TheGroundZero, on april 19, 2013 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Sweetwater/ebay
Features: This is one of the three new offerings from Yamaha in it's THR series of solid state practice amps. It gives you 5 high gain amp models + 3 clean models to base everything from. It sports two 3 1/2" speakers (Don't let this fool you. More on this later). It has the standard gain/bass/mid/treble/volume controls along with effect and delay/reverb controls. The effect and delay/reverb controls are split as you turn them. For example, the effect knob from 0 to 1/4 turn is chorus with increasing intensity, from 1/4 to 1/2 turn is flange, becoming progressively deeper, and so on. These controls are ok for "on the fly" tweaks while you're playing around, but the THR Editor is where the effects really shine. You can dig deep into the parameters of each effect, plus you get additional compressor and noise gate. All highly tweakable.
You can save up to 100 custom patches/settings to the editor and store 5 of them directly to the amp for quick access. This is plenty considering this is meant to be a practice amp. You don't need every possible patch you'd use for a gig. It also comes with a USB cable, AC power, and a 3.5mm stereo cable for connection to any audio device (mp3/pc, whatever). There are Guitar and Aux controls allowing you to mix your guitar/aux signal together. It can also be powered with 8 AA batteries. I picked up some rechargeable Energizers and I'm going on 5 hours of play on the first charge so far. It comes bundled with Cubase AI software. I won't get into that, as it's an entirely different product. // 9
Sound: First things first. This little amp sounds ten times bigger than it's size! Yamaha employs "extended stereo imaging" to make the sound surround you. It really does give a huge spacious effect, and I was pleasantly surprised at the volume you can get. I was not expecting near the volume it's capable of. It's deceptively loud for it's size. I mainly play a Jackson DKMG, Charvel 1A, and Fender Telecaster. These are the guitars I've used with this amp.
The lows are really impressive, almost booming, full lows. Mids are strong, and obviously there's no shortage of high end should you choose to dial that in. It's certainly not going to compete with a good 2x12 or 4x12, but that's not it's purpose. Remember, it's a small practice amp. As far as the modeling goes, it has five basic high gain models. Power I, Power II, Brown I, Brown II, and Southern High. The Power models are supposedly based around Engl heads, Brown around EVH obviously, and Southern High around American metal sound.
I admittedly have no experience with Engl firsthand, so I won't speculate on the similarity. What I can tell you, is the Power models have a more organic, kind of loose bottom end sound, with nice full mids, and everything from a little dirt to full on high gain. I actually think these channels Shine with a moderate, but not massive amount of gain. Kind of a heavy Foo Fighters sound.
The Brown models go for that infamous EVH brown sound. I have to say, Brown II totally nails it. Think "VH" or "VH II" albums. I absolutely love this model, being an early VH fan. Brown I is a little thinner with more focus on mids and highs. Both have more than enough gain on tap.
The Southern High model has more of a '90s metal sound to it. Tighter bottom end for jackhammer or machine gun riffs. I got pretty good Megadeth ("Rust In Peace"), early Metallica type sounds from it. You can get close to a Dime (Pantera) scooped sound from it, although I'm not a huge fan of playing with that sound, even though I love Pantera. It just never worked for my own playing. It has enough gain to satisfy every rock/metal taste I think, as do all the gain channels.
The three clean channels are basic. You get Clean, Bass, and Flat. I personally like the Bass model, as it gives a good full clean tone. Clean model is not as big sounding, and Flat model is, well, pretty flat sounding. The effects are all fairly well done. They are extremely tweakable through the THR Editor. You have reverb, delay, chorus, flange, phaser, and tremolo on the amp itself. You can add compression and a noise gate through the editor. Of course. Being solid state, it sounds as good at very low volumes as it does louder.
I've plugged my laptop into it a jammed along with some iTunes stuff as well as YouTube backing tracks. It does a good job of mixing and handling both. It doesn't get muddy at all. There is no EQ on the auxiliary input, so you may have to tweak your source EQ to your taste. The only thing I would ask for here, is a touch more range(or possibly different frequency) on the bass/mid/high controls. Not bad as is though. I'll add here, if you're not mostly into heavy rock or metal, one of the other THR models may better suit you. // 8
Reliability & Durability: This is NOT a gigging amp. It's a practice amp in the true sense. It's good for setting on a table next to you, or setting on the couch. It has a mostly metal chassis, with thick plastic sides. It appears to be fairly well built. I Imagine you'd have to get pretty rough with it to damage it. I would feel comfortable traveling with it with a little padding in a suitcase, or just throwing it in the backseat or trunk of a car. I'm going to give it a 7 based on speculation, as I haven't had it long enough to give an honest review on durability. // 7
Overall Impression: Ok, to the bottom line. I have my big guns (Fender Twin, 100watt ADA MP-1 based, midi controlled rack system with 4x12 Laney cab), I have my garage, bedroom, basement Jam amps (pedal board + Vox AC-15 or Jet City JCA20H and two 1x12Cabs), and now I have this little gem (THR10X) I can set anywhere and practice/play. The THR10X exceeded my expectations in just about every category. The sound is Way Huge for it's size. I was totally blown away by this. I mostly play heavy rock to metal. Nothing heavier than Pantera, Megadeth, typical '80s and '90s metal. For me, this amp is perfect. I love that I can just pick it up and play anywhere in (or out) the house. It's very convenient. I also love that I can plug it up and do some deep tweaking when I want.
The only complaint, if you would call it that, is I'd like a little more contrast on the control labels. They're a little hard to read in dim light. I know them by location now, but it bugged me a little at first. I would absolutely buy another one of these if it were stolen.
Video from YouTube:
snshami, on november 01, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Features: This amp will change your preconceived notions about many things. Firstly about the how tubes are needed for good tone and the second about how you need a certain size of speakers and their enclosure(s) to get a nice sound. I wont bore you with all the specs and all. If you are reading this you will have no doubt worked them out. What I will tell you is what you will experience. First of all the amp is very very small. It is smaller than it looks. I would say about the size of a loaf of supermarket bread. It looks very nice and classy. I had a chance to compare the cream coloured THR10 with this dark night sky blue THR10C. Both look nice. The THR10 looks more vintage. This looks more classy. The handle is fixed. It would be nice if it was foldable because it takes away from the sleekness of the shape. It also makes the amp look like a lunchbox or a toolkit. The steel body is very well made. The amp feels very light but not to the point of feeling cheap.
It has an amazing bunch of features and one doesn't feel like there should be more. There are of course things that could have been better. A recessed USB jack would have helped because the cable sticks out a bit too much in the rear. It would have been nice to have had a metronome and an ability to play loops including drum loops but that is being greedy. One more thing I really would like it to have an Android app like the iPhone app so half the worlds population does not miss out on the really great features that the app provides. // 10
Sound: The sound is the most surprising thing of all. It's not perfect but it is pretty amazing. First of all it has the best modelling I have ever heard on anything. That includes a Boss ME70, Vox VT30, Roland Micro Cube, Marshall MG2FX, Roland Cube 30X, a Korg Pandora Mini (that one was the most disappointing)and Blackstar HT-1.
It is also the nicest sounding small amp on the planet. At low volumes the sound is pretty much perfect only at higher volumes it does not have the deep bass that my Marshall DSL40C has. I have played several guitars through this and its clean is lush and clear and expansive. The overdrive is layered and textured like you wouldn't think possible.
What this amp also can of course do is play sound from a laptop or an MP3 player. Its sound in this area is really nice. Again this is at low volumes. At higher volumes it lacks that deep bass, which is to be expected. I believe this unit will benefit from good isolation and I plan to put it on a little stand with with speaker spikes to isolate it from the study desk surface. Still do not be put off. Last night I was playing Satriani through it and was in another room around 30 meters away and the sound was clear and beautiful. The effects sound really very nice as well. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I would trust Yamaha anytime. They are a very reputable company with a great track record. I have never had anything break or fail that had a Yamaha badge on it. I don't think this will either. Like I said before the unit feels sturdy and strong. Not overbuilt but not flimsy either. Of course if you want it to look good then you need to take care of it. It's not a Roland Cube. Having said that its tough enough for staying on the desk or for taking around to a friend's house for a little jam session. I plan to buy a felt lined bag for that purpose. // 10
Overall Impression: I play all sorts of music, from rock, to metal to blues and even acoustic guitar. While my main amp is a Marshall DSL40C, this one has a nice place in my life. I have had too many amps to count and have sold most of them. The Marshall and this one will stay. The funny thing is I was actually looking for small mini sized monitors for my laptop in the $180 price range but then I stumbled across this and thought for $100 more the extra features will be a bonus. Reading the reviews I never thought it would sound as good as I did and till the day I auditioned it in the store I was planning on going to a plan B, which was the mini monitors. The minutes I turned it on I was hooked. Oh I did try the THR10 and didn't like the sounds on it that much. It seems like Yamaha worked harder on this model because the sounds are just a bit more special especially for the higher gain settings.
In conclusion I will just say this: you should really try it the next time you are in your favourite guitar store. You might just fall in love the way I did. // 10