Review: Yamaha THR5 Guitar Amp
Yamaha THR10 and THR5 Guitar Amps introduce a ‘new kind of practice amp’
Whilst Yamaha are not a name generally associated with guitar amps (just every other kind of musical equipment…), that could be set change with the announcement of the Yamaha THR5 guitar amp. With a retro, ‘50s amp head appearance, the THR amps are likely to attract more than the occasional admiring glance. Beneath this cabinet, however, things are far from retro…
Virtual Circuitry Modelling
Designed as the ultimate practice amp, the THR5 features Yamaha‘s own Virtual Circuitry Modelling (VCM), which models the tone of classic amps. Designed to play with the natural, responsive dynamics of the amp that they are modelling, VCM provides detailed recreations of valve amps that behave like the real thing. VCM provides a huge advantage over a genuine valve amp however, in that it can be turned down to practice levels, however, without sacrificing tone. To further enhance the tone, the THR5 has eight on-board effects. And to ensure everything stays nicely in pitch, there’s a built-in chromatic tuner.
Another unique feature of the Yamaha THR5 is the stereo speaker technology. To find a stereo practice amp is unusual, but to find that its speakers are based on Yamaha ‘s extended stereo technology is staggering. This gives the THR5 the ability to replay sound with the illusion of it being from outside the amp (i.e. it sounds far ‘bigger’ than it actually is). And finally, to ensure that the Yamaha THR5 is no ‘slouch’ when it comes to recording, a USB audio interface is built in, and a copy of Steinberg‘s Cubase AI software is included.
Available in two versions, the Yamaha THR10 featuring a bigger a cabinet, more powerful amp and better bass and mid-range response as a result. Additionally, it also features bass amp modelling, three band EQ, and user memories for storing patches. The Yamaha THR5 is slightly simpler, but smaller and lighter, which, considering both can be battery powered, could be crucial to buskers or travelling musicians. However, both are excellent, versatile practice guitar amps.