Yorkville Sound

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Yorkville Sound

Yorkville Sound is a manufacturer of audio amplifiers (including the Traynor amplifier line), loudspeakers and related professional sound reinforcement equipment.[1] [2] Based in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, the firm has a global presence as an importer and exporter of audio electronic products.[3][4]

Yorkville manages its original Traynor brand, its own Yorkville brand and has expanded to include other brands such as Apex and ART (Applied Research and Technology).[5] Yorkville provides North American distribution for Hughes & Kettner guitar amplifiers as well as exclusive distribution for Epiphone guitars, Gibson guitars, Garrison guitars, Ritter bags], beyerdynamic microphones and Gallien-Krueger amplifiers.[6]


Yorkville Sound began in 1963[7][8] in the back room of Long & McQuade, a music store on Yonge Street in Toronto. Peter Traynor was working as the business's repairman[9] and had been customizing amplifiers by using readily available components.[10] Traynor developed a rugged bass amplifier that was more resistant to the rigors of the road and began renting this new 'Dynabass' amp to customers.[11][12][13]

By the end of 1963, Traynor began selling his Dynabass amps along with matching 15-inch speaker cabinets, as well as public address (PA) speakers[14] based on a reference book of 1930s RCA commercial loudspeaker designs.[15] Traynor approached Jack Long, co-founder of the music store, with the idea of starting Yorkville Sound to sell Traynor-branded bass amplifiers and more. Long and Traynor partnered in the venture,[10] with Long owning two-thirds and Traynor one-third.

Original Traynor logo; Yorkville Sound's first brand

The line of products was sold with Traynor logos on the front and rear nameplates reading "mfg. by Yorkville Sound."[15]

In 1965, Yorkville Sound incorporated as "Yorkville Sound Limited" with Long as President and Traynor as Vice-President. The operation moved to Dundas Street near Parliament in Toronto. In 1966, more products were introduced including the YVM-1 "Voice Master", a portable 45 watt tube amplifier combined with a four-channel microphone mixer. The Voice Master contained 1/4-inch phone jacks for PA speakers, a master volume control, treble, mid-range and bass tone controls and patching points for the TR-1, a spring reverb unit made by Traynor. The portable mixer-amplifier concept was a novel idea that quickly proved popular among musicians, and was the inspiration for the 1967 introduction of the competing "Vocal Master" product line by Shure.[citation needed]

In 1967, Yorkville expanded distribution westward to Vancouver and southward into the United States via Buffalo, New York.[15] In 1969, Yorkville began designing larger concert equipment including eight-, sixteen- and 24-channel mixers with a pair of integral graphic equalizers, an audio snake and heavy folded-horn "W"-style bass bins loaded with 18-inch drivers. The sound contracting business also designed and used wedge-shaped monitor speakers on stage for artists to hear themselves.[16] Concurrently, Yorkville incorporated their Buffalo operation to create a US-based business entity: Yorkville Sound Inc.[15]

In 1970, the Canadian dollar ceased to be pegged to the American dollar and US dealers found their Yorkville prices suddenly jump 10% higher, followed quickly by another 10% added due to a short-lived US surtax on imported finished goods.[15]

In 1972, Yorkville expanded operations to Europe, opening offices in the UK and Sweden.[14] In 1976, Peter Traynor sold his shares and left Yorkville Sound.[10] The Traynor brand would be slowly phased out over the next 17 years, until it was reintroduced in 2000. Steve Long, son of founder Jack Long, began working full-time at Yorkville Sound in 1981 and eventually became company president.[15]

During the 1970s and 1980s, the company grew. Around 1981–1982, Yorkville Sound was contracted to fabricate loudspeaker enclosures for Martin Audio's North American market. In 1983, Yorkville Sound created their own "Sound Crew" line of concert speakers. In 1985, two new product lines appeared with the introduction of the "élite" series of portable loudspeakers with non-user adjustable 'black box' processing and the "Audiopro" line of electronic amplifiers. A thousand-watt subwoofer was brought out in 1986: the SW-1000.[15]

A line of studio monitor speakers was created in 1991.[15] In 1996, Yorkville introduced the "TX" line of concert touring loudspeakers.[14] In 2001, Yorkville contracted with designer Tom Danley to create the "Unity" line of loudspeakers which was introduced in 2003. The Unity design was licensed from Sound Physics Labs, Inc. [17]

In 2013, Yorkville Sound continues to be owned by the Long family.[18]

In 2014, Jack Long received the Order of Canada for his contribution to the Canadian music industry, and in particular for founding both Long & McQuade and Yorkville Sound.[7][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Audio Engineering Society (1998). Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. Audio Engineering Society.
  2. ^ Report on Business Magazine. Globe and Mail. 1991.
  3. ^ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/meet-the-canadian-companies-making-noise-in-music/article1214813/ " Meet the Canadian companies making noise in music"]. David Fielding and Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail, Aug. 23, 2010
  4. ^ Canadian Trade Index. Yorkville Sound Division
  5. ^ MIX. News Articles. August 12, 2004. Yorkville Sound Names New Brand Manager.
  6. ^ Yorkville Press Release. May 2008. Yorkville Sound to distribute Hughes and Kettner guitar amplifiers for North America
  7. ^ a b "Jack Long Receives Order of Canada Honour". Professional Sound. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  8. ^ Brian Tarquin (1 November 2016). Guitar Amplifier Encyclopedia. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. pp. 228–. ISBN 978-1-62153-501-0.
  9. ^ Paul Théberge (23 June 1997). Any Sound You Can Imagine: Making Music/Consuming Technology. Wesleyan University Press. pp. 36–. ISBN 978-0-8195-6309-5.
  10. ^ a b c QUILL, GREG. "Pete Traynor: Musicians amp up their tribute". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  11. ^ Keenan, Edward, "Pete Traynor, Toronto’s quietly legendary sound man: Keenan". Toronto Star, May 10, 2016
  12. ^ "Pete Traynor The Man, The Music, The Struggle". Cashbox Canada, Bill Delingat, September 30, 2011
  13. ^ "Proudly Canadian: Scott ‘Professor Piano’ Cushnie". Cashbox Canada, 10/31/2013 Sandy Graham
  14. ^ a b c Yorkville Sound. Company History. Retrieved October 16, 2016
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Yorkville Sound History: 1963–1991. February 20, 2002. Mike Holman. Retrieved December 21, 2008
  16. ^ Yorkville Sound. Vintage Traynor Overview.
  17. ^ Yorkville Sound. Unity
  18. ^ " Long & McQuade CEO on family owned business success". RICHARD BLACKWELL, The Globe and Mail, Nov. 17, 2013
  19. ^ "Order of Canada Investiture Ceremony". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 16 October 2016.

External links[edit]