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The Yamaha THR amplifiers have had new additions to the families this year, and we got hold of the new Yamaha THR10C blues combo for a review.
It's the familiar look and setup you'll have seen on the original Yamaha THR10, but with a black finish instead of a cream finish, and new amp models.
Remember, the difference between the Yamaha THR series and some of its competitors in the modelling world is the way in which models other amplifiers.
The team at Yamaha went down the route of modelling analog circuitry, so that they could change their models to include a different type of tube, or any particular variable such as a pentode or triode system.
It's not just a 'tone', it's designed to react like a tube amp, and the common feeling is that they've cracked some sort of secret puzzle and have managed to unlock authentic high quality tube tones for quite an affordable price.
The THR10C applies this technology to the amplifiers of the 1960s, and aims to give you classic tweed, blackface and Marshall Bluesbreaker sounds.
It does a good job of all of the above, capturing the natural characterstics of each. Don't expect it to sound and feel too much like these amplifiers though, because that would quite frankly be ridiculous given that this is an all-digital amplifier with PC speakers.
It comes closer than any other product we've heard for under $1000 though, and this amp actually sits closer to £269/$299. The quality of the tone you get here really is remarkable for the price, and it is a gigworthy amp too.
Small gigs, perhaps playing on your own, or alongside a singer, the THR10C can get the job done and brings a versatility that you don't actually get with a small blues combo due to the onboard effects, highly responsive EQ, and the range of amp models.
We're not advocating that you chuck out your classic blues combo, that'd be silly, but for the price, you might as well add this to your collection.
The added factor of being able to interface it with your computer (it comes bundled with Cubase) and record ideas directly into a DAW is another selling point. You can also split the recording signal into a dry and wet mix, meaning you can commit your THR sound to tape, but you can also have a clean track as a backup which you can reamp later.
Great tones, great value, and a very intuitive product for anybody used to performing with single channel tube amps. It's also light and easy to carry around, so when Yamaha tell your it's designed to sit on your mantelpiece, ignore them, it can just as easily be taken out and about!
The only downside is that it isn't louder, this could actually be a main performing amp if you could run a line-out into the desk, but the only output is the headphone socket. Yamaha say they are working on a performance amp though, so watch this space.
Available now £269/$299More From: YAMAHA