View Full Version : Yamaha THR10 - problems playing on battery power

05-07-2012, 09:07 AM
My Yamaha THR10 cuts off completely after a few seconds when playing on battery power. This is the 2nd unit that has done this.

I just exchanged it yesterday for a factory new unit, took fresh batteries that had maybe 45 minutes on them (bought new for this amp) and installed them in the brand new amp. Noodled away at the store for maybe 5 minutes and it never cut off. I crank it up this morning for the first time at home with the gain/master SLIGHTLY higher than I had it at the store and it cuts off in less than 5 seconds. If I lower the master and take it off the higher gain settings, it doesn't cut off as quickly, but still cuts off entirely. Dead. No sound. It does not fade out gradually, spit or sputter. No sir. It just stops instantly like you ripped the cable off of its tiny speaker(s).

Nothing is different except the guitar/cord and my latitude/longituge. I connected the ac adapter and played for guitar 10 minutes at much higher gain/master settings and had ZERO problems. Also on this amp, just like the other one, when you plug in an ipod/ipad/c.d. player in to the auxiliary input and play music via battery power and at a higher volume level, there is NO problem. The issue is just playing guitar on battery power - the EXACT reason I bought this lovely little digital/computerized device.

This does not make me happy. Does anybody have any ideas? I know the store will think I'm crazy. Hell, I think I'm crazy. The store said that they've sold 15 or so with no issues. May have to call Yamaha before contacting the store again.

Update: Just tried the amp with 2 more guitars and 2 different cables. NO CHANGE in the problem!!!

Tracy Evans
05-07-2012, 11:36 AM
Wow, how strange. I have only used my THR10 plugged in to AC. I haven't tried it with batteries yet, but I sure will now just in case.

05-07-2012, 12:40 PM
I've played my THR10 almost exclusively with batteries and have been getting a good 5-6 hours of playing out of it. I'm using eneloop batteries they are 2000mah but typically come in after a charge closer to 1800mah.
The only thing I have in common is when the batteries go it dies instantly no warning, but that is to be expected.
The PSU is 15vdc, 8 x AA batteries @ 1.5v is 14vdc. I haven't measured my dead batteries (no need) to see what the cut off voltage is, but it may be worth using a multimeter to check your batteries in the first instance, just incase you have a rogue one!!

05-07-2012, 01:08 PM
I thought about checking the batteries with a meter but to summarize my post, even after the guitar output cut off in SECONDS, I played an ipod through the auxiliary input for nearly an hour at a LOUDER volume on the SAME BATTERIES.

Makes no sense and by the way, 8 X 1.5 volts it 12 volts, not 14 vdc. I am never sure about the tolerances on a given piece of equipmnet. Does a pedal that has a 9 volt battery quit working when it will only supply 8 volts, 6 volts, somewhere in between?

Personally, I think it is a design flaw. I may try some eneloop batteries but if they are 1.5 volts, that's still 1.5 volts. From what I can find online, eneloop batteries' claim to fame is that their self discharge rate is much slower than alkaline.

Plus I'm not too keen on paying about 40 bucks or more for 8 batteries, even if they are rechargeable.

It's not like I would be using battery power often but it needs to work for longer than 5 seconds when I do.

05-07-2012, 02:02 PM
FWIW, I played my THR10 today for about 20 minutes on some regular ol' Duracells. I don't know how long it would have gone for - some of the batteries were scrounged from remote controls and had to be returned to their rightful homes. :)

Still, you should be able to get more than a few seconds from regular batteries. It sounds like something is definitely amiss.

05-07-2012, 03:15 PM
Yeah of course it's 12v:confused:

Just take it back, get it replaced. I don't know whats wrong with it, but there is something definitely wrong.

Don't worry about the shop, the item is defective end of conversation.

05-07-2012, 04:25 PM
This is an important issue, certainly for those who will deffinitely be utilizing the battery option and count that ability as a great plus for even considering it's purchase. These are supposed to get 8 full hours of battery life, with no discrepency between value qualities. I should have mine tomorrow and will be checking out this situation immediately.

05-07-2012, 07:37 PM
A net amp tech sez;
"Sounds like the amp has a voltage sensing circuit that shuts down at a preset level. If the voltage drops below a certain point the transistors won't switch properly."

05-07-2012, 08:49 PM
For what it's worth, I use mine regularly with batteries, no problem.

Annoying problem, hope you're able get it sorted.

05-07-2012, 09:50 PM
the only time i've been able to see any cut off problems was one time that i attempted to make the guitar feedback and it feedback at a very high frequency then shut off. otherwise it's played marvelous on battery power (i'm using eneloops.)

05-08-2012, 02:43 AM
If you're using rechargeable batteries, they only produce 1.2 volts at full charge, not 1.5, which means you're only feeding 9.6 volts instead of 12. So, if there's anything digital about that unit, it may be sensitive to supply voltage and rather than the performance just deteriorating, it'll shut down altogether. Try putting some fresh (non-rechargeable) alkalines in there and see if that helps.

Jack Gilvey
05-08-2012, 05:17 AM
I haven't used batteries yet but Yamaha specifically recommends eneloops when using NiMH.

05-08-2012, 11:55 AM
Mine are Eneloops too. I bought a bunch at Amazon along with a Maha Powerex charger like this:


05-09-2012, 11:32 AM
Update: I got a call from Yamaha which in itself is encouraging. Talked to the guy and ran through the problem on the phone. I'm the first person in the world that has had this problem...or at least the first one to call about it.

He said that playing the guitar through the amp took more current. That's not too surprising. But this thing is made to play the guitar and your ipod simultaneously if your little heart so desires, which would obviously take more current still.

He wanted me to measure the collective voltage of the battery, says he will check with "the shop" and call me back. Haven't heard from him in a day and a half.

Anyway, I was having a hard checking the battery voltage while installed in the amp so I take them out and line them up on the counter and measure the voltage. 11.2 volts. Seems pretty dang close to 12 volts to me. So what do you have to have, 11.7 volts or something to make this thing work?

So, against all logic, I put in fresh batteries....just bought them Saturday at Home Depot. I open the pack put them in and, voila, it does not cut off 5 seconds in to my insane riffing....or 10 seconds. I turn it up a little louder and everything it still cool. I just spend a couple of mintues with it. That was yesterday. Today, I fire it up (gain control about 10 o'clock or so and master on about 1 o'clock). I don't even have to tell you that it started cutting off again.

Yes sir, I can play a couple of minutes and then it's Silence City all over again. Maybe eneloop batteries are the answer. I wonder if Yamaha will send me about $80-100 to cover 8 batteries and a good charger.

Good idea Yamaha. Too bad it doesn't work.

05-09-2012, 12:03 PM
Even Newer Update: Not 10 minutes after typing this up, the Yamaha guy calls me.

He verifies that there is a problem with a "voltage sensing circuit" and says "we're going back to Japan with this one." Apparently some of the circuits "trigger" more readily than others but the problem is, no doubt, bigger than that. (That's my analysis). So, they're sending the problem back to their engineers. Who knows what will happen with that. I'm not holding my breath so this amp may be going back this weekend. Shame.

05-09-2012, 12:08 PM
Your unit definitely has a problem, just exchange it.

It must a a voltage sensing circuit that wants to see a minimum voltage to operate. In you r case this circuit for whatever reason is not functioning correctly. You have prooved this putting in a brand new set of batteries.

I just measured the batteries in my THR10, which I'm expecting to need charging soon and they come in at 9.88Vdc.
When it dies I'll measure the the batteries again and post the result.

05-09-2012, 02:01 PM
As promised they measured 9.06Vdc when it cut out.

Jack Gilvey
05-09-2012, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the info. How long did you get out of them?

Yamaha says the amp "turns off automatically when battery power is depleted". As opposed to petering out like, say, a pedal might I guess.

05-09-2012, 02:48 PM
Thanks for the info mmaatt25. At Master volume settings around 1 o'clock, mine is cutting off after a couple of minutes with the newer batteries....sooner if I turn the Master up a little more. I can turn it off for about 2 seconds and then turn it back on and it plays away like nothing ever happened....for a few seconds.

The Yamaha guy called back and said that they opened a brand new unit, grabbed 8 used batteries from various drawers in the office and loaded 'em up. He said that they maxed out everything and played guitar with an ipod input in to the amp at the same time. He said that they went at it for 20 minutes until they "couldn't stand it anymore." The unit did not cut off; they just "completed" the test and quit.

Yamaha person wants me to take the amp back to the store for an exchange (which will be my THIRD amp), have store call him for an RMA and ship the amp back to Yamaha so they can pull it's little guts out and see what is going on. There is a problem with the amp as a whole, but I seem to have been snakebitten TWICE! I'm glad it's not lightning!

The saga continues...

05-09-2012, 03:05 PM
Thanks for the info. How long did you get out of them?

Yamaha says the amp "turns off automatically when battery power is depleted". As opposed to petering out like, say, a pedal might I guess.

Playing for 1-2 hours an evening, seems to last 4-5 days, so I'd around 6 hours.

It seems like it the voltage sensing circuit is looking for 9Vdc, if it doesn't see it it shuts down.

The OP has replaced the batteries and measured 11.2Vdc with new so we can conclude that the voltage sensing circuit is faulty. Why it allows play for a few minutes remains a mystery!

05-12-2012, 06:00 PM
Today I returned my 2nd Yamaha THR10 and tried out yet another one of the same amplifier. SAME PROBLEM!!!

You guys that are running the amp on battery power should feel lucky. To be fair, I never used eneloop batteries in it but it is supposed to work with alkalines too. I played the goofy thing at very low volume last night for 30 minutes or more and it never cut off but set the gain about 11 o'clock and the master anywhere past noon and it dies within a few seconds.

I planned to leave the store with the 3rd sample of the amp, thinking NO WAY is this going to happen again with all the info I am getting in this thread. WRONG! Sample # 3 did the same thing. The salesman couldn't believe it and said now he is afraid to sell any of them. He said he is going to have to get the Yamaha rep. in to see it for himself.

I left the store with a refund, disgusted that the design/QC/whatever on this thing is so poor. I wanted it to work and I just don't get it.

05-12-2012, 07:42 PM
In addition to the Eneloop batteries, I've also used the yellow alkaline ones from Ikea.

05-14-2012, 06:49 PM
I'd like to hear from anybody having the same battery problems as me. I know most people haven't even tried battery power but I can't be the only having this issue.

Jack Gilvey
05-15-2012, 09:27 AM
Sucks about the third amp, weird. I got a new 8-pack of eneloops from Amazon for various uses and didn't leave them in the Yamaha but I did try them in the THR10 for about 20 minutes right from the pack at various levels with no problems at all.

05-17-2012, 07:09 AM
I have a THR10 with the similar problem when on battery power. Costco AA batteries.

Scenario: Using a preset I made that has compression and reverb. Playing a lap steel through the amp with the gain at 60%, Master at 80% and guitar volume at 90%. Batteries at about 90% strength.

The amp will cut out completely when I really dig into the strings and play loud and agrresively. If I play a bit more quietly, even at these levels it will function OK. If I plug in to AC all is fine - amp does not cut out.

05-17-2012, 08:24 AM
Thank you gbross for validating that I am not crazy.

You say it "will cut out completely". That sounds to me like you may be meaning no sound and then it "comes back" so to speak with out having to do anything except pause/hesitate if you will BUT I feel that it probably is doing the same thing all 3 of mine did....cutting OFF completely and not coming back on until you turn the switch off and then back on.

I would usually wait 2-3 seconds before turning the switch back on. Then it would play 3-5 seconds or a little longer before cutting OFF completely depending on where the gain/master was and how hard I dug in. Absolutely unacceptable in my book.

I am waiting to hear back from Yamaha. I even asked them to open a new one, play the fool out of it and then sell/ship it to me so I would not have travel another mile trying to obtain one that works right. I have driven about 250 miles during this ordeal but, no more.

05-17-2012, 09:40 AM
By cutting out I mean the entire amp shuts off and I must then flip the power switch off and then on again.

05-17-2012, 09:45 AM
I bought this amp primarily for it's battery functionality. Yes it works fine plugged in but I don't want to get to a gig and realize I left the power cable at home. It's much easier finding AA's anywhere.

And yes, I gig with this. I play primarily with acoustic musicians and I am frequently the only amplified instrument. In performance the sound person just sticks a mic in front of the THR 10. I also bought the THR 10 for it's size and weight. I am currently at a music festival 2000 miles from my home. I put the THR 10 in my suitcase (with much padding) and easily traveled (by air) with it. In performance, no problem plugging in. But at after hour jams the battery power is essential.

05-17-2012, 05:11 PM

Battery functionality is obviously more important for you than for me as I just want to jam about the house or under a shade tree in the yard.

No matter how it's being used, there seem to be problems for a significant amount of people.

I hope Yamaha can make this right for the consumers.

05-20-2012, 08:35 PM
Anything new on this issue?

05-21-2012, 05:04 PM
Returned my THR10.

New one showing up on Weds. If same problem exists ... it's a design issue and hopefully Yamaha can issue a firmware update that is updateable via USB.

Tracy Evans
05-21-2012, 05:27 PM
Poor Yamaha. This has been a doubled product launch with multiple delays, manufacturing problems and such. I hope it doesn't mar the rep of this really cool product. I really enjoy my THR10 (but I still have not tested it on batteries!)

05-22-2012, 08:34 PM
I do not have any new information. Maybe I will call Yamaha tomorrow. Gbross, please let me know what happens with your new unit.

05-25-2012, 06:57 AM
New unit arrived. Issue still exists when using battery power.

Basically it boils down to this: if you have the gain, master and guitar volume set very high and you strum hard the amp will shut down. This does not happen when powering the amp via AC. And I don't know if it's my imagination or not but it seems that the amp sounds better when plugged into AC.

I also noticed this ... when on battery power and gain, volume etc are set to high AND you have headphones plugged in - the AMP WILL NOT SHUT OFF.

So it looks like I will always travel and perform with the power cable. I'm not happy about this but I am willing to put up with it for the compactness and weight of the THR 10 when flying to gigs.

05-26-2012, 01:28 PM
Thanks for the update gbross. Yamaha customer service basically says that they are keeping the engineers informed but they offered no imminent fix of any kind.

I may just get another one with the expectation of playing it via a.c. power most of the time. I will probably spring for the more expensive eneloop batteries and see if that proves adequate. Still, it is troubling when the product does not live up to its billing and there is obviously a serious flaw. It is curious why some people are able to get 4-5 hours of operation from the unit but they have not really provided info on battery type used and gain/master volume settings.

05-26-2012, 09:18 PM
I have no problem with battery life. I still have not depleted a set of batteries. If I keep the volume low the unit works fine. The problem is the shutting down at high gain/master ... it's similar to blowing a fuse or tripping a circuit breaker.

Battery life of 6 hours - I believe it as long as the volume is low.

05-27-2012, 06:29 AM
My guess (I don't have one yet) is that the voltage sensor (an A/D or voltage comparator) is set to drop out at the 9V level to protect rechargeable batteries. Rechargeables will be damaged if discharged too low and 1.1V is typical for a 'stop discharge' point for LiIon and NiMH.

The sensor circuit may NOT have an integrating (low pass filter) capacitor to ignore negative voltage excursions when you are playing loud along with music(simultaneous current peaks).

Guessing Yamaha will modify the circuit to add that filter. Not much (short of self modifiying the unit) users can do but wait for a new revision of hardware. I'm not sure this will be a software correctable thing (unless it is a A/D sample)..

05-27-2012, 07:20 PM
My guess (I don't have one yet) is that the voltage sensor (an A/D or voltage comparator) is set to drop out at the 9V level to protect rechargeable batteries. Rechargeables will be damaged if discharged too low and 1.1V is typical for a 'stop discharge' point for LiIon and NiMH.

The sensor circuit may NOT have an integrating (low pass filter) capacitor to ignore negative voltage excursions when you are playing loud along with music(simultaneous current peaks).

Guessing Yamaha will modify the circuit to add that filter. Not much (short of self modifiying the unit) users can do but wait for a new revision of hardware. I'm not sure this will be a software correctable thing (unless it is a A/D sample)..

I used 2 different brand new packages of batteries. One was Rayovac alkaline and the other was Duracell alkaline. I measured one set of the batteries at 11.2 volts after taking them out of the amp.

The amp was cutting off under moderate gain/master (meaning about 12 o'clock position on both) in merely seconds...way less than 10 seconds. At the time, there was no ipod/cd auxiliary input at all. It did this on 3 different samples of the amp. On the 2nd sample of the amp, it was tried with no less than 4 different guitars/cables.

07-11-2012, 03:54 PM
Any updates on this? Mine also shuts down when using battery power and high volume. I've used freshly charged rechargeables and brand new Duracells, same problem either way.

07-11-2012, 04:38 PM
I just now called Yamaha tech support. The guy I spoke with acknowledged the problem and said there is no fix at this time. He said I should turn the volume down half way. I told him that if my car stopped working at 60 mph that would be a defect and driving around at 30 mph would not be an acceptable solution. He had no response at all to that. I asked him why Yamaha continues to sell these amps with a known defect without informing customers. His response was "that is the decision" and "it is what it is".

07-11-2012, 04:41 PM
His response was "that is the decision" and "it is what is".You nailed him, and he failed you, they are chumping on this.

07-11-2012, 08:13 PM
A. that sucks.
B. to be fair to the poor guy who has to answer calls like that, I'm sure it wasn't his decision. Hopefully he will pass on the info and the way it's frustrating customers and something will come of it.

07-12-2012, 09:14 AM
A. that sucks.
B. to be fair to the poor guy who has to answer calls like that, I'm sure it wasn't his decision. Hopefully he will pass on the info and the way it's frustrating customers and something will come of it.

Absolutely. The guy I spoke with seemed embarrassed and was not at all comfortable with the position he had been put in by his employers. I respect him for telling the truth even though he knew I wouldn't like it. I'm glad he told it like it really is rather than giving me some line of BS. But I'll never again buy a Yamaha product unless they make this right.

07-28-2012, 02:15 PM
This is a very informative thread but yet sad at the same time. C'mon Yamaha, get it together. This amp at one time seemed very promising.

08-08-2012, 10:49 AM
My rep at Sweetwater says these amps are out of stock and won't be available for 1-2 months. I wonder if Yamaha is addressing this issue with a hardware update?

08-08-2012, 12:30 PM
What about all the ones already on/in the market??

I messed around with mine and I was able to replicate this scenerio. For me it's not issue even though I use batteries almost exclusively, I don't use the high gain amps maxed out.
That said it's definitely an issue which should be sorted by Yamaha.

Despite this issue it's still a great amp for practicing and travelling. I wont be getting rid of mine.

08-08-2012, 01:11 PM
No idea. Not even sure that's what's happening, and Yamaha may not admit it even if it is. That said, I'd contact Yamaha support and get on record as having a problem. If they are fixing it, it may help if you try to get a replacement.

08-14-2012, 11:03 PM
I can report that I've now experienced the issue with fresh batteries.

I was using the Twin setting with a cranked modeled master volume but the actual volume coming out of the THR10 was not that loud (set about about 10:30). The batteries (fairly new Eneloops which have only been through a handful of charges) had been in the amp for about 10 days but had not been used that much. The amp repeatedly turned off as I played fairly hard.

I took the batteries out and put them in the Maha charger to see how full they were. Of the 8 batteries, 6 showed a full charge and 2 showed a 75% charge.

Here's the thing -- I then recharged all the batteries for a while and put them back in the THR10. The problem disappeared.

So from what I can tell it seems to be related to the charge of the batteries? Either the voltage or current of the batteries or some other characteristic like impedance or capacitance. Another possibility is that it may be related to a disparity of such characteristics between the batteries?

This is a real and weird problem. I purchased my THR10 right when it was released. Hopefully a fix is in the works and I can get mine repaired or replaced.

This issue is unfortunate because it really is a fantastic piece of kit. I don't plan on using mine live so it's not a deal breaker for me, and it's only happened once.

08-18-2012, 12:14 PM
I have experimented the same thing but after one switchoff issue now I have the flanger always activated. I have reseted the presets just in case but nothing works. Any ideas? Please help!

08-18-2012, 08:27 PM
It happened to me several times with a THR10 and a brand new set of batteries. It was easy to reproduce this problem on Brit Hi and Modern. I'm convinced now that it is part of the design -- perhaps, as some have theorized, a protective circuit for rechargeable batteries.

08-19-2012, 01:37 AM
Ok with that theory. My big problem is that the after a few switch offs the flanger effect is always on. I discoveres that if I use a preset, the flanger turns off, but if I touch any control knob, it reapears. It is really annoying!

08-25-2012, 02:07 AM
Just in case someone else have the same problem I had, with some effect activated anytime, I solved it by reseting the amp's presets, as explained in the manual. I had to do this twice and so far so good!

06-20-2013, 12:08 PM
Hi there,
My name is Mark. I am a flamenco guitarist and subway musician in Toronto. I bought the Yamaha THR10 to play flamenco in the subways as it is a kick ass little amp with great effects. I especially like the THR Editor software. Anyhow, I had the same issue with the amp shutting down without warning on battery power. My guess is the same as others on this thread. The rechargeable batteries don't provide enough voltage when the volume or gain is up. Even when not up and I do a flamenco rasquedo it shuts off. After only a minute or two. If that. That was a big issue for me as we are not allowed to hook up to juice. Can't plug in. Against the rules and you can have your license pulled for doing so. I was at a loss. I love this amp and found it has better effects and gives me better flamenco sound than the Roland AC-33. Particularly when I access the THR Editor for compressor etc. I do that as we are not allowed to use effects pedals or stomp boxes either etc. So I found a solution. In Canada I bought from Canadian Tire a MotoMaster Eliminator 1000amp/700 watt power box. The thing is used for power stuff when camping, used as a charger, to boost your car, fill a tire, etc. But it also has outlets for regular power plugs. For AC/DC current. 120volts. It has powered my little Yamaha THR10 for a few days without a having to charge. Yes it costs a bit ($239.00 CDN - probably can find something like it cheaper in the US) but it is reliable and I will save a ton on batteries and have reliability. By the way, I did not even play it that loud. Master on 2.5 and Gain at 1.3. Of course I did some editing of the effects with the THR editor but still. It was a major pain. But the sound was worth finding a solution. So now I am happy... :-) Cheers! Mark

06-20-2013, 02:29 PM
Hi Mark, congratulations! ;)
I know, you are a flamenco guitarist, but let me ask you ... what about hum or interference noise from MotoMaster Eliminator on THR's crunch or higain presets ? Is it noticeable? I had a similar dilemma a few years ago, I've tried to power Fender Mustang1 with similar equipment (much much cheaper, about 50$) and noise&hum was terrible.
Just for clear, the Eliminator transform from 12V DC (acid battery) to 120V and you are using a regular THR power plug, right?

06-20-2013, 03:18 PM
will be checking mine for this tonight.

06-30-2014, 02:52 PM
I love this little amp but can't play it too loudly whike running on batteries (alkaline) or it shuts down completely. This issue seems to be accentuated by the age of the batteries.
I intend to report my experience to Yamaha too. Hopefully, there will be a field service repair to address this. Or some kind of reimbursement. The idea of a battery powered amp was a major selling point in my purchase This is silly!:nuts

07-04-2014, 06:01 PM
Thankfully I am one of the lucky ones, I have been exclusively using my THR on batteries for 2 years because I lost my charger during a move. Does anyone know where I can get a new one?