TSM10 Studio Mate 10 review by Traynor

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  • Features: 1
  • Sound: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 1
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reviewer's score: 1 Junky
  • Users' score: 7 (3 votes)
Traynor: TSM10 Studio Mate 10

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Features — 1
This is very, very bare bones. Something cheap to quiet your kids when they ask you for an electric guitar and amplifier. You get volume, treble, bass and a button for distortion. How long I've played I got this in a trade and I'd probably not be playing guitar if I got this to be honest. May have blamed the pickups or maybe my guitar wasn't expensive enough but seriously this is a horrible amplifier. Here's why it's getting a 1... The distortion goes 100% on regardless. No gain, no anything. Just straight up 10 on the distortion and that is it.

Sound — 1
There is 5 sounds this offers. Ultra bassy, ultra trebly, too loud, distortion cranked to 10 and off. I like off the most. Minus the distortion feature I'd rather plug into a PA system with a Danelectro distortion pedal (which are cheaper than this amp new) and chances are I'd get a better sound. I know we're paying for what we're getting but still. Three knobs and a button hardly offer any versatility. Line 6 Spiders, Peavey Vypyrs, Marshall MG with or without reverb in the 15w territory all run circles around this amplifier. I'm not a fan of digital simulations at all for amps and at the same time not a tube amplifier purist but I know a good amp when I play it.

Reliability & Durability — 1
I got this used and the clean channel works fine, all the parametrics work. Now the distortion doesn't go to 0..even if i try with the knob I have to turn the volume down on my guitar which even with a treble bleed guitar wiring modification this amplifier is junk. It's no surprise why Long and McQuade stopped making this piece of junk. Either someone dropped it or something. I would have to be paid a lot of money to play this on a stage. I doubt the hardware will last, I can't turn the volume down to 0 on the distorted signal so if i was a 15 year old kid I'd only be practicing half as much with mine I got used in a deal for free (and probably for good reason). I'd love to see if this amp could survive a 1-2 hour set list without blowing up or overheating to be honest.

Overall Impression — 1
My overall impression I laughed, I couldn't believe how small it is. This amplifier is something rock bottom cheap to shut kids up so they can play their Squires or Epiphones thinking they are ready to tour by the end of the month and play until their hearts content (or they break that high E string) and give up. Because Traynor stooped so low with this amplifier I will never, ever touch another thing Long and McQuade sells under the Traynor brand.

If it was lost I'd feel sorry for the people who stole it, I don't think they could get 10-20$ (locally) for it. What I love about it is the size it'll probably fit in a recycling bin or something plus it would be easy on my back if I was in my 60s or 70s to toss into a dumpster depending on if the city could accept the amp in my recycling bin. I wouldn't buy it, I liked this free BC Rich amplifier some guy gave me in another trade more, it sounded much better than this. The only amplifier that sounds this terrible is the Line 6 AxSys 212 amplifier from roughly 1998. I'd rather plug a 1/4 jack with dollar store ear buds into a distortion pedal than use this. I don't think this would be good for any styles the sound is almost out of phase, it sounds like a toy and the budget was tight. They cared more about the profits than the sound. I feel sorry for every parent that bought their kids this at Christmas or birthdays.

At most I'd use the clean channel without the distortion. Seriously Canadians use Kijiji or Craigslist. Buy used! Try it before you buy it, you can get way way better amps for the 40-60$ this probably went for. Again first amps the Marshall MG Series, Line 6 Spider II, III or IV (IV is the newest as I write this). Or the Peavey Vypyr. This Traynor belongs in a studio as much as a girlfriend or broken guitar string.

What could fix this guitar amp?

  • a mids knob
  • an extra volume (one for the distortion)
  • a gain knob
  • a distortion knob to turn up or down the intensity
  • maybe reverb
In the end I'd scrap the original schematic and start over, there are good 10-15w amps out there. Just the people who designed this were not thinking with their ears they were thinking with their wallets.

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