Yamaha THR10X Modeling Guitar Amplifier 10W (Discontinued)
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- July 2019: Highest Rated Battery Powered Guitar Amp
The Yamaha THR10 series are regarded to be among the best sounding lunchbox amps available, which is surprising given the specifications.
The amp features two 3” speakers (this is according to Yamaha’s specifications for the amp), which somehow manage to avoid the thin tone normally associated with sub-8” speakers. With just 10-watts of power, this compact and relatively quiet amp is meant for hi-gain distortion (which on low to moderate setting isn’t buzzy).
The THR10X also comes with a healthy selection of modulation effects, including: chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, reverb (spring and hall), compression, and a noise gate. The controls on the amp are pretty standard, and are as follows: amp, gain, master, bass, middle, treble, effect, delay/reverb.
In addition, it also comes with an acoustic guitar friendly amp model, as well as one for electric bass guitars, a nifty addition for guitarists who also record/practice on acoustic and bass.
Other features include a 3-band EQ, Bluetooth Connectivity, built-in effects, and the ability to run on battery, which means that you have access to good emulations of high-gain tube amps virtually anywhere.
The only thing to keep in mind with this amp is that it’s not a tube amp. The THR series uses emulated tube lights to give the amp the appearance of being a tube amp, but it definitely is not. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just something to be aware of.
- Power Rating: 10-Watts
- Speaker Size: 2x3”
- Models: Power I, Power II, Brown I, Brown II, Southern Hi, Clean, Bass, Flat
- Effects: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo, Delay, Reverb, Compressor, Noise Gate
- Controls: Amp, Gain, Master, Bass, Middle, Treble, Effect, Delay/Reverb, Guitar (Output), USB/AUX (Output)
- Input/Output: AUX-In, Headphone-Out
- Extras: Tuner
- Weight: 6lbs
Satisfied metal heads continue to flood the reviews with their high ratings. They cite the tube like feel of the Yamaha THR10X's high gain tones as their top reason for liking the amp. Martyn Casserly of The Guitar Magazine have a positive impression: "It’s light, visually pleasing, sonically impressive, and just plain old damn fun to play – and doubles as a classy hi-fi into which you can plug your iPod or smartphone." It is also commended for its overall portability and convenience. User reviews generally note how the tone sounds "big" without it being loud. This is in part due to the way the amplifier presents tone as a high fidelity studio recorded tone rather than forcing a blistering tone through small speakers. Users also mention they liked the feel on the amp models. Pros like Ola Englund, get great sounding heavy tones out of this lunchbox amp, even with its small speakers.
There are no notable complains about the amp's performance, but there are a few users who feel that they are not getting their money's worth. Some recommend saving a bit more for louder amps in the sub $500 price range. Low end can get muddy depending on your guitar as noted by one critical user review. Others found the default tones to be outdated as the mids are more scooped than they preferred.
If you're a fan of high gain guitars, the THR10X is an excellent piece of gear. While most amps sound like a high gain amp going through ratty speakers, the THR10X sounds like a well-recorded studio tone which makes it great for jamming along to your favorite rock and metal tracks.
At time of publication you could still get a brand new Yamaha THR5A which is a cheaper version tuned for acoustic guitars.
The THR10X has been discontinued by Yamaha, so if you're looking for a new amp then take a look at the alternatives in our guides to:
- The Best Guitar Amps Under $300
- The Best Modeling Amps for Guitar
- The Best Battery Powered Guitar Amps