The THR stays the undisputed king of seems. A part of its attract is the retro styling that is extra paying homage to a chunk of stereo tools than a guitar amp. The skin is a matte, cream-colored steel with a Y sample punched out. (I am going to admit I a lot favor the herringbone of the unique THR.) The knobs and chrome deal with on high additionally lean into the old-school vibe. And the kicker: The amp provides off a mild, orange glow when powered on, just like a tube amp’s.
In fact, there aren’t any precise tubes right here. The entire thing is digital, however the THR collection does its greatest to seize the sound and really feel of fashionable tube amplifiers. Yamaha will not title names, but it surely appears protected to say that the Clear, Crunch and Lead channels on each the unique and the brand new fashions are impressed by a Fender Twin Reverb, a Vox AC30 and a Marshall Plexi, respectively. Nevertheless, the final two fashions out there on the entrance panel are fairly completely different. The unique THR has Brit Hello (Marshall JCM800, possibly?) and Fashionable (nearly actually Mesa Boogie Twin Rectifier). The THR II has HiGain and Particular, and actually I am not 100 p.c positive what they’re imagined to be. HiGain is likely to be one other try at a Mesa tone, however Particular — properly, I am kinda misplaced. It is one other high-gain sound, but it surely does not really feel fairly as excessive as HiGain. (Writer’s notice: Hello! 👋)
All of the amp emulations have been tweaked for the brand new model, largely for the higher. The Clear and Lead choices are fairly shut when it comes to general high quality. However as a result of the brand new mannequin is definitely a 20-watt amp as an alternative of 10 (regardless of the title), there’s extra headroom, which implies it takes impact pedals higher, particularly loop pedals. These all the time launched some undesirable distortion within the THR, but it surely now stays a lot cleaner at larger volumes. I do discover the brand new Clear mannequin slightly extra nasal than the unique, however some individuals would possibly favor its pronounced mid honk.
The high-gain choices on the II blow the unique out of the water. Switching to Brit Hello or Fashionable on the THR10 all the time ends in a compressed mess with half the quantity of the opposite amp fashions. On the II it is a a lot completely different story: HiGain and Particular have some physique and roar to them. Not like on the unique, you would possibly even have the ability to hear it over an precise drummer in a rehearsal area. However I can not personally vouch for that.
The place the place the II cannot match the unique THR, although, is on the Crunch setting. It is onerous to clarify, however the unique feels crisper and hotter. What’s extra, it is truly my favourite of all of the amp sounds, which makes it all of the sadder that frankly, Crunch on the brand new amp sounds fairly tough.
The consequences algorithms have additionally been tweaked. A lot of the variations are delicate, apart from the refrain, which now has a way more fashionable voicing, in contrast with the ’80s-ish wash on the unique. That is neither good nor unhealthy; it is only a matter of non-public style.
THR10 versus THR10 II Wi-fi
For this video I am taking part in a guitar loop with all of the controls set to 12 o’clock as I cycle by every amp mannequin. The amps have been recorded utilizing two SM57s related to a Scarlett 2i4. No extra processing was performed to the uncooked recordings.
All proper, so it is a digital-modeling amp with some built-in results. Huge deal, proper?
Effectively, past nonetheless providing a few of the greatest tones you will get with out waking a light-sleeping child, the THR has various options that assist elevate it above your normal follow amp. However there is a little bit of give and take between the previous mannequin and the brand new.
Let’s begin with the battery. Sure, that is proper, the THR10 II Wi-fi has a built-in rechargeable battery. This won’t sound like an enormous deal, however let me inform you: It is an absolute sport changer. Sure, more often than not my amp simply sits on my desk in my “studio” (learn: a nook of the lounge behind a child gate). However typically I need to sit on the sofa or — actually anyplace apart from the desk I have been working in any respect day. If I might favor to maintain the amp at a mild whisper as an alternative of cranking it, I can simply stick it on the espresso desk going through immediately at me. It is also tremendous helpful for spontaneous jam classes and busking. (Although clearly the latter can be related to few of you.)
The unique THR may be powered by batteries, but it surely required eight AAs. That is far much less handy than an built-in rechargeable. However keep in mind, the THR has to take too. The bottom mannequin $300 THR II cannot be powered by batteries in any respect. You need to spring for the $450 THR10 II Wi-fi. That is a reasonably large worth soar and a reasonably main characteristic that is misplaced.
The Wi-fi model additionally consists of assist for Line 6’s G10T transmitter. Meaning with the suitable adapter in your instrument, you do not want any cables in any respect. If the transmitter was packaged as a part of the bundle, the $450 asking worth is likely to be simpler to swallow. But it surely’s a $100 non-compulsory accent that you need to spring for. That is not the case with the $400 Katana Air, for instance, which comes with a Roland transmitter within the field.
I am going to say this although: I used to be fairly dismissive of the wi-fi at first. However after a couple of weeks dwelling with it, I used to be a convert. With the ability to freely wander round my front room and entertain my little one, all whereas maintaining my amp safely plugged in behind a child gate, was fairly nice. Generally it was good having one much less factor to fret about tripping over.
The THR line also can nonetheless be used as an audio interface along with your pc. Plug it into the USB port and you may seize riffs and report songs with out having to wire up a mic. There’s even an choice to simulate completely different speaker cupboards to pair along with your digital amp by the THR distant. Once more, there is a trade-off right here. On the unique THR you might seize each the affected tone operating by all of Yamaha’s amp and impact simulations and a dry tone with none of that concurrently. That is tremendous helpful whenever you’re recording. Perhaps you determined that you simply like a specific take however not the results or amp you utilized. You could possibly seize that unaffected sign and reamp it in your DAW. However on the THR II, you need to select one or the opposite; you possibly can’t seize each on the identical time.