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Discussion Starter #1


Other than the specs in Yorkville's product archive and a couple of reviews on Harmony-Central, you don't really hear too much actual discussion on the (dare I say) legendary amplifier.

I might actually be picking one up for the rare times I need to do a gig on bass. I still haven't tried it out yet though.

Anybody still got one? Any thoughts? Memories? Advice?

:thanks5qx:
 

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I cut my teeth on Traynor gear. I used to have a Traynor Bassmaster head. Guitar players liked them better than bass players. I also had a 4-12 cab which was the same size as the "Big B" (8-10's). The "Custom Special" was a 100 watt head that the bass players preferred but guitar players used them as well. You had to have freinds to be a guitar player back then. We also had Traynor columns (4-12's) for P.A. powered by one of those things you've got pictured above. (well, similar) I don't miss any of that gear a bit, but it's fun to look at. Thanks for the flashback!
 

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For old school mojo, I'd say go for it. I really have no clue as to how good that amp is.
I do know that anything Yorkville is pretty much bullet proof and of very good quality, but I don't know how long Traynor has been a part of Yorkie.
 

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I think Traynor and Yorkville Sound have always been synonymous. It was sometime in the 80's they started producing gear under another name (which escapes me at the moment). Those two pics you have posted look like solid state amps.(Pinto, if your looking for an old Traynor forget the solid state amps and look for a Custom Special).
The old Traynors were cheap, tough, reliable and loud but still not as good as a Fender amp of the day. Choices were simple back then, Gibson or Fender, or Traynor or Fender. If I was a bass player I'd have a Musicman Stingray, Ampeg SVT(9-10) and two roadies!
 

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In case anyone in the Ottawa area is scouting for one of these, there a Monobloc II at the usual local "used gear" place. The price is a little bit high as marked, but could probably be negotiated. No affiliation with seller or shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lester B. Flat said:
Pinto, if your looking for an old Traynor forget the solid state amps and look for a Custom Special
Someone might actually be giving me a MonoBloc II so that's why I'm inquiring. I already have an all-tube Garnet Enforcer so I've already satisfied that part of my vintage-Canadian fix. I was more curious about how the MonoBloc is for bass.

Thanks for all the replies so far!! :wave: :thanks5qx:
 

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well if its anything like my XM200, it'l be great.

I've played with traynor guitar amps, and they seem to be pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Xanadu said:
well if its anything like my XM200, it'l be great.
I hope so. I used to have a Yorkville Stage 120B 1×15" bass combo that was a pretty solid amp for me at the time. From the little bit of searching that I did, it look like the Traynor MonoBloc evolved into Yorkville's Bloc 250B head and then jacked up into the good ol' 400B that many people have.

I think I've only consciously heard an old MonoBloc in action once and I thought it sounded alright... but that could've been a function of the awesome bassist that was playing through it.
 

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Monobloc

I have one in my workshop for repair. No slam on Yorkville/Traynor because I've played and owned 2 of their bass rigs over the years. This one is built out of cast aluminum, yet is very heavy...mainly from the big power transformer inside.
As an aside, any power amp like this can have one or more power transistors fail with age. When the transistors fail, you can get high voltage DC (meaning up to 60 Volts) on the output jack to your speaker and IT WILL FRY THE SPEAKER. If you buy an older amp like this, and if it's possible to do so, connect a voltmeter to the output jack (on end of wire plugged into the amp output) and check for DC volts BEFORE connecting the speaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Gunny said:
As an aside, any power amp like this can have one or more power transistors fail with age. When the transistors fail, you can get high voltage DC (meaning up to 60 Volts) on the output jack to your speaker and IT WILL FRY THE SPEAKER. If you buy an older amp like this, and if it's possible to do so, connect a voltmeter to the output jack (on end of wire plugged into the amp output) and check for DC volts BEFORE connecting the speaker.
Is there any indication that those transistors are about to go or will they just suddenly fail? And are those transistors replaceable... or even worth replacing for that matter?

Thanks!
 

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Yes, the transistors are fairly easy to find. I paid more from a supplier in Canada than I did buying some from Mouser in the States.

Regarding the moment that power transistors can fail...there's no early warning like power tubes have. Remember, this isn't specific to Traynor, all transistor amps including the ones I have are susceptible. One thing that can happen with age (not always, but possible) is that the heat sink compound - stuff resembles vaseline or toothpaste in appearance - that goes between the transistor body and the heat sink can fail after many years. Don't know if it evaporates or if failures are related to someone at the factory not putting enough of it on in the first place.

In the MonoBloc there's 6 power transistors each capable of delivering 15 amps of current. If it fails short circuit, as they do, that can be catastrophic to the amplifier and is always accompanied by smoke...you'd know there was something wrong.

On the bright side, I'd still recommend getting an old amp checked over or rehabilitating it even if it failed like this, providing the power transformer is still OK. : )
 

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Monobloc user

No I don't own one now, but sure did in the distant past..Young, foolish, unknowledgeable and poor.
They're loud but total toneless pieces of crap..'FREE' is the right price.
No self respecting player in 2006 that wasn't tone deaf would use one.
One member mentioned the 'best SS amp ever made'..well that's just crazy talk.
In all honesty a boat anchor is the best duty you could put that amp to.
No high end speaker set up or guitar could ever make this unit sound good.
There is some unbelievable bass gear these days, invest in some of it.
 

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The Traynor Monobloc is certainly a workhorse and will give solid performance below 20 Hz. and as low as 2 ohms (think multiple cabs!). It is a great bass amp (lousey guitar amp) and if you get one I think you will find it pleasurable and reliable. An underated vintage amp that deserves a bit of respect.
 

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Glory days...

I still remember how in the early 70's the bass player in our band got one of those new-fangled MonoBloc amps.

Before that he had tried Fenders, Ampegs and whatever and was never happy. So he bought the Mono and one of the new Traynor graphic EQ's, with all them slider things. He was getting happier, but still not satisfied.

So we built him a pair of Altec A7 clones, with 15" EV's inside. We stacked the pair with the bottom cab facing the wall. It used the wall as a passive radiator and the top blew out front in the conventional manner.

He loved it! He threw the EQ away, jacked his Jazz bass straight into the MonoBloc and just wailed! Women all through the club would smile as he thumped those low notes!

A7's are so efficient that he never had to turn the amp past 2! These are the speaker bins that were used for decades in movie theatres. A pair would cover the entire audience, with the 15" drivers rated at only 75 watts. Today the marketing hype is to run smaller cabs with 400 watt or more speakers. You need to run that kind of power because the efficiency just sucks in comparison. The salesman sides with your wife to buy itty-bitty bookshelf speakers and then you have to buy a 300watt receiver to listen to them in your apartment!

I've had to clean spiders and dust out of a lot of Monoblocs but I've never had a transistor failure. The easiest way to kill a solid state amp is to never keep your cords in good shape and have one short out the speaker output sometime! Most modern amps will give some protection but the early models like this one would just pop a transistor or two.

If your speakers were powerful enough you'd hear a LOUD hum but the amp would pop its circuit breaker before the speakers blew. Unless you were running speakers rated for less than the amp, that you always made sure was never turned up too high. THEN the DC in the speaker line would fry them toute suite!

The previous negative opinion in this thread is the first bad review I've ever heard in my entire life as to the sound of this amp. Maybe I just don't get out much... :)
 

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Proud owner

Finally I have found someplace to talk of my 1975 Traynor monobloc. It is the original, not the Monoblock 2. I love this thing. I just started again after 21 years, and would not trade this for anything. Awesome to hear of others who appreciate this piece of art.
 

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Buddy of mine use to play through a MonoB back in the early 70's when they first came out. Cabinet was as big as a fridge, reverse mounted 18 and two 8"s out front. That sucker was loud..... awesome sound as I remember just to dam big.....
 

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I bought this in early eighties. Can't remember exactly what year, as those day's
were a bit cloudy. It sat for about 21 years along with my ampeg v6b 2x15 bottom that looks like shit, but will tilt every picture in your house. Last year I
picked up a 210 ampeg classic series cab for some high's. I am using a spector legend custom bass (active) and a Boss ME50B pedal. After being out of the loop for so long, I find it overwelming with the variety of new gear. Being older and wiser, I know one thing I will keep this head until the day I die!. Not much info on these things. Glad there are some left around.
 

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I wouldn't say it's a legend or a POS - somewhere in between. You can usually pick them up for $3-400 at most. They're not THAT loud as some people seem to be suggesting, but with two efficient 15" cabs it'll fill up a small club nicely. IIRC they put out somewhere around 200watts at 4ohms (correct me if I'm wrong) which isn't exactly the rig of doom. Definitely a step up from a BassMaster for bass, but I've played similar vintage Peavey bass rigs that I liked just as much if that gives you a clue about sound quality :tongue: .
 
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