Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Sweetwater/ebay
Sound — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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:
Reliability & Durability — 7
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.
Features — 9
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.