean channel until just past about 1 o'clock, but by then, it's already loud enough to keep up with drums. If you wanna get power tube distortion, though, it's definitely not too hard with this amp. The amp also takes pedals really well. Boosts, wah, fuzz, they all sound great through the amp. The distortion, with KT77's, like I said, is really ballsy, and great for anything short of metal. I'm thinking about changing the preamp tubes soon, and maybe converting it to a closed back for more bottom end, so I'll see how that goes. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This amp is freakin' sturdy. I leave it in my car all the time. I kick it to make funny spring reverb sounds, I drag it. It holds up to anything. I would gig without a backup, for sure. I just keep spare tubes in the amp. No breakdowns yet. This thing would probably survive a car crash. I'd be effed, though. // 10

Overall Impression: The YCV40, with KT77's, is a great match for my brand of blues rock. I won't need to upgrade for a long time, and if I do, it'll only be to add a cab, for more presence in a band situation. I've been playing somewhere between 3-6 years. I own the guitars I mentioned earlier, a Affectronix modded VJ, as well as several home made pedals. If this were stolen, I would probably buy it. There's another one going on my craigslist for 350. What a deal! I just love the overall tone, especially for the money. Great deal, if you can find one used. My favorite feature? I guess the effective EQ? I don't know. It's just an overall good amp. I compared it to a Peavey Classic 30, Palomino V32, Vox Valvetronix AD50VT, Epiphone Valve Special. And this one just blew the competition away, I think. If it just had a level on the FX loop and maybe if that were foot-switchable. I'd probably have no complaints. // 9

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overall: 8
YCV40 Reviewed by: JU5TIN, on january 19, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 560.9

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Features: This amp was made in Canada and was designed to be used for many types of music, but not all. If your into blues or classic rock or any music that isn't heavy on distortion, this amp is for you. It's a full tube amp powered by 3, Sovtek 12AX7A preamp tubes, and 2 Sovtek 6L6B power tubes with the sound comming from a single 12" Celestion Seventy 80 speaker. It has 2 channels (clean and dirty) with "boost" for the dirty channel and a "brightness" setting similar to "boost" only for the clean channel. It has effects loops jacks and a footswitch with a 10' cable included with separate tone controls for each channel along with a master "presence" and "reverb" control. It's a 40 watt amp so it has some power for those looking to go to gigs with it. // 8

Sound: I'm using a Les Paul Junior with a SD Invader pickup running through some effects pedals before hitting the amp. I try to base my rig around great distortion, and thats where this amp fell short. Even if you had the gain at 10 it still didn't sound the way I wanted it, I tryed for hours trying every combination I could think of to get a good sound but never found it. I play alot of pop punk/emo music and this amp just didn't deliver the way I expected it to. It's very very quiet and it's almost a challenge to get feedback when you want it, something that makes some people very happy. There is a big difference at low and high volumes, at low volumes I was pretty happy with the clean sound but once you get up past maybe 5 or 6 the tubes break up a lot, so there goes your clean sound but it does give an edge to the distortion I was happy to hear. No matter what the salesman might say when your looking at this amp, it's distortion leaves a lot to be desired, if you want distortion buy a different amp or invest in a distortion pedal as I did. // 6

Reliability & Durability: If this amp has only one thing going for it, it's that it is built solid, nothing is comming loose and there are absolutly no flaws in construction, it's pretty good to look at and will last a lifetime. By using the standby properly I haven't blown a tube yet and would take this to a gig with no backup without question. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall if you look at what you get for what you paid, your getting a pretty good deal, this amp can play most any music (excluding some styles) so it is pretty good all around. I would definitly recommend it to someone looking for a quality built product worth the investment. If someone stole it I would hesitate to buy it again and probably save up for something more expensive, but thats just me. I've played it beside my friends 40 watt Marshall, a semi-state amp and this one has a better all around sound, so I think that says something when compared to a Marshall. // 8

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overall: 10
YCV40 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 26, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: I bought this amp used off Ebay, but I believe its a year or two old. It's also been modded a bit: new JJ Tubes an a new celestion Vintage 30 speaker. Highly recommend these changes, it makes the amp sound a thousand times better for not that much money. Two channels, seperate EQ's. Reverb and presence knobs. Effects loop (very useful for me) and included footswitch, for channels and boost. Standby switch, as any tube amp should have. // 10

Sound: I absolutely love this amplifier. It has provided everything I could ask for in an amp. It give me beautiful, crystal clear cleans. The overdrive is more than enough to suit my perposes. I play blues, classic rock and rock, jazz, and this definately has enough punch for me. If you wanted to play metal or somethign heavy, you'd probably need a OD or Distortion pedal in there. This amp can handle basically any type of music by itself, and I'm sure with a decent pedal it could do anything at all. It is very quite, no hum at all. But when you get this baby cranked, boy it sings. I've heard its loud, but I can tell you, it is loud. I can't sit in the same room with it and have the volume knob exceed 1.5 or 2. the cleans seem to hold together very well at high volumes. I haven't gotten the chance to crank it at full blast yet (definately not necesary), so I couldn't really comment too much there. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This think is built like a tank. It weighs a ton, and feels like it could withstand a small bomb. If you treat it well and dont abuse it (it is and all-tube), you will have no problems at all. I would take this to gig at any venue and not be worried of it failing or not being able to handle the volumes. // 10

Overall Impression: This amp is an absolute beast. I would put it up next to any amp, even most half-stacks, and be confidet that it would blow it out of the water. I got this amp for an absolute steal. I'd say its worth around 8 or 9 hundred new, with the modifications. If it were a Marshall of equal quality it would sell for and arm, a leg and your firstborn child. Traynor is one of the best-kept secrets of the amp world. I highly recommend this amp to players everywhere. // 10

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overall: 8
YCV40 Reviewed by: Corle, on july 31, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 628.635

Purchased from: Tony's Music Box Ltd.

Features: So, heres a little low-down for all you folks. The Traynor YCV40 is an all valve amp, equiped with one 12" Celestion Seventy 80. It has two channels, clean and overdrive. Ill start with the overdrive channel. It has gain, volume, treble, bass & middle controls with a boost switch (footswitchable). The clean channel has volume, treble, bass & middle controls with a brightness switch, not footswitchable, but I just leave it on. Then you have a main presence control, and a reverb knob. On the back you have your Footswitch input (footswitch included) And EFX line inputs. Then a power input and a on & off switch! And that's pretty much all the features I can think of. // 8

Sound: Pretty darn good people. I use a Epiphone Les Paul Custom, stock pickups, & a PR5E Limited Edition Ele/Accoustic. Both sound great in this amp. I am also in an Alternitive/Punk band, I find the Overdrive channel dosen't live up to my expectations, althought the clean channel is amazing. on the overdrive channel I experimented with all the controls and the boost Switch, nothing really worked, so I bought a distortion pedal. And the boost on the overdrive chanel might as well be left on, with out it it sounds weak, and not bassy or warm at all. With it on it is pretty good, but I still use my distortion pedal 24/7. I usually get feedback on higer volumes on the distortion channel, I thought it was my pedal but I ran my guitar through just the amp and it still happened, but if I click to my neck pickup it dosent happen as much, it is also kind of noisy(when you have it turned up). Clean channel is a winner. Dosen't break up when you turn it up and beat your strings to crap, picks up evreything (not in a bad way) and is noiseless. Power wise, 40 watts. But I practice with it and it has no trouble powerering over other amps and keeps up with the drums. I woulden't say it is good enough for a gig. Overall the sound is marvellous, distortion is the only reason it got an 8/10. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Well, I have my concerns, she overheats alot usually have to take a break evrey 45 mins. Seems to be solid though. I'm not worryed about it too much. // 8

Overall Impression: Very nice amp, It dosen't really suit my playing style, but I live with it. I have been playing guitar seriously for about 4 years now, but don't get me wrong, I know my stuff. Pros: clean channel is amazing, and thats all I can think of. Cons: distortion. And I don't have to worry about it getting stolen or lost, because I'm selling it. I do love this amp, but its lacking power. So I'm upgrading to a Marshall AVT150HX. Hopefully it will do the job. I hope you found this review helpfull. Sorry its so short but I'm too lazy to write a long one (Once I get my AVT150HX ill write a huge one on it). // 8

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overall: 8.8
YCV40 Reviewed by: guitarkis, on june 19, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 2 channel amp each with it's own 3 band EQ, effects loop, footswitch for channel switching and boost on overdrive, reverb, presence control, 12" Celestion Seventy 80 speaker, mine has 2 EL84's in power section and 3 12AX7's in the pre-amp. // 9

Sound: I think the amp sound amazing for what I play with my band. Let me start by saying who this amp is NOT for... Metal players of any kind (this is talking about the amp itself, NO pedals), Very high gain playing e.i. Van Halen, hi gain 80's rock. For most everything else, it's a great amp. Clean channel rivals some of the best. Everyone raves of Fender clean, and they are very good. I hear them a lot in the clubs I go to... But this Traynor has an outstanding clean tone which I use often in my classic rock band. Plenty of clean head room. The Over Drive channel is very good too. The OD from this channel is going to break up more like the Vintage rock, southern rock, and heavier blues type bands... Think Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Skynyrd, SRV, British stuff from 70's and 80's, some 90's too. The boost feature on the footswitch and amp panel gives a pretty good volume change for soloing. HOWEVER, add an good OD pedal to this amp (I use a Bad Monkey and Joyo Vintage Overdrive) and it sings like tone machine. Awesome change with a pedal... Gorgeous OD. The 40 watts is VERY loud, used in my band with another guitarist using a Les Paul and Marshall, it keeps up with no problems with both volumes around 4-5. However, still maintains great tone at lower, house levels. Just turn up Gain, and drop master volume to 1 or 2... Same on clean channel. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've had the amp for a year and it's been great. No issues and it is built very well. Made in Canada which I like. And yes, I've used it on gigs without backup. // 8

Overall Impression: I use a Fender Strat and Godin SD guitar, and both sound great through this amp. It's not a well known amp, and snobs may say they want to stick with a Deluxe Reverb, Orange, or Marshall... But both worlds of tone in this amp, clean and overdrive, are very good. How can you lose? My favorite thing about this amp is the 2 very distinct channels and the quality of them. My least favorite thing... Heavy amp, and a speaker upgrade would perhaps smooth out the overdrive channel a bit. // 9

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