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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks.

I picked up a Traynor Custom Special 100 head today. Been curious about them for a while but hadn't had a chance to hear one. A buddy of mine used one for a Metallica tribute show on the weekend and I was basically sold.

Haven't played it a lot yet, but I can tell you it sounds good overall. Mega scooped gain if you want it. Marshally crunch is in there. Clean is decent. I did yank the Sovtek pres in V1 & V2 & dropped new stock Tung-Sols in there. Much smoother & warmer across the board. The Sovteks were a little harsh (as usual).

I managed a pretty close Recto tone within a few minutes. This thing will drive bottom end like crazy on the drive channels in modern mode - even more so with the scoop engaged. It's really quiet for a high gain head too - even with the gain dimed & boost engaged.

It has a some real nice features. Fully regulated power supply; auto-bias balancing; easily accesible bias test points & pots; independant EQ, gain, volume, gain boost, modern/vintage switch, FX level & reverb level for all three channels; "scoop" switch for ch1 & 2, bright switch for ch 3 (clean); master volume, presence, resonance & solo boost; speaker emulated XLR direct out & headphone jack; tuner mute switch with dedicated output jack; pre-amp in-out jacks; 100w class A/B mode or 30w Class A mode.

All for a grand CAD. Not bad.

So far, I'm digging it. I can't imagine a better deal for the coin if it holds up. It has Traynor's 2-year unlimited warranty so if it does cook I should be OK.

My only gripe so far is the pre's are a pain to change due to the location.

Kirb
 

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Yeah, one of our music stores here has one. I've been curious as to how it would sound. Too many knobs for me, but someone that has to do it all, it certainly looks like it would fit the bill. I walked out with a JTM45 Reissue though. D'OH!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I do have my vintage Marshall thing happening too thanks to Trinity amps. I also have a Laney Iommi sig head. Both are very nice, but neither can do that scoopy high gain thing very well without outboard help.

I've been trying to find a multi-channel tube head for a while that can cover a bunch of bases & do a decent job. These animals exist but you pay through the nose.

I had tried a Peavey Triple XXX & didn't like it - it's a little to over the top for my taste. The Satch sig is better, but still not my cup of tea. I was actually considering ordering a Carvin V3 direct from Carvin ($950 US). But if it ever had issues I'd probably have to ship it back to their service center for repairs. Since I'm in Newfoundland & they're in San Diego that's just a tad inconvenient.

Plus, Traynor is Canadian. It didn't hurt that I could hear the thing first either...and doing exactly the type of thing I was looking for at that.
 

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I've SEEN two of them, i havent heard/played one yet. makes me a sad panda. i think they'll be pretty good, if they tweak the gems they already have for a bit more of a modern sound then they're set. everyine always says "its too many knobs!" but its usually gain/EQ/channel volume repeated 3 or 4 times, plus some master controls.

definitely a versatile head, i really want to try one out. might get a dual rec first though lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It is a lot of knobs & switches, but if you look at it on a "per channel" basis it's not TOO bad. Just gain, volume, TMB, boost, modern/vintage, scoop/bright, reverb level, fx return level...times 3...plus the master section...

OK - so maybe it IS a lot! :D

Now having played with it for a few days I can give a bit more info.

First off, the stock pre-amp tubes are garbage - at least in this amp. The Sovtek 12AX7-WA's (I think) are kind of sterile & buzzy.

Channel 1 can do a passable Mesa DR impression with the "scoop" off in modern mode. Kick the scoop in & you get into the ridiculously scooped uber-bassy modern metal territory. You can pretty much nail the tone from Metallica's "Justice" album in this mode. Don't know why anyone would want to though...

Channel 2 is voiced basically the same as channel 1, but has a little more bottom dialled in. I wanted a Brit kind of roar from this channel. It can do it, but you have to have the power tubes cookin' (no surprise). At lower volumes it sounds just a little thin/weak.

Channel 3 ("clean") is, well, clean. A friend of mine noted that it almost sounded solid-state clean with the stock tubes. It's not particularly lively or bouncy. It gets better with the master wound out more, and different pre-amp tubes make a big difference. I've noticed this channel has some hum too, but the high gain channels don't. Strange.

30-watt "class A" mode. Hmmm... Not sure if I like it or not. It seems to compress a lot more than 100w mode. It's almost too much in fact. The two high gain channels become a bit of a mess using the same settings. With some tweaking it might be better. The clean channel sounds much better though.

Of all the amps I've owned or tried, this one is more sensitive to different guitars/pickups than any of them. I first played through my EMG 81/85 loaded Ibanez & dialled it in for that axe. When I switched to my 490/490 loaded SG it just didn't work. It's all in the bottom end. The Gibson PU's have much more bottom end than the EMG's (than the EMG-81 certainly) and it turns to mud using the same settings. Rolling back the resonance helps cure it, but really it needs completely different settings.

I have to say overall I'm diggin the amp. I'll be playing around with different pre-amp tubes to tweak it a little. I'm not a big fan of EH EL34's either, but I don't have a spare set kicking around to try. I'd like to try 6L6's in there. I bet that would practically nail the Recto vibe and would do wonders for the clean channel too.

Oh - by the way... The variable lead boost on this thing it excellent. It not only boosts volume, but also seems to push the mids harder helping it cut more.
 
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