Yamaha THR series - can anyone recommend?

andrew00

Member
Messages
193
Hey, I'm looking for a small practise amp to fit my tiny apartment and am keen on the Yamaha THR series.

There's two of interest - the THR 5 and the THR 10C - I was wondering if anyone had any opinion of the two for my usage.

I play either surf type music with clean guitars, reverb and tape echo.

I also play late 60's/early 70's garage rock - bands like the Velvet Underground and The Modern Lovers.

I find it hard to describe the sound b/c it's technically not clean, but I like things like a Fender clean breaking to overdrive and a bright chimey Vox type sound. So not 'clean' per se, just not distorted, I don't really like that 'rock' distorted sound.

The THR5 seems to have a Fender and a Vox mode so that's cool, and it's cheaper and smaller!

The THR10C seems to be suited to cleans so that's interesting, and it has a tape echo and tape+rev setting which is intriguing. However I'm concerned it'd be 'too' clean, i.e. as I said I don't technically like cleans, I like cleans that dirty up, and I don't like distortion.

Anyone used these two and have any thoughts? I'll post some examples of songs I like the tone of before that I'd like to be somewhat in the ballpark of. Essentially that 60s/70s guitar that is cleanish but breaking up, thinnish and trebly before things got too pedally heh.

Thanks in advance!

Tone examples

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPt5LCQx5pU


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGqwy_DQnS4


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjynIAeh1tU
 

slugworth

Member
Messages
2,635
The THR10C will easily get as dirty as what you're looking for. The THR10 and THR10X will clean up well, too. I had a THR10X but if I got another, I'd go for the THR10 for more versatility.

These amps are louder than you'd expect, and my experience is that you need some volume before they really sound good. The main bonus is not quiet playing IMO. Rather, it's the ultra-portability.
 

CubanB

Member
Messages
2,148
I have the THR10, and I like it for the old school TGP sort of tones. The more pure or classic stuff. I prefer the Peavey Vypyr for more modern sounding amps and high gain stuff. In other words.. I prefer THR for 60's and 70's music/tones.. and the Vypyr for 80's, 90's and onwards. Of course, there can be modern bands who use tones from the older days, so hopefully you can see where I'm going with that.

Both do good for what they do. THR is more organic and natural.. but there are two things that bother me.. the size of the speakers when wanting a 'big' sound and some stuff requires it. It sounds good for the size, but still not the same as a bigger speaker.. and secondly the noise gates on the high gain models. Easily usable but not ideal solutions compared to others out there. For the natural tube breakup for bluesy stuff.. and clean sounding stuff.. it's really great and to dial it in is very similar to the real amps.. and the guitar input volume helps you get preamp or powertube overdrive.. while managing the volume levels at home. I like playing my strat through the THR especially.
 

andrew00

Member
Messages
193
Thanks for the replies.

Do you feel either (which'll be the same for the 5 of course) can do 'bright clean'?

Aka can it do that thin jangley type clean - that Beatles etc kind of clean guitar, breaking up, with a bit of chime to it?

A lot of the samples I've seen online tend to be people being very flat clean or heavy rock, I can't find many people doing that classic 60s thin but not too overdriven, just enough to sparkle/jangle clean.

The 5 has both a twin and an ac30 setting which both seems good and should do that kind of sound in a tube. Not sure if the 10C has a Vox style, thou it has the Matchless?

What about the tape echo, is it any good or a bit rubbish? The Strymon El Cap I use atm is great, would be good to get something similar (i.e. good) without the faff heh.
 

Johnny2013

Member
Messages
849
I have been looking at the THR's too, especially the 10C. Does anyone know if there are new versions at NAMM?
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
7,878
Thanks for the replies.

Do you feel either (which'll be the same for the 5 of course) can do 'bright clean'?

Aka can it do that thin jangley type clean - that Beatles etc kind of clean guitar, breaking up, with a bit of chime to it?

A lot of the samples I've seen online tend to be people being very flat clean or heavy rock, I can't find many people doing that classic 60s thin but not too overdriven, just enough to sparkle/jangle clean.

The 5 has both a twin and an ac30 setting which both seems good and should do that kind of sound in a tube. Not sure if the 10C has a Vox style, thou it has the Matchless?

What about the tape echo, is it any good or a bit rubbish? The Strymon El Cap I use atm is great, would be good to get something similar (i.e. good) without the faff heh.
Sure a THR10 can do a bright less gritty clean. It is very flexible. I have only really used the reverbs, not the echo, but they are quite nice. Hard to beat an El Cap though.

I have no experience with the 10c, just the regular 10, but I feel pretty confident you wont be disappointing for your surfy cleans. I got this just as a practice amp, but it sounds nice enough for cleans that I've recorded with it too.
 

xinu

Member
Messages
60
I have the THR10C. A nice little amp for a small room and will produce a fairly big sound if placed just below ear level between 5 to 10'. It sounds anemic in a larger room and boxy when cranked with those little speakers. I haven't tried the other models but I would think they would have the same limitations.

With this one I find that there isn't a whole lot difference in some of the amp models and not much Effect and DLY/REV range. You can't expect more with just one knob for each. I can't dial-in a good clean tone with this one either.

It does a very good job for what it's intended for. I don't know if there are any other lunch box size combos to compare it to.
 

BadlyDrawnBoy

Member
Messages
77
+1 for the THR10C. I think the models are all very useful, and distinctive enough between them, many great shades of clean/pushed/mild drive. Records great and even takes pedals well, from my experience. Mind that it also has a preset editor you can run on the PC, so you can tailor specific sounds that can be different from what you get from the effects knobs. You can have 5 of those programmed into the unit, if I'm not mistaken.
 

Kyle Ashley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,745
After reading so many good things, and hearing some fairly impressive youtube vids, I got a THR10x for myself at Christmas - just wanted something small, battery powered, and with some built in fx to keep at my second home that I'm at maybe 6-8 weeks/year.

Disliked it immediately and my dislike grew the more I worked with it. I spent 3 days trying the edit software and reading up on these, but it just felt and sounded plastic, brittle, and cheap.

Returned it and picked up a Roland Micro-Cube which felt much more to my liking for low volume practice.
 

NewDr.P

Member
Messages
2,291
ive heard it described as an an emulation of what guitars sound like recorded- not what a practice amp sounds like in your basement. i instantly agreed with that description.

while thats not what everyone will be looking for i think its a very cool sounding little amp and is stellar at what its designed to do.
 

Johnny2013

Member
Messages
849
I played the THR10 in GC and was pleasantly surprised at the models and the ability to play low and sound good. Wasn't super impressed with the effects. I want the 10C but I'm holding out to see if they are coming out with new ones like this weekend.
 

johnnylighton

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
572
I have the THR10C...With this one I find that there isn't a whole lot difference in some of the amp models and not much Effect and DLY/REV range. You can't expect more with just one knob for each. I can't dial-in a good clean tone with this one either.

It does a very good job for what it's intended for.
I have the 10C also and agree with your description of the amp models, effects, and cleans. I find the cleans to be fair to poor. But the overdrive sounds are killer. Touch sensitive and with a decent range from slightly dirty to warm-sounding tube distortion. :rockin
 

andrew00

Member
Messages
193
Out and about today I passed a guitar shop and popped in, lo and behold they had a THR5 and a THR10, not a THR10C alas! I also tried the amps alongside a Voc AC4 (Cream) and a Vox Pathfinder 15R.

The Pathfinder was really good, esp as it's inexpensive but the AC4 was on another level and gave a great brittle sound, it's a tube amp so that helped.

I then tried the THR10 and THR5. I found after a few minutes messing about that I could dial in a pretty decent Vox sound, esp as I was just playing one, on both amps. Enough certainly that I felt warmly towards the Yamaha's.

I'd say the 10 was ever so slightly nicer than the 5 as it has more tonal control and the 5 has just a tone knob. But dialling in a combo of the Master, Gain and Tone knobs gave me a tone on the 5 that was 95% of the one of the 10.

At the end I played a bit from a song I used to play and it sounded just like I remembered it on the Vox AC15C1 I used to have. This sold me on the Yamaha amps as a concept, esp as they're so small!

The annoying thing was that they didn't have the THR10C's so I couldn't directly compare that to the 10/5, which was annoying as it means I need to go back there next week to try it when it comes in. Pretty sure I'll be walking out with one of them though.
 

xinu

Member
Messages
60
+1 for the THR10C... Mind that it also has a preset editor you can run on the PC, so you can tailor specific sounds that can be different from what you get from the effects knobs. You can have 5 of those programmed into the unit, if I'm not mistaken.
Good to point that out. I forgot about the THReditor and haven't been bothered to use it yet. That will definitely overcome the single knob limitations. I guess I'm too old school and like to dial tone by twisting knobs and immediately hearing the result.
 

ShawnH

Member
Messages
1,387
For practicing quietly and without headphones I am very happy with my THR10C. It's not going to replace your real amp for the situations when you can use a real amp or for playing with others. But I can practice sitting in my living room with my kids sleeping upstairs (open floorplan) and have an enjoyable time and like my tone well enough. That's a big deal for me.

And as for the clean tone - I would say that the overdrive to distortion tones are a bit better. But if you use the editor and activate the compressor and also use your guitar's volume knob I think you can get some very respectable clean tones. I actually like the Class A model (Matchless) with the master up full and the gain way down, slight compression, and just a bit of reverb, guitar volume on 6. That's a nice clean tone to me.
 

xinu

Member
Messages
60
For practicing quietly and without headphones I am very happy with my THR10C. It's not going to replace your real amp for the situations when you can use a real amp or for playing with others. But I can practice sitting in my living room with my kids sleeping upstairs (open floorplan) and have an enjoyable time and like my tone well enough. That's a big deal for me....
Thats exactly what I use it for (minus the kids) and you nailed it as a great way to enjoy playing in that situation. In the summer I take it to the trailer and it really performs well in that relatively small space. It sounds bigger that it really is and works nicely with backing tracks.
 

AthensStrat

AIFG
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
254
Love mine I agree with ShawnH the clean tones for me are unusable but the drives are nice enough for living room levels. I have the THR5 its perfect for practice, it actually takes my pedalboard rather well---ish.
 

andrew00

Member
Messages
193
Have any of y'all tried it with the newly released (as in last few days for Namm) free V.2 firmware?

Yamaha claiming (for 10/5) that it really improves the Cleans.
 

xinu

Member
Messages
60
Have any of y'all tried it with the newly released (as in last few days for Namm) free V.2 firmware?

Yamaha claiming (for 10/5) that it really improves the Cleans.
Is the V.2 FW for the 3 models? I have a C. I don't know if the THR10C was would be a candidate for Cleans but here's hoping.
 




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