Purchased from: Five Star Music Ringwood
Features — 10
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.
Sound — 10
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.
Reliability & Durability — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.