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Unread 09-30-2013, 07:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Yamaha THR10 portable/desktop amp

- I just bought one the other day.
- Here's a link to Sweetwater, with vids and info.
- Price $299 US
- Here's my review:

I bought this solely as a late night desktop amp for practicing solos and to mp3's from my iPhone. Also back porch use and carrying around in the car with a cheap Strat.

Upon unboxing it I found it very compact and lightweight. Metal housing, plastic knobs and a metal handle. My very first thought was, "this things is gonna buzz and rattle and clank all day". However, that turned out not to be the case.

10 solid state watts. It comes with an AC power supply, 12" cable with 1/8" stereo tips for plugging an mp3 player to jam along to. For that feature the amp has two master Output controls which allow you to blend the mp3 and guitar volumes separately. Also comes with a USB cable and a copy of Cubase for deep editing via PC. The amp has a built-in tuner, 5 user-preset locations, and also takes 8 AA alkaline batteries for portable use.* A stereo headphone out, and some orange interior LEDs for a faux tube glow. Rubber feet, won't scratch surfaces.

I set it out on my outdoor deck, popped in a new pack of batteries and plugged in my Les Paul. I played through each of the amp sims; Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brit Hi and Modern. They all sounded great and were very easy to get good tones with. One thing I noticed is that, like a real tube amp, the controls do seem somewhat interactive, which is a nice touch. The Gain and Master work together as preamp and poweramp gain controls, and then you set the amp Output control for actual loudness. It's very cool to be able to jam at night to mp3's with great tone, at a volume only slightly louder than the sound of the strings being plucked. On the other end of the spectrum, it can get very loud!

It's modeling, which is going to be bright, but yet it's very warm, much richer and dynamic than other modeling amps I've used (Boss, Digitech, Line 6). It does a good job of getting clean and high gain, plus all the stuff in between. Good for Jazz, Blues, Hard Rock and some Metal. It's interesting how loud and how large this amp sounds for a table top amp, with lots of punch and width from the stereo speakers. It's like the Bose of guitar amps. Each preset can also be set to "Extended" mode, which seems to widen the stereo spectrum for effects.

THR10 version also has three additional sims for Bass, Acoustic and Flat. Flat can be used for any external input type, such as mp3 (using mp3 player in this mode will give you the added use of the tone controls). I plugged my Gibson Hummingbird into the Acoustic channel and was really blown away at how large, full and pretty it sounded with a touch of reverb. Sparkling beauty! I haven't tried a bass guitar yet.

The effects are pretty good, a little better than what I expected. Dual control layout: one for chorus, flange, tremolo, etc, and another for delay & reverbs. They work similar to the way Line 6 uses FX.

The amp is very loud, full and bright. It's by far the best sounding portable I've played to date. My Mustang Mini battery amp is a literally a POS compared to this thing, as my Mustang Mini buzzed and farted anywhere above 3 on the master- simply unusable.

*There is a known and widely reported design issue when running batteries: even with a brand new set of alkalines, if you run the volumes up past 12:00/1:00 the amp will suddenly shut off as soon as the batteries have been under enough strain to drop their voltage to a certain point (some speculate 9.6 or something). So be warned that if you want to crank it at camp or in the park, or the subway all day at near max volume, it's not going to work for you. Yamaha has acknowledges this problem and has not issued a fix. For me this is not a deal breaker, as I wouldn't be cranking this that loud in a park and I don't use a subway, but YMMV. Battery life under normal conditions is reported to be roughly 8 hrs. That's plenty of time to get through a gig or two, should you decide to mic it or run it direct into a mixing board.

Good price, great quality, great sound, no speaker distortion or farting out at near max volumes. Great for electric, acoustic and even bass, jazz, Blues, Rock, Metal. Great sounding effects, mp3 in, headphone out, Output mix for balancing guitar and mp3 separately, lightweight, portable, user presets, built-in tuner. Very nice for the price!

4/5 (-1 for sudden battery shutdown at high volumes)
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Unread 09-30-2013, 07:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Yamaha THR10 portable/desktop amp

Thats a great review exactly what I was expecting to hear. I've played around with a couple of the models and agree with everything you say. They have a few different models, what made you choose this one over the others? One thing I was wondering, are the amp sims footswitchable, can you switch between clean and crunch for example? Never mind, I just read on the spec theres no footswitch I/O. I guess you could use pedals on it for that.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 08:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Yamaha THR10 portable/desktop amp

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedecamp View Post
Thats a great review exactly what I was expecting to hear. I've played around with a couple of the models and agree with everything you say. They have a few different models, what made you choose this one over the others? One thing I was wondering, are the amp sims footswitchable, can you switch between clean and crunch for example? Never mind, I just read on the spec theres no footswitch I/O. I guess you could use pedals on it for that.
It works well with the guitar's volume control, but of course that's not the same as switching presets.

I am wondering if it's possible to connect any kind of USB foot controller to switch channels. I'm thinking it might be feasible with a laptop and a foot controller, but that's a lot of outboard gear to be able to switch between presets, it would seem.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 09:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Yamaha THR10 portable/desktop amp

Do a search... there are mods for these amps. Line/speaker outs, footwitches, etc. Personally , I don't see the need to mod my 10X, it's does what it does perfectly!

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Unread 09-30-2013, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Yamaha THR10 portable/desktop amp

A THR with a footswitch and a speaker out sounds awesome.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 12:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Yamaha THR10 portable/desktop amp

interesting. i was offered a THR5 in partial trade for an amp i sold. i passed on it, but was a little tempted.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 02:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Yamaha THR10 portable/desktop amp

Told ya!

Of all the BS gear I have/had laying around, I play that stupid little space heater the most.

I can't wait for Yamaha to up the game with some 1x12 combos and such.
Because I will admit to one thing, the 2" speakers wear on my after awhile.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 07:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Yamaha THR10 portable/desktop amp

Would love to see a THR line. Would be like the old DG line.
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