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As some of you are aware I sent my trusty 66/67 Traynor YSR-1 off to Wild Bill (Busen Amps) for his Plexi Mod. Not sure where to start but the results are kind of staggering :smile: Hopefully Bill will chime in with some of the technical details and I'll just talk about the simple stuff. First of all this is now a very loud amp, partly due to the new power tubes and partly due to the new circuit (correct me if I'm wrong Bill). We got rid of the Trem circuit and added a presence control, kept the reverb, and have ended up with a "normal" and "bright" channel. He's also added a "negative feedback" switch (I think) on the back which seems to open things up considerably. I find myself liking the bright channel for humbuckers and the normal for single coils, that may change after I've played it with the band. Cleans tones are very sweet and punchy and the amp stays pretty clean up until about halfway on the volume knob (this is pretty loud) and then all hell starts to break loose :smile: It really sounds incredible with the power tubes distorting but I'm probably going to need some kind of attenuator as it is really damn loud at that point. Cleans up very well by rolling back the guitars volume which I really like. Ridiculously deep reverb, I think he ended up using the tube from the trem circuit, and about 2 or 3 on the knob is plenty.
I tried it with a few pedals and it really loves them. With the amp on the edge of break-up (probably around stage volume for a small to medium club) my Fulltone OCD sounds absolutely killer as does the EMMA Reezafratzitz. I also have an MI Audio Crunchbox that is a kinda dark distortion that I think will love this amp, I'll check it out later.
All in all I'm thrilled with the result. I need to tame the volume for home recording but I'm sure a good attenuator will do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here's a pic that Bill took. I'm going to replace the grill cloth (the brown spots aren't tears btw, just spots on the pic) and I'll take some more when it's done.

 

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"Nothing says fun like an old Marshall..."

Hey Dave, glad it's working out to your taste!

Still, I think I should point out that the REAL credit for this amp goes to people like Pete Traynor and Jim Marshall! These gentlemen were the pioneers of guitar amplifiers and we are privileged to stand on their shoulders.

It's important to note that they designed and built tube amp products 40 years ago that still blow the doors off solid state crud like Valvestates and such today.
 

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Hey Dave,

Can I buy that grill cloth off you if you replace it? I need some for my Traynor reverb unit.

TG



davetcan said:
Here's a pic that Bill took. I'm going to replace the grill cloth (the brown spots aren't tears btw, just spots on the pic) and I'll take some more when it's done.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
traynor_garnet said:
Hey Dave,

Can I buy that grill cloth off you if you replace it? I need some for my Traynor reverb unit.

TG
Nope, sorry. I'll be keeping the original "just in case". :smile:
 

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What are you playing it through Dave?

I've got a 66 YBA project on the go, parts are in the mail and I can't wait to crank it with the band. I have a 1-12 Avatar cab with a Reverend Alltone.

DId you go with El-34 or 6l6?

Mark.
 

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Telemark said:
What are you playing it through Dave?

I've got a 66 YBA project on the go, parts are in the mail and I can't wait to crank it with the band. I have a 1-12 Avatar cab with a Reverend Alltone.

DId you go with El-34 or 6l6?

Mark.
Hi Mark,

I have a 1 x 12 mojotone cab with a Scumbag H75-12-8HP speaker and Bill put in a pair of EH 6CA7's (EL34's). I also have a 1971 Traynor 4 x 10 cab that sounds pretty good. haven't done anything about the speakers in it yet, it's still stock. I've got another Scumbag on the way, H55-12-8HP and am looking for another 1 x 12 cab to drop it in, or I may just throw it in my Zinky Blue Velvet :smile:
The Scumbags are the shit :DevilGuitar:
 

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YA. Is that mod to exact plexi specs? Voodoo labs in the U.S wants to stick me 495.00( plus shipping) to do the Plexi conversion on my YSR-1 to exact plexi specs. and thats with stock transformers. What did Busen amps charge for his mods? Voddoo labs said that in my YSR-1 Traynor plexi conversion, over 85% of the circuity needs to be replaced, and thats why its so expensive.I am very interested in getting the plexi mods, but rather just do some standard mods to make it sound plexi-ish than than to sink that much money into the Traynor. Thanks in advance for reply.
 

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Be careful what you ask for...

gerald guerrero said:
YA. Is that mod to exact plexi specs? Voodoo labs in the U.S wants to stick me 495.00( plus shipping) to do the Plexi conversion on my YSR-1 to exact plexi specs. and thats with stock transformers. What did Busen amps charge for his mods? Voddoo labs said that in my YSR-1 Traynor plexi conversion, over 85% of the circuity needs to be replaced, and thats why its so expensive.I am very interested in getting the plexi mods, but rather just do some standard mods to make it sound plexi-ish than than to sink that much money into the Traynor. Thanks in advance for reply.
Gerald, I would prefer that Dave keep my fee confidential. I did him a special deal to prove myself to this forum community. I have no intention of making it a stock price and advertising it. Frankly, I put in a LOT more time than I charged in the total bill and will factor that in any future project.

Not that I will charge a LOT more! :)

The Voodoo Labs price to me sounds very reasonable for what is involved. My caution is that you may be making a common mistake of the non-techie. It is NOT important to copy the Plexi circuitry EXACTLY to achieve that sound! You will be paying extra for no real benefit. Some parts of the circuit are just not important to the goal. You only have to copy what handles the signal.

I see this on Ebay, where someone will offer a rectifier tube "Made by Mullard for that Mullard sound!" It's the RECTIFIER, for Pete's sake! It would take a NASA labful of equipment to hear any sonic differences between different brands of tube rectifiers. Rectifiers don't amplify. They simply convert the AC power from the mains into the DC that the tubes need. You might find a slight difference in "sag" with your tone but you'd need super bat ears to notice it.

The seller is invoking the mojo of the Mullard name and that's ALL.

Every conversion project is a little different, depending on what I start with. The signal path I always keep 99.9% the same. This by definition massages the signal and hence the tone.

The power supply circuit is often quite different but usually is more cost-effective to the customer to make minor changes than to completely gut it out and wire it "Plexi". A tube can't know and doesn't care HOW you got its voltages. It only cares that it gets them. You could make up a gi-normous battery pack and things would work just the same.

What's more, some of the factors of the original circuit were trivial in the first place to the desired sound. You can play with those factors a lot to save money without influencing the sound one whit.

If you put a racing engine in your Neon to get the same power perfomance would you feel the need to paint it with the exact same paint used in the muscle car that supplied that engine? Of course not. The paint is not relevant to the goal.

Guess what? With the original output transformer that Traynor will NEVER sound exactly like a Plexi. The transformer is a big tone factor. So if you want a nit-picking exact match then you better pay for a trannie change too. Pity, though. The Traynor trannie sounds BETTER!

You should also understand that part of the Voodoo price comes from the reputation they have built to do the job RIGHT! That's what I wanted to prove with Dave's project.

You say that the job would be expensive and then say that you wanted it done right. Gerald, that price was in the ballpark! It takes HOURS and HOURS to do such conversions. Do you think that a good amp man will work for minimum wage? Do you think that the parts are cheap at Wall-Mart?

When I do such projects I set my price based on how much in labour and parts are involved and on how much I want to do the job. I'm always backlogged with service work and if a customer is too unreasonable (like cheap!) then with fiendish glee I give him the phone number of a competitor! There's no law that I have to accept anyone's business. I've got a lot of great customers and I won't take energy and time away from them for a job that's no fun and no money.

I'm not accusing you of being tight Gerald but simply suggesting you look at things from the other guy's side. We amp guys are in this to feed our own kids. The customer is responsible for his brood. If the deal isn't good for both sides then it's a bad deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll offer a couple of comments if I may:

1. I wouldn't have given out the price anyway, that's between Bill and me for my project, just as it will be between Bill and anyone else who wants work done.

2. I suspect that no two projects will cost the same anyway, it all comes down to where you're starting from with vintage amps.

3. Does this now sound eaxctly like a plexi? I have no idea. I've never owned one and I don't have one sitting here to compare it to. I'd be surprised if you could find two plexi's that sound exactly the same anyway. :smile:

4. Does it sound "good". Was it worth it?

OH HELL YES! it's gone from an amp that was "OK" and sat in the corner as a novelty to one I really want to use. To that end I've just poured a bit more money into an attenuator because this thing is still too loud for home play or even small clubs, at least if I want to open up the power tubes, which I do. I will add that it sounds killer with a good distortion pedal though. One thing that might be nice, but probably expensive, would be a half power switch, something for Bill to think about :wink:

I have a friend in the states who had his YSR-1 modded by Voodoo Labs and I'm pretty sure he ended up spending around $700 US. Killer sounding amp though and still a fraction of the cost of the "real" thing.


Bill - would you be able to get me the electronic files for the front and rear panels? (I have a plan :smile: )
 

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I should add a couple of props for Bill. He was really easy to deal with and undoubtably knows what he's talking about. He's also offered a full warranty on his work as long as either of us are in existance :food-smiley-015: Tough to beat that combination in my experience.

Thanks Bill :food-smiley-004:
 

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ne1roc said:
Where do I find out more about Wild Bill and Busen Amps?
Just go back a couple of posts and click on his name to get contact info. Strangely enough he goes by "Wild Bill" on here. :smile:
 

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I knew it was a no-no to ask for Wild Bills price, but I did that because I thought it would be best to bring the topic back to the top instead of a PM.. Wild Bills the man for the job, thats for certain. I also think the half power switch would be absolutlely great.That would basically give you the 18 watt deal also for cranking in the studio. I like the fact that the modified amp was too loud. Thats genuine Plexi. Yes, too loud! :rockon2: Heres I trick i discovered to get more breakup at lower volumes; Get two 15" EV Force 15 or similar 150 watt nominal bass/PA /Guitar speakers and stick them in a vintage Sunn, Kustom or Peavey cabinet. You get a sweet warm rolled off sound thats warm as malted butter ( yes, ":confused-smiley-010 Malted" butter)! You can really crank up that power tube distortion! I dont imagine you can use just any PA driver in there. The force 15's LF drivers were designed to be versatile enough for lead guitar.You know. There was a legendary guitarist named Tommy Bolin who loaded his 4X12 Sunn cabinets with 12" Emiminece low frequency drivers through the same cabinet used for bass. He then turned his treble all the way down and Cranked his Marshalls non Master volumes through them. The tone was golden! Listen to Any of Tommy Bolins solo albums. They do not sound muddy or bass heavy! He, of course was using a Stratocasters brihgt single coils and Im guessing HAD to be using the bridge pickup for this to work. In any case even though I am in the states, I just mailed a old tape deck to someone in Coquitlam BC Canada and it wasn't as heavey as the Traynor, but it wasn't light, and the cost to ship was 25.00 U.S. with insurance, so that isnt prohibitive as i thought it might be. I plan to go ahead and send a private message to Wild Bill to work out the details of the conversion.Theres something about a thing that needs to be done to the YSR-1 that wasnt done to marshalls OR the YSR-1, but that was done to other Traynors like the YBA-1/A, that has to do with extending the life of the EL34's. I would also want that done in the mod. I will have to find out exactly what that was.
 

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gerald guerrero said:
I knew it was a no-no to ask for Wild Bills price, but I did that because I thought it would be best to bring the topic back to the top instead of a PM.. Wild Bills the man for the job, thats for certain. I also think the half power switch would be absolutlely great.That would basically give you the 18 watt deal also for cranking in the studio. I like the fact that the modified amp was too loud. Thats genuine Plexi. Yes, too loud! :rockon2: Heres I trick i discovered to get more breakup at lower volumes; Get two 15" EV Force 15 or similar 150 watt nominal bass/PA /Guitar speakers and stick them in a vintage Sunn, Kustom or Peavey cabinet. You get a sweet warm rolled off sound thats warm as malted butter ( yes, ":confused-smiley-010 Malted" butter)! You can really crank up that power tube distortion! I dont imagine you can use just any PA driver in there. The force 15's LF drivers were designed to be versatile enough for lead guitar.You know. There was a legendary guitarist named Tommy Bolin who loaded his 4X12 Sunn cabinets with 12" Emiminece low frequency drivers through the same cabinet used for bass. He then turned his treble all the way down and Cranked his Marshalls non Master volumes through them. The tone was golden! Listen to Any of Tommy Bolins solo albums. They do not sound muddy or bass heavy! He, of course was using a Stratocasters brihgt single coils and Im guessing HAD to be using the bridge pickup for this to work. In any case even though I am in the states, I just mailed a old tape deck to someone in Coquitlam BC Canada and it wasn't as heavey as the Traynor, but it wasn't light, and the cost to ship was 25.00 U.S. with insurance, so that isnt prohibitive as i thought it might be. I plan to go ahead and send a private message to Wild Bill to work out the details of the conversion.Theres something about a thing that needs to be done to the YSR-1 that wasnt done to marshalls OR the YSR-1, but that was done to other Traynors like the YBA-1/A, that has to do with extending the life of the EL34's. I would also want that done in the mod. I will have to find out exactly what that was.
He'll do a great job, hope it works out for you. If I get some time next week I'll try and post a couple of clips. You'll have to suffer with my shitty playing but hopefully the tone will come thru. I should have the attenuator by then so it will be interesting to compare pedal (OCD) and Power Tube distortion. :smile:
 
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