THR5 review by Yamaha

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (4 votes)
Yamaha: THR5

Purchased from: local music store

Features — 10
This 10 watt amp can run on battery (8 AA batteries) or a 15V power supply.
- Settings: Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brit High Gain, Modern High Gain
- Effects: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo
- Delay / Reverb: Delay, Delay & Reverb, Spring Reverb, Hall Reverb

Also includes gain, master, tone and volume knobs as well as a built in guitar tuner and tap button for delay effects. Has guitar input, an AUX port (useful for plugging your phone into and playing along with music), a 1/4" stereo jack for headphones, and a USB port. The THR series also come with Cubase AI6 music production software, which I haven't used yet but it has very good reviews and is a nice add-on to have with this amp, especially since it can plug directly into a computer.

Sound — 10
The Yamaha THR5 is an amazing sounding amp. It sounds just like a vintage tube amp, and even has a dim orange fake-tube light you can see through the front grill. This amp has a great sounding Clean channel, lightly distorted Crunch and Lead channels perfect for vintage sounding music, and heavily distorted Brit Hi and Modern channels for vintage and modern distortion sounds. 

There are a lot of features in this small amp, it's like having a limited pedal board right on your amplifier. All of the effects sound great at lower volumes and decent at higher volumes. If you don't use any effects, the sound is so clear and crisp. This amp would be best used in a studio / home recording space or just for practice at home. This is not a gig amp. With headphones in the quality of sound is even more superior than the speakers. No matter what your style of music is, you will be able to come up with perfect tone settings to fit your needs.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I wouldn't drop this amp, because you shouldn't drop any amp. But because of it's size especially it could get pulled off a desk/counter/ect when plugged into the guitar if the guitar cable gets too tight. The battery can last for a number of hours depending what effects you have running. It is a fairly fragile amp due to it's size, be cautious of that and in the manual it says "Do not operate this unit upside-down. They may overheat, possibly causing damage." I'm not sure if it's talking about the amp or the guitarist, so you'll have to be cautious of that too.

Overall Impression — 10
I play classic rock and this amp is perfect for that genre. I love all the channels except for the modern gain, IMO it is way too distorted, even when the distortion is reeled off but for metal players I suppose it would be suitable, although I don't suggest this amp to metal heads just because there are better amps out there for metal. This amp is, however, good for older metal such as Black Sabbath. If this amp was ever stolen or broke, I would definitely buy another one, if I could get it for less than retail again because this amp is fairly expensive. With everything this amp can do and the sound it produces, it is worth the cash to buy it. 

The THR5 is the THR10's little bro, I got to play a THR10 for a few minutes and it sounded amazing (like the THR5) but it had a few more channels and effects. The only thing that I wish the THR5 had that the THR10 has is Bass, Middle, and Treble settings instead of just a Tone knob. Although the tone knob works fine.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I also use this little brute for classic rock and it ticks most of the boxes for me. I tend to stick with the same 2 or 3 sounds and do little editing ( more fannying around with amp settings = less time playing ) but it would be nice if there was a dedicated footswitch on the market for it. The only other drawback is that you have to hook it up to a computer or compatible smart phone to access hidden features like the extra gain for the class a model ( via its compressor ), noise gate and speaker cabinets but, as it is not very often I need to adjust them it does not bother me that much. It is an amp that the wife does not object to having in the living room due to its size and styling. In fact it was on a shelf of my cd cabinet for 3 days before she noticed it was there! A c version of the thr 5 would be cool too!