Yamaha THR10X Review

Yamaha THR10X Review, 3.7 out of 5 based on 37 ratings
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Rating: 3.7/5 (37 votes cast)

Often favored by guitarists who love to play hard rock and metal, high-gain amps often struggle to blend in to a domestic situation being limited by their looks, their size and the need to crank the volume to get a decent tone. Not so the Yamaha THR10X High-Gain Modeling Combo Amp. Yamaha’s THR series of desktop style amps, have been designed to fit into the way many guitarists want to be able to play at home or when travelling.

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The Yamaha THR10X continues in that vein. Plug in your guitar, quickly dial in the sound you want or select a preset, knowing you can get authentic tube tones even at neighbor-friendly volumes without the need for lots of different amps and pedals. Plug in your music player start a backing track then jam away. When you're ready, plug it in to your PC to record and play it back in high-fidelity. All this in a portable form that won't look out of place in the living room and great value at just under $300.

The Yamaha THR10X has many features in common with the THR10 I reviewed here, so rather than repeat myself check it out. In this review I focus on the main difference, which is that the THR10X (X for extreme), models a range of high-gain amps, mainly targeted at those who like to play rock and metal, but still able to achieve more subtle sounds too.

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  • Amp models and effects optimized for high-gain sounds
  • Still capable of mellower classic rock or power blues tones
  • Not everyone will like the army green color

Eight amp voicings are available via the AMP model selector knob. The five to the left are inspired by some backline stalwarts. Select Power I and Power II for an Engl Powerball head, Brown I and Brown II for, of course, Eddie Van Halen's signature "brown" sound, and last but not least there is Southern Hi which, with the Gain cranked up, gives you that scooped, saturation-drenched sound (think Dimebag Darrell). To the right of the AMP knob you have three more options. Clean which gives you that warm, spanky tube-amp sound, Bass which is optimized for a bass guitar and Flat with its completely flat response making it suitable for keyboards but also ideal for electro-acoustic guitars and even drum machines.

Boasting the same range of effects as the THR10 those on the Yamaha THR10X seem to have been optimized to the heavier styles this amp is geared towards. Dial down the Gain knob and you can get some less extreme, but great sounding tones. For example choosing the Southern Hi amp option and backing off the Gain takes you towards more blues-rock style sounds

There may be a couple of minor gripes with the Yamaha THR10X. Not everyone will like the army green color and some will lament the lack of a footswitch to change between channels. But as a portable practice, songwriting and recording tool the THR's, are in a class of their own.

If you want all that plus high-gain, dynamic distortion and that cranked stack response without a heap of different amps and pedals, then the Yamaha THR10X is ideal. Capable of anything from power blues to classic rock all the way to extreme metal its a great buy at under $300.

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