Purchased from: Long and McQuade
Sound — 8
I'm playing this through a limited edition Ibanez GRG 06 LTD MK2 and a Squier Standard Tele with Seymour Jazz '59's. Let me tell you, for any thrash metal, this amp is suprisingly dead on! When I say thrash, we're calling Metallica, the edge of Pantera, and Dragonforce (okay, they're power metal). All I can say is you wouldn't believe the distortion! it's one Gain knob with it's own volume knob, but I can seriously rival say a Roland Cube 30 or even a decent amp with a Metal Muff. it's not heavy enough for most Nu Metal or Van Halen style hi-end, but I'm not complaining! A bug about the distortion I have is that it wont do less distortion volumes as well. Aerosmith or Rush doesnt't work truly well on this amp. It sounds more of a dull/flat sound, and there is a big drop from quieter to thrash distortion. it's literally from 7 to 7.5 and a whole wall comes at you. But the plus is that the stronger side does do well. After 8 thoughm the distortion just gets fuzzier so much as distorted, but 8 is what I'm calling a Metallica level of distortion. The cleans sound kind of generic. It's not a horribly bad thing with a good guitar but they seem to be lacking a bit. I'd call it more of a clikity-clackity sound than more of a fluid, smooth tone. My one major issue with the clean channel is the volume levels aren't balanced between it and the distortion channel. Each channel has their own volume, but if you need to balance them, you'll run out of room on cleans before the distortion gets loud enough. There is a master volume control that kind of helps though. I'm calling good on this amp. For a SS amp, it can get suprisingly loud! I can crank 6 on Master voume and 4 on the distortion channel and still have it relativly clean. One thing I do have to give credit to however, is the Celestion Super '65 12" speaker. On the website, this speaker is rated for blues and soft rock, but let me tell you, the tone is half this speaker. Everything rolls of so smooth and can handle everything from B standard to Whammy bar harmonics. The tonal range is astounding! Sound it has, but gigging? It doesn't exactly have the power, especially if you're a tone junky. you'll need a bit more power.
Overall Impression — 8
For anything metal, and anything that has Pink Floyd-like cleans, this amp will take you! It's basically fit everything I play, and does a great job at that. It's right in between bedroom and rehersal level, and keeps a good tone at it too! Comparing it to another SS amp, this is out in front of almost all other ones. It's got a great tone for everything and wont leave you stranded. If I could say one thing I'd like improved about this amp, it would be power. Frankly, it sounds great at bedroom and small rehearsals, but I'd love to take it gigging if the power could keep up with a drummer and a bassist. It would make a great use for the Celestion speaker.
Reliability & Durability — 9
So far, this amp has been great to me! Well, great sounding that is. I only have a few concerns in the year and a bit I've owned it. If you're reverb is past 3, when you power the amp on, you get a loud "swooshing" noise. This isn't horribly bad or anything, but kind of annoying when you get odd stares every time you turn on your amp. Once in a while, you'll turn on the amp and hear something like a bubbling sound. I have no clue what it could be other than a loose wire. It may just be my rig, but shutting off, letting it sit for a minute, and turning it back on always clears this. To be truthful, this is my 2nd amp. The one I had before crapped out and started smoking on me but that was because stupid me was playing a thunderstorm and power outage. Sort of fried something. However, The 2 year extended warranty it had covered this, and I got a nice new one. I'd still call this a bit more of my stupidity than anything, so it's nothing really to worry about. As far as gigging goes, I'd go without a backup. As far as sound goes, it hasn't failed me yet. When I say gigging, I'd call it more rehearsal than a live show, because well, it is a 30W SS, but definatly dependable!
Features — 8
This Traynor amp is very impressive for it's calss! I was suprised right out of the box with how this thing plays! it's a 2006 model, a floor model to be exact, with no signs of wear, so I guess that's good. 30W of Solid State aint ear splitting, but I find it handles high volumes pretty nicely. We have a clean and a distortion channel, that are footswitchable (footswitch sold speratly). Headphones, speaker out, the whole deal. What makes this amp different from the rest of the Traynor line is the onboard effects. And well, if you're buying the amp for the effects, you may be disappointed. They will add a nice touch to your tone, but wont shape it like individual stompboxes will. Onboard reverb, chorus, flanger (which doesn't work all that well), vibrato (think Nirvana solos) and a special effect that sounds something like some shaking your amp up and down really fast. Bouncing is the only way I can describe it. But then again, the tone levels are really well played, and both channels are equally suited. Sounds very nice, especially at bedroom volumes, but you can overpower a quieter drummer and still get a good tone out of this amp.