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#1
I'm looking at a Traynor YCS50 combo (Custom Special) amp (costs $500 used). I've played it before and it is a beautiful sounding amp, great cleans & with enough gain for music from blues up to hard rock or light gain metal. I also LOVE the bass response on this amp, it's HUGE (something I need & hard to find). But it isn't a high gain metal amp. To compare, I think a Valveking 112 has more gain.

So I'm wondering if I can add an overdrive pedal or something to drive the tubes harder so I can get enough high gain to play stuff like thrash or death metal? Or would I have to add a distortion pedal like a Boss DS-1?...but then would there be a point to buying this amp if having use a Boss DS-1 and not purely tubes? Maybe I should settle for the Valveking 112 (it also has deep bass)?

Some videos to show you how much gain the Traynor can output stock (no pedals):

Gain cranked (gain boost off)

Gain cranked with boost on

Another vid showing gain cranked, then boost turned on
#2
don't get a ds-1 you want a boost if you want to push the amp. get something like a bad monkey or another TS style pedal and run gain low and level all the way up tone to taste.
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#3
What you really need is a boost.

So, either a simple one knob boost or a glorified boost with an eq section and switches or a tube screamer type thing like the bad monkey or the gfs greenie or any other thing that can boost your volume without adding (or adding little) distortion, like the SD-1 (not, SD, not DS).
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#4
Quote by bluestratplayer
don't get a ds-1 you want a boost if you want to push the amp. get something like a bad monkey or another TS style pedal and run gain low and level all the way up tone to taste.


Yes i understand this, I was just wondering if an overdrive boost pedal would give enough of a boost to the tubes to get high gain for metal? If not, would I need to use a distortion pedal like a DS-1 etc.?
#5
A boost would most likely do fine.
If you're not sure just get an overdrive instead of a boost and turn up the gain a bit when you need it.

Also unless you wanted to take the time of modding a DS-1 I wouldn't buy one, the stock one doesn't sound really nice to me.
Plus it doesn't do metal well, even modded.

For this purpose I'd get a dt bad monkey on a budget or a gfs greenie for the versatility.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#6
The YCS100CS I had for a while had more than plenty of gain on tap; and that's comparing it with my Dual Rec and Peavey Ultra Plus.

I bought it for $300 bucks and that's about where I see most of the YCS100CS sell.

If I remember correctly, the 100 has a more aggressive gain stage than the 50.

So, you could always, try to find a 100, pay 300 and then get a used Avatar 2x12 cab for 200.
That puts you at 500 and you don't have to spend $80-100 on a boost.

I do understand the benefits of a combo, as I have a few, but this is just simply one option that I thought I would throw out there.
Awesome!
#7
Quote by Barricade_28


Tweety bird on the attack, that reviewer cracks me up every time

Actually from what I hear on this video sounds to me like it has enough gain on tap. Maybe even a preamp tube change for something that might be hotter than the stock, like EH12ax7s might do the trick.

Also depends on your guitar - with active pickups I believe even the amp stock should deliver. You could also have the boost channel modded for more gain by local amp tech??? Not that getting a boost pedal is wrong...

It's a beatiful amp, I love Traynors...

For OD - check out Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, it has both clean boost + TS808 clone in one. If you want something more buzzy you can look at the DOD YJM308, now discontinued as Yngwie is moving to more expensive things that probably sound the same as his old DOD
Last edited by diabolical at Apr 17, 2014,
#8
Thanks for your comments. I'll check out the YCS100 head and the Voodoo labs sparkle drive.
#9
get a timmy for a boost. thank me later.
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#10
I might just go with a Bad Monkey, probably the most cost-effective option.

In general, approximately what % of a gain boost do you usually get when using a clean boost and/or a standard overdrive pedal (like a Bad Monkey)?
#11
Quote by Barricade_28
I might just go with a Bad Monkey, probably the most cost-effective option.

In general, approximately what % of a gain boost do you usually get when using a clean boost and/or a standard overdrive pedal (like a Bad Monkey)?

Not a huge difference, but there is a difference. The bass gets tighter and you add some sustain/compression also
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#12
Quote by Barricade_28
I might just go with a Bad Monkey, probably the most cost-effective option.

In general, approximately what % of a gain boost do you usually get when using a clean boost and/or a standard overdrive pedal (like a Bad Monkey)?


most cost effective, yes. best? no. but worth $40.

dime the volume gain near zero, and tone to taste.

i didn't care for the bad monkey, i like the idea of controlling my mids more than my bass or treble. thats me.

i am unfamiliar with your amp, but a tube screamer will NOT give you gain for heavy metal. it will tighten things up though and give a little more saturation.

look for a visual sound jeckyl and hyde\. that gives you distortion and a tube screamer in the same pedal. they cost a bit more but you can get a lot more out of it. fulltone GT500's are nice too, but probably $50 more.
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Last edited by trashedlostfdup at May 1, 2014,
#13
Quote by Robbgnarly
Not a huge difference, but there is a difference. The bass gets tighter and you add some sustain/compression also


+1

I'd say that tubescreamer types don't have masses of boost on tap (at least ones which aren't modded to get more boost). A bit, sure, but not tons, at least with the drive control on 0. Other pedal designs have more boost, but then they don't always have the nice tonal/compressing effect which tubescreamers have.

that's what I like about the SD1, it has a bit more boost on tap, and you can turn the drive control up a little when using it as a boost without it getting as honky as a TS does (where you pretty much, at least for my taste, have to leave the drive control on zero or it's honk city).
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#14
OP, if you have any extra cash I would suggest get an MXR 10 Band EQ and running that in the effects loop, with some sort of Tubescreamer in front(Maxon OD808 is my personal favorite but it's not the cheapest one).

IMO that would sound pretty fantastic and do anything up to and including metal in terms of gain.
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#15
Quote by ciadude2
OP, if you have any extra cash I would suggest get an MXR 10 Band EQ and running that in the effects loop, with some sort of Tubescreamer in front(Maxon OD808 is my personal favorite but it's not the cheapest one).

IMO that would sound pretty fantastic and do anything up to and including metal in terms of gain.

a 10 band has enough gain on the gain slider for an OD effect. then you can find the curve you like. if you want more, but a TS out front.

Maxon OD808's are way overpriced. its like three or so component values other than the other ibanez/maxon TS's. get something cheaper. Cmatt mods has an OD808 circuit and many more features.

a timmy which is more of a flat boost, is my preference for getting gain.

or look for an OCD they have a ****load more gain than an tubescreamer and is more versatile.

cmattmods OD is what i would get.

if i am correct almost all of those pedals are cheaper than the maxon and much better.
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#16
Like I said, just my opinion
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#18
Quote by gibson52198
Try the Wampler Triple Wreck; one of the best Distortions for metal I've heard.


they are really good, but pricey. honestly i don't know if its worth it IMO. around the $300 mark maybe a few dollars left.

the new bogner distortions sound very impressive on videos, BUT i haven't tried one. and they are also $300.

with either or those, it will do metal. but you may want a different speaker if you are using the high gain tones a lot.
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#19
In regards to the Wampler and Bogner, I believe I would go for more of a boost type pedal instead of a distortion. I have found boosting the preamp on a tube amp generally yields better results than using a pedals distortion. The Timmy and OCD are both very good pedals that really make things much raunchier for heavy music.

Just my $0.02
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#20
Quote by classicrocker01
In regards to the Wampler and Bogner, I believe I would go for more of a boost type pedal instead of a distortion. I have found boosting the preamp on a tube amp generally yields better results than using a pedals distortion. The Timmy and OCD are both very good pedals that really make things much raunchier for heavy music.

Just my $0.02


i completely agree, but even if you boost the living hell out of it will get hit hard and break up, but i don't think metal, unless you are talking about older thrash metal. and the negative to a boost problem is they add a lot of volume so its harder to play quiet. i have a JTM45 clone i built, (non MV) by the time you could get a pedal boosted hard enoguh your volume is much louder. to get metal out of that you would need full vollume on the pedal, and likely some gain as well.

i have a timmy and an ocd as well as a few more 'botique' type OD's. they are great, but if i am boosting something the volume increases a lot.
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#21
^True.

I think there's two questions that need to be asked here.

1. Is the TS looking for Kill 'Em All and Crystal Mountain, or Cannibal Corpse?
2. Is volume an issue?
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#22
Quote by classicrocker01
^True.

I think there's two questions that need to be asked here.

1. Is the TS looking for Kill 'Em All and Crystal Mountain, or Cannibal Corpse?
2. Is volume an issue?


yes that is what we need to know. for example, i have an old (70's?) 70 watt hybrid ampeg amp, it has gain and volume knobs, but doesn't have a ton of gain. i connected my MI audio blues pro, and to get into metal territory i dime the gain and volume. its too loud at night, but is fiine during the day. the volume is on ZERO its at where the pot stops and puts out a tiny sound. but my boost makes it scream. it is pretty heavy on the gain.

with a metal pedal (i have an old HM2 but they are a different breed) but wouldn't ever consider a cheap dirt box.

they don't sound good until you pay more than some peoples amps are worth.

but you pay for sound. the only really advantage is that you can put tons of gain into a distortion pedal and watch the volume and not worry about playing too loud.
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alright "king of the guitar forum"


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#24
I honestly don't know why we went nuts on teh boutique $300+ recommendations. Overdrive is a fairly simple circuit and and I think it is overkill to go above $100 mark, in my case I only recommend the Sparkle Drive above that mark as it adds the extra clean boost which give it a bit more of an open feel, but again maybe an overkill in price...

I'd stay under $100, even if it is used. Look at the DOD I suggested, look at the Boss overdrives, also check out the Marshall Guvnor (used at $40).
#25
Quote by diabolical
I honestly don't know why we went nuts on teh boutique $300+ recommendations. Overdrive is a fairly simple circuit and and I think it is overkill to go above $100 mark, in my case I only recommend the Sparkle Drive above that mark as it adds the extra clean boost which give it a bit more of an open feel, but again maybe an overkill in price...

I'd stay under $100, even if it is used. Look at the DOD I suggested, look at the Boss overdrives, also check out the Marshall Guvnor (used at $40).


i am not sure how that did happen. but there really isn't any good DISTORTION pedals under $200.

for OD, you can get some nice things for $100 +/-

the only reason why i listed distortion pedals is because if you hit it full on with an OD, the volume can get much louder. on a distortion pedal you can get your tone without the additional volume. it has a volume knob.

+1 sparkly drives are nice, i have a few voodoo labs pedals and want a sparkle drive.
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alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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youre just being a jerk man.



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#26

Personally, I don't have a problem with overdrive/distortion combos for a few more bucks, actually I have HK Tubeman that sounds great but don't recommend because of the price.

If we're talking distortion pedals - the Sansamp/Tech21 line is great: TRI-AC and DoubleDrive 3X are great, Blackstar HT-Dual also sound wonderful for under $200. The Sansamp GT-2 and Sansamp original also deserve a honorable mention. I guess I push Sansamp that much because they are one of the few that sound like you're running an amp and not a can of bees

Mesa V-Twin is godly if you can swing one used...I think I just ent over $200
#27
Quote by diabolical

Personally, I don't have a problem with overdrive/distortion combos for a few more bucks, actually I have HK Tubeman that sounds great but don't recommend because of the price.

If we're talking distortion pedals - the Sansamp/Tech21 line is great: TRI-AC and DoubleDrive 3X are great, Blackstar HT-Dual also sound wonderful for under $200. The Sansamp GT-2 and Sansamp original also deserve a honorable mention. I guess I push Sansamp that much because they are one of the few that sound like you're running an amp and not a can of bees

Mesa V-Twin is godly if you can swing one used...I think I just ent over $200


+1 on the mesa v-twin. i really didn't like the blackstar ht dual, just didn't sit right.

IMO (not necessarily everybody) if i am going to spend $200 on something decent, i have no problem sticking another $100 out for cream of the crop. that will make me happy.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#28
Quote by classicrocker01
^True.

I think there's two questions that need to be asked here.

1. Is the TS looking for Kill 'Em All and Crystal Mountain, or Cannibal Corpse?
2. Is volume an issue?


1. I'd like to have enough gain to be able to play your typical mid-to-late 80's and early 90's thrash metal (Master of Puppets/And Justice For All, Slayer's Reign In Blood, Symphony of Destruction etc.).

I have a Vypyr Tube 60 right now (i don't like the noise-gate, no effects loop, and I need more bottom-end), and the Dual Rectifier and JSX amp settings with gain cranked to max or near max would be ideal gain-wise (I know I won't get that with the Traynor YCS 50 stock w/ no pedals).

2. Not sure what you mean by volume, but I'd like to play from bedroom levels to jamming with a band in a basement.
#29
If I use a distortion pedal like a Boss DS-1, can I back off the gain/drive on the pedal so I can use as much of my amp's natural gain as possible and then attain the rest of the gain I need with the pedal?

I also discovered the Boss OS-2 overdrive/distortion pedal, only $80, half the price of the Fulltone GT500 or Jekyl and Hyde pedals (but less function it seems). That might work? Doesn't have a bass knob (the more bottom-end, the better) but I have an EQ on my Digitech RP-250 that adds decent bass.

**PS I live in Ottawa, Canada, so Steve's Music Store and Long and McQuade are the only big music stores here. But am willing to go used.
Last edited by Barricade_28 at May 5, 2014,
#30
Quote by Barricade_28
If I use a distortion pedal like a Boss DS-1, can I back off the gain/drive on the pedal so I can use as much of my amp's natural gain as possible and then attain the rest of the gain I need with the pedal?

I also discovered the Boss OS-2 overdrive/distortion pedal, only $80, half the price of the Fulltone GT500 or Jekyl and Hyde pedals (but less function it seems). That might work? Doesn't have a bass knob (the more bottom-end, the better) but I have an EQ on my Digitech RP-250 that adds decent bass.

**PS I live in Ottawa, Canada, so Steve's Music Store and Long and McQuade are the only big music stores here. But am willing to go used.


personally i would advise against the OS2, i don't think you would be happy. you would likely want to mod it. i think a fulltone GT500 would be a good middle ground.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
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#31
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i am not sure how that did happen. but there really isn't any good DISTORTION pedals under $200.

for OD, you can get some nice things for $100 +/-


I dunno about that. Maybe ODs are easier, but I have several distortion pedals for way less than that, and they're pretty good. A rat for example is awesome. And those joyo/mooer clones are pretty good (though reliability might be a concern).

Quote by Barricade_28
If I use a distortion pedal like a Boss DS-1, can I back off the gain/drive on the pedal so I can use as much of my amp's natural gain as possible and then attain the rest of the gain I need with the pedal?


yeah

though a lot of players would prefer to use an od
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
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#32
TS:

I think an overdrive with the YCS will definitely get any of the tones you mentioned. I also think you are crazy for cranking the gain on the DR and JSX models on the Vypyr, I have done that on my Vypyr and it was a noisy mess, I usually leave the pre-gain no more than 3/4 of the way up on the high gain models, usually less, and I play music a lot more modern and "brutal" (for lack of a better word) than you do.
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#33
Quote by Barricade_28
I'm looking at a Traynor YCS50 combo (Custom Special) amp (costs $500 used). I've played it before and it is a beautiful sounding amp, great cleans & with enough gain for music from blues up to hard rock or light gain metal. I also LOVE the bass response on this amp, it's HUGE (something I need & hard to find). But it isn't a high gain metal amp. To compare, I think a Valveking 112 has more gain.

So I'm wondering if I can add an overdrive pedal or something to drive the tubes harder so I can get enough high gain to play stuff like thrash or death metal? Or would I have to add a distortion pedal like a Boss DS-1?...but then would there be a point to buying this amp if having use a Boss DS-1 and not purely tubes?


I've watched a bunch of threads with a similar title come through here in the past few months. I get that there are gain junkies and that there are amp manufacturers who simply dial that into one-trick amps. I have a Carvin Quad-X preamp (rackmount) from the early '90's that actually has nine 12 X7 tubes, four discreet channels, built-in boost, active controls, six FX loops and up to eleven (yup!) tube gain stages, depending on the channel. Given that these things are about $350 on eBay and are too expensive to be duplicated in the future, I'm surprised that the gainiacs aren't scooping them up like $300 '65 Mustangs.

Overdrive pedals essentially fake tube gain stages. Boost in most high-gain amps does the same thing, but they don't do a great job of it; it's simply the same thing but built in. Honestly, if you can't afford real tube gain stages, I'd rather have a versatile amp that does great cleans and then tailor the gain sound with pedals. A trip to Wampler pedals will likely find exactly what you're looking for (though it may not *say* "death/thrash/doom/despair/whatever metal" on the housing).

I'm not a fan of the "buy a 6505" lockstep clone mentality.

By going that route, you DO get to sound like everyone else who's gone that route, but you mostly don't also get to sound like anything BUT that. You may develop an artistic bone at some point and WANT to sound different. It happens.

Be aware that bass reproduction in a store or in your bedroom can be illusory. At lower volumes, you can produce better bottom end than you can when you crank the amp up and need more volume and run out of power (a speaker needs to move at least four times the air for every octave drop in order to produce the same apparent volume at that wavelength). More importantly, an amp sitting in your bedroom near walls and floors is going to sound a lot different onstage. That's due to acoustic and, sometimes, mechanical coupling. The old joke with a full Marshall stack is that the louder you crank it, the more quickly your bottom end disappears. Neither the 4x12 design nor the power available in a Marshall head is up to the task.
#34
Oh, and for the record, I've long since gone with a Line 6 Pod (XT, HD) modeler for most things, including a lot of "heavy" sounds. I've got a really wide variety of choices built in (Dino Cazares of Fear Factory pointed out that he does whole albums with them) and you can buy a used Pod XT for under $100 and use it just for the FX if you want.
#35
Quote by dspellman

(a) Overdrive pedals essentially fake tube gain stages. Boost in most high-gain amps does the same thing, but they don't do a great job of it; it's simply the same thing but built in. Honestly, if you can't afford real tube gain stages, I'd rather have a versatile amp that does great cleans and then tailor the gain sound with pedals. A trip to Wampler pedals will likely find exactly what you're looking for (though it may not *say* "death/thrash/doom/despair/whatever metal" on the housing).

(b) I'm not a fan of the "buy a 6505" lockstep clone mentality.

By going that route, you DO get to sound like everyone else who's gone that route, but you mostly don't also get to sound like anything BUT that. You may develop an artistic bone at some point and WANT to sound different. It happens.


(a) I'm not sure that's true. Or at least it depends on your definition of "fake". I mean, a ton of players use ods as boosts even if their amp has enough gain on its own, because they prefer the sound.

I'm also not sure how buying expensive wamplers will be an option if he can't afford a high gain tube amp. I know in europe, for example, a jet city is little more than a single wampler pedal.

(b) well, sure, but take that to its logical conclusion and you wouldn't buy any classic guitars or amps.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#36
I think with the Traynor, if there is not enough gain on tap and small nudge with OD will get it there. Since it is a JCM800 clone I think Marshall overdrive will sit best. Try used Jackhammer or Guvnor (about $40 on Ebay).
#37
Quote by dementiacaptain
TS:

I think an overdrive with the YCS will definitely get any of the tones you mentioned. I also think you are crazy for cranking the gain on the DR and JSX models on the Vypyr, I have done that on my Vypyr and it was a noisy mess, I usually leave the pre-gain no more than 3/4 of the way up on the high gain models, usually less, and I play music a lot more modern and "brutal" (for lack of a better word) than you do.


Well, my Ibanez RG doesn't have active pickups, maybe your guitar does?
#39
Quote by Barricade_28
Well, my Ibanez RG doesn't have active pickups, maybe your guitar does?


No, I use pickups with pretty average output. I think that's either a malfunction with the amp or with your ear.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#40
Quote by dementiacaptain
No, I use pickups with pretty average output. I think that's either a malfunction with the amp or with your ear.


Well I've cranked the gain on a real Dual Rectifier through a Mesa 4x12 and 2x12 and it sounds fine to my ears, about the same as on the Vypyr Tube 60 (but without the bottom-end). Maybe we just have different tastes.
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